Gallium3D LLVMpipe Starts To Smoke
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 23 September 2011. Page 2 of 2. 16 Comments

Interestingly, LLVMpipe on the Core i5 2500K was around the same speed as the Radeon HD 5450 GPU on Gallium3D for OpenArena. However, at 1920 x 1080, LLVMpipe was still not playable. The GeForce 9500GT graphics card on Nouveau was much faster than the low-end Evergreen GPU and the software-based LLVMpipe.

Running World of Padman on LLVMpipe with LLVM 3.0 SVN was a bit tough for the Core i5 2500K Sandy Bridge, but at some resolutions the frame-rates were comparable to the Radeon HD 5450. The GeForce 9500GT continued to lead on Nouveau.

With Urban Terror, LLVMpipe was not doing too well -- even compared to the Radeon HD 5450 -- with the CPU-based driver struggling to pass 30 FPS even at 800 x 600.

These LLVMpipe benchmark results are available via

While LLVMpipe is comparable in light OpenGL tests to the low-end Radeon HD 5450, in more demanding tests it fell behind and couldn't come close to matching the NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT. These numbers though are an improvement over some of the numbers published in the past off older revisions of Mesa and the Low-Level Virtual Machine. While the Mesa/OpenGL state tracker takes some heat, it is also possible that LLVMpipe could end up working well for the Xorg state tracker or other less computationally intense Gallium3D features. It's also still a much better bet than the classic Mesa software rasterizer that can't even push out more than a frame or two per second in these OpenGL games.

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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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