Mesa GL Thread Testing With Pentium + Core i7 & RX 580 + R9 Fury

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 12 July 2017 at 10:27 AM EDT. Page 1 of 9. 22 Comments.

With Mesa's GL threading support ready for wider testing and the developers pursuing per-application enabling of this driver-agnostic Mesa OpenGL multi-threading work, here are some benchmarks of mesa_glthread when using a Pentium and Core i7 CPUs as well as a Radeon RX 580 and R9 Fury.

AMD developer Marek has reported that BioShock Infinite can be around 76% faster, Civilization VI around 20% faster, Alien Isolation by around 60%, among other improvements when explicitly turning on mesa_glthread for games benefiting from this CPU multi-threading behavior. But for other games it can regress the performance, which is why this feature isn't turned on unconditionally.

I ran a wide set of OpenGL game benchmarks that are automated and driven through the Phoronix Test Suite to see the mesa_glthread impact when blanket enabling/disabling the support (and during this time, removing the application-specific enables from the drirc). Tests were done with Linux 4.12 and Mesa 17.2-dev as of this week via the Padoka PPA on Ubuntu 17.04. Tested configurations were:

- An Intel Pentium G4600 Kabylake CPU (dual-core + HT, 3.6GHz base frequency) with a Radeon RX 580.

- The Intel Pentium G4600 when using a Radeon R9 Fury.

- An Intel Core i7 7700K Kabylake (quad-core + HT, 4.2GHz base, 4.5GHz turbo) with a Radeon RX 580.

- The Intel Core i7 7700K again but using the Radeon R9 Fury.

- The Intel Core i7 7700K with its integrated Kabylake GT2 / HD Graphics 630.

All tests were done from the same system with MSI Z270-A PRO motherboard, 16GB DDR4 memory, 525GB Crucial CT525MX3 + 128GB THNSN5128GPU7, and a test resolution of 1080p. Each configuration was tested with/without mesa_glthread.

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