One Year With ATI X1000 Linux Support
In less than three weeks it will have been a year since ATI Technologies had added it's Radeon X1000 family (R500) support to their Linux binary drivers. When that support was finally added it came about six months after the hardware was actually introduced to the public accompanied by the Windows Catalyst drivers. Even with this six months time that developers had to work on the Linux package, the fglrx v8.24.8 driver (the version that had introduced R500 support) resulted in ATI's flagship GPU series facing a miserable beating by NVIDIA's 7800GTX and even the GeForce 6800GT. However, a year later and what will be twelve driver releases with R500 support, how does the performance now compare? In this article we will be comparing several R500 parts to see how the performance stacks up using the latest driver.
In the driver releases since the introduction of the Radeon X1000 Linux support we have seen the implementation of dynamic display management options, new product support, new X.Org support, an external events daemon, improved TV-out support, and many other features. Another feature on the table for a future driver release is a Catalyst Control Center to replace the aging fireglcontrolpanel (AMD had presented slides of this replacement in January). We also have mentioned in our 8.33.6 and 8.34.8 reviews that AMD has also been working on prompt Radeon X2000 R600 support.
For today's one year performance anniversary of the Radeon X1000 series support we will be benchmarking the Radeon X1300PRO 256MB, X1800XL 256MB, X1800XT 256MB, and X1950PRO 256MB. For comparative purposes, we will also be benchmarking the Radeon X800XL 256MB and NVIDIA's GeForce 7800GTX 256MB, which were also used in our original article.
The hardware we had used for testing was a Tyan Tempest i5000XT motherboard, 4GB of DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM, and dual Intel Xeon E5320 quad-core processors. While it is nearing the end of March and there hasn't yet been a driver release this month, you can thus anticipate a public 8.35 release this week (you can expect a Phoronix review when it happens). For today's benchmarking we had used a preliminary 8.35 driver.
The benchmarks being used consists of Enemy Territory, Doom 3, Quake 4, and Unreal Tournament 2004. As always, our standard benchmarking guidelines were in effect.
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