Older Broadwell Graphics Performance Is Looking Good With The New Intel Gallium3D OpenGL Linux Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 23 September 2019 at 11:10 AM EDT.

A majority of our benchmarking of Intel's new Gallium3D OpenGL open-source driver is done with various "Gen9" graphics hardware given its proliferation and not yet having any Icelake Gen11 graphics hardware for Linux benchmarking. But with the Iris Gallium3D going back to supporting Broadwell "Gen8" graphics, here is a fresh look at how that oldest supported Intel hardware is working for this new Linux open-source OpenGL driver compared to the current default "i965" Intel OpenGL driver too.

Last week I provided an extensive look at the current Intel Gallium3D driver performance with the common Gen9 graphics hardware and the performance (and overall stability) of this new driver is looking great. It's looking like Intel is still on track for enabling that driver by default in Mesa before the 19.3 release at the end of the calendar year. Following that testing I was curious about Broadwell so I fired up an old Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop.

With the HD Graphics 5500 found on the Core i7 5600U of that ThinkPad X1 Carbon, I ran benchmarks of the Mesa 19.3-devel code as of last week with the "i965" (classic/default) OpenGL driver against the Iris Gallium3D driver. Additionally, there are also Mesa 19.0.8 benchmarks of the default Intel OpenGL driver found right now with Ubuntu 19.04 for providing some perspective how the Intel Mesa performance has evolved this year.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a range of OpenGL graphics tests and games were run that can sufficiently run on the Broadwell Gen8 era graphics.

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