Linux 4.6 To Offer Faster Raspberry Pi 3D Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Raspberry Pi on 14 March 2016 at 02:24 PM EDT. 15 Comments
Broadcom's Eric Anholt sent in the VC4 DRM driver updates today for DRM-Next merging to in turn get into the Linux 4.6 kernel merge window.

In the pull request he mentions, "Notably, it includes a significant 3D performance improvement and a fix to HDMI hotplug detection for the Pi2/3."

A significant 3D performance improvement for this open-source Raspberry Pi kernel DRM driver that pairs with the VC4 Gallium3D user-space driver is exciting.

The better performance is thanks to pipelining binning and rendering jobs. For some x11perf (using GLAMOR over OpenGL) tests the boost is reportedly 20~30% while in some OpenGL games it's much less. "The hardware provides us with separate threads for binning and rendering, and the existing model waits for them both to complete before submitting the next job. Splitting the binning and rendering submissions reduces idle time and gives us approx 20-30% speedup with several x11perf tests," according to the patch's author Varad Gautam.
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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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