Compared to the state of AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver stack shipped in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS back in April, the latest open-source graphics driver code for the Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer is a heck of a lot faster. Here's some tests showing how much progress has been made the past few months.
In this article are tests showing the performance of an AMD Radeon R9 270X graphics card when benchmarked under the following software configurations from the same system:
- Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS with all available stable release updates, which included the Linux 3.13 kernel, xf86-video-ati 7.3.0, and Mesa 10.1.3.
- The Ubuntu 14.04 configuration and then installing the Oibaf PPA packages to enable Mesa 7.3.0-devel (and xf86-video-ati 7.4.99). The Oibaf PPA is also building against the LLVM 3.4 AMD GPU back-end now rather than LLVM 3.3.
- The above configuration and then also upgrading to the Linux 3.16 stable kernel to replace Ubuntu 14.04's 3.13 kernel.
- The above configuration when also enabling HyperZ using the respective environment variable; read the HyperZ article for more details as the performance-boosting feature isn't enabled by default at this time.
While not tested for this article, the Linux 3.17 kernel currently in its RC1 state brings more RadeonSI performance improvements as noted earlier this week. More Linux 3.17 kernel tests will come in the days ahead from a variety of AMD graphics cards. For reference, Ubuntu 14.10 is slated to ship with Mesa 10.3, LLVM 3.4, and the Linux 3.16 kernel -- similar to Fedora 21.
All of this R9 270X Linux graphics benchmarking on Ubuntu was done in a fully-automated and standardized manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software. Besides Linux 3.17 tests from other AMD GPUs, coming up in the next few days are also the open-source Radeon R9 290 benchmarks!