Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Graphics improvements with Linux 3.12 kernel

The folks at the Phoronix web site found that AMD Radeon graphics run much (where much ranges from 10% to 90%) faster on the Linux 3.12 kernel, and now they've found out why.

They have a neat setup to automate testing to find the answer to this type of question--it does a binary search on the kernel source commits to find the one where the change takes place. It turns out to be a change that affects how CPU frequency is adjusted based on load.

So, that should be good news for at least some SL residents using the 3.12 kernel. The 2^16-dollar question: what about other graphics card users? The change doesn't sound like it should be specific to AMD graphics, but until you try it out, you can't say for sure, and that testing is now in Phoronix's queue. (Darn it, it looks like Ubuntu 13.10 will have the 3.11 kernel.)

Anyone out there using 3.12? Have you noticed a speedup in SL? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

UPDATE: OhHeyItsLou reports that Nouveau (the open source nVidia driver) works nicely on 3.12, but he doesn't do any gaming sorts of things in the video, so the question is still open.

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