When running at the native 1920 x 1080 resolution, the spread between the Linux 2.6.35 + Mesa 7.9 and Linux 2.6.38 + Mesa 7.11-devel open-source driver performance increased. It went from being 13% faster at 800 x 600 to now being 55% faster at 1920 x 1080. The open-source Catalyst driver, however, still had an average frame-rate above 100 FPS and this newest was 75% the speed of the proprietary code from early 2009.
It was exciting last week with the results from the ATI Mobility Radeon ASIC when carrying out the initial Linux 2.6.38 + Mesa 7.11-devel + xf86-video-ati DDX Git benchmarks using the recent open-source ATI driver advancements like KMS page-flipping. The results today, however, are even more exciting. Just look at the results and see the dramatic gains made for these ATI GPUs in just the past couple of months.
Besides the results shown in this article, we ran Nexuiz, OpenArena, Warsow, World of Padman, and Urban Terror at a mix of other resolutions too. With all of the expanded tests and then taking the geometric mean of the composite results from the ATI Radeon X1800XL, Radeon X1800XT, and X1950PRO graphics cards, this configuration of the newest open-source ATI graphics drivers is 52% faster than the Ubuntu 10.10 stock configuration for R500 era hardware. This meanwhile puts the average speed of the latest available open-source driver at roughly 70% the speed of the Catalyst driver before the pre-R600 support was discontinued in early 2009.
Kudos to the open-source ATI/AMD developers for their continued work and in narrowing the gap with the Catalyst Linux driver one step at a time.