Intel, Radeon, Nouveau Preview On Linux 3.14 With Mesa 10.2 Git
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 20 March 2014. Page 1 of 5. 4 Comments

After earlier this week sharing 2D benchmarks of the Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau drivers using the different X.Org acceleration architectures, the benchmarks in this article are looking at the always-interesting OpenGL performance for the same diverse selection of hardware when using the latest development code via the Linux 3.14 kernel and Mesa 10.2-devel.

Earlier in the month I did some Mesa 10.2 and Linux 3.14 benchmarking but not with the three major graphics vendors all being included within the same article. The purpose of this article is to get an overall look at things with this newest code to see how the open-source Linux graphics stack is performing with it becoming ever more important with an increasing number of native Linux games being available.

As with the 2D performance article earlier in the week, the graphics cards tested were:

- Intel "Haswell" HD Graphics 4600 integrated in the Core i7 4770K CPU
- Radeon HD 5830
- Radeon HD 6770
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 7850
- Radeon HD 7950
- Radeon R9 270X
- GeForce GTX 460
- GeForce GTX 760

The selection was based upon hardware available, exposing multiple generations of hardware where applicable, having limited time between various business trips these last weeks of March, and the NVIDIA selection was intentionally reduced due to the poor state of the Nouveau driver. Until the Nouveau driver fully supports re-clocking for operating the cards at their effective maximum frequencies, it's testing is reduced as the performance otherwise tends to be atrocious. In its current state, the GTX 460 was limited to running at a reported clock speed of 50/135MHz while the GTX 760 was at 405/648MHz.

With using the Linux 3.14 kernel, for the Radeon hardware the re-clocking worked like a champ. Additionally, ColorTiling / ColorTiling2D was enabled for all generations of AMD hardware. All testing happened from an Intel Core i7 4770K Haswell system with 16GB of RAM, Samsung 840 SSD, and ECS Z87H3-A2X EXTREME motherboard. On the software side was Ubuntu 14.04 x86_64 with Unity 7.1.2, X.Org Server 1.15.0, Linux 3.14 Git from the Ubuntu mainline kernel archive, and Mesa 10.2.0-devel from xorg-edgers.

All benchmarking was done in a fully automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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