Running Intel Kabylake Graphics On Linux 4.12

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 21 May 2017 at 07:17 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Does the Linux 4.12 kernel bring any performance improvements for Intel graphics? Here are some OpenGL/Vulkan tests for Intel Kabylake graphics with Linux 4.10 vs. 4.11 vs. 4.12 when using Mesa 17.2-dev.

Given kernel bumps routinely helping Radeon graphics and routinely the Intel DRM driver too due to DRM optimizations, I ran some 4.10 through 4.12 Git benchmarks with the Core i7 7700K test box. Mesa 17.2-dev via the Padoka PPA was running for the user-space Intel driver components.
Intel DRM Linux 4.12

The Intel DRM driver changes in Linux 4.12 don't explicitly mention any performance improvements, but it's not uncommon to find some changes occasionally or to see regressions.
Intel DRM Linux 4.12

Intel DRM Linux 4.12

Intel DRM Linux 4.12

Intel DRM Linux 4.12

But this time around, there isn't much to look at. This result file shows the numbers basically unchanged with the newer kernel. At least though I didn't encounter any performance regressions. Additionally, the display stack was working out fine and no other troubles -- considering 4.12 is where Intel has now enabled atomic mode-setting by default, among other non-performance work. More details on the features via the Linux 4.12 kernel feature overview.

In case you missed it, some more interesting numbers may be this week's Intel OpenGL vs. Vulkan comparison.
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Michael Larabel

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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