New Intel Linux Graphics Driver Patches Allow Tuning For Up To 10~15% Better Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 27 April 2023 at 10:00 AM EDT. 7 Comments
After profiling and raising an issue by Google's Chrome OS engineers, there is a set of "request for comments" patches out today for the Intel Linux graphics driver that can provide 10~15% better performance when operating in the tuned mode.

The set of Intel i915 Linux kernel graphics driver patches are about exposing the Intel RPS (Requested Power State) up/down thresholds. Right now the Intel Linux kernel driver has static values set for the up/down thresholds between power states while these patches would make them dynamically configurable by user-space. Google engineer Syed Faaiz Hussain raised the issue that they experimented with the Intel RPS tuning and were able to manage up to 15% better performance. With Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with OpenGL was a 14.5% boost, CS:GO with Vulkan was 12.9% faster, and Civilization VI with OpenGL was 11% faster while Strange Brigade was unchanged. No other game numbers were provided.

Intel RPS tuning

But as this is about changing the threshold for how aggressively the Intel graphics hardware switches power states, the proposed patches leave it up to user-space to adjust the thresholds as they wish. Google engineers are interested in hooking this into Feral's GameMode so that the values could be automatically tuned when launching games and then returning to their former state when done gaming, in order to maximize battery life / power efficiency.

There is this GitLab ticket that outlines the problem and their observations for better performance with RPS threshold tuning. Posted by Intel to the dri-devel list are a set of four patches to get the RPS up/down thresholds exposed via sysfs for maximizing game performance and/or best power efficiency.

The only downside with these current patches are that they work only for non-GuC based platforms... So the latest Alder/Raptor Lake notebooks as well as Intel DG2/Alchemist discrete graphics currently don't aren't able to make use of this tuning option.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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