Initial Benchmarks With Intel oneAPI Level Zero Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 6 April 2020. Page 1 of 2. 4 Comments

Last week Intel released an initial set of micro-benchmarks for their oneAPI Level Zero and with L0 support being plumbed into their open-source Intel Compute Runtime, this weekend I started toying around with some Level Zero benchmarks on a variety of Intel processors.

The oneAPI Level Zero API is their direct-to-metal interfaces for accelerators from GPUs to other hardware. This testing in conjunction with the latest Intel Compute Runtime was testing their Gen9 and Gen11 graphics aboard various Intel CPUs.

The Intel level-zero-tests micro-benchmarks aren't the first time we are benchmarking oneAPI components but have been doing so for months. Via the Phoronix Test Suite and and commonly within our hardware reviews are benchmarks on other oneAPI tools like Intel Embree, Open Image Denoise OSPray, OpenSWR, and others. Intel oneAPI continues to have us quite excited on the software front and closely are monitoring its open-source advancements through 2020.

It was simple to get up and running with Intel oneAPI Level Zero on Ubuntu Linux using the supplied packages for Intel Compute Runtime 20.13.16352 and oneAPI Level Zero 0.91.10. It was very easy getting the OpenCL NEO stack and runtime for oneAPI up and running in a matter of a minute or two with no obstacles or other headaches. These packaged components are just user-space components with all of the necessary kernel support upstream, which greatly reduces the burden of setting up the compute stack compared to other vendors. Intel's pre-packaged binaries were also working fine during the testing on both Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 development.

The Level Zero micro-benchmarks do a great job showing the performance uplift from Gen9 to Gen11 graphics with some of the quick laptop tests carried out this weekend:

These results are mostly being done just for reference/evaluation purposes. The numbers don't come out terribly surprising besides great continuing to see more data on the advancements of Gen9 graphics to Gen11 Ice Lake on Linux especially in the area of compute. The Intel Compute Runtime for Linux continues to support Intel graphics hardware back to the Gen7/Broadwell days.

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