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Thread: Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Is Speeding Up

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    Default Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Is Speeding Up

    Phoronix: Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Is Speeding Up

    For the past year or so we have been fascinated by the LLVMpipe driver on Mesa's Gallium3D driver architecture for accelerating OpenGL on your CPU (or any other Gallium3D state tracker) as a means of a more efficient and viable software rasterizer for Linux. Mesa's long-standing software rasterizer (swrast) driver is slow and next to useless while LLVMpipe is many times faster thanks to leveraging the Low-Level Virtual Machine and other optimizations atop Gallium3D. However, in order to run a basic OpenGL game purely on the CPU you still need a powerful CPU, but we are pleased to find there are some noticeable performance improvements to be found in Mesa 7.10.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=15630

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    Why do you not make anything more than a superficial attempt to interpret your own graphs? For instance, you say:

    Lastly, with VDrift, which is the most demanding test in this article for running off LLVMpipe, the performance is up by an incredible 67%.
    Unless we are seeing different graphs, that graph is all over the place, with a performance regression at 1600x900, but you make no mention of that.

    Would you try to make a better effort? Benchmarking sites that focus on Windows do a much better job on analysis. Here is one example:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3963/z...benchmarking/2

    Notice how the text analyzing the chart is actually reflective of its contents:

    Initially, the two SAN boxes deliver similar performance, with the Promise box at 2200 IOPS and the ZFS box at 2500 IOPS. The ZFS box with a L2ARC is able to magnify its performance by a factor of ten once the L2ARC is completely populated!
    If you read through Anandtech's articles, you will see insightful comments about why things perform the way that they do. Their site is having some technical difficulties, so their SSD articles, which are the best examples of this, are offline, but just about all of their reviews on new things go into architectural details and why things perform the way that they do.

    Why don't we see that here? Should the fact that this site focuses on Linux mean that a lower standard of benchmarking is acceptable? I find I can never rely on headlines or other statements here because they are not reflective of the actual benchmark results. I have to see the charts and even then, they are difficult to interpret given the paragraph format describing the test setup.

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    How about benchmarks on lower end CPUs? The people without usable GPUs/drivers probably don't have i7's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    How about benchmarks on lower end CPUs? The people without usable GPUs/drivers probably don't have i7's.
    ^ this. I'd love to see LLVMpipe tested on an Atom 330 (even though LLVM didn't do optimal instruction scheduling for the Atom pipeline, last time I checked).

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    I think the main thing these articles always miss is LLVMpipe wasn't created for running games or even to power your 3D desktop effects, it's to help debug the state trackers

    Whilst it has many potential applications it's primary function is to help developers not play Quake3 on a powerful CPU (which is terribly power inefficient)

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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperDrive View Post
    ^ this. I'd love to see LLVMpipe tested on an Atom 330 (even though LLVM didn't do optimal instruction scheduling for the Atom pipeline, last time I checked).
    This can barely run things on an i7. You should not be running it on an Atom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Arcanine View Post
    This can barely run things on an i7. You should not be running it on an Atom.
    Well, swrast runs (ok, crawls) on an Atom, I've been doing it for some time on my nVIDIA ION system (no blobs, thanks). Why not run LLVMpipe if it turns out to be faster? I'd say it's mostly expectation management.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    How about benchmarks on lower end CPUs? The people without usable GPUs/drivers probably don't have i7's.
    Don't be fooled by that i7. It's a mobile part with about the same performance as an Athlon II X4.

    PS: I agree with those that say that the quality of the benchmark articles of Phoronix is very far from what we can see on Anandtech or other similar sites. I would gladly pay the premium subscription if this was more like any of those, but more linux oriented; although I do understand that there's just so much a single person can do, so it's obvious that some things have to suffer in this case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by devius View Post
    PS: I agree with those that say that the quality of the benchmark articles of Phoronix is very far from what we can see on Anandtech or other similar sites. I would gladly pay the premium subscription if this was more like any of those, but more linux oriented; although I do understand that there's just so much a single person can do, so it's obvious that some things have to suffer in this case.
    Yep, sites like Anandtech and Ars have big staffs while Phoronix is a one man show. So i can understand why Michael doesn't have the time to make it any better. But that's clearly a big differentiation between the sites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by devius View Post
    Don't be fooled by that i7. It's a mobile part with about the same performance as an Athlon II X4.
    People with an Athlon II X4 are just as unlikely to lack a video chipset that's unsupported by the current FOSS drivers.

    So far as I can tell, there are three groups of people with an interest in llvmpipe. (1) People with newer technology the FOSS drivers haven't caught up to yet, mostly ATI customers; the ATI driver lag time is shrinking and looking fairly good right now for basic 3D accel. (2) People with ancient hardware by defunct manufacturers that don't want to pay $50 for modern-ish AGP card; screw 'em, these be computers, keep up or shut up. (3) People with oddball hardware, mostly netbooks and tablets and the like, that come with video chipsets not designed or supported by one of the Big Three; usually very weak CPUs on these puppies.

    From what I've seen, the biggest group of people wanting/needing something like llvmpipe were the ATI customers with r600/r700/r800 parts. r600/r700 is pretty solid these days, and r800 is wrapping up, and will probably be ready to go around the time the 3D desktops are more than just an upcoming plan.

    I am totally ready to be told I've gotten it all wrong here, though.

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