Coming out a week prior to the launch of the Radeon HD 3400/3600 series was the Catalyst 8.01 Linux driver, but hidden inside this driver is support for these new graphics processors. We had installed the Catalyst 8.01 (fglrx 8.45.4) driver and booted the system with the Sapphire HD 3650 and it was immediately detected and supported.
The test system we used for benchmarking the AMD/ATI Radeon HD 3650 512MB graphics card was a Gigabyte MA790FX-DS5 motherboard with AMD Phenom 9500 quad-core processor, Seagate 320GB Serial ATA 2.0 hard drive, Corsair TX750 power supply, and 2GB of OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8500 memory. As we reported in an earlier article, AMD's Spider Platform is troublesome under Linux though its support has improved with Ubuntu 8.04 and the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, but still a worrisome platform compared to Intel's latest processor and chipset offerings. For our testing we had used a Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" daily build from earlier this week.
For comparing the graphics performance we had used a NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT 256MB, ATI Radeon HD 2600PRO 256MB, ATI Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB, ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB, and ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB graphics card. With this benchmarking, we used the Catalyst 8.01 Linux driver and on the NVIDIA side was their 169.09 release. In this article are just our initial benchmarks, which consisted of Doom 3 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.