Intel Broadwell HD Graphics 5500: Windows 8.1 vs. Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 24 January 2015 at 02:00 PM EST. Page 2 of 6. 36 Comments.

Given the differences between Intel's Windows and Linux drivers, I ran some of the usual OpenGL tests that are of known to be under similar quality under Linux and Windows and will run fine on both drivers. With the same ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the following software configurations were tested:

- Windows 8.1 x86_64 with the latest Intel driver (v15. and other software updates at the time of testing.

- A clean install of Ubuntu 14.10 on the X1 Carbon and used its stock packages with the Linux 3.16 kernel, xf86-video-intel 2.99.914, and Mesa 10.3.2.

- The above Ubuntu 14.10 installation when then switching to the Linux 3.18.0 stable kernel and maintaining the other software versions.

- The above Ubuntu 14.10 installation with Linux 3.18 when upgrading from Mesa 10.3.2 to Mesa 10.5-devel Git and xf86-video-intel 2.99.917 from the Padoka PPA.

- The above Ubuntu 14.10 installation of the upgraded user-space stack (Mesa 10.5-devel) when then trying the Linux 3.19 Git kernel as of Friday.

- Lastly was the above Ubuntu 14.10 installation with the Mesa 10.5-devel user-space driver while pulling in drm-intel-next for testing out the Intel DRM graphics driver changes that will be queued up for the Linux 3.20 kernel as of this past Friday.

So what we're looking at is the OpenGL performance between Windows 8.1 against Ubuntu 14.10 and then all possible configurations of upgrading the open-source Intel Linux graphics driver stack to see how it's matured since the October release of the Ubuntu Utopic Unicorn release. Again, this ThinkPad X1 Carbon has an Intel Core i7 5600U processor with HD Graphics 5500, a Samsung 128GB SSD, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, and a 1920 x 1080 display. All of the Intel Broadwell Linux benchmarks in this article were done using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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