Intel Developer Posts Latest Patch For Variable Refresh Rate Within X.Org Modesetting

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 11 June 2020 at 03:38 AM EDT. 16 Comments
With Intel supporting Adaptive-Sync/VRR with Gen11+ graphics and these days with effectively only supporting xf86-video-modesetting for X.Org-driven Linux desktops rather than their basically dead xf86-video-intel driver, the Intel open-source Linux developers continue working on plumbing variable refresh rate support into this generic modesetting DDX.

Last month was more work on porting Adaptive-Sync/VRR to xf86-video-modesetting while this week the latest patch was sent out by Intel's Uday Kiran Pichika.

This VRR support patch is based on the code found within AMD's xf86-video-amdgpu DDX driver that has offered Adaptive-Sync/FreeSync support now for several years in conjunction with their AMDGPU DRM kernel driver when using DisplayPort outputs.

While xf86-video-modesetting is the generic X.Org DDX driver, this support is just about setting the proper property for enabling the support and exposing a "VariableRefresh" X.Org option. The heavy lifting is still obviously done by the respective kernel drivers.

Intel is still working through the necessary DRM kernel driver changes for supporting VRR/Adaptive-Sync on their graphics hardware with Icelake and newer. But the latest patch does note that various games and demos have already been tested with VRR enabled.

At least until Intel squares away their kernel side support, this xf86-video-modesetting work can be enjoyed by Radeon Linux gamers using this DDX driver over the xf86-video-amdgpu.

This latest patch is still marked a "work in progress", but given there is still no timeline for actually releasing X.Org Server 1.21, it isn't an immediate rush anyhow.... Perhaps we'll finally see the belated v1.21 release later in the year with this improvement for the modesetting DDX.
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