Our latest Windows vs. Linux benchmarks on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS are of three different AMD Radeon graphics cards from three different generations as we test the performance of Microsoft Windows 8.1 against Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, when using both the AMD Catalyst proprietary driver and the open-source R600/RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers.
This week I was out at the Game Developer's Conference not with a focus on games but to learn about some changes they AMD currently pursuing for their Linux driver model. If this new Linux driver model goes through, the Catalyst Linux driver will be more open, but it's not without some risk. Read more in this Phoronix exclusive story.
For current and potential owners of NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics cards that are curious about the graphics driver situation on Linux, under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with the latest open and closed-source NVIDIA drivers with the latest "Kepler" and "Maxwell" graphics cards. Here's what you need to know now if trying to use the open-source Nouveau driver with these very latest NVIDIA graphics processors.
After earlier this week sharing 2D benchmarks of the Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau drivers using the different X.Org acceleration architectures, the benchmarks in this article are looking at the always-interesting OpenGL performance for the same diverse selection of hardware when using the latest development code via the Linux 3.14 kernel and Mesa 10.2-devel.
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.
With GLAMOR generating a lot of interest lately due to AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver depending upon it and Intel driving lots of improvements into it now that it's been merged into the X.Org Server, here's some new benchmarks of Intel Haswell HD Graphics 2D performance of the latest Intel xf86-video-intel 3.0 pre-release on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS comparing the GLAMOR, UXA, and SNA acceleration architectures.
Mesa 10.1 was released this morning as the latest three-month update to this 3D library and graphics driver stack used throughout the Linux desktop ecosystem. With Mesa 10.1 there are tons of improvements, while one of the big highlights is OpenGL 3.3 support for the open-source Radeon and Nouveau drivers.
Yesterday on Phoronix I published results showing the Radeon Gallium3D performance getting close to Catalyst for the Radeon HD 5000 series and newer GPUs that are supported by the mainline Catalyst driver. On the open-source side the hardware is supported by the R600 and RadeonSI (for the GCN hardware) Gallium3D drivers. Yesterday's results showed that on Ubuntu 14.04 for many OpenGL workloads the R600/RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers were now ~80% the speed of the proprietary Catalyst driver in many instances. While this is a great feat, how does it stand for older generations of AMD Radeon hardware? In this article are Radeon HD 4870 benchmarks looking at the performance of the open-source AMD Linux driver over three years of Ubuntu Linux releases and compared to the legacy Catalyst driver from 2011.
With the open-source graphics driver stack found in the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Mesa 10.1 + Linux 3.13), the performance of the community-developed Radeon Gallium3D driver is now close to that of the official AMD Catalyst driver for recent generations of Radeon graphics cards. In several OpenGL tests the "RadeonSI" driver can even run 80% the speed of AMD's official Catalyst Linux driver.
For anyone currently experiencing a slowdown of their Radeon Gallium3D open-source driver stack or are interested in helping out track down a new performance issue, it appears the Linux 3.14 + Mesa 10.2 configuration is regressing on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in place of Linux 3.13 + Mesa 10.1.
With the imminent release of Mesa 10.1 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS landing this updated open-source 3D graphics stack at the last minute, here are some benchmarks of this preliminary open-source GPU driver stack of Ubuntu 14.04 with Mesa 10.1 and the Linux 3.13 kernel. With Mesa 10.1 there is now also Unigine Heaven & Valley benchmarks that are now compatible with the Radeon Gallium3D drivers.
In finding it interesting that the Radeon HD 8210 Gallium3D performance can outperform Catalyst from an AMD E1-2100 "Kabini" low-end APU, which was tested on an ECS KBN-I Kabini system that can be found for just over $30 USD when on sale, it's time for some more Linux benchmarks. The latest tests from this low-end but fascinating platform are benchmarking a variety of PCI-E graphics cards on this AMD Kabini platform using the open-source Radeon and Nouveau graphics drivers on Ubuntu 14.04.
For those curious how AMD's Catalyst Linux performance is doing as we get 2014 underway with the first Catalyst 14.1 beta, here are benchmarks from nine different AMD Radeon graphics cards under Ubuntu Linux and running this latest publicly available driver when looking at both the OpenGL graphics and OpenCL compute performance.
Some of our final Linux benchmarks at Phoronix to end out January are of looking at the Mesa 10.0 vs. 10.1-devel performance for Intel HD Graphics 4600 on a Core i5 processor while running Ubuntu 14.04. Is there much in store for Haswell with this upcoming three-month update to Mesa?
Earlier this month I shared some basic OpenGL benchmarks between AMD's Kaveri APU on the Catalyst driver and the open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver. Now that more time has passed I'm back with another round of Linux graphics driver testing on the AMD A10-7850K, this time looking at the impact when forcing Dynamic Power Management and toggling color tiling for maximum performance.
Nouveau, the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA Linux graphics driver that's been in development now for the better part of a decade, is working brilliantly for some NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards while for other NVIDIA GPUs the experience is a sloppy mess. Using the Linux 3.13 kernel and Mesa 10.1-devel Gallium3D driver code installed on top of Ubuntu 13.10, here's what the experience is like when trying a number of GeForce graphics cards with this latest open-source driver code.
Yesterday I ran the latest RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst AMD Linux driver comparison, effectively another round of open-source vs. closed-source GPU driver testing. In yesterday's article it was found the RadeonSI performance is improving a lot but the AMD Catalyst Linux driver remains much faster. In this article are benchmarks of the older "R600" Radeon Gallium3D driver compared to the Catalyst driver with graphics cards from the Radeon HD 6000 series and older where the open-source R600g driver provides support and in a more mature state.
While NVIDIA's binary driver is much faster and better than AMD's Catalyst, on the open-source driver side is where AMD has been shining. While their RadeonSI Gallium3D driver for Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer is not nearly as well off as their pre-HD 7000 series (R600g) Gallium3D driver, they are making progress. In this article are benchmarks showing the "out of the box" performance on Ubuntu 13.10 with the modern open-source driver, benchmarks with the latest kernel and Mesa and LLVM, and then the AMD Catalyst driver. A range of modern Radeon HD 7000 and R9 graphics processors were used for this open-source versus closed-source driver testing.
Back in November I published my review of the AMD Radeon R9 290 on Linux. This high-end AMD Radeon "Hawaii" graphics card ended up being a wreck on Linux: its performance was devastating. Radeon R9 290X owners have also reported their Linux performance with the Catalyst driver has been less than stellar. In new tests conducted last week with the latest AMD and NVIDIA binary graphics drivers, the high-end AMD GPUs still really aren't proving much competition to NVIDIA's Kepler graphics cards. Here's a new 12 graphics card comparison on Ubuntu.
Now having looked at the Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu Linux performance, carried out an initial GPU comparison, and compared several Intel/AMD processors, our latest performance investigation with AMD's A10-7850K "Kaveri" APU is looking at the Radeon R7 Graphics performance on Ubuntu Linux when using the open-source "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver and then using the closed-source AMD Catalyst driver.
The Linux 3.13 kernel that will be released in the very near future is very worth the upgrade if you are a RadeonSI user -- in particular, the Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer on the Gallium3D Linux graphics driver -- but other open-source graphics driver users as well may also see nice improvements in the new kernel release. Here's some benchmarks showing off the gains found with the Linux 3.13 kernel for Radeon HD and R9 graphics cards.
In continuation from last month's Intel Haswell Linux Performance Improved A Lot In 2013, here are benchmarks of Intel "Ivy Bridge" HD Graphics 4000 when comparing the performance over the past year.
While Ubuntu on the desktop won't be shipping with Mir/XMir by default until Ubuntu 14.04, since I did some recent Wayland benchmarks on Fedora 20, I decided to run some benchmarks of Ubuntu 14.04 in its development state when comparing the OpenGL gaming performance of running through the X.Org Server (the default) versus running Unity 7 with XMir.
In several Phoronix articles I've already shared Mesa 10.1-devel benchmarks of this latest open-source graphics driver code currently under development. Most of the open-source graphics tests at Phoronix are done on higher-end hardware, so for this article we're checking on the latest open-source graphics performance when using the low-end Celeron and Pentium processors of the Haswell generation.
A few days ago I published the AMD Catalyst 2013 Year-In-Review that looked at all of AMD's binary Linux GPU driver releases of 2013. The state of Catalyst in 2013 was rather sad, especially compared to NVIDIA's very exciting year. Fortunately, on the open-source side, the AMD Gallium3D-based driver had a great year with many improvements made that are beginning to make the open-source driver sufficient for gaming with Radeon GPUs.
While an X.Org Server is still used by default on Fedora 20 "Heisenbug", Wayland has become a viable option for early adopters and developers wishing to work on Wayland software compatibility and/or testing. All the packages are needed on a Fedora 20 installation to launch a GNOME Wayland session and begin working, including support for XWayland in order to run X11-dependent games and applications.
After earlier this month delivering the 2013 NVIDIA Linux Year-In-Review, an annual article I've been writing for both AMD and NVIDIA since 2005 to cover the Linux driver and support improvements made each passing year, it's now time to take a look at the Catalyst Linux driver releases from 2013. While NVIDIA added many new features to their Linux driver, enhanced many existing features, and continued delivering first-rate Linux GPU support at launch-time, it's not been the same for AMD's Linux team.
With the end of the year quickly approaching, at Phoronix I have been re-testing all of the Linux graphics drivers to see how the performance has changed in 2013 and the features added/removed over the calendar year. I've been doing these annual Linux driver yearly recaps going back to 2005 when Linux GPU drivers were in their infancy compared to Windows. Yesterday I started with the NVIDIA 2013 Linux Year-In-Review of their first-rate binary driver while today I have some performance tests done for Intel's latest-generation Haswell graphics hardware.
For the ninth year in a row I am issuing year-in-review articles concerning the state of NVIDIA's (and separately, AMD Catalyst) Linux graphics driver and the accomplishments the driver's made in the past calendar year along with benchmarks of all notable driver releases this year. NVIDIA's made a lot of progress on the Linux front this year, especially for any Linux gaming stakeholder, so let's get started on our 2013 NVIDIA Linux Year-In-Review.
In continuing from yesterday's article that offered up fresh benchmarks of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge CPUs with the latest Linux code atop Ubuntu 13.10, out today are new graphics benchmarks using the very latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver code and trying out CPUs with HD Graphics 2000, 2500, 3000. The open-source Intel graphics driver has certainly matured a lot since the debut of Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs!
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