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Thread: AMD's Radeon Gallium3D Starts Posing A Threat To Catalyst

  1. #1
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    Default AMD's Radeon Gallium3D Starts Posing A Threat To Catalyst

    Phoronix: AMD's Radeon Gallium3D Starts Posing A Threat To Catalyst

    With recent milestones like the Radeon performance improvements in Linux 3.12 that come as a side-effect from a CPUfreq change, Radeon DPM, and the improvements found by the upcoming Mesa 10.0 release, and numerous other open-source driver improvements, the AMD's Radeon Gallium3D performance is very competitive to AMD's Catalyst driver. This close level of performance is for the R600 Gallium3D driver with GPUs like the Radeon HD 5000/6000 series graphics cards. Here's some benchmarks showing how the open-source AMD Radeon performance compares today to the closed-source Catalyst driver on Windows and Ubuntu Linux. In some of today's new data, the open-source driver was running 80%+ the speed of AMD's Catalyst driver.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=19288

  2. #2
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    And now do the same with a HD7970 or a R9 290X using games like Serious Sam 3, DOTA 2 or Left 4 Dead 2.

    I think everyone knows that the driver for the 4000 to 6000 series cards is wonderful and that there's no real reason to not use it over Catalyst. The situation for newer cards (and thus for gamers who bought their AMD card after 2011 and want to switch to Linux) is still dire if you don't use Catalyst (and Catalyst is dire itself).

    I'm so happy that I was able to replace Catalyst with the open source driver on my laptop which runs the latest Mesa git snapshots and 3.12-rc7 right now, but it also has a Mobility Radeon HD5650 - I don't think I would've done that if I had an actual up-to-date GPU.

    So yeah ... keep up the good work AMD, but please, start focusing on newer GPUs as well. I don't think recommending a 6870 for playing games on Linux sounds that nice, especially if everyone else already shouts "use NVIDIA on Linux only".

  3. #3
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    I wonder what's up with the HD 6950.

    Pretty awesome results overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BO$$ View Post
    No way the amateur beginner programmers will be a match to the big corporation pros, unless of course the pros from the said corporations start helping them, like is the case for AMD. By themselves the FOSS community would have never gotten here.
    Well, technically, in a few cases, the drivers were developed by "amateur programmers" which as so good that some got hired by AMD themselves.

    Also (specially in the embed world) there are also cases of programmer who work paid by company "A" as a day job, but also develop free open-source drivers for hardware by unrelated company "B" as a side-project/hobby (A and B are unrelated, so no risk of being "tainted" - it's guaranteed clean-room implementation) they are "pros" but not getting any help from the relevant company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BO$$ View Post
    Probably the final 5% will take 10 years since they will have to re-architecture everything. No way the amateur beginner programmers will be a match to the big corporation pros, unless of course the pros from the said corporations start helping them, like is the case for AMD. By themselves the FOSS community would have never gotten here.
    True, on the other hand, the nouveau drivers are doing surprisingly well considering their lack of support from nvidia. Once they fix the reclocking, we'll get a better read on how well they're really doing.

    But anyway, the results of this article are pretty exciting. I still find it amazing how the radeon drivers were almost unusable around 2 years ago but now are very close to becoming easily recommendable.

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    Thats what Greg Kroah-Hartman thinks about it: http://youtu.be/L2SED6sewRw?t=34m10s

    AMD is doing the right thing with opensource driver and its going to get them more customers and save more costs.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    True, on the other hand, the nouveau drivers are doing surprisingly well considering their lack of support from nvidia. Once they fix the reclocking, we'll get a better read on how well they're really doing.

    But anyway, the results of this article are pretty exciting. I still find it amazing how the radeon drivers were almost unusable around 2 years ago but now are very close to becoming easily recommendable.
    NV design their hw around OpenGL.

    That's good for Nouveau as they need straightforward code for new features.

    So Nouveau team have no trouble with easy stuff. Normal troubles with hard stuff (video/audio), and nightmarish is still nightmarish (PM...). Hopefully NV releases more docs, so devs can switch more from easy/hard to that last one.

  8. #8
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    1. Thank for yor benchmarks Micheal !

    2. Although I wouldn't call it a threat to Catalyst and especially to Catalyst on Windows yet but it's a start. It seems that the Open Source drivers are 80% of the Catalyst Linux driver performance and Catalyst Linux is 80% of the Catalyst Windows driver.

    3. Also I believe not every AMD graphic card (especially the newer one's) work that well at the moment.

    Either get your Open Source drivers straight with a competable 2D and 3D performance or just make the DE's work with them.
    Because at the moment none open source driver (even Intel) can compete with their Windows counterparts. That's not what the game developers and users want !

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    As long as things like UVD on RS780/880 don't work the FOSS driver will at least on part of my machines never be a threat to the blob. Sadly I have to use the free driver to test new features in the kernel, which means that AMD is denying me to have video decoding and new features at the same time.
    The sad thing is that I guess that UVD for those older chips is not very high on the priority list, though the RS880 is still the only option for integrated graphics on AMD's FX CPUs and still sold in masses.

    So the real threat to the blob is not performance, but their pathetic support strategy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    As long as things like UVD on RS780/880 don't work the FOSS driver will at least on part of my machines never be a threat to the blob. Sadly I have to use the free driver to test new features in the kernel, which means that AMD is denying me to have video decoding and new features at the same time.
    The sad thing is that I guess that UVD for those older chips is not very high on the priority list, though the RS880 is still the only option for integrated graphics on AMD's FX CPUs and still sold in masses.

    So the real threat to the blob is not performance, but their pathetic support strategy.
    well maybe you are blaming AMD for a crappy motherboard bios, as far i tested every 4000 - 7000 series card i have UVD works peachy including the 4350 and 4250

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