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AMD Radeon HD 6000 Gallium3D Attempts To Compete With Catalyst

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  • AMD Radeon HD 6000 Gallium3D Attempts To Compete With Catalyst

    Phoronix: AMD Radeon HD 6000 Gallium3D Attempts To Compete With Catalyst

    Open-source code supporting the AMD Radeon HD 6000 "Northern Islands" GPU hardware has been available since January, but only in the past few days has this Linux code matured to the point of being stable and useful for testing. In this article are our first benchmarks of the AMD Northern Islands and Cayman graphics processors using the open-source Mesa Gallium3D driver and comparing its performance to AMD's proprietary Catalyst driver.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=16220

  • #2
    Couldn't these new Gallium3D drivers have been compiled with the new Pathscale compiler (Dirndl)?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sabriah View Post
      Couldn't these new Gallium3D drivers have been compiled with the new Pathscale compiler (Dirndl)?
      I'd say that if your graphics driver gets much faster with the Pathscape compiler, you're doing it wrong.

      If it gets (much) faster, the bottleneck is the CPU, whereas it should be on the GPU.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sabriah View Post
        Couldn't these new Gallium3D drivers have been compiled with the new Pathscale compiler (Dirndl)?
        Someone did it here some time ago and it didn't make that much of a difference:
        http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...d-with-ekopath

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        • #5
          Originally posted by [Knuckles] View Post
          I'd say that if your graphics driver gets much faster with the Pathscape compiler, you're doing it wrong.

          If it gets (much) faster, the bottleneck is the CPU, whereas it should be on the GPU.
          No shit, Sherlock...

          The CPU actualy is the bottleneck and it will stay to be a big part of the driver unless those cocks at HTC/SGi release some stupid patent licenses....

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          • #6
            WOW!
            im impressed.
            didnt think the drivers would be around 50% in pretty much every benchmark (even faster in urban terror).
            Last edited by Pfanne; 07-14-2011, 03:41 AM.

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            • #7
              50% of performance is the difference between lower midrage and absolute high end .... so it's wasting half of your money.

              But the real Problem here is missing powermanagement! Thats so waaaaay more important! It makes your Card more silent and it will soothe your Battery as well as your electricity bill!

              For me, looking at the Open Source Drivers, missing Powermanagement is the biggest Problem since 2 Jears.

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              • #8
                I too think that the games may be CPU limited. A testing at Eyefinity resolutions (5760x1080) could have given more meaningful results.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
                  No shit, Sherlock...

                  The CPU actualy is the bottleneck and it will stay to be a big part of the driver unless those cocks at HTC/SGi release some stupid patent licenses....
                  The CPU bottleneck is less code that's running in the driver, and more making unnecessary kernel calls resulting in slow context switches, unnecessary flushes of data between the GPU/CPU, passing huge structures of data around that aren't very cache friendly, etc.

                  None of those things are likely to be affected very much by a change to the compiler - they need to be fixed algorithmically.

                  A software rasterizer, on the other hand, could see benefits. As could something like the old hardware that does vertex shaders in software and the rest on the GPU. Then again, these days that's mostly done by LLVM anyways so that generated code probably wouldn't be much different either.

                  Oh, and what patents are you referring to? The only two i know about are the floating-textures one (which is a feature, not anything performance related) and the S3TC one (again, just a new feature, and not anything that would impact performance one way or the other).
                  Last edited by smitty3268; 07-14-2011, 04:00 AM.

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                  • #10
                    would be interesting to see what perf would be like at high power levels, it might make the numbers a lot closer.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by airlied View Post
                      would be interesting to see what perf would be like at high power levels, it might make the numbers a lot closer.
                      The article suggests that the benches were run at the high power levels already:

                      "Particularly on the higher-end models, the lackluster power management causes increased power consumption for the system and the fan to operate at above-normal speeds. The Radeon HD 6870, for example, was screaming. The Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 is extremely quiet with its Vapor-X cooler, but constantly when using the open-source driver the fan noise was unbearable."

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                      • #12
                        60% is really remarkable.

                        And while it's true that more modern stuff (like Unigine) will tax the drivers more, these naked frame-pushing benchmarks are still important because they show the CPU bottlenecks which are one of the main causes of lower performance.

                        Obviously, things are improving here. About half a year ago, r600g was slower than 30% of Catalyst, nowadays it's around 75% on some cards/workloads.

                        With MLAA and VDPAU around the corner, and OpenGL 3.0 almost here, it's a good time for open source.

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                        • #13
                          Uhm... HD6870 is slower than HD5870, but it's much faster than mine HD5870 in nexuiz, that's very strange...
                          ## VGA ##
                          AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
                          Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                            The article suggests that the benches were run at the high power levels already:

                            "Particularly on the higher-end models, the lackluster power management causes increased power consumption for the system and the fan to operate at above-normal speeds. The Radeon HD 6870, for example, was screaming. The Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 is extremely quiet with its Vapor-X cooler, but constantly when using the open-source driver the fan noise was unbearable."
                            Imho, it's useless if the power/fans aren't working properly.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Panix View Post
                              Imho, it's useless if the power/fans aren't working properly.
                              plz remember that the graphic stack team is very small compared to catalyst so they can't fix all magically in 6 months

                              beside OSS driver is a matter of taste if you want UVD and full PM support go to catalyst and wait until OSS drivers get there but if you want a beautiful stable and fast desktop tear free and electricity is cheap in your country(like mine) + you want to remove blob from your life + contribute something to improve the stack OSS is for you

                              in my case my 4850x2 sound like a jet plane turbine even on windows so i don't care about it too much and mid power profile is good enough to keep these beast in 60 C wich is very acceptable for me (54C catalyst) beside my phenom II X4 965 BE handle 1080p h264 video using Xv like a champ without killing too much cpu (ffmpeg.mt + vlc)
                              so i give a damn about UVD and believe or not wine games run very well for me using OSS drivers (stuff like civ5 or lineage2 hi5 or wow ) im not saying it runs at 999fps but as long as i don't get graphic lag is damn good for me (i want to play the darn game not make a race of who get the greater fps in a 85hz monitor lol) and kde4 runs like an work of art in r600g im just addicted to it (no lag, no tear, 100% stable, ridicously fast and responsive, kwin full effects maxed out, etc).

                              so for my taste and needs r600g is already a piece of heaven for me maybe for you is not there yet but that doesn't mean is useless, so plz show some respect for the many ppl working very hard even when they are so few in the linux graphic stack

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