Intel Ivy Bridge Acceleration Of UXA vs. SNA

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 6 December 2012 at 04:16 PM EST. Page 1 of 3. 11 Comments.

It's been a few months since last delivering any Intel SNA acceleration architecture benchmarks but with all of the many recent xf86-video-intel 2.20.x driver releases, here's some new benchmarks comparing the UXA and SNA acceleration back-ends for Intel's Ivy Bridge hardware.

Benchmarks of Intel's "Sandy Bridge New Acceleration" accelerated 2D back-end have been compelling just not for the newer Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge graphics cores, but it's also been a big win for earlier Intel hardware too. This 2D acceleration method implemented in xf86-video-intel still isn't enabled by default, but for months now it's been compiled by default and can be easily turned on instead of UXA at run-time. Turning on SNA for any supported Intel HD graphics hardware generation is as easy as setting the "AccelMethod" option within the xorg.conf configuration file to "SNA" as its value.

The benchmarking in this article is using the xf86-video-intel 2.20.15 Git code as of this week plus the Linux 3.6 kernel and Mesa 9.1-devel Git, all as of this week. The hardware used for this latest Intel 2D performance benchmarking from Ubuntu 12.10 was with an Intel Core i7 3770K processor bearing Intel HD 4000 graphics. The UXA and SNA acceleration back-ends are being compared while GLAMOR was left out since it's still a bit problematic in certain situations and the real Intel 2D performance race is just between the default UXA and then SNA. For those interested in the OpenGL-based GLAMOR 2D acceleration method, there are Ivy Bridge benchmarks I did this summer.

All benchmarking was handled in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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