Since Linux support for the Radeon X1000 "R500" series was introduced some 17 months ago, there has been a performance imbalance. The past fglrx drivers have worked, but they've had a difficult time competing with the competition presented by NVIDIA and their Linux driver when it comes to the frame-rate performance. Though as we have been sharing in all of our articles today, the new ATI/AMD Linux driver will be made available in the coming days and it offers some striking performance improvements. In our Mobility Radeon X300 testing, the new driver allowed Doom 3 and Quake 4 to run at playable frame-rates, which simply wasn't possible with the previous 8.40.4 fglrx driver a month ago! The Radeon X800XL performance was also improved significantly, which allowed it to outperform the NVIDIA competition. Now onto the Radeon X1000 family, as you can probably suspect, there are massive performance improvements to be found with these graphics cards as well. In this article we have tested the Radeon X1300PRO, X1800XL, X1800XT, and X1950PRO with the new ATI Linux driver and have found significant performance improvements.
For testing the R500 and R600 series with the new driver we had used the same system. The setup consisted of dual Intel Xeon E5320 "Clovertown" processors, 4GB of DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM, Tyan Tempest i5000XT motherboard, OCZ ModXStream 780W PSU, and a Seagate 7200.9 300GB HDD. Like our R300/400 tests, we had used Fedora 7 with the Linux 188.8.131.52 kernel and X server 1.3. The Radeon X1300PRO, X1800XL, X1800XT, and X1950PRO were all PCI Express x16 based and each had 256MB of video memory. No NVIDIA comparisons were done in this article, but you can find the X1800XT and X1950PRO in our R600 series article with comparison to NVIDIA's GeForce 8 series. Additional benchmarks will be published in the coming days and weeks.