Mesa Support Comes For Adaptive Vsync
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 14 December 2013 at 11:37 AM EST. 28 Comments
Patches published for Mesa today are beginning to work on adaptive vsync support and eventually the GLX_EXT_swap_control_tear extension.

Mesa has long supported vsync for synchronizing with the display's vertical refresh rate, but now there's adaptive vsync support. Adaptive vsync is where the rendering is only synchronized if the current frame-rate is exceeding that of the monitor's refresh rate. If using a 60Hz monitor and the frame-rate is below 60 FPS, no vsync will be done and there will be potential tearing, but otherwise vsync will be enabled.

This adaptive vsync support for Mesa can be enabled via the vblank_mode environment variable by setting vblank_mode=4. There is also the GLX_EXT_swap_control_tear extension (the specification), but it's not yet supported by the Mesa drivers nor is it widely used amongst OpenGL applications.

The initial Mesa patches for adaptive vsync can be found on the Mesa-dev list by Lauri Kasanen until their mainlining in Git.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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