Linux & Mesa Driver Comparison For Intel Core i5 12600K / UHD Graphics 770
Earlier this month I provided benchmarks showing the Intel UHD Graphics 770 with Alder Lake compared to other CPUs/APUs under Linux. Those tests were done with the latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver code at the time, but for those running Alder Lake and wondering if it's worthwhile moving from the stable versions to more bleeding-edge components, this article is for you.
Today's article is looking at the UHD Graphics 770 performance from the Intel Core i5 12600K when running out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 21.10 compared to various combinations of upgrading the Linux kernel and Mesa for the newer Iris Galluum3D (OpenGL) and ANV Vulkan drivers.
Ubuntu 21.10 out-of-the-box uses Linux 5.13 and Mesa 21.2. That stock combination on Ubuntu 21.10 is enough to get Alder Lake graphics working, assuming you use the "i915.force_probe=4680" kernel parameter. Without that force_probe option there isn't accelerated graphics on Linux kernel versions prior to the in-development Linux 5.16.
That stock configuration of Ubuntu 21.10 was then compared to upgrading to Mesa 22.0-devel via the Oibaf PPA while keeping to Ubuntu 21.10's default kernel, moving to Linux 5.15 stable while running Mesa 22.0-devel from the Oibaf PPA, and then lastly running Linux 5.16-rc1 Git as the very latest kernel code while running Mesa 22.0-devel. Basically the tests show whether it's worthwhile moving to a newer Linux kernel and/or Mesa compared to the stock packages of last month's Ubuntu 21.10 release.
All the testing, of course, was from the same Core i5 12600K system with a variety of graphics/gaming and Vulkan compute benchmarks. The reported clock frequency differences for the CPU come down to just faulty reporting by the kernel on pre-5.15 versions but in fact running at stock speeds throughout. Here are the results with changes worth mentioning.