Intel Iris Pro 5200 Linux Graphics Performance
While we have delivered tons of Intel Haswell coverage on Phoronix -- more than 100 stories on the latest-generation Intel processors and graphics written by your's truly -- one of the areas not yet covered have been the high-end Iris Pro Graphics with integrated eDRAM. We haven't been able to run any Linux benchmarks of the Iris Pro due to lack of hardware, but System76 is said to be soon sending over a review sample of their Galago UltraPro with Iris Pro Graphics 5200. In the meantime, however, a Phoronix reader has graciously lent us remote access to his Iris Pro system for Ubuntu Linux graphics testing.
Full coverage of the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 from the Intel Core i7 4750HQ processor will come in full on Phoronix once receiving the Galago UltraPro review sample from System76. In this article are just some preview benchmarks of the Intel Iris Pro Graphics on Ubuntu that were done remotely from a system lent to us by Phoronix reader Svetoslav Trochev who was an early Galago UltraPro customer. While we only had remote access, thanks to the automated nature of the Phoronix Test Suite and safeguards, the testing was still straightforward and we can back these numbers. Many thanks to Svetoslav for lending us remote system access until our System76 review sample arrives and before he commissioned the system for production purposes.
Making the Intel Iris Pro Graphics particularly interesting is that they have 128MB of eDRAM stacked onto the die itself. Intel Haswell graphics are already great performers for integrated graphics like the HD Graphics 4600, but Iris Pro should have a particularly good performance boost out of this embedded memory to serve as a graphics cache. The graphics core found in the Intel Core i7 4750HQ as found in the Galago UltraPro is Intel Iris Pro 5200 of the GT3e graphics level.
The Intel Core i7 4750HQ "Haswell" CPU found in this Ultrabook has four cores plus Hyper Threading and then has a 2GHz base frequency but its Turbo Frequency maxes out at 3.2GHz. This 47-Watt TDP CPU has other common features to the Intel Haswell family. System76 packs its Galago UltraPro with up to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB Plextor SSD to make for a very speedy Intel Haswell Ultrbook.
In this testing the graphics tests done were of Ubuntu 13.04 in its stock condition with the Linux 3.8 kernel and Mesa 9.1.3 and xf86-video-intel 2.21.6. Next, the system was tested when upgrading to the now-stable Linux 3.11 vanilla kernel. Lastly, the Ubuntu 13.04 system was tested on the Linux 3.11 kernel and then also Mesa 9.3-devel Git. This provides a clear look at how the Intel Iris Pro graphics have evolved under Linux in the past quarter that the hardware has been available. There are also more performance improvements to squeeze for Iris Pro on Linux 3.12, but that testing will wait until the System76 review sample arrives since I don't want to remotely deal with a pre-RC1 kernel on a Phoronix reader's brand new ultrabook.