In this article is a large OpenGL performance comparison looking at the frame-rates in different Linux games for different AMD Radeon Linux graphics cards when running the stock Ubuntu 12.10 operating system (Mesa 9.0 + Linux 3.5), the Catalyst Linux driver (fglrx 9.0.2) as found in the Ubuntu Quantal archive, and then when running the very latest Radeon Git code: The Linux 3.7 kernel, Mesa 9.1-devel, and xf86-video-ati 7.0.99 Git.
The graphics cards used in this testing roundabout were all from the Radeon HD 5000 and Radeon HD 6000 series. The latest Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards still don't have adequate open-source support while the Radeon HD 4000 series and older graphics cards are no longer supported by the mainline AMD Catalyst binary driver. In a future article will be results looking solely at the open-source AMD Radeon Linux performance across the different generations that will not be using Catalyst and thus will go back further with the results.
The particular graphics cards used this time around were a Radeon HD 5450, Radeon HD 5770, Radeon HD 5830, Radeon HD 6570, and Radeon HD 6950 when testing the Linux 3.5 + Mesa 9.0 + xf86-video-ati 6.99.99, Catalyst / fglrx 9.0.2, and Linux 3.7-rc6-Git + Mesa 9.1-devel + libdrm Git + xf86-video-ati 7.0.99 Git configurations. Swap buffers wait was disabled during all of the open-source driver benchmarking. All benchmarking happened from Ubuntu 12.10 with the Unity 6.10 desktop environment on an AMD FX-8350 Vishera system.
OpenGL benchmarking was handled by the Phoronix Test Suite software in a fully automated and standardized manner.