I built the current repository versions of 'radeon' and 'radeonhd' and compared the 2D performance on my X1800.
As you can see, 'radeonhd' blows 'radeon' away on the GtkDrawingArea-Text test, where 'radeonhd' is about 3X faster. I believe there is a serious problem with this aspect of the 'radeon' driver. Conversely, for the GtkDrawingArea-Circles test, 'radeon' is about 3X faster.
A couple months ago I remember running the same type of comparison and 'radeon' performed better on the same text drawing test, but I don't know when/how the reduced performance started.
Does anybody have any thoughts or explanation on this?
EDIT: These were the only options I used...
Yes, current repository version of DRM.
Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
X.Org X Server 184.108.40.206
Release Date: 5 September 2007
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.25-zen0 i686
Current Operating System: Linux shocked 2.6.25-zen0 #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu May 1 20:29:16 PDT 2008 i686
Build Date: 01 May 2008 09:21:00PM