World of Padman with a resolution of 800 x 600 shows some nice performance improvements between Ubuntu 12.04 with Linux 3.2 / Mesa 8.0 and then Ubuntu 12.10 with the manually dropped in Linux 3.5 / Mesa 8.1-devel. The frame-rate over the course of a few months goes from 36 FPS to 56 FPS. Another nine FPS are squeezed out when switching to the Unity 2D desktop to avoid the tainted Compiz. In the end, it is 65 FPS for open-source while the old binary driver was running her at 70 FPS.
When increasing the resolution, the latest driver code pulled ahead with the "Latest Git - Unity 2D" at 33 FPS while Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS on the binary blob was at 31.