Mesa 20.0-devel Intel Gallium3D Performance Benchmarks Are Looking Good For Ice Lake

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 14 December 2019 at 05:00 PM EST. 2 Comments
While the Mesa 20.0 cycle is quite young and still over one month to go until the feature freeze for this next quarterly installment of these open-source OpenGL/Vulkan Linux drivers, it's quite exciting already with the changes building up. In particular, on the Intel side they are still positioning for the Intel Gallium3D driver to become the new default on hardware of generations Broadwell and newer. Here is a quick look at how the Intel Gallium3D performance is looking compared to their legacy "i965" classic OpenGL driver that is the current default.

As you should already know if you've been reading Phoronix for any real length of time, the new Intel Gallium3D driver is quite competitive and for supported generations is generally now ahead of their classic OpenGL driver. The Intel Gallium3D driver supports OpenGL 4.6 like the i965 driver and the lingering bugs are just being addressed before turning it on as the default Intel OpenGL Linux driver while i965 will be sticking around as the default for Haswell and older.

Given continued Intel Gallium3D improvements for Mesa 20.0, I ran some fresh benchmarks this week on the Dell Ice Lake laptop with Core i7-1065G7 bearing the Iris Plus Graphics G7.
Ice Lake Graphics

Ubuntu 19.10 was running on the Ice Lake laptop with Linux 5.3 while using the Oibaf PPA for Mesa 20.0 Git as of 12 December for comparing the old and new Intel OpenGL Linux drivers.
Ice Lake Graphics

The Intel Gallium3D driver is basically blowing the old Intel OpenGL driver out of the water. While these tests were done on Ice Lake, even on Mesa 19.3 with Skylake and Broadwell we have found the Intel Gallium3D driver to offer a leg up in performance.
Ice Lake Graphics

The Java OpenGL image rendering test was one of the few regressions found on Ice Lake.
Ice Lake Graphics

ET: Legacy as well but as you can see there was high deviation between runs for the Intel Gallium3D driver, likely due to power/thermal factors.
Ice Lake Graphics

But across thirty tests carried out on both drivers with Mesa 20.0, the Intel Gallium3D driver is looking great...
Ice Lake Graphics

The geometric mean of those thirty tests put the Intel Gallium3D driver on Mesa 20.0-devel as being just under 8% faster than their legacy driver but as shown already in some select tests are where there are double digit improvements with this new Gallium3D driver. Another damn fine job by Intel's open-source folks. See all the data from this round of Intel OpenGL benchmarks on
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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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