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Mesa Developers Discussing Again Whether To Fork Or Drop Non-Gallium3D Drivers

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  • Mesa Developers Discussing Again Whether To Fork Or Drop Non-Gallium3D Drivers

    Phoronix: Mesa Developers Discussing Again Whether To Fork Or Drop Non-Gallium3D Drivers

    Back in December was a developer discussion over dropping or forking non-Gallium3D drivers. Since then the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver has successfully become the default OpenGL driver for Broadwell/Gen8 and newer while the non-Gallium3D drivers continue to just face bit rot. The discussion over dropping/forking non-Gallium3D Mesa drivers has been reignited...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Of-Old-Drivers

  • #2
    Isn’t it a tad bit too soon?

    Haswell and even pre-Haswell systems are still quite alive and kicking.

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    • #3
      While I think its a strength of Linux to run just everything forever - I also want high performance on modern systems. Mesa + ACO has shown, that we are pretty much en par with Windows performance in several cases and losing that edge because we have to maintain 10 year old systems seems a bit like a waste.

      My POV: If a system runs with old hardware, performance isn't really an issue. In 99% of the cases, it shall just throw out a picture and isn't used for anything demanding - esp. on GPU side. If it would be demanding, one would have a modern GPU *or* someone is doing something very wrong.

      I can see that GPUs like my good old 7970 are still capable of throwing 60FPS on a 1080p monitor - but most of those cards are either already replaced, died (mine did a year ago) or aren't used for gaming. (And in Intels case: Who plays games on an IGP?)

      I can already hear thousands of people having an old system now wanting to give me a veto aka "But my old games still run fine on my old hardware" - but that is not the point. The point is to not lose the edge in the modern tech race, esp. when Linux looks so good in comparison, that ... erm... "wasting time" on old hardware could damage the progress.

      In short - modern APUs can deliver the GPU performance from GPUs that are 5+ years old and are cheap as hell. So if performance is an issue, but budget is a limiting factor: There are solutions.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by intelfx View Post
        Haswell and even pre-Haswell systems are still quite alive and kicking.
        And there was near to no change for these systems in mesa for quite some time. So it's not like you will miss something by using a mesa-legacy driver.

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        • #5
          I think the number of i965 systems is on par with the ones without.
          Last edited by Buntolo; 03-30-2020, 05:06 AM. Reason: signular to plural

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shevchen View Post
            While I think its a strength of Linux to run just everything forever - I also want high performance on modern systems. Mesa + ACO has shown, that we are pretty much en par with Windows performance in several cases and losing that edge because we have to maintain 10 year old systems seems a bit like a waste.

            My POV: If a system runs with old hardware, performance isn't really an issue. In 99% of the cases, it shall just throw out a picture and isn't used for anything demanding - esp. on GPU side. If it would be demanding, one would have a modern GPU *or* someone is doing something very wrong.

            I can see that GPUs like my good old 7970 are still capable of throwing 60FPS on a 1080p monitor - but most of those cards are either already replaced, died (mine did a year ago) or aren't used for gaming. (And in Intels case: Who plays games on an IGP?)

            I can already hear thousands of people having an old system now wanting to give me a veto aka "But my old games still run fine on my old hardware" - but that is not the point. The point is to not lose the edge in the modern tech race, esp. when Linux looks so good in comparison, that ... erm... "wasting time" on old hardware could damage the progress.
            Sorry, but as you allude to this is nonsense. "Performance" is arguably even *more* important on older hardware, especially mobile devices like laptops because without acceleration, they're pretty much useless. There is no "modern tech race", either the hardware performs adequately for the given task, or it doesn't. If you want to run AAA games titles, you need a capable system, there's no other way around it, dropping support for last years hardware isn't going to turn today's budget systems magically into PS5s.
            In short - modern APUs can deliver the GPU performance from GPUs that are 5+ years old and are cheap as hell. So if performance is an issue, but budget is a limiting factor: There are solutions.
            What if you have *no* budget for a new system? Why would you want to replace a 5+ year old system with a new one with equivalent performance anyway?

            Intel dropping support for Beignet is a real PITA*, I have an high end mobile IVB GT2 which despite claims to the contrary achieves pretty reasonable OpenCL performance, certainly better than not using it! But Intel decided to only support GEN8+ with the new driver. Same situation with the new Gallium3D driver, I'm sure few would have issue if they supported all of their OpenGL4 capable hardware, but Ivybridge/Haswel are slightly different to later revised designs while nearly as capable.

            There is an extension of your suggestion - that would sort of make more sense; that's to drop all support for Intel CPUs with critical security flaws which require kernel mitigation. That really would allow a lot of code to be dropped from the kernel and the possibility of higher performance...

            * I've not been able to build Beignet for a while (can't figure out why) and just to rub in salt I've not been able to get the legacy Fermi NVIDIA driver to work recently so I've lost all OpenCL support on this system!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by -MacNuke- View Post

              And there was near to no change for these systems in mesa for quite some time. So it's not like you will miss something by using a mesa-legacy driver.
              Bug fixes in shared code? It *will* bit-rot out of tree. How many out-of-tree Mesa driver drivers are maintained? Overhead and additional system complexity from GLVND?

              This is all just justification/rationalization for Intel not supporting 5 year old GEN7.x in their current drivers. It is understandable from a commercial point of view, but really not customer friendly! This is $1000+ hardware, which is already massively depreciated by the numerous security flaws, it's not unreasonable to expect better.

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              • #8
                What’s the big deal? It’s not like we can expect these hardware to support any more features. And we can anytime install the still maintained fork. Like apt/yum install mesa-classic or even comes pre-installed. The 2 Mesa can co-exist.

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                • #9
                  Me and my wife are still using Haswell based laptops as daily driver. Still good enough except gaming, but that is our PC for

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                  • #10
                    From someone with a perfectly good Haswell laptop that works fine and where I play some games. I do appreciate the work still being done on the i1965 driver. Specially because it has allowed me to play some perfectly good games in the 20.x release that I could not have played on the 19.x releases.

                    My choice would be migrating Ivy Bridge and Haswell to Iris (or another gallium based). But as I don't get paid to do it and don't have the knowledge of Intel gpus to do it I will of course accept whatever decision is reached.
                    Last edited by fahrenheit; 03-30-2020, 06:00 AM.

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