Intel Broadwell Iris Pro Graphics: Windows 10 vs. Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 30 July 2015. Page 1 of 4. 24 Comments

Resulting from the What Windows 10 vs. Linux Benchmarks Would You Like To See and The Phoronix Test Suite Is Running On Windows 10, here are our first benchmarks comparing the performance of Microsoft's newly released Windows 10 Pro x64 against Fedora 22 when looking at the Intel's OpenGL driver performance across platforms.

For this first Windows 10 vs. Linux comparison, I decided to see how well Intel's graphics performance is running between operating systems for their latest-generation Broadwell graphics. This also is my first time running any Windows release with Broadwell hardware for a cross-OS comparison.

For this comparison I was using an Intel Core i7 5775C setup thanks to its impressive Intel Iris Pro 6200 Graphics. On Windows 10 I was using the latest Intel driver release that's v10.18.15.4256 and just released for Windows 10. For the Broadwell graphics this Intel Windows driver exposes OpenGL 4.3 support and OpenCL 2.0 for compute. For DirectX there's 11.1 supported by the hardware.

The Linux distribution used for this inaugural Windows 10 comparison was Fedora 22 given that it runs well for the i7-5775C. Under Fedora 22 x86_64 I tested the stock performance after all updates were applied, which yielded the Linux 4.1.2 kernel and Mesa 10.6.1. I then tested Fedora 22 when upgrading to the Linux 4.2 Git kernel (using the Rawhide Nodebug repository) and Mesa 10.7-devel Git (via this Copr repository). Under both versions of Mesa, the Iris Pro 6200 graphics advertise just OpenGL 3.3 support, but OpenGL 4.0~4.1 will be here soon for the Intel open-source driver. It still could end up being a few months though until OpenGL 4.3 support appears in released form in Mesa for matching the Intel Windows driver. The Intel Linux OpenCL support right now is also only at OpenCL 1.2 while OpenCL 2.0 for Beignet is a work-in-progress.

In this initial Windows 10 vs. Fedora 22 Intel graphics comparison I ran a few different OpenGL graphics/game tests that are known to work well under both Windows and Linux with native ports. There's also the requirement that they run in a fully-reproducible and automated manner, which is done on both platforms in a standardized manner via the Phoronix Test Suite. If you're interested in seeing DirectX Windows comparisons added in the next round of comparisons or other more modern tests, consider helping as outlined in the previous post.

Windows 10 vs. Fedora 22 Intel Linux Graphics

The same Intel Core i7 5775C + MSI Z97-G45 GAMING + 16GB RAM + 120GB Toshiba SSD system was used under both Windows 10 and Fedora 22.

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