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Zink driver startup time squashed with new patches

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Developer Mike Blumenkrantz is once again blogging about working on the Zink driver, and this time a nice optimization is on the way for startup times.

As a brief refresher on Zink from the Mesa documentation: "The Zink driver is a Gallium driver that emits Vulkan API calls instead of targeting a specific GPU architecture. This can be used to get full desktop OpenGL support on devices that only support Vulkan.".

One problem that has been encountered recently was slow startup times, specifically some testing has been done against a GTK4 demo. In the blog post, Blumenkrantz notes how on the Iris driver (Intel) the average startup time for the gtk4-demo was "between 190-200ms" but on Zink it was between "350-370ms".

After profiling and getting some patches made to move more of the work into more threads, they've been able to reduce the startup time to an average of around "average of 260-280ms, a 25% improvement". Nice.

This isn't the end though, Blumenkrantz said investigation is ongoing and hopefully they will get it closer to the startup times on Iris.

Overall it might not sound like a huge amount when talking milliseconds, but every bit counts and getting apps and games to startup quickly is obviously a nice improvement overall.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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3 comments

based Apr 29
First time hearing of a graphics chip that can do Vulkan but not OpenGL.

Reminds me of one 2003 XP laptop I had which couldn't do OpenGL on Win7 yet DirectX games ran fine with it, but that was a driver issue


Last edited by based on 29 April 2024 at 10:40 am UTC
ShabbyX Apr 29
Quoting: basedFirst time hearing of a graphics chip that can do Vulkan but not OpenGL.

Reminds me of one 2003 XP laptop I had which couldn't do OpenGL on Win7 yet DirectX games ran fine with it, but that was a driver issue

It's not so much that they _can't_ do opengl, and more like they didn't bother writing a driver for it. The premise of a layer like Zink is exactly that it lets vendors stop caring about opengl and focus on vulkan.

For the record, the samsung xclipse gpus don't have an opengl es driver and use ANGLE.
STiAT Apr 29
I really like the progress on Zink. It's a real effort to get all those different OpenGL implementations into a single abstraction layer - which would be great and basically could render OpenGL drivers mostly obsolete but for Zink (on the driver side - not on the client side ofc, not yet anyway).


Last edited by STiAT on 29 April 2024 at 7:14 pm UTC
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