When finding out that an Intel Core i7 970 "Gulftown" CPU was
on the way, which boasts six physical cores plus another six logical
cores via Hyper Threading, immediately coming to mind was to try out
this latest Intel 32nm processor with the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver.
There's a lot to love about Gallium3D when it comes open-source Linux
graphics drivers with the possibilities being presented by the different
state trackers (such as native Direct3D 11 support on Linux) and the
hardware drivers themselves being more advanced, easier to write, and
eventually should be much faster than the classic Mesa drivers for
Linux. One of the drivers that has especially been of interest is
LLVMpipe, which is an attempt to finally make a useful CPU-based
software rasterizer for Linux by leveraging the Low-Level Virtual
Machine infrastructure. Here is our introductory article to LLVMpipe and
even with a Core i7 "Bloomfield" processor the driver is very demanding,
but with Intel's Gulftown the results are somewhat surprising as we
experiment with how this CPU-based driver scales up to twelve threads.