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Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:12

Open Sourcers wipe the floor with Apple Genius

Written by Nick Farrell



Proprietary can’t cut the mustard

Open sourcers are proving they can beat the best minds that Jobs’ Mob has on offer. The Ubuntu 13.04 performance with Intel's open-source graphics driver is now easily surpassing Apple's OpenGL driver found in OS X 10.8.3.

A team of open sourcers has been tinkering with the OpenGL graphics and gaming performance for an older Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" Apple system. Playing around with an Apple Mac Mini bearing an Intel Core i5 2415M Sandy Bridge processor with 2GB of RAM and using Intel HD 3000 graphics, they benchmarked their results.

The OS X 10.8.3 was tested in its stock configuration and compared to Ubuntu 13.04. Ubuntu 13.04 was benchmarked in its stock configuration of the Linux 3.8 kernel, xf86-video-intel 2.21.6, and Mesa 9.1.1 driver. The latest Linux kernel (Linux 3.10 Git) and Mesa Git (Mesa 9.2.0 git-ccb041f) were installed for a second run atop Ubuntu 13.04 to get an idea for the latest state of Intel's Linux OpenGL driver.

According to Phoronix all benchmarking on each operating system was handled in a fully automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. The selection of OpenGL games benchmarked were limited to those that could run sufficiently on the Intel HD 3000 graphics hardware and where the game ports are of similar quality under Linux and OS X.

The result was that the Linux machine cleaned Apple’s clock. When testing the high quality visuals within Xonotic, Ubuntu 13.04 was 32 per cent faster than OS X 10.8.3. When pulling in the latest Intel Linux graphics driver code, the open-source platform was 40 per cent faster than the latest OS X release and 8 per cent faster than the April configuration of Ubuntu 13.04.

Nick Farrell

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