Last week marked the release of a new AMD Catalyst Linux driver beta that was intended to improve the AMD Radeon OpenGL performance. AMD said this updated closed-source Linux graphics driver would bring "significant performance improvements" for Valve's recently ported Left 4 Dead 2 Linux game. Curious about AMD Linux OpenGL performance improvements elsewhere, I ran some benchmarks of this new driver on several different graphics cards. Unfortunately, the performance improvements aren't too widespread and there's other problems making this beta driver not appealing.
This week NVIDIA began advertising their new "R310" Linux graphics driver that "delivers [a] massive performance boost to Linux gaming" as a result of Valve releasing their Steam Linux Beta. The NVIDIA 310.xx Linux graphics driver not only improves the performance for Valve's Source Engine games, but many Linux OpenGL games. In this article are benchmarks from three graphics cards to highlight the optimizations.
Similar to last week's testing of comparing the open-source vs. closed-source Radeon Linux driver performance from a stock Ubuntu 12.10 installation, the tables have now been turned to look at NVIDIA hardware on this latest Ubuntu Linux release. Benchmarks were done of the stock Nouveau open-source graphics driver, the official NVIDIA proprietary driver, and the proprietary driver when it was underclocked to match the clock frequencies as used by the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver.
With 2D color tiling enabled by default in the R600 Gallium3D Radeon open-source driver as of this week, here are new benchmarks showing off the OpenGL performance impact of the 1D and 2D tiling methods for this common open-source AMD Linux graphics driver.
Following performance benchmark results I published earlier this week comparing the open-source Radeon and AMD Catalyst driver performance under Ubuntu 12.10, Marek, the well-known independent open-source graphics driver developer, set out to explore some of the performance issues in the open-source driver. One day later, he published a patch that could quadruple the frame-rate of the Radeon Gallium3D driver. He went on to push another performance-focused patch too for this R600g driver. In this article are a fresh round of benchmarks of the open-source driver to look at the wins and losses attributed to this new code.
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.
With the NVIDIA 310.14 Beta driver introduced at the beginning of this week there are some OpenGL performance improvements in general plus an experimental threaded OpenGL implementation that can be easily enabled. In this article are benchmarks from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 with this new Linux driver release.
LLVMpipe is gaining traction on the Linux desktop as means of being the default software-accelerated OpenGL fallback. The open-source LLVMpipe driver is even being used for the Unity desktop and GNOME Shell fallback by some distributions when no GPU driver is available (although KDE doesn't plan to take the LLVMpipe route). In this article are benchmarks showing the Gallium3D LLVMpipe performance if attempting to run OpenGL games on this driver running atop a modern CPU.
After some dabbling this weekend with Ubuntu 12.10 on both the Nouveau and NVIDIA graphics drivers, there's both good and bad news to share.
While Linux 3.7-rc1 hasn't even been released yet as the merge window is still open, the Linux 3.7 kernel is exciting and users of the open-source Nouveau driver will be greeted by the Nouveau DRM driver rewrite / code restructuring. Due to the invasive Nouveau work, some early Nouveau tests under the Linux 3.7 kernel were carried out. The 3.7 results were then compared to the earlier Linux 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6 kernel releases.
Recently there was the NVIDIA graphics comparison under Windows 7 and Linux providing new data at how the cross-platform NVIDIA driver is comparing between Ubuntu 12.10, Kubuntu 12.10, and Windows 7 Pro. Aside from Ubuntu's Unity desktop with Compiz impairing the performance, the results were competitive. Next up now is a look at Intel Sandy Bridge and Intel Ivy Bridge graphics when comparing the performance of the three operating systems.
A few months back the NVIDIA Linux driver introduced support for FXAA, a new anti-aliasing method. In this article are benchmarks of FXAA plus more information on this post-process shader-based anti-aliasing method.
Due to the prolific driver development work being done by Intel's Chris Wilson to advance the SNA 2D acceleration architecture for the xf86-video-intel driver, here's some new benchmarks of "Sandy Bridge New Acceleration" when being run from an HD2500-class Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" processor using the new driver release from Sunday.
As a prelude to the forthcoming Windows 7 vs. OS X 10.8 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks that are looking at how Intel OpenGL graphics compare between the operating systems, here's some Intel Sandy Bridge benchmarks that provide a historical look at how the Linux kernel -- and upgrades to the Intel Direct Rendering Manager driver within the kernel -- have matured over time. On average, the Intel Linux graphics performance is up about 30% over the course of the past few kernel releases this year.
Testing of the latest Linux 3.6 kernel that's presently under development has revealed some additional OpenGL performance improvements with Intel graphics, at least concerning the latest-generation "Ivy Bridge" processors.
Recently I showed benchmarks of the Radeon Gallium3D driver for a mature Radeon HD 4870 graphics card over the past two years to look at the performance improvements made to this open-source Linux graphics driver. Up today are benchmarks of an old Radeon X1950PRO (R500 class) ATI graphics card when using the original "R300g" Gallium3D driver and testing every major Mesa release going back to Mesa 7.8 with the classic R300 driver.
With the upcoming release of Mesa 8.1, here's a look at how the AMD Radeon "R600" Gallium3D driver performance has changed over the past two years. This article has benchmarks of each major Mesa release going back to Mesa 7.9 of 2010 back when the R600 classic DRI driver was still in early development but the only viable choice for using accelerated open-source graphics on AMD Radeon HD 2000 series graphics cards and newer. For the most part, the open-source Radeon Linux graphics performance has advanced greatly in terms of OpenGL performance over the past two years, but it's not without some outstanding regressions.
Having now delivered Mesa 8.1 benchmarks looking at the hardware drivers for AMD R600g, Nouveau, R300g, Intel Ivy Bridge, and Intel Sandy Bridge, here are some benchmarks when on LLVMpipe.
A few days back I published benchmarks showing Intel's Ivy Bridge hardware regressing with Mesa 8.1. While those problems are still outstanding, the good news is that Intel's previous-generation Sandy Bridge hardware appears unaffected. Overall, Sandy Bridge is performing well with the soon-to-be-released Mesa 8.1 library for open-source Linux graphics drivers.
In recent days there have been updated Mesa 8.1 development benchmarks put out looking at the R600 Gallium3D, R300 Gallium3D, and Nouveau Gallium3D open-source drivers. Those results for the different drivers show that Mesa 8.1 is generally faster than the current Mesa 8.0 stable series, but that does not appear to be the case for Intel at the moment. It looks like there are some active regressions that are lowering the Intel Ivy Bridge graphics performance with their Mesa 8.1-devel driver.
Due to the extreme pace at which Chris Wilson has been releasing SNA architecture updates for Intel's open-source X.Org driver, here are another set of benchmarks of Intel Sandy Bridge HD 3000 graphics when comparing UXA and SNA using yesterday's Git code following the xf86-video-intel 2.20.2 driver release.
After delivering Mesa 8.0 vs. 8.1-devel benchmarks for the R600 Gallium3D driver that supports ATI/AMD Radeon hardware from the HD 2000 through HD 6000 series (along with similar Nouveau Gallium3D benchmarks), here is a look at the upcoming Mesa release when using the R300 Gallium3D driver with ATI Radeon X1000 series graphics cards.
Here are some recent benchmarks comparing Intel's SNA and UXA 2D acceleration architectures offered by their open-source Intel Linux graphics driver.
After last week sharing results for AMD Radeon R600g Gallium3D on Mesa 8.0 and 8.1-devel, here are benchmarks for several NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards comparing the OpenGL Gallium3D performance with Nouveau on Mesa 8.0 stable and Mesa 8.1-devel.
With Mesa 8.1 set to be released next month, here are some benchmarks comparing the Git performance of Mesa 8.0.4 to Mesa 8.1-devel for several generations of Radeon graphics cards. In this article the R600g Gallium3D driver is being put under the microscope while other articles in the coming days will look at the Intel i965 DRI driver, ATI R300g Gallium3D for the older Radeon GPUs, and the Nouveau Gallium3D driver.
After publishing last week a look at AMD's Catalyst Evolution For The Radeon HD 7000 Series, here's a similar set of benchmarks to see how the NVIDIA graphics driver performance has changed for the GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler" graphics card since its inception.
It used to be -- at least when using the Windows Catalyst drivers -- that within the first few months of AMD releasing new Radeon graphics hardware that Catalyst driver optimizations would deliver measurable improvements in this short span. For the Radeon HD 7000 series, which is built upon an entirely new GCN architecture, is this still the case? Here are benchmarks of all the AMD Catalyst Linux drivers that have been released this year and then benchmarked on an AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics card.
Following the work by Google at the end of June to implement sRGB textures in the Intel i915 Gallium3D driver, new Phoronix benchmarks were conducted to see how the Intel Gallium3D driver now compares performance-wise to the classic i915 driver when using an Intel Atom i945 netbook.
A new patch has surfaced on the Mesa development list that allows for further performance improvements to the R600 Radeon Gallium3D driver for some OpenGL workloads.
Back in May I carried out some performance tests on Intel's Sandy Bridge comparing UXA, SNA, and GLAMOR for 2D acceleration. In this article is a similar set of tests but for Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge HD 4000 graphics.
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