Where The Open-Source AMD Driver Is At For Modern GPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 15 April 2011. Page 3 of 3. 60 Comments

When running Warsow at 1920 x 1080, the frame-rates dropped slightly under Gallium3D on the three AMD graphics cards, but the rates remained above well above 30 FPS. The Catalyst driver though was still multiple times faster.

The Mesa / Gallium3D drivers always get slaughtered in the OpenGL Lightsmark lighting benchmark compared to their proprietary brethren. The frame-rates are extremely low and the HD 4830 was 9.21x faster with Catalyst, 17.64x faster on the HD 5830, and 18.77x faster with the Radeon HD 5770.

While the open-source ATI/AMD Linux driver stack is beginning to catch up with the proprietary Catalyst driver on older generations of Radeon hardware as earlier tests have shown, for modern GPUs it will still be a while before anything close to parity is hit. As is shown by today's tests, the Catalyst driver remains multiple times faster than the latest open-source Linux driver stack in their default configurations. At least though this open-source driver is becoming usable for those who simply wish to use a composited desktop with light gaming or video playback and other lightweight tasks.

More results from this comparison (at other resolutions) can be found at OpenBenchmarking.org.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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