CPUFreq vs. P-State CPU Scaling Governor Tests On Various Vulkan/OpenGL Games
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 4 April 2017. Page 1 of 7. 12 Comments

With the recent release of some new Linux games like the Serious Sam 2017 update and Mad Max, also with featuring Vulkan renderers, here are some fresh Intel P-State vs. ACPI CPUFreq frequency scaling driver and governor comparisons with a variety of Linux games.

Particularly on the P-State side, our CPU scaling driver tests over the years have showed the potential for big swings in performance depending upon the governor/driver, but in other games there are minimal differences. The Intel CPU generation can also play a role with sometimes the newer Intel hardware having a tougher time performing well with the Intel P-State powersave mode that's commonly the default on many Linux distributions.

For this fresh P-State/CPUFreq testing today, I was using an Intel Core i7 7700K Kabylake system paired with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics. Ubuntu 16.10 x86_64 was running on this test system today.

Configurations tested included P-State powersave (the Ubuntu default for newer Intel CPUs), P-State performance, CPUFreq ondemand, CPUFreq performance, CPUFreq powersave, and CPUFreq conservative. All other system settings and packages remained the same throughout testing. First up are some Linux OpenGL game tests followed by the Vulkan game tests. In addition to looking at the raw performance, the AC system power consumption was monitored using a WattsUp Pro power meter interfacing with the Phoronix Test Suite to provide performance-per-Watt metrics. Also at the end are recorded GPU and CPU utilization graphs generated by the Phoronix Test Suite for further looking at the differences caused by the CPU scaling drivers/governors.


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