The Open-Source ATI Driver Is Becoming A Lot Faster
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 13 January 2011. Page 7 of 7. 116 Comments

Urban Terror, like OpenArena, at 800 x 600 is where the open-source drivers continued to lag behind much more. However, even still, there is a 28% increase in frame-rate with the latest code when disabling swap buffer wait compared to Ubuntu Maverick.

At 1400 x 1050 for Urban Terror, it's a 28% boost and puts it at 58% the speed of the Catalyst driver.

While the open-source ATI Radeon driver is not conclusively faster than the Catalyst driver is, it is getting much closer. In some tests on this mobile R500 GPU, the open-source performance is actually faster. However, there is still some work to be done and optimizations to be carried out for these older R500 ASICs and other CPU bottlenecks to address within Gallium3D (look at some of the deltas between the resolutions, other Phoronix articles, etc). This is also with an R500 ASIC where tiling is enabled by default, there is Hyper-Z support, and all-around a more feature-capable driver than what is presently available for the newer generations of Radeon GPUs.

Stay tuned for our complete round-up of R500 ASICs on this newest Mesa 7.11-devel Gallium3D code with the Linux 2.6.38 kernel along with tests from newer hardware as well.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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