Linux 2.6.30-rc2 Improves Intel Performance Some

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 15 April 2009 at 05:53 PM EDT. 12 Comments
Since earlier today when looking at whether greedy migration heuristics help in improving Intel's 2D driver performance and how it compares to using UXA acceleration, we have run a couple more benchmarks. This time Canonical's Bryce Harrington was interested whether a new kernel improves Intel's performance.

Found in the Linux 2.6.30-rc2 kernel release yesterday were a few Intel i915 DRM updates that could affect the system's graphics performance. Well, we decided to check. For some quick tests we compared the Linux 2.6.28 kernel to be found in Ubuntu 9.04 to the Linux 2.6.30-rc2 kernel found in the Ubuntu kernel mainline PPA.

Testing was done again on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with an Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of system memory, and Intel 945 graphics. The Phoronix Test Suite tests we used included OpenArena, World of Padman, Tremulous, GtkPerf, and JXRenderMark for a mix of 2D and 3D tests.

As you can see, the numbers certainly have improved. However, there still is more optimization work left. However, this is also taking into account other changes made in the Linux 2.6.29 and 2.6.30 kernel besides just the Intel-specific bits. To compare your system's performance to these results, run phoronix-test-suite benchmark phoronix-3867-14354-11729. More numbers can also be looked at from the Phoronix Global results page.
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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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