Intel drivers deliver up to 15% performance boost to Arc GPUs in Linux

HomeHardwareIntel drivers deliver up to 15% performance boost to Arc GPUs in Linux
Intel drivers deliver up to 15% performance boost to Arc GPUs in Linux

Intel's Arc GPUs have received an additional 10-15% performance boost within the latest Linux 6.6 graphics drivers.

The new set of i915 Linux kernel graphics driver updates released in April revealed Intel's change in RPS thresholds. Before this, RPS values were set to a default trend, but now the updated drivers allow consumers to change the values dynamically. This new change was originally revealed by Google engineer Syed Faaiz Hussain, and it was revealed that the RPS setting led to noticeable performance improvements.

Below are the respective titles and performance boosts brought by the update on Intel Arc GPUs in various games, compiled by Phoronix:

Intel Arc GPU Linux 6.6 graphics driver performance (Source: Phoronix):

The biggest improvement comes in OpenGL performance where CS:GO sees a 14.5% improvement in graphics performance, while the same game in Vulkan delivers a 12.93% improvement but is slightly slower. Civilization VI also sees a decent 11% performance increase on the OpenGL API and Strange Brigade under DX12 shows no marked improvement.

While the results are certainly interesting, Phoronix highlights an important factor here. The RPS tuning is only limited to non-GuC platforms, which means that all integrated and discrete graphics do not have access to the tuning feature. GuC or Graphics Microcode, is a microcode present that improves the capabilities of tasks such as video decoding and encoding, power management and workload scheduling. As said by the source, only "pre-DG2/ADL platforms" can take advantage of RPS tuning.

Aside from RPS tuning changes, the new update in Linux 6.6 "provides a solution to avoid endless GPU waits and various Meteor Lake updates." The changes made to the driver for the upcoming Meteor Lake also indicate that Team Blue is working on full support at launch, starting work much earlier. That said, Intel's Arc driver division is working very hard to extract every bit of juice from the Alchemist architecture.

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