Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Is Much Faster With Mesa 9.2
The performance of Gallium3D's LLVMpipe driver has generally been quite limited since OpenGL after all is meant for running on GPUs and not CPUs, but up until more Linux desktops have become expecting OpenGL support, it was mostly used as a tool for having a vendor-neutral code-path for debugging Mesa/Gallium3D issues. More recently, the LLVMpipe driver has been seeing more improvements along with the more general areas of Gallium3D, and as well the upstream LLVM project that this software driver relies upon for taking advantage of modern CPU instruction set extensions and other modern capabilities.
When running some Mesa 9.1.4 Git vs. Mesa 9.2 Git (master) benchmarks yesterday of LLVMpipe from an Intel Core i7 3960X "Sandy Bridge" EE system running Ubuntu Linux and having LLVM 3.3, I was quite impressed with the performance improvements.
All of the results in full and the hardware/software information can be found in the OpenBenchmarking.org 1307103-SO-LLVMPIPEM53 result file, embedded below is just a teaser.