While there are some issues in both the Intel and ATI open-source Linux driver stacks at this time, in the tests where neither have any serious problems, the Clarkdale graphics processor performed at about the same speed as the Radeon HD 2600PRO. This is with the open-source graphics drivers you are likely to see in the H1'2010 Linux distribution updates, but once the ATI R600/700 3D support has matured, the Radeon HD 2600PRO may end up being the better performer overall. With the Radeon HD 4670 falling behind even the R400-generation Radeon X800XL in some of the tests, there is certainly much optimization work to be done to bring the R600/700 3D performance up to the same speed as the R300/400/500 support. Of course, if using the proprietary Catalyst Linux driver, the performance numbers will be much higher than when using Mesa.
Overall though the Clarkdale graphics on Linux should end up being a nice solution for those not concerned about the gaming performance so much as just having a low-cost system that can handle video playback, Compiz, and desktop work on an open-source driver stack so they don't have to worry about any software upgrade pains or other issues with the ATI/AMD and NVIDIA binary Linux drivers. Right now there is also the GPU crashing problem with the Intel Clarkdale graphics processor that we mentioned at the start of the article, which we hope will be resolved soon, and then after that's cleared up we have no problems recommending the Intel Clarkdale and its graphics options. It is also a very nice performer in terms of CPU performance as our earlier benchmarks demonstrated.
While we used the Core i3 530 for this testing, the Clarkdale graphics processor is effectively the same between the different Clarkdale-based Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs being a 45nm part operating at 733MHz. The $120 USD Core i3 530 though is a rather nice performer and you will be seeing more benchmarks of it in future Phoronix articles. When shopping for your hardware upgrades be sure to use our shopping links to help us out so that we can continue providing Linux hardware content that you cannot find anywhere else.
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