Display Drivers Archives
Radeon HyperZ In Open-Source On Older Hardware

Recently there has been a lot of talk about Hierarchical-Z/HyperZ support for R600g since its set to provide a measurable performance benefit the open-source Radeon driver for modern GPUs. This support has still not been mainlined and there are still a few issues to work out, but at least the support is stable for the older "R300g" driver and has been around for quite a while at this point. For those wondering what to expect from HiZ/HyperZ performance boosts, here is a preview.

20 February 2012 - 19 Comments
Morphological Anti-Aliasing With Mesa 8.0

One of the less talked about features of Mesa 8.0 is its ability to handle MLAA, which is short for Morphological Anti-Aliasing. But how does MLAA on the open-source graphics drivers affect the OpenGL performance and is it worth it for boosting the image quality through this anti-aliasing technique? In this article are some benchmarks of MLAA under Mesa 8.0.

14 February 2012 - 15 Comments
VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running Fast

For the past few years VMware has been improving the graphics acceleration support that is available via their virtualization platform. VMware -- through their 2008 acquisition of Tungsten Graphics -- has effectively re-written their graphics driver for their virtual "SVGA II" GPU to take advantage of the Gallium3D driver architecture, a new acceleration architecture, and many other improvements. This work has finally come together and is now working rather nicely.

10 February 2012 - 20 Comments
Intel Gallium3D For Mesa 8.0

With the Mesa 8.0 release right around the corner, in recent weeks there have been a number of benchmarks on Phoronix looking at this latest open-source OpenGL library and its drivers, including Gallium3D. In this article though are new benchmarks from one of the areas not explored yet: the Intel Gallium3D driver performance.

6 February 2012 - 12 Comments
Intel RC6 Support On The Sandy Bridge Desktop

While RC6 support remains off-by-default as Intel developers are faced by RC6-related bugs affecting a small minority of Sandy Bridge users, this power-savings feature is not limited to only Intel mobile graphics. As discovered at Phoronix, RC6 can manage to boost the graphics performance beyond just extending your battery life. The RC6 performance boost is also quite visible on Intel Sandy Bridge desktop hardware too.

2 February 2012 - 9 Comments
Having SNAppy Intel 2D Acceleration In 2012

Here's a new look at Intel's Sandy Bridge New Acceleration (SNA) architecture within their DDX graphics driver. Testing in this article was done across three systems (mobile and desktop class Sandy Bridge hardware as well as an Ironlake system) seeing how well the latest code is performing in an effort to provide a better Intel 2D experience.

31 January 2012 - 8 Comments
Nouveau Reclocking: Buggy, But Can Boost Performance

Over the weekend I shared that the Nouveau driver project, which seeks to provide an open-source NVIDIA graphics driver for Linux and other platforms via reverse-engineering, hit a major milestone. The Nouveau driver now supports re-clocking for several generations of NVIDIA GeForce hardware, which allows the open-source driver to put the graphics cards at their properly designed operating frequencies for maximum performance. This can result in the Nouveau driver performing much better against the official closed-source NVIDIA graphics driver, but the support is still very experimental. Initial testing over the weekend found this support to perform well when it works, but that overall it is still very buggy.

30 January 2012 - 23 Comments
Preview: Intel's Open-Source Driver Can Beat Mac OS X

Thanks to recent advancements by Intel's Open-Source Technology Center, the open-source Linux graphics driver not only supports more OpenGL 3.0 functionality than Apple's Intel graphics driver for Mac OS X, but the performance is more competitive. In some cases, the OpenGL performance is now superior under Linux with the open-source driver that is developed by Intel in conjunction with the free software community. This article is looking at the performance of Intel Sandy Bridge graphics under Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" and Ubuntu Linux.

24 January 2012 - 12 Comments
An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver

There is some exciting news to break today on Phoronix... Coming up at FOSDEM (the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting in Brussels) will be the formal announcement of an open-source, reverse-engineered graphics driver for the ARM Mali graphics processor. OpenGL ES triangles are in action on open-source code. Will this be the start of fully open-source ARM graphics drivers for Android and Linux?

21 January 2012 - 5 Comments
Bettering Radeon Gallium3D Performance With PCI-E 2.0

While it will not take you up to the speeds of the Catalyst driver, besides the 2D color tiling patches, there are a few other outstanding features not yet enabled-by-default in the open-source Radeon graphics driver that can yield some performance boosts. One of these other features is enabling PCI Express 2.0 support within the Radeon DRM.

20 January 2012 - 59 Comments
Radeon Gallium3D: A Half-Decade Behind Catalyst?

What happens when you pull out some vintage computer hardware and run the latest Linux software as well as go back and run some of the oldest software available? Well, in the case of systems with antiquated R300-era ATI Radeon graphics, you are left with a downward slope in performance. Not only is the latest open-source Radeon graphics driver not always performing as well as an ancient Catalyst driver, but also the power consumption of the latest Linux code remains on an incline.

19 January 2012 - 51 Comments
Intel Sandy Bridge Shines With Mesa 8.0

Now that the Nouveau, Radeon, and LLVMpipe graphics drivers have been tested under Mesa 8.0, what is left? The Intel DRI driver, of course! The open-source Sandy Bridge Linux graphics support is shining with Mesa 8.0 thanks to OpenGL 3.0 support and measurable performance improvements. Intel Ivy Bridge is also ready to run under Linux.

18 January 2012 - 7 Comments
Using The New Radeon Gallium3D 2D Color Tiling

Patches finally arrived last week for 2D color tiling in the Radeon R600 Gallium3D driver. The patches were then re-based this past weekend and benchmarked by Phoronix. Will the 2D color tiling patches, which affect the Linux kernel, Mesa, libdrm, and xf86-video-ati DDX make the more recent Radeon graphics cards more competitive under open-source to the Catalyst driver?

17 January 2012 - 15 Comments
Nouveau For Open-Source NVIDIA In Mesa 8.0 Is Mixed

After looking last week at the ATI/AMD Radeon Gallium3D performance under Mesa 8.0 and comparing its performance to Mesa 7.11 and the closed-source AMD Catalyst driver, along with the LLVMpipe driver performance, we're now focusing upon the Nouveau Gallium3D implementation that seeks to provide open-source NVIDIA hardware support. This comparison is pitting Nouveau in Mesa 8.0 against Mesa 7.11 and the official NVIDIA Linux driver.

16 January 2012 - 13 Comments
Radeon Gallium3D With Mesa 8.0: Goes Up & Down

Now that I've shared eight good features and eight bad traits of Mesa 8.0, which is the open-source graphics hardware library that's now supportive of OpenGL 3.0, it's time to begin looking closer at the performance. In this article are benchmarks of ATI/AMD Radeon graphics cards spanning five generations to show how the Mesa 8.0 performance compares to the previous release (Mesa 7.11) and the proprietary Catalyst driver.

12 January 2012 - Add A Comment
Intel SNA Architecture Is Constantly Evolving

Intel's experimental "Sandy Bridge New Acceleration" (SNA) acceleration architecture is a constant work-in-progress that even in the past two weeks over the holidays has received more than 100 changes. How though is this new 2D acceleration architecture fairing these days rather than the stock UXA configuration? In this article are our first Intel SNA benchmarks of 2012 when enabling this architecture.

6 January 2012 - 1 Comment
Intel Ironlake In 2011 Had Some Gains, Some Losses

Back in December I posted historical Intel Sandy Bridge benchmarks looking at the graphics performance over the course of 2011 that this latest-generation of Intel hardware has been supported under Linux. In this article are some similar Intel OpenGL benchmarks of each quarter going back to the end of 2010, but this time it is for the previous-generation Intel Ironlake hardware.

5 January 2012 - 1 Comment
Why The Radeon Gallium3D Performance Is Down

After yesterday's article about the Grinch that stole the Radeon Gallium3D performance, here's three offending commits since Mesa 7.10 that are causing the open-source Radeon Gallium3D driver to run slower than it should.

23 December 2011 - 16 Comments
The Grinch That Stole The Radeon Gallium3D Performance?

There are some significant performance drops right now on Mesa master for the forthcoming 7.12/8.0 release concerning the Gallium3D driver for older ATI Radeon graphics processors. The performance of the R300g driver is now setback compared to earlier Mesa releases.

22 December 2011 - 20 Comments
Nouveau NVD0-Fermi Is Still A Busted Mess

If after reading about the recent Nouveau DRM improvements, you were hoping the kernel driver updates fixed-up the situation for the Fermi "NVD0" graphics processors, you are sadly mistaken: it is still a busted mess.

21 December 2011 - 8 Comments
NVIDIA 2011 Driver Year In Review

After re-testing every AMD Catalyst driver from 2011, the tables have now turned to do the same for the NVIDIA binary graphics drivers from 2011 as the year comes to an end.

15 December 2011 - 1 Comment
AMD Catalyst 2011 Driver Year In Review

With AMD having published the Catalyst 11.12 driver yesterday, the year is now complete as far as their graphics drivers are concerned. As such, for the sixth year, it's time for the year-in-review articles looking at how the NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers have matured over the past twelve months in terms of features and OpenGL performance.

14 December 2011 - 3 Comments
Gallium3D LLVMpipe On The Sandy Bridge Extreme

A thorough performance look at the Intel Core i7 3960X "Sandy Bridge" Extreme Edition processor will be published very soon, but in this article are some benchmarks of using Gallium3D's LLVMpipe driver on this six-core processor with Hyper Threading.

13 December 2011 - 5 Comments
Intel - It Was One Heck Of A Year For Sandy Bridge Graphics

The year began with Intel launching their "Sandy Bridge" processors. While the CPU performance was very impressive for these latest-generation Intel processors, the graphics performance under Linux was a problem. The drivers were not ready in time. Well, they actually were technically available, but in Git source form and not easy for Linux desktop customers. There were also some initial hurdles in the Sandy Bridge Linux graphics support. However, over the past year, the Intel OSTC developers working on the open-source graphics support have dramatically improved the situation. As this article recaps the performance over the past year, Sandy Bridge is now rocking under Linux and Ivy Bridge is ready to go.

12 December 2011 - 3 Comments
The Current State Of Radeon Power Management

It's been a while since last looking at the state of power management for Radeon GPUs, but here's an updated look at the various options surrounding power management for modern ATI/AMD graphics processors and their effectiveness. Various drivers, graphics cards, and tuning options are compared.

7 December 2011 - 11 Comments
Intel SNA With The 2.17 DDX Driver

For those that are thinking about trying out the Sandy Bridge New Acceleration (SNA) architecture option for 2D graphics acceleration by the xf86-video-intel X.Org Linux driver, here are some benchmarks from the recent xf86-video-intel 2.17 release.

29 November 2011 - 7 Comments
Linux 2.6.38 To Linux 3.2 Nouveau DRM Benchmarks

Earlier this month I showed the Intel graphics performance hasn't improved much in the Linux 3.2 kernel (but there might be a boost when RC6 is flipped on), but how is this new kernel shaping up for NVIDIA hardware owners wishing to use the open-source and reverse-engineered Nouveau driver? In this article are some benchmarks of the Nouveau DRM driver from recent Linux releases.

25 November 2011 - 9 Comments
Intel HiZ Is Finally Ready For Sandy Bridge

As reported earlier this week, HiZ support is now ready for Intel Sandy Bridge graphics under Linux with the Mesa driver. A set of more than three dozen patches were published that finalize this support for Sandy Bridge (Gen6) while the Ivy Bridge (Gen7) support is almost there but there are some performance regressions still being worked out by Intel's OSTC developers.

23 November 2011 - 12 Comments

722 display drivers articles published on Phoronix.