Since publishing our Avivo versus fglrx driver GtkPerf benchmarks that compared the GTK performance between the community open-source driver and ATI's official driver, we have received a number of requests for more of these 2D benchmarks with different graphics cards and different drivers. While this is not one of our formal articles, we have completed a few more GtkPerf tests with NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards to see how the GTK performance stacks up.
The NVIDIA graphics card used in testing was a GeForce 8500GT 256MB and the ATI graphics card was a X1300PRO 256MB, both of which are PCI Express based. System hardware had consisted of an AMD Sempron 3500+, Abit NF-M2 nView motherboard, and 1GB of DDR2 memory. Fedora 7 was used with the Linux 220.127.116.11-33.fc7 kernel and X server 1.3.0. Like our previous tests, GtkPerf 0.40 was run 1,000 times.
In our original GtkPerf tests with the open-source Avivo driver we had compared the performance with the ShadowFB option, which had dramatically increased the performance over the fglrx driver. With the ShadowFB option disabled, the Avivo driver was slower than the fglrx driver. However, in these test with ShadowFB disabled the Avivo driver was about the same speed as the official competition. The Avivo driver was checked out from git on July 29 and the fglrx driver used was version 8.39.4. GtkComboBox and GtkTextView results were reported as the total time could not be computed due to an X error with the fglrx driver on the final test.
For two NVIDIA GtkPerf tests, we had used the NVIDIA driver (v100.14.11) as well as the open-source 2D "nv" driver. Originally, we had planned to use the open-source Nouveau driver as well, but we had run into rendering issues with the Nouveau 2007-07-29 git from the randr-1.2 branch and the GeForce 8500GT. However, in our next set of official GtkPerf tests we will be sure to deliver Nouveau performance metrics.
We will be publishing a more formal comparison with a greater number of graphics cards and newer drivers later this year. You can share your results in the Phoronix Forums.