1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Nouveau Drags Behind Intel & Radeon For Linux 2D Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 18 March 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 14 Comments

While 3D/OpenGL is our primary focus of performance tests when it comes to graphics cards on Linux, it's always interesting to go back and check on the 2D performance as it's still important for the Linux desktop experience. The 2D performance is becoming interesting right now as well due to Intel's driver defaulting to SNA and GLAMOR acceleration being tried by some drivers for faster 2D over OpenGL. In this article we have some fresh 2D benchmarks of Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD graphics hardware running an updated open-source GPU driver stack on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Prior to leaving for California for some business trips I began running some new tests of Intel / Radeon / Nouveau drivers with the Linux 3.14 kernel and Mesa 10.2-devel atop Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. The 3D results will come later this week while today are the 2D open-source driver results. The tested graphics processors included:

- Intel HD Graphics 4600
- AMD Radeon HD 5830
- AMD Radeon HD 6770
- AMD Radeon HD 6870
- AMD Radeon HD 7850
- AMD Radeon HD 7950
- AMD Radeon R9 270X
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

The selection was limited by the hardware I had available and time I had to test. Testing happened from a Core i7 4770K system so thus on the Intel side was only able to test the HD Graphics 4600 integrated graphics processor. The other comment is there wasn't much testing of the NVIDIA hardware with the Nouveau driver due to that open-source stack being unbearably slow with many GeForce GPUs due to the driver still lacking re-clocking support. While the Intel and Radeon Linux graphics drivers are getting faster, Nouveau is still limited to running at the graphics card's core/memory/shader clock speeds at boot that were set by the video BIOS rather than being allowed to run at their maximum-rated frequencies... We're waiting for some future Linux kernel release to finally having proper dynamic power management / re-clocking support, but it may still be a while as it's a big work item.

The Unity 7 desktop on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x86_64 was used during all of this 2D graphics testing from the three major graphics vendors. The Linux 3.14 development kernel was obtained from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA and the updated user-space components were found via the xorg-edgers PPA. All benchmarking was handled via the Phoronix Test Suite for its open-source, full automation, and reproducibility benefits.

The default acceleration methods for each of the drivers was used: Intel's 3.0 pre-release drivers default to SNA (rather than UXA on older series), Nouveau uses EXA, and the Radeon driver uses EXA by default for the Radeon HD 6000 series and older while the Radeon HD 7000 series and newer is limited to only supporting GLAMOR.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  2. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
  4. 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison
Latest Linux News
  1. An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed
  2. LLVM 3.6 Will Be Branched Next Month
  3. Opera Browser Puts Out Linux Updates For The Holidays
  4. GNOME Shell 3.15.3 Adds Support For High-Contrast Themes
  5. Linux 3.19: ThinkPad Muting Redone, New Dell Backlight Support, Acer Is Banging
  6. KVM Drops Support For IA64 While Adding Various x86 Improvements
  7. GCC 4.8.4 Officially Released
  8. FSF's High Priority Project List Now Has A Committee
  9. Details On Using OpenACC & GPUs With GCC
  10. Ubuntu 15.04 Alpha 1 For Its Various Flavors
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  2. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format
  3. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  4. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  5. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  6. Are there an app using HSA ?
  7. Bench specific mount point
  8. Tool for measuring FPS in games