SNA on xf86-video-intel 2.20.0

xf86-video-intel 2.20.0 brings a couple of changes regarding SNA. The first change is that the choice between UXA and SNA (the 2 available acceleration architectures for the Xrender protocol) can be done without rebuilding the driver.

However, SNA is no longer enabled by default, even if built in. To enable it, the following snippet in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf will do the trick:

Section “Device”
Identifier “intel driver”
Driver “intel”
Option “AccelMethod” “sna”

That’s all for now.

2 thoughts on “SNA on xf86-video-intel 2.20.0”

  1. given that it’s not the default, which method do you personally recommend? i’ve been considering a desktop rebuild that uses intel, not amd, parts. i’ve been hesitant to commit to this given all the sb/ib graphics driver weirdness over the past year.

    1. I have a Sandy Bridge i7 machine at work and Gilles (the Gnome guy better known as ‘eva’) recently bought an Ivy Bridge setup. Bottom line, Intel GPUs may not be the fastest on the market, but the driver setup is so much simpler than all the other GPU manufacturers. I can’t put a price on peace of mind: my next box will be an IB setup.

      SNA is still somewhat in flux, but the performance it brings on SNB/IB machines is well worth it. I can’t really comment for older chips though it feels slower on my ancient 855GM laptop (an 8 year old chipset). I have no idea how it fares on 965, G3x and G4x chips. YMMV.

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