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AMD Gallium3D & Catalyst Drivers Compete Against Windows

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  • AMD Gallium3D & Catalyst Drivers Compete Against Windows

    Phoronix: AMD Gallium3D & Catalyst Drivers Compete Against Windows

    While this week we published benchmarks that showed how NVIDIA's Linux driver can compete with Windows 8 -- when using the closed-source drivers and not the open-source Nouveau solution -- and that even the FreeBSD NVIDIA performance is competitive, this isn't the case for AMD's drivers. From the same Core i7 Haswell system as used for the NVIDIA testing, AMD Radeon graphics cards were tested on Windows 8 and Linux. It wasn't a surprise that the open-source Radeon Gallium3D was much slower than Catalyst, but took us off guard a bit was that the Linux Catalyst driver does take some noticeable performance hits over the Microsoft Windows driver in some OpenGL workloads.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=18998

  • #2
    When upping the resolution to 2560 x 1600 for our 30-inch Samsung display, the Radeon Gallium3D driver was actually faster than Radeon Catalyst on Linux! The renderings to the human eye between the two drivers also looked close, but there may be other subtle differences with the Catalyst driver exposing OpenGL 4.2 support (or OpenGL 4.3 if using the very latest beta) while the Radeon Gallium3D driver is still living in the GL3 days with just OpenGL 3.1/3.2 compliance. Compared to Windows, both drivers performed noticeably worse.
    What difference would that make to a game that only uses OpenGL 2.1 (+ extensions?) anyway? That part doesn't really make any sense.

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    • #3
      I get tht the point of this was Linux vs Windows... but I just wanna take the chance to point out that in a lot of areas R600g is basically just as fast as Catalyst aside from a couple of tests, and even there it was 50%+ performance. Go FOSS Devs >.>

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ericg View Post
        I get tht the point of this was Linux vs Windows... but I just wanna take the chance to point out that in a lot of areas R600g is basically just as fast as Catalyst aside from a couple of tests, and even there it was 50%+ performance. Go FOSS Devs >.>
        Very true! Good enough for me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ericg View Post
          I get tht the point of this was Linux vs Windows... but I just wanna take the chance to point out that in a lot of areas R600g is basically just as fast as Catalyst aside from a couple of tests, and even there it was 50%+ performance. Go FOSS Devs >.>
          Yes I noticed that as well. I'm VERY impressed with the FOSS drivers, it won't be long at all until they're at peak performance while being a fraction of the size of catalyst.

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          • #6
            hmm maybe one day i can stop installing them shitty Catalyst's

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            • #7
              I have a hypothesis that AMD are planning to move over to Intel's way of doing things. Only have an open source driver on Linux, and proprietary on Windows. It fits with all these recent strides in the FOSS development, and their lacking enthusiasm with the closed source driver. An open source driver would suit the APUs better too. Maybe in 2015?

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              • #8
                No Doom3 , no r600-sb, not even 2 env. variables for Unigine tests...com'on Michael!
                Last edited by Drago; 08-02-2013, 01:48 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by xeekei View Post
                  I have a hypothesis that AMD are planning to move over to Intel's way of doing things. Only have an open source driver on Linux, and proprietary on Windows. It fits with all these recent strides in the FOSS development, and their lacking enthusiasm with the closed source driver. An open source driver would suit the APUs better too. Maybe in 2015?
                  I was thinking the same thing. I'm sure AMD is holding onto Catalyst until the FOSS drivers are up-to-par in terms of capabilities. I think 2015 is a pretty good guess. I don't suspect Catalyst will be ditched in linux at that point, but the radeon drivers ought to be caught up by then, maybe even 2014 considering the rate at which they're improving everything.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                    I was thinking the same thing. I'm sure AMD is holding onto Catalyst until the FOSS drivers are up-to-par in terms of capabilities. I think 2015 is a pretty good guess. I don't suspect Catalyst will be ditched in linux at that point, but the radeon drivers ought to be caught up by then, maybe even 2014 considering the rate at which they're improving everything.
                    With AMD's new found focus on gaming and consoles and Valve's steam linux box around the corner, it was very strange to see the kind of support linux was receiving from AMD. Despite everyone assuming that the steam box would be certainly intel+nvidia, due to the reduced form factor, noise, cost and energy consumption requirements of a living console, I can't see any other option besides AMD APUs, thus, the only missing link is the driver.

                    Furthermore, considering some kind of driver, even if minimal, has to be developed to the PS4's BSD based OS, why not combine the efforts and also support linux and steambox? I guess we can expect AMD's open drivers to maintain a steady rate of improvement for quite some time.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by xeekei View Post
                      Only have an open source driver on Linux, and proprietary on Windows.
                      I'm betting on Ubuntu 14.04 being the last release that supports them* with the Catalyst (non-legacy) driver...

                      *HD 5000-6000 series

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                      • #12
                        It would be nice to see OpenCL compared as well...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                          Yes I noticed that as well. I'm VERY impressed with the FOSS drivers, it won't be long at all until they're at peak performance while being a fraction of the size of catalyst.
                          This test didn't even enable the shader optimizations (r600sb), which i think can make a big difference in some of the more complex tests where it fell behind.

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                          • #14
                            Ok so good, but on linux, catalyst suck on 2d support, kwin bad , compiz bad..., flash bad...., opengl mplayer output bad...AMD YOU SUCK, come on! solve this issues!

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                            • #15
                              It's quite impressive what Gallium3D drivers are capable of. ATI is probably mantaining the Catalyst drivers just because of the slow (but spectacular) development of Gallium3D. I wish nvidia think the same way as ATI .
                              P.S: Sorry if it has some mistakes. I'm not english.

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