Will Mesa/Gallium3D Work With The Open-Source Doom 3?
With the release of the Doom 3 source-code coming up soon (after John Carmack is done addressing a patent issue), it's time to begin dusting off your old id Software Doom 3 DVD/CDs and/or get ready to begin developing new content and games on the id Tech 4 engine. If you're wondering whether or not the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D Linux drivers in 2011 will now work with the id Tech 4 game from 2004, here are some tests of the very latest open-source Intel, ATI/AMD, and NVIDIA drivers under Ubuntu Linux.
Since the open-source version of Doom 3 is not yet published due to the "Carmack's Reverse" patent problem, the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers were tested with the latest release of the Doom 3 Linux binary. That's Doom 3 v188.8.131.524 from 2007. Carmack's expected workaround for the volume shadow IP issue is expected to deliver similar image quality, but at a slight performance loss if going with the two-pass approach, which means the open-source derived version may perform a bit slower when it comes to handling volume shadows. In terms of any other changes in the open-source Doom 3 / id Tech 4 code, I haven't yet heard of any, but if id Software has stripped away any functionality the open code-base it's likely dealing with the more advanced graphics rendering features.
It will be interesting to see what the open-source community does with the code upon its public debut. Sadly, the open-source community still is not known for coming up with polished art / game assets (plus there's still a lack of viable Linux content creation tools), but hopefully there will be some nice works with the idTech4-derived projects. I am looking forward to possibly making some changes to the engine to make it more interesting for benchmarking under Linux (integrating screenshot capabilities on a timed basis and more verbose performance reports, for use by the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org).
For delivering some modern driver benchmarks of Doom 3 under Linux, I used an Intel Sandy Bridge system with a variety of GPUs and drivers. For the open-source driver testing, all of the important components were pulled from Git master on the morning of 16 November. This includes Mesa 7.12-devel, Linux 3.2, libdrm, xf86-video-intel, xf86-video-ati, and xf86-video-nouveau atop an Ubuntu 11.10 x86_64 installation. (Of course, if you follow me on Twitter this article should not come as any surprise.)
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
Latest Linux Articles
Latest Linux News
Latest Forum Discussions