With Ubuntu trying to improve their OpenGL driver support state to push the Linux OS as a platform for gaming, Valve going to be promoting the closed-source NVIDIA and AMD drivers on Linux, and various other challenges still turning up for those trying to use the different Linux OpenGL drivers, here are some new benchmarks comparing the open-source Radeon Gallium3D driver against the closed-source AMD Catalyst driver.
In this article are just a few benchmarks comparing the open-source vs. closed-source AMD Linux graphics drivers from a clean Ubuntu 12.10 installation on an AMD FX-8350 Vishera system. The stock open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver stack was used with the Unity desktop while the only change was disabling swap buffers wait from the xorg.conf. On the proprietary driver side, the AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta Linux graphics driver was used. For this initial testing, three discrete graphics cards from the AMD Radeon HD 5000/6000 series were used, since pre-HD5000 graphics cards are now on the Catalyst Legacy driver and the latest-generation Radeon HD 7000 series hardware still doesn't fully work with the open-source Gallium3D "RadeonSI" driver.
All the rest of the testing happened as usual for Phoronix OpenGL tests. Tests from additional Radeon hardware plus when using the latest Linux kernel / Mesa / xf86-video-ati Git code are forthcoming. A similar comparison will also happen on the NVIDIA GeForce side between Nouveau and the official NVIDIA Linux graphics driver. If you missed it, recently was also the Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 12.10 performance comparison when using AMD Catalyst.