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Radeon Gallium3D: A Half-Decade Behind Catalyst?

Michael Larabel

Published on 19 January 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 4 of 9 - 51 Comments

When starting with the Doom 3 test, there is an obvious performance jump when going from the 2006 binary Linux driver to 2008 with the new Catalyst Linux driver, albeit for a Mobility Radeon X300 GPU the Doom 3 performance is at a snail's pace regardless. However, the performance of the R300 Gallium3D driver as found in Ubuntu 11.10 and when using the Linux 3.2 kernel with Mesa 8.0-devel, is much worse. Even the pre-Orca binary Linux driver is more than twice as fast as the open-source Radeon stack is today.

When running Doom 3 at 800 x 600 rather than 1400 x 1050, the last R300-supportive Catalyst driver is two times faster than where the open-source R300 driver is at in 2012. The high point for the Catalyst support was with the 8.3 release from early 2008, which is where the blob was 2.6x faster than the current open-source Linux code.

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