Early benchmarking of the Linux 3.17 kernel have indicated faster performance for AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver thanks to Radeon DRM improvements.
There's plenty of Radeon changes for Linux 3.17 among which is properly-working AMD Radeon R9 290 (Hawaii) graphics support after these high-end GPUs were busted on the open-source Linux driver for countless months. Linux 3.17 also expands where Radeon Dynamic Power Management (DPM) is enabled, supports uncached and write-combined GTT buffers, Userptr support, and there's GPU VM improvements among other fixes and improvements.
Now that Linux 3.17-rc1 has been released, I've started my usual testing of the graphics, file-systems, and other important areas of the kernel that I benchmark each cycle. While I've just begun my Radeon testing and haven't got around yet to trying the Radeon R9 290 on Linux 3.17, I'm already seeing better performance out of other hardware.
With a Radeon R9 270X graphics card in conjunction with Mesa 10.3-devel, there's across-the-board higher OpenGL performance numbers with Linux 3.17 Git over Linux 3.16. With the latest Linux 3.17 Git there's a few percent higher frame-rates for numerous Linux OpenGL test cases over Linux 3.16 stable.
In this article are these Radeon R9 270X Linux 3.17 results while in other Phoronix articles in the days ahead will be tests from other AMD graphics cards to see how widespread the performance changes might be for open-source AMD fans who habitually upgrade their kernel. All of these benchmarks were carried out by the Phoronix Test Suite.