1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

More Performance Comes Out Of Intel Linux SNB

Intel

Published on 22 March 2011 11:04 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
5 Comments

Near the beginning of this month I talked about an important Sandy Bridge performance fix landing in Mesa that with 13 lines of changed code resulted in a huge performance improvement for those using the new integrated graphics found on the Sandy Bridge CPUs. This performance boost was quite dramatic and made the open-source Intel Linux driver comparable to Intel's closed-source Windows driver, but the performance tuning is not done yet. There's DRM patches arriving this morning that squeeze more performance out of Intel Sandy Bridge graphics under Linux.

Chris Wilson has published a new patch series for using LLC cache on Sandy Bridge / "Gen 6" graphics. The LLC work was started by Eric Anholt, but Chris Wilson has continued on with various Intel SNB improvements.

As far as what the LLC caching on Sandy Bridge CPUs means for graphics performance, the Sandy Bridge graphics performance goes up by an additional 10% with the OpenArena game, for example.
This provided a 10.4% +/- 1.5% (n=3) performance improvement on openarena on my laptop. We have more room to improve with doing LLC caching for display using GFDT, and in doing LLC+MLC caching, but this was an easy performance win and incremental improvement toward those two.

The patch-set is currently sitting on the Intel-gfx mailing list. Though unless this is pushed into the DRM tree in the next few days, it's unlikely it will land prior to the Linux 2.6.40 kernel. The Linux 2.6.39 kernel is already looking to be quite interesting without this work, in particular due to major Nouveau performance wins, but this set of 15 patches to the Intel DRM driver will probably not land there. Hitting 2.6.39 wouldn't mean much for most Linux desktop users anyways since Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15 are already set to ship with the Linux 2.6.38 kernel.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD's RadeonSI Driver Sped Up A Lot This Summer
  2. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  3. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
  4. Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter
  2. CUDA 6.5 Is Doing Great For Blender
  3. Wayland & Weston 1.6 Alpha Released
  4. Nouveau Gets Improved Re-Clocking Handling For Select GPUs
  5. A New First-Person Mystery Game Might Be Coming To Linux
  6. Patch By Patch, LLVM Clang Gets Better At Building The Linux Kernel
  7. VC4 Gallium3D Driver Now Handles X With GLAMOR
  8. Opera 25 Development Release For Linux
  9. Steam Now Supports VA-API For In-Home Game Streaming
  10. GNOME 3.14 Beta Released
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  2. OSS radeon driver for A10-7850K (Kaveri)
  3. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  4. American Citizens running AMOK for food stamps
  5. What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?
  6. Company I work for is looking to contribute to Open Source projects... but wrongly?
  7. Microsoft vs. Campaign
  8. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers