The May 2012 Open-Source Radeon Graphics Showdown
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 21 May 2012. Page 10 of 10. 50 Comments

When upping the Xonotic image quality settings to high, the frame-rates obviously drop a great deal and the margin in relation to the Catalyst driver expands.

There you have it... While the open-source drivers continue to improve -- just not for Radeon but Nouveau and Intel too -- the performance is still a long shot from the Catalyst driver for all recent generations of Radeon graphics cards. The Radeon HD 7000 series OpenGL support with the open-source driver is not even in a working state for end-users, a half-year after the first hardware began to ship.

Additionally, it would be nice to see 2D color tiling and PCI Express 2.0 enabled by default for recent Radeon hardware. The 2D color tiling will likely be picked up by default (it already has been for R300 through R500 class GPUs) in the coming months while the PCI Express 2.0 state remains unknown. I have yet to run into any issues setting radeon.pcie_gen2=1 and the benefits are quite clear. I also have not seen any Phoronix readers in past months report any PCI-E 2.0 problems.

If there are any outstanding PCI-E 2.0 issues, they should be addressed rather than blanket disabling PCI-E 2.0 for all -- especially with this being an item that needs to be set at kernel boot-time and not something that Linux desktop users widely know about or is as easy as clicking a checkbox from a GUI.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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