Intel Xe Graphics' Incredible Performance Uplift From OpenCL To oneAPI Level Zero To Vulkan
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 23 October 2020. Page 11 of 11. 35 Comments

Comparing the results to AMD's current-generation Renoir is a bit more difficult due to the lack of oneAPI support currently on that front and also the murkier OpenCL support. Renoir isn't supported by the AMD Radeon Open eCosystem stack (ROCm) but is supported by the proprietary bits in the Radeon Software AMDGPU-PRO driver. So I did install the AMDGPU-PRO OpenCL components atop Ubuntu 20.10 with Linux 5.9 and did have working OpenCL for Renoir albeit was hitting a few hangs among the OpenCL tests run. Using the Ryzen 5 4500U due to my limited Renoir hardware access, below is a look at how the Core i7 1165G7 with Xe Graphics compare to the Radeon Vega graphics of the Ryzen 5 4500U.

Higher-end Renoir parts do have additional compute units but alas no hardware available for testing how those other SKUs compare. The Tiger Lake Xe Graphics stomped the 4500U with many of the OpenCL tests as well as Vulkan compute tests using NCNN while Renoir did have a few wins in the OpenGL gaming results. Performance-per-Watt comparisons between Tiger Lake and Renoir for the package power usage wasn't possible due to the current AMD_Energy Linux driver not working there. Meanwhile on the CPU side, the Ryzen 5 4500U with its six physical cores tends to dominate the i7-1165G7 in many of the tests as shown in previous articles.

In ending, the Gen12 Xe Graphics on Tiger Lake have been mighty impressive with my experiences so far using the Dell XPS 13 9310 with Core i7 1165G7. The gains made by the Gen12 graphics on the hardware side are huge with commonly seeing 50%+ improvements over previous generation Ice Lake and incredible improvements if still relying on the Gen9 graphics that have dominated the market for years. It will be interesting to see how the Gen12 performance is with Rocket Lake on the desktop in 2021.

Not only is the Tiger Lake hardware support great but the open-source Linux driver support continues to be spot on. Intel was successful in ensuring good launch-day support for Tiger Lake / Gen12 graphics on Linux with Vulkan and OpenGL 4.6 and that has matured quite quickly with additional optimizations to find if wanting to use the latest Linux kernel and Mesa code. Intel's open-source compute stack also is working very well on Tiger Lake with being the first major open-source OpenCL 3.0 implementation to market and also advancing in-step with the company's oneAPI efforts. Through my Gen12 testing so far I haven't encountered any hangs or any other software issues. Intel also continues punctually providing new Compute-Runtime/IGC tagged releases basically on a weekly basis that are also accompanied by Ubuntu binaries that work well for making easy user deployment. There were zero headaches in getting Intel's open-source compute stack up and running with the current Ubuntu release and it all just worked without worries for this brand new hardware.

That's all for now with the Xe Graphics Linux performance but will continue providing new benchmarks from the i7-1165G7 laptop as additional software driver optimizations are made.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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