Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Driver Is Now Much Faster
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 14 April 2013. Page 1 of 3. 24 Comments

The Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver that's commonly used as the fallback software rasterizer on Linux desktop systems when no GPU hardware driver is present, is a heck of a lot faster with the current Mesa development code. The gains are surprising and quite remarkable.

For those that haven't been paying attention to the Mesa Git development in the past couple of months, there's been a number of LLVM and Gallivm related improvements. Among the recent improvements in the land of Gallium3D and LLVM include LLVMpipe supporting GLSL 1.40, support for various new OpenGL extensions, supporting new operations, and a variety of other enhancements large and small. Most of these improvements have come via VMware developers.

After delivering benchmarks of Mesa 9.2-devel on Intel HD 4000 graphics and finding notable performance gains, I ran some LLVMpipe tests comparing the current development code of LLVMpipe on Mesa 9.2-devel compared to Mesa 9.1.1. An Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" processor was used for all of this testing atop Ubuntu 13.04 with LLVM 3.2.

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