1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

R600 Gallium3D Loses To AMD Catalyst Legacy Driver On Windows 8

Michael Larabel

Published on 26 July 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 5 - 40 Comments

For those ATI/AMD customers with graphics cards of the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 generations, they are supported by the "Catalyst Legacy" driver but this older proprietary driver branch is seldom updated for new Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases. Thus, the only real option for those with these older Radeon GPUs is to use the open-source Radeon Gallium3D graphics driver. But how does this driver compare to the still-maintained Catalyst Legacy driver for Windows 8? Here are some benchmarks.

Having a clean Windows 8 Pro x64 install for doing the recent Intel Haswell Windows vs. Linux benchmarks, I then proceeded to run similar Windows 8 vs. Ubuntu Linux OpenGL graphics comparisons on NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon GPUs, which will be published in forthcoming articles on Phoronix. On the AMD side I did HD 5000/6000/7000 series graphics card benchmarks on Catalyst and the open-source driver, but then also decided to do some legacy tests.

AMD maintains the Catalyst Legacy driver for HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards with Windows 8 support. The most recent release is Catalyst Legacy 13.4 Beta, which fortunately works with an updated Windows installation thanks to a stable driver ABI on Windows. On Linux the Catalyst Legacy driver doesn't work with an updated Linux install but the users are left to rely on the open-source driver. So there for this ATI RV770 testing I used the very latest open-source driver stack.

From Ubuntu 13.10 with all available updates as of this week, a Linux 3.11 Git kernel was installed plus Mesa 9.2-devel Git. The Linux 3.11 kernel was booted with Radeon dynamic power management is enabled. This represents the very latest look possible for the open-source Radeon Gallium3D R600 driver. A second run was done as well when enabling the R600 SB shader optimization back-end, which is a non-default setting but can dramatically boost the driver's performance. These Linux numbers were then compared to Windows 8 Pro x64 on the same system with the Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 512MB graphics card.

Benchmarking under Linux and Windows was handled in an automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software. Benchmarks from more recent AMD Radeon GPUs on the mainline Catalyst driver will come out in the next few days on Phoronix.

Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Sub-$20 802.11n USB WiFi Adapter That's Linux Friendly
  2. The Lenovo T450s Is Working Beautifully With Linux
  3. Linux 4.0 SSD EXT4 / Btrfs / XFS / F2FS Benchmarks
  4. Linux 4.0 Hard Drive Comparison With Six File-Systems
  5. Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Broadwell Preview
  6. How Open-Source Allowed Valve To Implement VULKAN Much Faster On The Source 2 Engine
Latest Linux News
  1. AMD Open-Sources "Addrlib" From Catalyst
  2. AMD Releases New "AMDGPU" Linux Kernel Driver & Mesa Support
  3. A Gigabyte Sandy/Ivy Bridge Motherboard Now Handled By Coreboot
  4. Linux 3.16 Through Linux 4.0 Performance Benchmarks
  5. Intel's Windows Driver Now Supports OpenGL 4.4, Linux Driver Still With OpenGL 3.3
  6. DRM Graphics Updates Sent In For The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  7. More eBPF Improvements Heading To Linux 4.1
  8. LLDB Is Getting Into Shape For Linux 64-bit Debugging
  9. Wine-Staging 1.7.41 Works On Improved Debugging Support
  10. GNOME 3.18 Release Schedule: 23 September Release
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Nouveau: NVIDIA's New Hardware Is "VERY Open-Source Unfriendly"
  2. LibreOffice 4.5 Bumped To Become LibreOffice 5.0
  3. Linux Audio Is Being Further Modernized With The 4.1 Kernel
  4. KDBUS Is Taking A Lot Of Heat, Might Be Delayed From Mainline Linux Kernel
  5. VirtualBox 5.0 Beta 2 Released
  6. ZFS & Libdvdcss Should Soon Be In Debian
  7. Ubuntu 15.04 Now Under Final Freeze
  8. EXT4 In Linux 4.1 Adds File-System Level Encryption