Intel Lands 20~40% Performance Optimization For Arc Graphics In Mesa 22.0

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 11 January 2022 at 07:00 AM EST. 22 Comments
Intel's pixel pipeline optimization work focused on speeding up DG2/Alchemist graphics cards with their open-source graphics driver has managed to land in Mesa 22.0.

With Mesa 22.0 set to be branched this week that marks the feature freeze in preparation for releasing as stable in February, Intel managed to squeeze their Xe HP pixel pipeline optimization work into this next quarterly release. Getting this big optimization in Mesa 22.0 is important considering Intel continues to report that they will begin shipping Intel Arc discrete graphics later this quarter.

This optimization work has been found to improve the performance in non-trivial workloads by 20~40% on all DG2 platforms tested, both for OpenGL and Vulkan. The Mesa driver optimization work amounts to just about 200 lines of new code. This work won't impact existing Intel graphics hardware.

From demanding OpenGL benchmarks like Unigine to Vulkan-rendered games like Shadow of Mordor, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, this now merged patches will be very important for ensuring a performant DG2/Alchemist graphics card experience on Linux at launch.

Besides Mesa 22.0+, the Intel Linux kernel graphics driver changes for DG2/Alchemist continue to land and will necessitate a very bleeding edge kernel... Intel hasn't communicated a baseline for support but Linux 5.16~5.17 will likely be a minimum, though once the Intel Arc graphics cards ship and I get my hands on said hardware, stay tuned for all the Linux support details off their open-source driver stack.
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