Intel's Gallium3D Driver Is Running Much Faster Than Their Current OpenGL Linux Driver With Mesa 19.3
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 15 September 2019. Page 3 of 3. 12 Comments

Next the results from the Core i7 8550U with UHD Graphics 620.

In the same tests as with the Core i7 8700K, the Dell XPS 13 laptop with Iris Gallium3D lost by just those few tests... With this laptop, some of these OpenGL micro-benchmarks were as much as 212% faster than the current default driver. Granted, for the more real-world tests the benefits much slimmer but still at least an improvement over the default OpenGL driver as it stands today.

From this laptop, the Iris Gallium3D driver from the geometric mean of all 61 tests run saw an advantage of 18.4% over the current OpenGL driver.

In this case, by straight wins/losses regardless of margin the Gallium3D driver was faster 79% of the time.

During this testing, the Phoronix Test Suite was also set to monitor the memory usage as well as the CPU core power consumption during the benchmarking process.

The good news on the CPU power consumption front is that there was virtually no difference between these OpenGL drivers. So the better OpenGL performance is not coming at the expense of any measurably higher power consumption.

Also good news was that in some tests, the system memory usage was also 20~40MB lower with the Gallium3D driver.

But it looks like there may be a memory leak present with the Intel Gallium3D driver or some odd behavior caused by the interaction with some tests (particularly APITest it seems). Towards the end of the testing process, the memory usage was coming out to be noticeably higher than with their classic OpenGL driver. By around 600MB was the memory difference. That's worrisome but hopefully this memory issue can be quickly resolved.

Again, those wanting to see the 60+ individual benchmark results between these two Intel OpenGL Linux drivers can find them via this OpenBenchmarking.org result file. Sans the memory usage numbers dampening the excitement of these results, overall it's looking like the Intel Gallium3D driver is in great shape and from the 60+ tests on each independent system was 17~18% better performance compared to the current default OpenGL driver. The Java OpenGL performance hit on Iris previously reported on is now resolved with Mesa 19.3 and overall just a few remaining cases of i965 being measurably lower than Iris.

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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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