Mesa Continues With More Optimizations For Workstation OpenGL Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 31 January 2021 at 06:12 AM EST. 19 Comments
Well known AMD open-source driver developer Marek Olšák continues squeezing Mesa for every bit of possible performance, which in recent months has been with a seemingly workstation focus.

In recent weeks we have covered big performance improvements for SPECviewperf with the Mesa/Gallium3D code. SPECviewperf is around modeling graphics performance for professional applications like CATIA, 3ds Max, Maya, Solidworks, Siemens NX, and more.

Just a few days ago more improvements landed in Mesa benefiting SPECviewperf. While this weekend was the latest work of Marek going to mainline.

The latest merge decreases CPU overhead for SPECviewperf. In at least one sub-test it means a 10%+ performance improvement.

While this may not be immediately exciting for Linux gamers, this is great news as noted in prior articles. For gaming the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has long been better off than their proprietary OpenGL driver for almost all cases while workstation was one of the areas previously where that packaged driver had more uptick. Given the interest by AMD in optimizing Mesa/Gallium3D for workstation workloads and the amount of work we are seeing, it's presumably coming at customer request/interest. Or another possibility is AMD trying to get Mesa good enough that they can just put their former OpenGL driver out to pasture on Linux moving forward. Seeing big AMD customers switch from their proprietary OpenGL driver stack to RadeonSI Gallium3D is a win not only for open-source pride in general but with resource allotment internally as well at AMD and hopefully allowing more good things to come to the Radeon open-source Linux graphics stack.
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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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