AMD Dropping R300-R500 Support In Catalyst Driver
In our first test, Urban Terror, the open-source ATI stack ran at 32% the speed of the Catalyst driver. However, at least the frame-rate was more than playable with the current Mesa stack with an average rate of 63 FPS. The X1950PRO though was nearing 200 FPS using Catalyst 9.2. This margin will likely shrink once moving to a tuned Gallium3D stack.
World of Padman uses the ioquake3 engine just like Urban Terror, but here the results were much different. The Mesa stack ran about the same speed with World of Padman as it did with Urban Terror, but the Catalyst driver performance had actually dropped. Instead of running at 190+ FPS, Catalyst 9.2 with the Radeon X1950PRO couldn't even push above 70 FPS. There was just a nine frame difference between Catalyst and the Radeon Mesa.
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