With Lightsmark, an OpenGL lighting benchmark, the V3800 performance had not improved at all with this newer driver, but with the FirePro V8800 it surprisingly had its frame-rate boosted by 30%.
The only regression we spotted in this new driver release was when running the very-demanding Unigine Heaven benchmark where the FirePro V3800 dropped in performance and the performance of the V8800 was more than halved. Fortunately, though not many FirePro users will be running the Unigine game engine on their workstation hardware, but we imagine AMD developers will have this issue worked out anyways by the time this newly optimized Linux driver is certified for use by their professional customers.
AMD has managed to provide another impressive FirePro driver update. New and existing workstation customers should be rather pleased that twice now in just the past couple of months there have been these major updates that push their graphics hardware much further. Earlier this year the fglrx 8.72 driver update pushed many workstation applications 20~60% faster and with this new driver update now emerging we are seeing massive improvements on top of that! The FirePro V3800 graphics card that retails for a little over $100 USD had its workstation performance boosted by over 30% in most of the SPEC view-sets while the FirePro V8800 ranged from gains of just 10%, but with EnSight its performance actually ran up to being 61% faster than running April's driver release, which already contained AMD's first round of FirePro driver optimizations. This is terrific news for both Windows and Linux users with even greater value being added to their hardware. This driver update is also nicely timed on AMD's part seeing as this week NVIDIA just announced their new Quadro graphics cards that are based upon their Fermi architecture (the consumer GeForce GTX 400 series) with the Quadro Plex 7000 array and then the Quadro 4000/5000/6000 series. These new NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards are designed to take aim at the recent success AMD has been having with their Evergreen-based FirePro products, but we have yet to see or hear how these Fermi-class cards perform under Linux.
Our only complaint about the beta Linux press driver that we tested was the major regression found within the Unigine Heaven game tech demo, but we are confident that AMD developers will quickly resolve this issue especially if this performance drop is found within their consumer graphics cards.
Discuss this article in our forums, IRC channel, or email the author. You can also follow our content via RSS and on social networks like Facebook, Identi.ca, and Twitter (@Phoronix and @MichaelLarabel). Subscribe to Phoronix Premium to view our content without advertisements, view entire articles on a single page, and experience other benefits.