Open-Source Radeon Takes On AMD Catalyst In 2D Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 17 June 2014. Page 1 of 3. 54 Comments

Last weekend I published 2D performance benchmarks comparing Nouveau to NVIDIA's official driver. To no real surprise, the proprietary NVIDIA driver beat Nouveau in most micro-benchmarks when it comes to 2D (and separately, 3D) performance. With the open-source Radeon stack, however, it presents a much tougher fight against the proprietary Catalyst driver.

Being benchmarked today under Linux at Phoronix are seven different AMD Radeon graphics cards being tested using the open-source driver (Linux 3.15 + Mesa 10.3-devel + xf86-video-ati 7.3.99) compared to the Catalyst 14.6 Beta binary driver (fglrx 14.20.7) with the Linux 3.13 kernel. All benchmarks were done from the same Core i7 4770K system with the same Ubuntu 14.04 configuration aside from swapping the kernel and drivers between tests along with the graphics cards and making no other changes (as noted many times in other articles, the CPU frequency reporting difference just comes down to the different kernels with their ACPI CPUfreq / P-State driver reporting differences). The seven tested AMD graphics cards for this open vs. closed 2D desktop comparison were:

- Radeon HD 5830
- Radeon HD 6450
- Radeon HD 6570
- Radeon HD 6770
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 6950
- Radeon HD 7850

All of the Linux benchmarking was handled in a seamless manner by the Phoronix Test Suite.

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