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RadeonSI Gallium3D Is Improving, But Still Long Shot From Catalyst

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  • RadeonSI Gallium3D Is Improving, But Still Long Shot From Catalyst

    Phoronix: RadeonSI Gallium3D Is Improving, But Still Long Shot From Catalyst

    While NVIDIA's binary driver is much faster and better than AMD's Catalyst, on the open-source driver side is where AMD has been shining. While their RadeonSI Gallium3D driver for Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer is not nearly as well off as their pre-HD 7000 series (R600g) Gallium3D driver, they are making progress. In this article are benchmarks showing the "out of the box" performance on Ubuntu 13.10 with the modern open-source driver, benchmarks with the latest kernel and Mesa and LLVM, and then the AMD Catalyst driver. A range of modern Radeon HD 7000 and R9 graphics processors were used for this open-source versus closed-source driver testing.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=19719

  • #2
    Wow, the open source driver has been making some amazing progress recently... actually pretty surprised. I can't wait until the performance is on par with the Catalyst driver, because it's plagued with bugs and terrible 2D support. All we need now is a control panel for Gallium3D to quickly tweak options like vsync and power management so it can be a viable replacement for ALL users.

    Thanks for providing these benchmarks & keep up the good work!

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    • #3
      OSS driver was > 100fps in every single test

      Honestly, the driver is 100% as fast as fglrx right now in these tests, because once you are going multiple hundred fps nobody cares.

      We need real tests, like DOTA 2, to tell us anything more.

      Oh, btw, the triangle test, and glxgears, will both be much faster on all the OSS drivers when DRI3 support is enabled. Again, nobody should really care.
      Last edited by smitty3268; 01-22-2014, 03:23 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
        Honestly, the driver is 100% as fast as fglrx right now in these tests, because once you are going multiple hundred fps nobody cares.

        We need real tests, like DOTA 2, to tell us anything more.

        Oh, btw, the triangle test, and glxgears, will both be much faster when DRI3 support is enabled. Again, nobody should really care.
        Of course people care when catalyst runs 35% faster. Efficiency matters always. It's not like catalyst on Linux is on par with Windows to begin with.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
          Honestly, the driver is 100% as fast as fglrx right now in these tests, because once you are going multiple hundred fps nobody cares.

          We need real tests, like DOTA 2, to tell us anything more.

          Oh, btw, the triangle test, and glxgears, will both be much faster on all the OSS drivers when DRI3 support is enabled. Again, nobody should really care.
          So what do you do if you have a lower end GPU that isn't capable of 60+ FPS because of horribly inefficient drivers? Of course you will care. There is a large margin of difference between Catalyst on Windows to Catalyst on Linux to the latest open source drivers. I'd rather see a day where the open source Linux drivers are more efficient than the Catalyst Windows drivers.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by enfocomp View Post
            Wow, the open source driver has been making some amazing progress recently... actually pretty surprised. I can't wait until the performance is on par with the Catalyst driver, because it's plagued with bugs and terrible 2D support. All we need now is a control panel for Gallium3D to quickly tweak options like vsync and power management so it can be a viable replacement for ALL users.

            Thanks for providing these benchmarks & keep up the good work!
            there already is a tool called radeon-profile which is a nice start:

            https://github.com/marazmista/radeon-profile

            for opensuse you can already get rpms to install.

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            • #7
              Holy moly what! It's a 7-14x performance improvement across the board! That's astonishing! Stock is 1/16 of Catalyst, Mesa 10.1 is 1/8 of Catalyst, and the latest and greatest is 75% of Catalyst! I have no idea how that can be described as a "long shot from Catalyst", because with r600g, getting up to that performance required much, much more time!

              Also, here's the link to full results + normalisation + means: http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1...gm=y&obr_nor=y

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              • #8
                I found it interesting that the older games were at around 50% and the newer games were around 75%. Looks like one (or more) of the older gl commands is really slow.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mmstick View Post
                  So what do you do if you have a lower end GPU that isn't capable of 60+ FPS because of horribly inefficient drivers
                  You shouldn't care too much about these benchmark numbers because performance doesn't scale linearly. radeonsi drivers have higher CPU overhead compared to Catalyst, which means they'll do worse in CPU bound situations. If you're pushing hundreds of FPS, you usually are CPU bound. Consider that when looking at the numbers. Lower-end GPUs should be closer to Catalyst.

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                  • #10
                    You actually see these scaling effects in the benchmarks if you compare the 7850 results against the 7950 results. In many cases, both GPUs have almost similar results with open drivers, while Catalyst is able to push considerably more frames on the 7950 compared to the 7850. That very much looks like the open drivers are CPU limited.

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                    • #11
                      That's much closer to what I was expecting current RadeonSI to be capable of. Several months ago, the experience was acceptable for my system (7850 on a Phenom II x6) as long as I wasn't running multiple GPU-using programs simultaneously. Now it's doing great with all software upgraded to the latest code-bases.

                      There are still improvements to be made, but it's definitely usable from my perspective.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mmstick View Post
                        So what do you do if you have a lower end GPU that isn't capable of 60+ FPS because of horribly inefficient drivers? Of course you will care. There is a large margin of difference between Catalyst on Windows to Catalyst on Linux to the latest open source drivers. I'd rather see a day where the open source Linux drivers are more efficient than the Catalyst Windows drivers.
                        This is exactly the kind of misguided thinking that poor benchmarks like this encourage.

                        The limitations a driver has when it's running > 100fps have NOTHING to do with the limitations you might run into on another card at a slower speed.

                        NOTHING AT ALL. THERE IS NO CORRELATION.

                        It's highly likely the oss driver is still slower on those cards, but we have no way of knowing, and it's probably from completely different bottlenecks than these tests are showing here.


                        This is why people constantly point out that glxgears is not a benchmark. And everyone continues to use it anyway, seeming to think that higher glxgears scores must mean something on more realistic tests, even though people keep saying not to do so.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blackout23 View Post
                          Of course people care when catalyst runs 35% faster. Efficiency matters always. It's not like catalyst on Linux is on par with Windows to begin with.
                          What, power efficiency? Most people are running these games as fast as possible anyway, so it doesn't really matter whether you are running at 300fps or 350fps. They're both going to be maxing out the power requirements.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ua=42 View Post
                            I found it interesting that the older games were at around 50% and the newer games were around 75%. Looks like one (or more) of the older gl commands is really slow.
                            I think the newer games just use more shaders, which are just running full speed on the gpu hardware. The older games are probably more bandwidth/cpu limited, where the si driver clearly is not as optimized.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by enfocomp View Post
                              Wow, the open source driver has been making some amazing progress recently... actually pretty surprised. I can't wait until the performance is on par with the Catalyst driver, because it's plagued with bugs and terrible 2D support. All we need now is a control panel for Gallium3D to quickly tweak options like vsync and power management so it can be a viable replacement for ALL users.

                              Thanks for providing these benchmarks & keep up the good work!
                              I've heard that someone is working on a kcm module for kde 5 to control Mesa settings in the system settings framework. That was a while ago, though.

                              I find it odd that in that span of cards they all perform within pretty close margins of each other. I wonder how the 260x / 7770 perform? Are they in that same envelope? If that is the case, anyone looking at radeonSI gpus would get the best bang for the buck at the lowest end of the scale.

                              But that doesn't seem right. I thought the patches to enable all the cores went in a few Mesa versions ago? Why would hardware with only 2/3 the shaders (7850 vs 7950) perform on par or better in all these tests?
                              Last edited by zanny; 01-22-2014, 05:16 PM.

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