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R500 Mesa Is Still No Match To An Old Catalyst Driver

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  • R500 Mesa Is Still No Match To An Old Catalyst Driver

    Phoronix: R500 Mesa Is Still No Match To An Old Catalyst Driver

    We are in the process of conducting a set of tests looking at how the performance of Ubuntu Linux has evolved through their Long-Term Support (LTS) releases beginning with their first 6.06 "Dapper Drake" version followed by Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron", and then the Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" release that will be released by month's end. These benchmarks will look at how the performance of Ubuntu Linux has changed over the past four years, but first we deviated from our original plans to get a look at how the current open-source ATI R500 graphics driver in Ubuntu 10.04 provided by the Mesa stack performs against older proprietary ATI Catalyst drivers.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14749

  • #2
    Well, this is with Mesa 7.7 and classic r300. For quite some time, the developers focus on r300g, the Gallium3D driver and I think it's more interesting to track the performance of this driver every few months or so. There have been lots and lots of commits already since you benchmarked the driver a few weeks ago It wouldn't surprise me if Mesa 7.9 would default to r300g.

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    • #3
      Maybe there's some bug in mesa or somewhere, because Warsow ran perfect on my hardware at full details - x1600xt, Athlon X2 5000+ in Kubuntu 9.10 + xorg-edgers repository.

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      • #4
        Now, let's test this with a Radeon 9200 (R280) GPU

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        • #5
          for me gallium r300g is already good enough.

          i can run ta3d, and also darkplaces with hdr bloom at decent framerate (it used to choke badly on standard mesa).

          and i do it on a budget x1300pro (rv515) card. i'd say it's acceptable and stilll going better.

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          • #6
            Maybe a stupid question, but is there any howto explaing how to test the r300g driver? I didn't find any

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            • #7
              I bet ColorTiling isn't enabled on Lucid. This one should improve performance A LOT with r300c and even more with r300g since only the latter has full tiling support.

              -Marek

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              • #8
                Recently I upgrade to the latest 10.04 beta and I've noticed that the OSS radeon driver is slower than it was with 9.10 /w xorg-edgers updates. I'm just happy the suspend is working correctly. I know that glxgear is not a bench, but I went from 5500 to 2500.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dieppe View Post
                  Maybe a stupid question, but is there any howto explaing how to test the r300g driver? I didn't find any
                  in case of r300-r500 cards:

                  1. build mesa with gallium enabled.
                  2. find where it installed the drivers (in my case /usr/lib/dri)
                  3. remove r300_dri.so
                  4. make a symlink r300_dri.so -> radeong_dri.so

                  check glxinfo - it should say you have opengl 2.1

                  Code:
                  (...)
                  OpenGL vendor string: X.Org R300 Project
                  OpenGL renderer string: Gallium 0.4 on RV515
                  OpenGL version string: 2.1 Mesa 7.9-devel
                  OpenGL shading language version string: 1.20
                  (...)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eosie View Post
                    I bet ColorTiling isn't enabled on Lucid. This one should improve performance A LOT with r300c and even more with r300g since only the latter has full tiling support.

                    -Marek
                    How can ColorTiling be enabled on Lucid (Mesa 7.7)?

                    I've got multiseat with two radeon cards (RV350 and RV370) and I was impressed that upgrade to Lucid didn't break my configuration and glxgears had decent fps on my primary display but now I've found I don't have any acceleration on second head (but dmesg, Xorg.log and glxinfo shows it's enabled) - less than 80-90 FPS (compared to ~3000 on first head) and 1080p resolution eats ~100% of one logical CPU (P4 with HT) even in xscreensaver or any other graphic operation.

                    dmesg
                    Xorg.0.log
                    Xorg.1.log

                    Has anyone any clues on how to fix it (without getting back to UMS)?

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                    • #11
                      Edit:
                      lsmod

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                      • #12
                        From a non-programmer point of view

                        We were told it was almost impossible to write good drivers with no specifications. Then, 3 years ago, AMD released the specs. Thank you, AMD.
                        Three years passed. More specs were released. Developers worked very hard on them. Thank you all, developers.

                        But the open driver still does not break the 30fps wall.

                        "with Gallium everything will boost to the stars!" we are told. Maybe. But Gallium has been around for a while, and... (i'm keeping my ears shut...)

                        http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14690

                        No sonic boom?

                        Look, I don't blame developers, really. They did everything they could. But the lack of good gaming and video streaming on linux has been a serious issue to its spreading in the world as a desktop system which could fully replace MS-Windows. And ten years of improving step-by-step-almost-there-but-not-yet, didn't get us to the goal.

                        I wonder if it still has a point to continue developing drivers which will never catch up the (older) proprietary (but what's wrong? what's still missing, beside perhaps time and money?), or would be better to forget all the "free as in freedom" ideal for a while and set a fundraiser to pay AMD programmers for improved linux support to all chipsets from R100-R800 to the future?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pickup View Post
                          or would be better to forget all the "free as in freedom" ideal for a while and set a fundraiser to pay AMD programmers for improved linux support to all chipsets from R100-R800 to the future?
                          You probably wanted to say "free as in beer", because it describes your quoted sentence (however, still not very accurately).

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                          • #14
                            I forget:

                            I wonder if it still has a point to continue developing drivers which will never catch up the (older) proprietary (but what's wrong?
                            It already caught up in some things - 2D is better, video is without tearing, suspend/resume is working, OS driver is probably more stable. 3D is much worse right now, but it should get some boost soon.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by xeros View Post
                              How can ColorTiling be enabled on Lucid (Mesa 7.7)?
                              In xorg.conf (provided you have one, otherwise create one), add this in the driver section:
                              Option "ColorTiling" "True"

                              Only 3D performance should be affected by this. I can't assure you it has been tested by the Ubuntu QA team (i.e. that it works).

                              Originally posted by Pickup View Post
                              Just after the tests were done but before the article was published, the gallium driver became faster than the classic one (both without ColorTiling). Note that the driver is still not ready for general use.

                              Originally posted by Pickup View Post
                              Look, I don't blame developers, really. They did everything they could. But the lack of good gaming and video streaming on linux has been a serious issue to its spreading in the world as a desktop system which could fully replace MS-Windows. And ten years of improving step-by-step-almost-there-but-not-yet, didn't get us to the goal.
                              Some radeon developers working on 3D (like me) are not paid for it, have a full-time job elsewhere (so money is not an issue) and due to almost no spare time, these devs stop working on FOSS from time to time. So the issue is mainly a lack of manpower and I don't think you can do anything about it.

                              -Marek

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