Intel Iris Pro Linux Performance Doubles With Driver Upgrades
Last week I ran a System76 Galago UltraPro Preview with some benchmark results and a special article looking at the Intel Iris Pro 5200, the Haswell graphics cores with 128MB of dedicated video memory stacked onto the die itself. Those tests were done remotely but now with having a System76 Galago UltraPro ultrabook review sample in the labs, here are some fresh tests looking at the very latest state of Haswell Iris Pro graphics under Linux. The benchmarks cover the state of Ubuntu 13.04 going through the latest open-source Linux graphics driver code with the yet-to-be-released Mesa 9.3 and the Linux 3.12 kernel.
The Galago UltraPro review sample that System76 sent over employs an Intel Core i7 4750HQ CPU with Iris Pro 5200 (Crystal Well) graphics, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, and a 120GB Intel SSD. While Phoronix benchmarks have shown the Intel Haswell performance is dramatically better if using the latest packages over what's offered in Ubuntu 13.04 and other distributions from earlier in H1'2013, System76 is shipping a relatively stock Ubuntu 13.04 x86_64 configuration with the Linux 3.8 kernel, GCC 4.7, and Mesa 9.1.4.
The full review on this System76 Intel Haswell Ultrabook will be out in a week or two on Phoronix while in this article are more benchmarks looking specifically at the Iris Pro graphics performance on Linux. Compared to the earlier Iris Pro results on Phoronix, this article contains a more extensive selection of Linux OpenGL game benchmarks and it also includes benchmarks from the Linux 3.12 kernel as of this morning. With the Linux 3.12 kernel is support for the 128MB eLLC cache on the Iris Pro, which should help the performance.
The system hardware was the same throughout all of the testing. The clock speed difference reported on the table for the Linux 3.12 kernel is the result of the Linux 3.12 kernel now displaying the Turbo Boost frequency via the cpufreq driver for this Haswell CPU. The software configurations tested were Ubuntu 13.04 stock (Linux 3.8 + Mesa 9.1), Ubuntu 13.04 when upgraded to Mesa 9.3-devel and sticking with the Linux 3.8 stock kernel, the Linux 3.11 kernel with Mesa 9.3-devel, and then the Linux 3.12 Git kernel with Mesa 9.3-devel. This provides a clear look at the "out of the box" Ubuntu 13.04 performance compared to what's possible with the latest kernel and close to the experience found in Ubuntu 13.10, which will be Linux 3.11 with Mesa 9.2.0 stable.
All benchmarks in this article were conducted in a fully streamlined and automated manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software and hosted in a collaborative manner on OpenBenchmarking.org.