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Intel Broadwell Graphics Are Much Faster With Mesa 11.3

Not only is there now OpenGL 4.2 support for Intel’s Mesa driver but also as part of the massiveMesa 11.3 release in development there are OpenGL performance improvements too, at least for newer Broadwell hardware.

I just finished running some Mesa 11.2 vs. 11.3-dev comparison tests from the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon with Core i7 5600U Broadwell processor sporting HD Graphics 5500. The tests done on this Broadwell ultrabook were done of Ubuntu 16.04 out-of-the-box with Linux 4.4 and Mesa 11.2.0, then loaded with Mesa 11.3-dev as of yesterday using the Oibaf PPA, and lastly for reference was a run with this Mesa 11.3-dev Oibaf state plus loading the Linux 4.6.0 kernel. In the coming days I’ll put out some Haswell and Skylake numbers too while for this article it’s just this lone Broadwell system.

Intel Broadwell Graphics Are Much Faster With Mesa 11.3

For benchmarking I ran many of our usual OpenGL test cases via the Phoronix Test Suite . No OpenGL 4 tests were run for this particular article since it’s focused on Mesa 11.2 vs. 11.3-dev, for which 11.2 only supports OpenGL 3.3 on Intel.

It’s a fairly straight-forward comparison seeing how Mesa 11.3 is looking compared to Mesa 11.2 as shipped with Ubuntu 16.04. The Mesa 11.3 (or it might still be renamed to Mesa 12.0) is going into a feature freeze in a few days with an expected stable release in June.

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