GNOME 3.32 Will Do A Better Job Picking The Primary GPU - Helping Out USB Displays, Etc

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 13 January 2019 at 07:38 AM EST. 9 Comments
The work around better GPU/infrastructure handling for GNOME 3.32 continues with the most recent work merged this weekend being for better handling by Mutter over deciding the primary GPU of the system in multi-GPU systems whether it be multiple graphics cards, notebooks with dual GPUs, or systems with a USB-based external display adapter.

Emilio Pozuelo Monfort of Collabora has been working on a primary GPU rework to better decide how GNOME chooses the primary GPU of the system. The primary change of this work appears to be ensuring that the primary GPU is capable of hardware rendering and that Mutter doesn't accidentally choose a GPU only backed by LLVMpipe or other software renderer. There is also a new fallback for CPU-based copying from secondary GPUs with a software renderer, which is said to provide better performance and help with synchronization.

With the new primary GPU handling, Mutter should do a better job picking a GPU that is backed by hardware rendering. This is one of several improvements merged this cycle to particularly benefit DisplayLink USB-based display hardware that is convenient for driving a display over USB but lacking any 3D hardware rendering.

This cycle there's also been other DisplayLink performance improvements, GPU hot-plugging, and related initiatives. So it's looking like for the March release of GNOME 3.32, those with DisplayLink hardware should find much better performance particularly when using the Mutter Wayland session.
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