A Look At Linux 5.10 + Mesa 21.0-dev On Intel "Tiger Lake" Xe Graphics
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 7 December 2020 at 09:01 AM EST. 1 Comment
INTEL --
For those that may find their hands on an Intel Tiger Lake laptop this holiday season with the "Gen12" Xe Graphics, here are some Linux OpenGL/Vulkan benchmarks in varying driver configurations if you are left wondering whether it makes sense upgrading your kernel or Mesa for better performance.

From the Dell XPS 13 9310 with the Core i7 1165G7 Tiger Lake processor, I ran some benchmarks atop Ubuntu 20.10 looking at various possible driver combinations. The tests carried out included:

Linux 5.8 + Mesa 20.2 - The default configuration found for Ubuntu 20.10 as well as some other autumn 2020 Linux distributions.

Linux 5.8 + Mesa 21.0-dev - The performance if sticking to Ubuntu 20.10's default kernel but employing Mesa 21.0-devel from the likes of Oibaf PPA for having newer Intel Iris Gallium3D and ANV Vulkan driver support.

Linux 5.9.10 + Mesa 21.0-dev - Using the same Mesa 21.0-devel build but moving to Linux 5.9 as the latest stable kernel series at the moment.

Linux 5.10-rc6 + Mesa 21.0-dev - A look at the performance if using Mesa 21.0-dev but moving to Linux 5.10 Git. Linux 5.10 stable should be out next weekend and is the current stable series as well as being a Long Term Support release.

From there various GPU graphics and compute tests were carried out, some of the highlights of the testing includes:




For many of the compute-focused tests, the results were flat.



Linux 5.9+ was of faint benefit to some of the OpenGL gaming tests.

But the newer Mesa did appear to hurt Xonotic, albeit that game can run very comfortably still.

Mesa 21.0-devel did help out Unigine Superposition.




There were some minor improvements to find for Mesa 21.0-devel in the OpenGL synthetic benchmarks.



All the benchmarks in full plus more tests can be found via this OpenBenchmarking.org result file. But long story short the Tiger Lake Xe Graphics performance is quite good out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 20.10 but some minor uplift can still be found by pursuing the newer Linux kernel and Mesa, not to mention new Vulkan extensions and other non-performance feature work.
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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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