In revisiting the OpenGL graphics and gaming performance for an older Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" Apple system, the Ubuntu 13.04 performance with Intel's open-source graphics driver is now easily surpassing Apple's OpenGL driver found in OS X 10.8.3.
Curious to see how the performance of the open-source ATI/AMD Linux graphics driver is evolving for aging hardware, a new round of OpenGL benchmarks were carried out on the once-popular ATI Radeon HD 4870 "RV770" graphics card. The performance was compared between the Mesa 7.11, 8.0, 9.0, 9.1, and 9.2-devel Git releases from an Ubuntu Linux system to see how the performance has changed for this driver in the past two years.
One of the exciting features of LLVM 3.3 that is due out next month is the final integration of the AMD R600 GPU LLVM back-end. This LLVM back-end is needed for supporting Gallium3D OpenCL on AMD Radeon graphics hardware, "RadeonSI" HD 7000/8000 series support, and can optionally be used as the Radeon Gallium3D driver's shader compiler. In this article are some benchmarks of the AMD R600 GPU LLVM back-end from LLVM 3.3-rc1 when using several different AMD Radeon HD graphics cards and seeing how the LLVM compiler back-end affects the OpenGL graphics performance.
With the AMD R600 Gallium3D shader optimizing back-end having been merged last week, new benchmarks were carried out at Phoronix to see the impact of the experimental shader optimizations on multiple AMD Radeon HD graphics cards.
Yesterday after publishing the 15-way open-source vs. closed-source NVIDIA/AMD Linux graphics comparison there were some requests by Phoronix readers to also show how the LLVMpipe software rasterizer performance is in reference. For this article to end out the month are the OpenGL performance results from nine lower-end AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards running with their respective Mesa/Gallium3D drivers compared to the LLVMpipe software driver in two configurations.
One week after delivering updated Radeon Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux, we have to share this morning similar results for the open-source and reverse-engineered "Nouveau" Linux graphics driver compared to the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver. While the Nouveau driver has come a long way and does support the latest Fermi and Kepler GPUs, it's not without its share of shortcomings. Eleven NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were used in this latest Phoronix comparison.
Last week after a modern Intel Gallium3D driver was proposed for mainline Mesa, a side discussion ended up being ignited about making the i915 Gallium3D driver the default for older generations of Intel graphics hardware. To see where the i915 Gallium3D driver is at compared to the i915 Classic Mesa DRI driver, here are some new benchmarks from aging Intel i945 hardware.
With the ever-changing state of Linux graphics drivers -- both for the open and closed-source drivers -- new tests have been conducted to compare the OpenGL graphics performance on Linux with AMD Radeon graphics. In this article are benchmarks of nine different Radeon HD graphics cards when being tested on the very latest AMD Catalyst (13.3 Beta 3) graphics driver as well as the open-source AMD Radeon driver consisting of Mesa 9.2-devel and the yet-to-be-released Linux 3.9 kernel.
While Intel only supports their classic Mesa DRI driver when it comes to their open-source 3D driver on Linux, developed independently is also a Gallium3D driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generations of Intel graphics processors. In this article are benchmarks of the new Intel (i965) Gallium3D driver with Ivy Bridge HD 4000 hardware.
The Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver that's commonly used as the fallback software rasterizer on Linux desktop systems when no GPU hardware driver is present, is a heck of a lot faster with the current Mesa development code. The gains are surprising and quite remarkable.
Following on from our earlier Nouveau Gallium3D benchmarks of Mesa 9.2-devel earlier this week, for our first benchmarks this Saturday we have tests of Intel HD 4000 "Ivy Bridge" graphics when running Mesa 9.2-devel and compared to the Git branches of Mesa 9.1 and 9.0. Overall, there's some more open-source Intel graphics performance improvements to look forward to with this next Mesa release.
Last year was the landmark announcement of an open-source NVIDIA Tegra graphics driver for Linux that was developed with the support of NVIDIA. In late November, NVIDIA published open-source 2D acceleration support for their newer ARM SoCs. Today, 3D support is being announced for the open-source NVIDIA Tegra graphics driver.
Within the next few hours AMD will be publishing open-source driver code that exposes their Unified Video Decoder (UVD) engine on modern Radeon HD graphics cards. This will finally allow open-source graphics drivers to take advantage of hardware-accelerated video decoding. Read more details in this Phoronix exclusive.
The last time I extensively tested the AMD Radeon Gallium3D LLVM shader compiler back-end was last April. Since then the R600 LLVM back-end has matured quite a lot with new features and was merged into upstream LLVM. In the past few days I carried out some new tests on several different graphics cards using Mesa Git master of the R600 Gallium3D open-source graphics driver.
For seeing how far the open-source ATI/AMD Linux graphics driver has advanced, in this article are benchmarks from a vintage Radeon X1800XT (R520) graphics card when it's tested on a Catalyst Linux graphics driver from five years ago. The Ubuntu Linux releases every year going back to 2010 were then tested for reference to see how the open-source graphics driver matured just in the past three years. Here are the results in this article from the extensive round of testing.
After recently carrying out legacy Radeon benchmarks comparing Mesa/Gallium3D versions from an ATI Radeon X1800XT (R520) graphics card, up today is a vintage Linux kernel DRM comparison. For seeing if modern Linux kernels are still influencing the performance of this vintage ATI Radeon graphics card, here are benchmarks comparing the modern Linux 3.1 to 3.8 releases.
While there have already been a number of Radeon Gallium3D benchmarks from Mesa 9.1 using the common R600 Gallium3D driver that supports the Radeon HD 2000 through Radeon HD 6000 series graphics cards, still in existence is the R300g driver. For those still left using a vintage Radeon 9500 (R300) through Radeon X1000 (R500) graphics cards -- basically any ATI GPU roughly between seven and eleven years old -- there's this legacy open-source graphics driver. R300g doesn't see nearly the amount of development activity that the more modern R600g driver sees, but there's still a fair amount of changes. In this article are benchmarks of Mesa 9.1-rc2 on an ATI Radeon X1800XT (R520) graphics card compared to the past four Mesa/Gallium3D stable releases.
In this article are benchmarks of the past two Ubuntu Long-Term Support releases (Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS and Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS) compared to the latest Ubuntu 13.04 development state. Being looked at specifically for this round of testing is the AMD Radeon Linux graphics performance with the latest open-source driver compared to an older Catalyst driver. For an AMD Radeon HD 4800 series graphics card, the current state of the open-source graphics driver on Linux is beginning to outperform an old AMD Catalyst driver from 2010 for select Linux OpenGL games.
Last week I delivered benchmarks showing Mesa 9.1 delivers faster Intel OpenGL graphics. The benchmarks in that article were carried out on an Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" system with HD 4000 graphics while since then there have been many requests to have similar tests done on a previous-generation Sandy Bridge system. As a result of those requests, here are benchmarks of an Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" processor with Intel HD 3000 graphics as the Mesa 9.1 performance is compared to the earlier 9.0.2, 8.0.5, and 7.11.2 branches.
After last week delivering benchmarks that showed Intel graphics being faster with Mesa 9.1 relative to earlier Mesa 3D releases, up today are benchmarks of Radeon Gallium3D (R600g) to compare the Mesa 9.1 performance to Mesa 9.0.2, 8.0.5, and 7.11.2.
Last week benchmarks were delivered on Phoronix that showed the Intel DRM GPU driver performance between the Linux 3.2 and 3.8 kernels. In this article are similar benchmarks of the Radeon DRM driver in recent kernel releases using AMD graphics hardware but going back only to the Linux 3.4 kernel due to show-stopping issues.
With Mesa 9.1 nearing its release next month and having been branched from master as of this week, here are some new benchmarks looking at the Intel HD 4000 "Ivy Bridge" graphics performance when testing Mesa 9.1-devel Git to Mesa 9.0.2, 8.0.5, and 7.11.2. Overall, Mesa 9.1 delivers an OpenGL performance boost for the latest-generation Intel hardware.
With the Intel Haswell product launch coming up soon, here's a look at how the Intel "Ivy Bridge" HD 4000 graphics support has matured on the seven most recent Linux kernel releases. This benchmarking shows how the performance of the Intel DRM driver has changed between the Linux 3.2 kernel and the Linux 3.8 kernel that's presently under development when using the integrated graphics found on the latest-generation Core i7 CPU.
Earlier this month I ran some new benchmarks of the Radeon Gallium3D MSAA support that was merged into the R300g driver. Unfortunately, the performance was very disappointing, but last week there were luckily some anti-aliasing performance optimizations that were merged into Mesa. I have now done new benchmarks of the new Mesa R300g driver with these multi-sample anti-aliasing performance optimizations, which show quite a noticeable difference from the open-source driver compared to earlier this month.
It's been quite a while since delivering any Linux graphics benchmarks of the NVIDIA ION, the platform for pairing integrated NVIDIA graphics with an Intel Atom processor for small form factor PCs. While NVIDIA's ION is basically defunct, for those still having a nettop or netbook that's ION-based, here's a performance comparison of the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics between the open-source Nouveau driver and the NVIDIA 310.xx binary Linux graphics driver.
Last week benchmarks were delivered of the AMD Radeon R300g with MSAA, after the much-used feature was finally implemented in a proper and working state for this open-source graphics driver. Coming out today are new Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA) benchmarks from this Gallium3D driver to compare to the Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing results.
With the GeForce 600 "Kepler" graphics cards now working on Nouveau in an out-of-the-box manner with OpenGL acceleration, here's a brief five-way NVIDIA GeForce graphics card comparison when using the Nouveau open-source driver with the Linux 3.8 kernel and Mesa 9.1-devel.
This week support for MSAA was finally added to the R300g driver so that the Radeon X1000 graphics cards and earlier can finally take advantage of anti-aliasing with this open-source Gallium3D driver. In this article are some benchmarks of the MSAA performance with a Radeon X1800XT, but even with this higher-end GPU when it comes to the R300g support coverage, the anti-aliasing performance isn't really usable.
With the Linux 3.8 kernel that's presently under development, the open-source reverse-engineered Nouveau driver for supporting NVIDIA graphics processors has seen some significant changes. One of the late changes was enabling Kepler acceleration support. While there is now an "out of the box" open-source GPU driver that supports the GeForce 600 GPUs with 3D/OpenGL acceleration, it's incredibly slow.
While benchmarks this week have shown the Nouveau driver can be faster with the Linux 3.8 kernel, further benchmarks have shown that this reverse-engineered open-source driver for supporting the spectrum of NVIDIA GPUs is still at a significant loss compared to NVIDIA's official but proprietary Linux graphics driver.
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