We had less than 48 hours to prepare this article, but we have included some new tests comparing the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) performance using Catalyst 9.2 (much should not change in the driver before the R300/400/500 support is branched) and the open-source stack. The test hardware consisted of an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, ASUS P5E64 WS Professional, 2GB of DDR3 memory, 160GB Western Digital WD1600JS-00MHB0 SATA HDD, and an ATI Radeon X1950PRO 256MB graphics card. On the software side we were using Ubuntu 8.10 with Catalyst 9.2 but we had upgraded to the main Ubuntu 9.04 packages from 2009-03-03 for the other testing to obtain the latest open-source graphics packages of Mesa 7.3, X Server 1.6 Release Candidate 2, the DRM found in the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, and the xf86-video-ati 6.11 DDX driver.
Powering all of the tests is the Phoronix Test Suite, which is our open-source benchmarking utility and framework. The Phoronix Test Suite currently supports over 90 tests and allows tests to be carried out in an automated and reproducible manner. The Phoronix Test Suite is supported on Linux, OpenSolaris, *BSD, and Mac OS X operating systems. The tests we used included Urban Terror, World of Padman, Nexuiz, GtkPerf, QGears2, and JXRenderMark. The open-source stack at this time isn't capable of handling games like Doom 3, Quake 4, or the Unigine Engine, so those tests were omitted. The open-source stack also has some problems with a few older games like OpenArena where it can't even run at a playable frame-rate.