Even With An Intel Core i9 7980XE, LLVMpipe Is Still Slow

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 2 January 2018 at 06:18 AM EST. 8 Comments
During the recent holidays when running light on benchmarks to run, I was toying around with LLVMpipe in not having run this LLVM-accelerated software rasterizer in some time. I also ran some fresh tests of Intel's OpenSWR OpenGL software rasterizer that has also been living within Mesa.

In showing the potential best case, an Intel Core i9 7980XE was used with its 18 cores / 36 threads configuration with 2.6GHz base frequency and 4.2GHz turbo for this ~$2,000 USD CPU with a 165 Watt TDP.

LLVMpipe is mostly good on modern desktop CPUs as a fallback for composited desktops when no hardware GPU/driver is available, but really not intended for running any games or demanding GL workloads, but I sometimes get curious about its potential...

While all the main OpenGL drivers are onto OpenGL 4.x support, LLVMpipe (and OpenSWR) are still limited to OpenGL 3.3 support with these drivers not getting as much attention as the popular hardware drivers.

LLVMpipe performance has improved between Mesa 17.0 and 17.4-dev for the open-source Enemy Territory game...


OpenArena is also a little bit faster but obviously not fast enough even with this $2,000 CPU.


At least LLVMpipe was made a little bit faster in 2017. More details for those interested in these curiosity benchmarks can find them over on OpenBenchmarking.org.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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