With Mesa 8.1 set to be released next month, here are some benchmarks comparing the Git performance of Mesa 8.0.4 to Mesa 8.1-devel for several generations of Radeon graphics cards. In this article the R600g Gallium3D driver is being put under the microscope while other articles in the coming days will look at the Intel i965 DRI driver, ATI R300g Gallium3D for the older Radeon GPUs, and the Nouveau Gallium3D driver.
The graphics cards being benchmarked for this comparison of Mesa 8.0.4 Git (from the Mesa mainline "8.0" branch) to Mesa mainline Git master of Mesa 8.1-devel from a few days ago was a Radeon HD 4670, Radeon HD 4870, Radeon HD 6770, and Radeon HD 6870 graphics cards. The Radeon HD 7000 series "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver is still useless for end-users with Mesa 8.1 so there was no testing there. Again, benchmarks of older Radeon X1000 hardware on R300g will come in a later Phoronix article.
Swap buffers wait was disabled for this benchmarking while all other settings remained at their defaults. The Radeon graphics cards on Mesa 8.0.4 and 8.1-devel were running with the latest Git as well of the Linux 3.5 kernel, libdrm, and xf86-video-ati 6.99.99 Git. The test system was based around Intel's Core i7 3770K "Ivy Bridge" processor.