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

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  • #21
    I have a Intel haswell laptop and yes, I do play games on it.

    I lately only bought Intel laptops, because I don't want to be in a situation again where I have to wait for years for AMD to sort out their bugs.
    You can say what you want about Intel, but they use to support their hardware extremely well on Linux (even old hardware) ...until now.

    Having 2 versions of mesa sounds like a mess.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post

      i always thought APU used system ram , which would avoid the bandwidth issues. i guess i was wrong there.
      Why did you think that? System RAM has much lower bandwidth than dedicated VRAM. DDR4 RAM in dual channel is around 50GB/s-ish depending on the clocks, perhaps DDR5 will effectively double that. Now even my old AMD R7 260X had around 105GB/s bandwidth while my 12+ year old ATI HD 3870 had around 70-75GB/s IIRC.

      And not only system ram is very slow, it also has to be shared with CPU demands for access.

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      • #23
        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.

        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.
        so i need to pay new laptop every 5 years ?
        what do you think of me an iphone user ?

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        • #24
          The Intel-Mesa testing lab does actually run automated tests on nearly every GPU going back to 2006, both on new stable releases, daily, and—on the majority of systems—on every push to the repository.

          For what little it's worth...here's when various GPUs first came out:
          • 2006—Broadwater (Gen4, the original i965)
          • ...
          • 2012—Ivybridge (Gen7, i965 only)
          • 2013—Haswell (Gen7.5, i965 only)
          • 2014—Broadwell (Gen8 on Core, supported by both iris and i965)
          • 2015—Cherryview/Braswell (Gen8LP on Atom, i965 only)
          • 2015—Skylake (Gen9, supported by both iris and i965)
          • ...
          • 2019—Icelake (Gen11)
          • 2020—now
          Cherryview is the main anomaly here—iris doesn't support it, and it's 5 years old. But otherwise, the new driver runs on the last 6 years of hardware. Haswell is actually closer to 7 years old at this point.

          Admittedly, that's a bit pedantic...and won't likely make anyone feel better. I like my Haswell laptop, and I certainly don't want to drop support for old hardware arbitrarily. I even fixed up Mesa to get some recent games running on Haswell not that long ago, in response to comments here. But, the reality is that in the new driver, my primary focus needs to be on 2019 and 2020+ hardware. There are some pretty exciting things in the works.

          Free Software Developer .:. Mesa and Xorg
          Opinions expressed in these forum posts are my own.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Kayden View Post
            The Intel-Mesa testing lab does actually run automated tests on nearly every GPU going back to 2006, both on new stable releases, daily, and—on the majority of systems—on every push to the repository.

            For what little it's worth...here's when various GPUs first came out:
            • 2006—Broadwater (Gen4, the original i965)
            • ...
            • 2012—Ivybridge (Gen7, i965 only)
            • 2013—Haswell (Gen7.5, i965 only)
            • 2014—Broadwell (Gen8 on Core, supported by both iris and i965)
            • 2015—Cherryview/Braswell (Gen8LP on Atom, i965 only)
            • 2015—Skylake (Gen9, supported by both iris and i965)
            • ...
            • 2019—Icelake (Gen11)
            • 2020—now
            Cherryview is the main anomaly here—iris doesn't support it, and it's 5 years old. But otherwise, the new driver runs on the last 6 years of hardware. Haswell is actually closer to 7 years old at this point.

            Admittedly, that's a bit pedantic...and won't likely make anyone feel better. I like my Haswell laptop, and I certainly don't want to drop support for old hardware arbitrarily. I even fixed up Mesa to get some recent games running on Haswell not that long ago, in response to comments here. But, the reality is that in the new driver, my primary focus needs to be on 2019 and 2020+ hardware. There are some pretty exciting things in the works.
            ivy bridge and haswell deserve more love how about make Gallium Drivers for this two generation only ?

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            • #26
              they should do the fork - tho' i am one of the users who will be affected by this (3 laptops i use on Haswell and pre-Haswell). i don't think that having the "legacy" drivers in the main tree would improve the quality of those, just alone due to the fact being there. i have learned to work-around the issues now and it will apply to the future regardless of the decision of mesa developers.
              probably the volume of mesa code is slowly getting the critical mass, and it would be much inferior for the whole process of development, if something, i don't know, like driving automated tests, would be inhibit by some old stuff.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by intelfx View Post
                Isn’t it a tad bit too soon?

                Haswell and even pre-Haswell systems are still quite alive and kicking.
                Well sure, but those systems are not getting that much new attention anyway. The support is pretty good, and that won't change just because the long-term drivers are sitting in a different repo.

                If anything, this lessens the chance that the people working on Gallium drivers will inadvertently break something in classic Mesa.

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                • #28
                  Are they going to support Iris for Haswell?

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                    Are they going to support Iris for Haswell?
                    No, Broadwell is the oldest they are supporting.
                    Michael Larabel
                    http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                    • #30
                      Plenty of devices such as laptops don't have a dedicated GPU, and something like a Sandy Bridge or newer will probably suffice for a lot of people. These iGPUs can handle gaming, especially older games. My Intel HD 4000 handles older games with high refresh rates without a hitch, and has "experimental" (stable enough to display Doom 2016 properly, although with abysmal performance, and capable of running other Vulkan software such as Dolphin) support for Vulkan, yet it's considered a legacy iGPU, which is especially funny considering how little progress in terms of performance Intel has made. I can see plenty of people with older laptops using them for games, even modern indie titles. Also, since my iGPU supports OpenCL, I can use it to speed up some workloads, like GEGL filters in GIMP, and I can encode video with it as well. Provided I'm not interested in playing modern AAA games on my setup, there is no reason for me to hook up an external GPU to my laptop even for modern workloads, because if I were to game on my PC, it would not be on a workstation laptop which is focused on productivity in software development and not running games.
                      It's funny that a CPU modern enough to run Clear (GNU/)Linux has an integrated GPU too old for Intel to support, despite having implementations of newest APIs for it.

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