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Thread: Open-Source RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst On Linux

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    Default Open-Source RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst On Linux

    Phoronix: Open-Source RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst On Linux

    Towards the end of June I published AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D benchmarks, the open-source Linux graphics driver supporting the Radeon HD 7000/8000 series hardware on Linux. While the alternative to the Catalyst driver can accelerate OpenGL, it's very slow. Open-source driver benchmarks were shown in that article compared to older generations of AMD Radeon hardware backed by the mature R600 Gallium3D driver. In this article are benchmarks comparing the open-source "RadeonSI" driver to the proprietary AMD Catalyst GPU driver on the Radeon HD 7850/7950 graphics cards. As an additional driver reference point were also Radeon HD 7950 Cayman results; all testing happened from Fedora 19 Linux.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=18870

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    I'm not too surprised with these results. My 7850 defaults to 180Mhz on the 3.8-3.10 kernels, but runs at 860Mhz on 3.11 with the new dynamic power management code. There is a similar gap in memory speeds as well.

    Once there are tests running on that newer kernel, the results should improve somewhat. There's definitely still work to do, but the gap should shrink a bit.

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    What's the sense in benchmarking 3.9 while 3.10 is already stable? Nonsense.

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    Yes, this is stupid. We know performance still sucks with older kernels. 3.10 finally introduced tiling which likely improves performance a lot. 3.11 has even more improvements, like DPM (which finally allows proper reclocking) and PCIe gen2/gen3 support for radeonsi. Please make sensible benchmarks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkbasic View Post
    What's the sense in benchmarking 3.9 while 3.10 is already stable? Nonsense.
    It's just a guess, but I'm guessing that 3.9 is just what Fedora 19 shipped with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veerappan View Post
    It's just a guess, but I'm guessing that 3.9 is just what Fedora 19 shipped with.
    Yes, Fedora doesn't have 3.10 yet, its still 3.9.8

    Michael some notes....

    You said default configurations, correct? That means medium power profile, most likely, so some of these results aren't fair given that Catalyst as full power management and can run at max clocks as needed, but the open source driver defaults to medium. Also RadeonSI is by default crippled on clockspeed, it defaults to vbios settings if I'm not mistaken (And given a comment about, about the clock difference, it appears Im right).

    I am glad to see that R600g is basically at or close to Catalyst, and I thank you for that. But personal opinion: wait until you are running the new DPM work to do more Radeon articles. THATS when things will be a lot more fair to the open source drivers because clock speeds will be similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericg View Post
    Yes, Fedora doesn't have 3.10 yet, its still 3.9.8

    Michael some notes....

    You said default configurations, correct? That means medium power profile, most likely, so some of these results aren't fair given that Catalyst as full power management and can run at max clocks as needed, but the open source driver defaults to medium. Also RadeonSI is by default crippled on clockspeed, it defaults to vbios settings if I'm not mistaken (And given a comment about, about the clock difference, it appears Im right).

    I am glad to see that R600g is basically at or close to Catalyst, and I thank you for that. But personal opinion: wait until you are running the new DPM work to do more Radeon articles. THATS when things will be a lot more fair to the open source drivers because clock speeds will be similar.
    Its not about fairness.

    And Your notion of "fairness" is strange as You ignore that it was AMD team decision to make those defaults You find "unfair"...

    It was about what Linux users can expect. And they most likely run on 3.9 or older kernels... Since no mainstream distro (mobile or not) use 3.10 yet. Such test would describe future for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by przemoli View Post
    It was about what Linux users can expect.
    It's about what Linux users can expect if they don't install the latest driver.

    Compared to a recent version of the closed driver which must be downloaded from AMD's webpage and for which you have to compile a kernel module.

    I suggest that it would be more interesting to see what Linux drivers can do now. I mean, it is rather widespread in the benchmarking community that you install drivers before you benchmark new hardware.

    And Your notion of "fairness" is strange as You ignore that it was AMD team decision to make those defaults You find "unfair"...
    It was also AMD team's decision to release drivers which can reclock such GPUs dynamically.

    So it is indeed odd that this test does not use drivers which are supposed to be used with such hardware. I.e. those found in the current 3.11 Linux tree.
    Last edited by pingufunkybeat; 07-05-2013 at 03:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    It's about what Linux users can expect if they don't install the latest driver.

    Compared to a recent version of the closed driver which must be downloaded from AMD's webpage and for which you have to compile a kernel module.

    I suggest that it would be more interesting to see what Linux drivers can do now. I mean, it is rather widespread in the benchmarking community that you install drivers before you benchmark new hardware.


    It was also AMD team's decision to release drivers which can reclock such GPUs dynamically.

    So it is indeed odd that this test does not use drivers which are supposed to be used with such hardware. I.e. those found in the current 3.11 Linux tree.
    FLOSS drivers do not come in form of kernel module that can work with multiple kernel versions. Period. And benchmarking community can use OpenBenchmarking.com to share their tests.
    (Also I forgot to meantion that we do not know when those test where performed. First impresion of "imediatly" may be wrong.)

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    Well, if anything, this will be a good reference point to see how the performance evolves in later kernels.

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