The Major Open-Source ATI Improvements Over Two Years
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 11 April 2011. Page 5 of 5. 53 Comments

Warsow was broken on this Lenovo ThinkPad up until Ubuntu 10.04.2 on the open-source driver. The performance then was still shoddy due to classic Mesa, but with Ubuntu 10.10+ on Gallium3D, the performance is much better. However, the performance has regressed since Mesa 7.9 and even still with the latest Mesa 7.11-devel code there is a noticeable regression. However, what is interesting is that for this test it's performance is ahead of Catalyst -- this time by 67%.

With Warsow at 1400 x 1050, the latest ATI code is still faster than Catalyst and there does not seem to be a Mesa 7.10/7.11 regression at this resolution like there was at 800 x 600.

The results from testing each Ubuntu release to look at the open-source ATI experience are not surprising. The open-source ATI Linux support is a hell of a lot better than it was two years ago. There's now mature DRI2 and kernel mode-setting support, the Gallium3D drivers (both R300g and R600g) are now superior to the classic Mesa drivers, and many new features continue to be implemented that allow for better performance or in other cases for OpenGL applications/games to properly work. With the landing of KMS page-flipping and other recent work, the "out of the box" ATI experience in Ubuntu 11.04 should be quite pleasing and noticeably better than previous releases.

More results are on OpenBenchmarking.org.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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