1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

A Big Comparison Of The AMD Catalyst, Mesa & Gallium3D Drivers

Michael Larabel

Published on 5 January 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 9 - 201 Comments

As was alluded to in our New Year greeting, we have been working on a massive graphics card / driver comparison under Linux. Beginning with ATI/AMD hardware, we have tested a series of graphics cards spanning the Radeon X1000, HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, and HD 5000 generations using the very latest drivers. These drivers include the official Catalyst 10.12 Linux release as well as the very latest development code for the open-source Mesa and Gallium3D drivers. The results for seven ATI GPUs spanning four generations with three drivers are quite interesting.

The graphics cards used in this large Linux GPU and driver comparison include the Radeon X1950PRO, Radeon HD 2900XT, Radeon HD 3650, Radeon HD 3850, Radeon HD 4670, Radeon HD 4870, and the Radeon HD 5770. We are completing a similar set of cross-GPU cross-driver tests on the NVIDIA side as well and expect to have those Linux benchmarks completed within the next week or two. The rest of the system hardware included an Intel Core i5 750 CPU, an ECS P55H-A motherboard, 4GB of DDR3 system memory, and a 500GB Western Digital SATA HDD.

With these different ATI/AMD graphics cards, we tested the official Catalyst 10.12 driver (the latest available proprietary driver at the time of testing; version fglrx 8.80.5) along with the very latest Gallium3D and Classic Mesa open-source drivers. The open-source components were built from Git on 2010-12-25 using the latest Linux 2.6.37 kernel development code, libdrm, xf86-video-ati DDX (version 6.13.99), and Mesa 7.10-devel (the Gallium3D version is 0.4 in Mesa 7.10). This was done atop an Ubuntu 10.10 x86_64 Linux operating system with the GNOME 2.32.0 desktop with Compiz enabled, X.Org Server 1.9.0, GCC 4.4.5, and an EXT4 file-system.

Besides the GPU/driver changes, the only other change during the course of testing was using the stock Ubuntu 10.10 (Linux 2.6.35) kernel during the Catalyst driver testing since Catalyst 10.12 is not compatible with the Linux 2.6.37 kernel that was used for the latest open-source graphics DRM with the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers. The other note is that there are no Catalyst results for the Radeon X1950PRO since AMD discontinued its driver support back in 2009.

The tests used across this selection of hardware and drivers included Nexuiz, Warsow, OpenArena, World of Padman, Smokin Guns, Tremulous, VDrift, and Lightsmark. This OpenGL workload is rather light for proprietary graphics drivers with modern GPUs and CPUs, but it is the selection of tests that actually work with Mesa / Gallium3D and are available from the Phoronix Test Suite. It would have been nice to run Unigine and our other more demanding graphics tests in this large comparison, but they are simply incompatible with the open-source drivers at this point and for the near future.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  2. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  3. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
  4. Apotop Wi-Copy
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  2. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  3. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
  4. 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Linux 3.18-rc1 Released One Week Early With Many Changes
  2. The VC4 Gallium3D Driver Is Still Moving Along For The Raspberry Pi
  3. Direct3D 9 Support Might Land Within Mainline Mesa 3D Drivers
  4. OpenGL Preview Benchmarks For NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970
  5. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  6. Vitesse: Using LLVM To Speed Up Databases
  7. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  8. Linux Testing Of The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
  9. Qt 5.4 Now In Beta With Web, Bluetooth LE, Graphics Improvements
  10. AMD's Radeon R9 285 On Linux Offers Good OpenCL Performance
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  2. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  3. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
  4. Open-Source AMD Fusion E-350 Support Takes A Dive
  5. Upgrade to Kaveri, very slow VDPAU performance
  6. ChromeOS Drops Support For EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 File-Systems
  7. Lennart Poettering On The Open-Source Community: A Sick Place To Be In
  8. The Slides Announcing The New "AMDGPU" Kernel Driver