The state of hardware acceleration on ODROID (xf86-video-sunxi, xf86-video-mali and kernel 3.8)

Yesterday I tried xf86-video-sunxi (thanks to ssvb, rz2k and xjuan for the support!) and I have to say that this driver bears promise, in particular regarding G2D support, that hopefully in future will bring us 2D hardware acceleration.

The rotating horse is always fun, even when you rotate it.
I have run tests with the following combinations (some old test logs available here):

Kernel X11 Driver Resolution es2gears glmark2-es2 glmark2-es2 --fullscreen glxgears
3.0.79 ARM mali (31 may) 720p ~ 345  fps 160 96 125 fps
3.0.79 ARM mali 720p ~ 345 fps 160 96 125 fps
3.0.79 ssvb sunxi 720p ~ 261 fps 153 89 125 fps
3.8.13 ARM mali (31 may) 720p ~ 226 fps 61 37 ~ 140 fps
3.8.13 ARM mali 720p ~ 226 fps 61 37 ~ 140 fps
3.8.13 ssvb sunxi 720p ~ 226 fps 66 42 ~ 144 fps

Update 8 June 2013: see 2nd round of tests

The compiled sunxi driver and glmark2-es2 are included in version 0.0.7 of the odroid-wheezy-retro SD image.


With both kernels and with both X11 drivers RetroArch performs well in windowed mode (50FPS with rare frame drops with the 3.8 kernel).


  • there is currently a performance issue on kernel 3.8, our beloved mdrjr is working on it
  • glxgears is always software-rendered (see HardwareAcceleration), it's included only for reference
  • 1080p resolution is slow with all configurations, thus I have not targeted it for testing
  • the new Mali drivers (r3p2 released on 31st May) are the same as previous
  • xf86-video-sunxi starts to perform better on kernel 3.8, probably because of the NEON bug that affects 3.0
For now I will keep using kernel 3.0 and ARM mali drivers in odroid-wheezy-retro SD image, however I expect great improvements on both fronts (3.8 kernel and sunxi driver).

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