Early Ubuntu 14.04 Intel XMir Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 2 January 2014. Page 1 of 3. 10 Comments

While Ubuntu on the desktop won't be shipping with Mir/XMir by default until Ubuntu 14.04, since I did some recent Wayland benchmarks on Fedora 20, I decided to run some benchmarks of Ubuntu 14.04 in its development state when comparing the OpenGL gaming performance of running through the X.Org Server (the default) versus running Unity 7 with XMir.

After their ambitious plans for using XMir in Ubuntu 13.10 were delayed and Ubuntu 14.04 being a Long-Term Support release, Canonical's latest plans are for using Mir on Ubuntu 14.10. This is when it comes to the desktop version as for Ubuntu Touch they're already shipping Mir with the Android graphics drivers for various mobile devices. The benchmarks in this article are similar to my past XMir performance benchmarks of just measuring the performance overhead when OpenGL games are passed through XMir.

By the time of Ubuntu 14.10 we could see some games running natively on Mir assuming a Mir back-end to SDL2 is in good shape, but for now any games will need to depend upon this X11 compatibility layer to Mir for support. There are also plenty of SDL1 games and other titles that will likely never see Mir display server support.

For the Ubuntu 14.04 display server testing the Lini PC was used with its Haswell-based Pentium dual-core CPU that boasts Intel HD Graphics. The Ubuntu 14.04 stack tested was running Linux 3.12 with Mesa 10.0.0. The X.Org Server 1.14.4 release is currently used and the Unity System Compositor version was 0.0.2 at the time of testing. The xf86-video-intel 2.99.904 DDX was the Intel X.Org graphics driver version with Canonical's own patching for XMir support.

Ubuntu 14.04 Display Server Tests

All of this benchmarking was handled via the Phoronix Test Suite, which Canonical has also been using for running Mir performance benchmarks.

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