Intel vs. Modesetting X.Org DDX Performance Impact
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 11 January 2017. Page 3 of 4. 27 Comments

For 2D it's still a very different story. With the xf86-video-intel driver there is the SNA architecture that is tuned for each generation of Intel graphics hardware and is a big code-base that aimed to deliver maximum performance. But the xf86-video-intel 3.0 release has yet to happen (where the official change-over is supposed to be to SNA) and just remains in Git form with Intel not communicating their plans for doing this release or if they would just prefer everyone switch to xf86-video-modesetting. The modesetting driver though doesn't have hardware-specific 2D acceleration but uses GLAMOR to push the 2D operations via OpenGL.

With the many synthetic benchmarks via x11perf, the xf86-video-intel driver is faster to not much surprise given the optimized SNA vs. generic GLAMOR approach for doing 2D. The Intel driver's wins range from just a few percent to being much faster, but keep in mind this is a synthetic 2D test. Also, many toolkits are moving to using OpenGL themselves and in the Wayland space applications falling back to using XWayland are using GLAMOR regardless.

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