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AMD Catalyst vs. Linux 3.7 + Mesa 9.1-devel Gallium3D Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 26 November 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 6 of 6 - 34 Comments

The open-source driver remains a ways from competing with Catalyst especially on the higher image quality settings with Xonotic. Unfortunately, though, because of recent Radeon-specific changes, there's a huge performance regression for R600g when using the high image quality settings with Xonotic on the Mesa 9.1-devel Git code. The performance becomes completely unplayable.

While there is the Xonotic regression outstanding, in a majority of the Linux OpenGL benchmarks carried out, there's very measurable performance improvements to be found between the Linux 3.5 / Mesa 9.0 stack as found in Ubuntu 12.10 compared to the latest Linux 3.7 / Mesa 9.1-devel stack as of this week. These improvements are great to see although for most of the tests, the open-source driver is still having a hard time at running half the speeds of the Catalyst driver. For those soon wanting to play Valve's Source Engine games on Linux with Radeon hardware, your only adequate solution will be using the binary Catalyst driver. The open-source driver is also still struggling with the Radeon HD 7000 series 3D support, power management, UVD video playback, and other functionality offered by the proprietary Catalyst driver.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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