Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 With Intel HD Graphics

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 30 October 2014 at 11:05 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 21 Comments.

For those curious how the latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver is performing against Intel's newest closed-source Windows OpenGL driver, we've put Ubuntu 14.10 (including a second run with the latest Linux kernel / Mesa) against Microsoft Windows 8.1 with the newest Intel GPU driver released earlier this month.

As I've been mentioning on Twitter, fresh Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 benchmarks are coming in the days ahead with Intel HD Graphics, AMD Radeon, and NVIDIA GeForce hardware. With the AMD/NVIDIA tests it includes the closed-source, binary drivers for Linux too. The Intel Haswell graphics results are up first since that's the most straight forward with Intel's Linux graphics support only coming through via their open-source driver.

Released at the beginning of October was the Intel Windows driver release, which is our first time testing it at Phoronix. In the recent Intel Windows GPU driver updates they've been hitting new OpenGL support while the Intel Mesa driver on Linux is currently bound to OpenGL 3.3 compliance with OpenGL 4.0~4.2 being close. There's also still other advantages to the Intel Windows driver like better OpenCL support (though Intel Beignet finally seems to be coming together) and other functionality not currently exposed by the Intel Linux driver.

With an Intel Core i7 4770K Haswell system with HD Graphics 4600, we tested it under Windows and Linux in the following configurations:

- Ubuntu 14.10 x86_64 out-of-the-box with the Linux 3.16 kernel, xf86-video-intel 2.99.914, and Mesa 10.3.0.

- The same Ubuntu 14.10 installation then installing the Linux 3.17.0 kernel from the Ubuntu Mainline PPA and enabling the Oibaf PPA for the latest user-space components: namely, xf86-video-intel 2.99.916 and Mesa 10.4-devel git-402ab50 2014-10-29..

- Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with all available system updates and installing the Intel driver.

Windows 8.1 vs Ubuntu 14.10 - Intel Graphics

Used for the OpenGL benchmarking were a few different cross-platform games / tech demos that are known to be of similar quality under Windows/Linux that are fully compatible with each driver. With the higher performing NVIDIA and AMD cross-platform tests will also be other interesting test cases. All of the Linux and Windows graphics benchmarks were carried out with the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking platform.

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