Taking A Hit With ATI Graphics In Fedora 13 Beta
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 15 April 2010. Page 3 of 3. 5 Comments

Tremulous tells the same story of Fedora 13 Beta running behind Fedora 12 except at higher resolutions, but where neither Fedora release offers a playable frame-rate.

Lastly, to see if the ATI power management outlook has changed with Fedora 13, we ran our battery-power-usage test profile. This Phoronix Test Suite profile measures the power consumption when the ThinkPad notebook was running on battery power idling at the desktop, then idling while DPMS signaled the LVDS panel off, and lastly when there was a sample video being played back in MPlayer once the display was restored. When the GNOME desktop was idling, Fedora 13 Beta offered lower power consumption than Fedora 12. However, this is likely due to optimizations outside of the graphics stack, but within application optimizations or GNOME dimming the display differently. When simply idling within the GNOME desktop with the monitor was active, there was some power savings, but none when the display was off or when MPlayer was active. It looks like Fedora users may need to wait a bit longer for better open-source ATI graphics power management, which has been recently improved within the Radeon DRM.

At this point -- at least with ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) generation graphics and their open-source driver -- Fedora 13 is not offering any quantitative benefits over its predecessor. This though could still change prior to Fedora 13 being officially released next month and there are improvements in other areas such as with better DisplayPort support, better OpenGL support with the Mesa update, and other updated DRM benefits. Next up on our schedule will be to try out the ATI R600/700 graphics support in Fedora 13. Lastly, both Fedora 12 and Fedora 13 are using the classic Mesa R500 driver, but ideally, with Fedora 14 we could see the use of the ATI Gallium3D driver that does offer some performance benefits.

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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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