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Upgraded Kernel & Mesa Yield A Big Boost For Athlon R3 Graphics

Michael Larabel

Published on 10 April 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
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Yesterday I delivered the first Linux benchmarks of the AMD Athlon 5350 with Radeon R3 Graphics. Benchmarks of the socketed Kabini APU are ongoing at Phoronix in a variety of different software and hardware configurations. The tests that have just wrapped up today are checking out the performance when upgrading the Linux kernel and Mesa compared to what's shipped by default in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

The initial Athlon 5350 Linux review was done with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as will be shipped by the Linux distribution being officially launched next week. With not many end-users manually upgrading their kernel and Mesa compared to what's supplied by Ubuntu (or other distributions), the out-of-the-box experience is very important. Unfortunately for the AMD Athlon 5350 with its GCN-based Radeon R3 Graphics, it is in a disappointing shape for this Long Term Support release of Ubuntu. When upgrading to the Linux 3.14 kernel there is GCN dynamic power management enabled by default. When moving from Mesa 10.1 to the yet-to-be-released Mesa 10.2 development code, there's also some more performance gains in some OpenGL benchmarks.

In this article are the out-of-the-box Ubuntu 14.04 benchmarks (Linux 3.13 + Mesa 10.1), then upgrading to Linux 3.14, and lastly enabling the Oibaf PPA for Mesa 10.2-devel. All of the benchmarking was handled via the Phoronix Test Suite. More Athlon 5350 Linux benchmarks along with the other new Athlon and Sempron APUs will come in the days ahead on Phoronix.

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