The Best Linux 6.2 Features From Intel Arc Graphics To Better Performance For Older PCs

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 17 February 2023 at 11:18 AM EST. 5 Comments
This weekend the Linux 6.2 kernel will be released as stable. As it's been two months already since I published the Linux 6.2 feature overview following the closure of the v6.2 merge window, here is a reminder of what makes Linux 6.2 a really exciting kernel update.

For those losing track with everything that happens in kernel space and for weeks already talking about changes for coming with Linux 6.3, here is a reminder of what's found in Linux 6.2 that makes this a very exciting first kernel update of 2023:

Arguably most exciting with Linux 6.2 is Intel Arc Graphics being promoted to stable. Finally with Linux 6.2, the Intel DG2/Alchemist Arc Graphics hardware will enjoy out-of-the-box support without having to use the i915.forc_probe override as was needed on prior kernel releases. Intel is happy with the DG2 support now and everything has been running quite well as well as continuing to mature in user-space with Intel's Mesa OpenGL and Vulkan drivers. HWMON energy sensor reporting for Intel Alchemist GPUs is also wired up for Linux 6.2.

Also on the Intel side, Intel's On-Demand driver is ready for activating extra silicon features found with new 4th Gen Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" processors. Intel On Demand is what previously was worked on for the kernel as Intel Software Defined Silicon (SDSi) and with Sapphire Rapids is about activating additional accelerators found with the Xeon Scalable CPUs as a post-purchase upgrade option.

Meanwhile on the open-source NVIDIA side there is initial accelerated support for GeForce RTX 30 "Ampere" graphics when using Linux 6.2+ and Mesa 23.0+. But don't get too excited over this open-source RTX 30 support as it still performs extremely poor due to the re-clocking issues at least until Nouveau is able to make use of the NVIDIA GPU System Processor (GSP).

For helping the performance of Linux on older hardware, Call Depth Tracking was merged for an option to help boost the performance of Intel Skylake era CPUs. Enabling Call Depth Tracking is a less costly mitigation than IBRS for Retbleed. Linux 6.2 performance enjoys a nice boost for Skylake-era systems when enabling Call Depth Tracking.

On the Arm side, there is now mainline support for the Apple M1 Pro / M1 Max / M1 Ultra as well as various Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs.

Some of the other notable additions with Linux 6.2 include the exFAT driver can handle creating files and directories much faster, new NTFS driver options, hardware monitoring support for more ASUS motherboards, the kernel's Zstd code has been updated, and randomizing the per-CPU entry area as what's "a tasty area for attackers".

The Linux 6.2 stable kernel is set to be released on Sunday, 19 February, which will be followed by starting the Linux 6.3 merge window.
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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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