Intel Linux Driver Performance Still Slower Than Windows 7
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 19 July 2013. Page 5 of 5. 47 Comments

The new GpuTest benchmarks are up next.

The GiMark test case would work on the Intel Windows driver for the Core i3 HD 4000 graphics, but the Intel Mesa Linux driver failed to work for this test case.

TessMark also doesn't work on the Intel Linux driver at this time.

Plot3D did run on the Intel Linux driver, but Windows 7 was still the winner.

The Windows 7 driver is more than twice as fast as Ubuntu Linux and the Intel Mesa driver for the OpenGL triangle test in GpuTest 0.5.0.

The Pixmark Piano test was in favor of Windows, but with Mesa 9.2 the Linux performance was closing in on the Windows 7 blob.

With the GpuTest Pixmark Volplosion test was the only benchmark in this article where Ubuntu Linux with Intel's Linux Mesa driver ended up being faster than Microsoft Windows 7 on the same ASUS Ultrabook system. With Mesa 9.1 + Linux 3.10 its performance was slower than Windows, but when upgrading to Mesa 9.2 + Linux 3.11 it bumped it ahead of Windows.

While the Intel Linux driver has made much progress since the Sandy Bridge days and can in fact beat Apple OS X for some OpenGL benchmarks, the Intel Windows OpenGL driver is still better. The Windows driver offers more OpenGL functionality than what's currently provided by Mesa, the Windows driver also supports OpenCL, and these benchmarks show that Windows still has the Intel OpenGL performance advantage over Linux even with the very latest Mesa 9.2 and Linux 3.11 drivers. Additionally, when Ubuntu 13.10 integrates XMir, the Intel OpenGL performance will drop even lower until Canonical works out all of the performance issues with Mir/XMir rendering.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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