If you're in the market for a low-end graphics processor that's compatible with Linux and the available open-source Mesa/Gallium3D graphics drivers, here's a roundup of benchmark results for seven different AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA graphics processors.
Due to a change found in the Linux 3.12 kernel, the AMD Radeon GPU performance is a lot faster with the open-source driver for certain configurations and the Nouveau driver performance is also faster depending upon the CPU and GPU. Now the latest in comparing the Linux 3.11 and 3.12 kernel performance, I can confirm some small performance changes with the binary Catalyst driver.
Over the weekend I released benchmarks showing the Linux 3.12 kernel bringing big AMD Radeon performance improvements. Those benchmarks of a Radeon HD 4000 series GPU showed the Linux 3.12 kernel bringing major performance improvements over Linux 3.11 and prior. Some games improved with just low double-digit gains while other Linux games were nearly 90% faster! Interestingly, the AMD Radeon Linux developers were even surprised by these findings. After carrying out additional tests throughout the weekend, I can confirm these truly incredible performance improvements on other hardware. In this article are results from ten different AMD Radeon graphics cards.
The Linux 3.12 kernel when released in the coming weeks will bring a number of new features and improvements to AMD Radeon graphics cards, including faster performance. For many Linux games tested the Radeon Gallium3D OpenGL frame-rates were making double-digit gains through upgrading the Linux kernel.
While there's at least another month left until the release of Mesa 9.3 / Mesa 10.0, for the mature Radeon R600 Gallium3D there are already a number of performance changes -- for both good and bad -- that can be spotted in running the latest code. Here's some benchmarks showing some of the performance changes over Mesa 9.2.1 stable for a Radeon HD 4000 series GPU on the open-source AMD Linux GPU driver.
With most of the exciting Intel Mesa open-source Linux graphics driver updates being now about Haswell or Bay Trail (Valley View), it's been a while since last publishing any benchmarks of previous-generation Intel "Sandy Bridge" and "Ivy Bridge" graphics results with the latest open-source driver code. Changing that, today are benchmarks of several different Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors when running Ubuntu 13.10 with the Linux 3.11 kernel and Mesa 9.2.
Earlier this month I published benchmarks of Intel's Iris Pro 5200 graphics when comparing the Intel driver performance between Windows 8 and Ubuntu Linux. The test results found that there were some performance wins for Intel OpenGL on Linux after the very latest open-source driver optimizations were made, but there are still some losses. In this article are a few more Windows 8 vs. Linux benchmark results for the Haswell Ultrabook with Iris Pro graphics.
Earlier this week on Phoronix were the results of an 11-way AMD Radeon GPU comparison using the Linux 3.12 kernel and Mesa 9.3-devel. Coming out today are the results for a four-way NVIDIA GeForce graphics card comparison using the Nouveau driver on Linux 3.12 / Mesa 9.3-devel. Sadly, this comparison is smaller than the open-source Radeon comparison since the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver was very buggy in its current configuration.
After last week delivering new AMD Radeon HD 7000 Gallium3D benchmarks from the Mesa 9.3 development driver and the Linux 3.12 Git kernel, up today is a much larger open-source AMD Radeon graphics comparison using the latest code that's yet to be officially released. From the Linux 3.12 kernel and Mesa 9.3-devel, eleven different AMD Radeon graphics cards spanning multiple generations were compared with the latest open-source Linux graphics driver code.
Last week I delivered Intel Haswell Gallium3D benchmarks as soon as the Haswell HD Graphics support was merged into the experimental ILO Gallium3D driver. As it's been several months since last delivering any Ivy Bridge Gallium3D benchmarks for this community-based Gallium3D driver, for your viewing pleasure this weekend are new HD 4000 IVB graphics benchmarks when comparing the ILO Gallium3D and Intel i965 "Classic" Mesa driver performance.
Back in June I ran some RadeonSI Gallium3D benchmarks showing the performance had a ways to improve, but sadly the situation hasn't improved months. There's been progress on the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver and from the kernel side with Radeon DRM improvements and new features, but in testing out the latest code it's still a buggy experience and the performance isn't close to matching the closed-source AMD Catalyst Linux graphics driver for Radeon HD 7000 series hardware. At least though for some Linux games we're now in the range of 50% the OpenGL speed of Catalyst.
Last week I ran a System76 Galago UltraPro Preview with some benchmark results and a special article looking at the Intel Iris Pro 5200, the Haswell graphics cores with 128MB of dedicated video memory stacked onto the die itself. Those tests were done remotely but now with having a System76 Galago UltraPro ultrabook review sample in the labs, here are some fresh tests looking at the very latest state of Haswell Iris Pro graphics under Linux. The benchmarks cover the state of Ubuntu 13.04 going through the latest open-source Linux graphics driver code with the yet-to-be-released Mesa 9.3 and the Linux 3.12 kernel.
It's been a while since delivering any benchmarks from legacy ATI/AMD Radeon hardware like the X1000 (R500) series on Linux. However, with the release of Mesa 9.2 from late August, here are new benchmarks of the Radeon X1000 series GPUs on the open-source Radeon "R300g" Gallium3D graphics driver.
It's been a while since last checking out the multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) performance of the open-source Radeon Gallium3D driver. However, with the recent release of Mesa 9.2, here are new benchmarks of the MSAA Radeon Gallium3D performance from three different AMD graphics cards on Xubuntu Linux.
Last week support was committed to the mainline Mesa tree for Haswell Gallium3D support via the community-maintained "ILO" driver formerly known as i965g. In this article are the first public benchmarks of the Intel Haswell Gallium3D support code and the performance is compared to the classic i965 Mesa DRI driver that is officially developed by Intel for all modern HD Graphics hardware support.
Mesa 9.2 was finally pushed into the Ubuntu 13.10 archive on Thursday and with the upgrade to the open-source 3D graphics library/drivers come many performance improvements and new features. Mesa 9.2 has already been benchmarked extensively on Phoronix, but with its arrival on Ubuntu 13.10, here are some Intel OpenGL benchmarks looking at the performance of Mesa 9.1.6 (Mesa up to now in 13.10 and previously shipped in Ubuntu 13.04) against the new Mesa 9.2.0 release. Testing happened on both an original X.Org Server and then when running both releases on Mir/XMir.
With the imminent release of Mesa 9.2, out this morning are Radeon "R600" Gallium3D driver benchmarks comparing Mesa Git master (9.3-devel) to Mesa 9.2 Git, Mesa 9.1.6, Mesa 9.0.3, Mesa 8.0.5, and Mesa 7.11.2. These are the past two years worth of Mesa releases and testing occurred on an ATI Radeon HD 4890 (RV790XT) graphics card.
With it looking like the R600 SB shader optimization back-end might be enabled for AMD's popular Radeon Gallium3D graphics driver, here are fresh benchmarks looking at the performance impact of enabling this shader optimization code-path that has the ability to dramatically increase the performance out of GLSL-using OpenGL games.
Earlier this week I delivered results showing the AMD Radeon HD 6000 open-source driver becoming more competitive against the proprietary AMD Catalyst driver. The Gallium3D driver is still far from reigning supreme in most aspects that concern desktop Linux users, but much progress has been made in recent months. For those HD 5000 series graphics card owners, here are similar open-source driver vs. AMD Catalyst OpenGL Linux performance tests.
The "R600" Gallium3D driver that provides open-source 3D/OpenGL Linux graphics support for AMD GPUs up through the Radeon HD 6000 graphics cards is becoming increasingly competitive. The open-source AMD stack isn't yet ready to overtake the proprietary AMD Catalyst driver in terms of raw performance or OpenGL compliance, but a lot of ground has been made up in recent months.
Now that Mir is living in the Ubuntu 13.10 archive, new Phoronix benchmarks have been conducted to look at the current performance impact of routing the graphics through XMir rather than running an X.Org Server directly on Ubuntu Linux. For this latest XMir testing, the System76 Gazelle Professional laptop with an Intel Core i7 "Haswell" CPU sporting Intel HD Graphics was benchmarked for 2D and 3D environments.
While the Linux 3.11 kernel hasn't even been officially released yet, on Phoronix we have already published a number of Radeon DPM benchmarks, the new dynamic power management code coming to the open-source driver. Early Phoronix tests of Radeon DPM have yielded performance improvements and great improvements for power/thermal use. In this article are new Linux 3.11 + Mesa Git benchmarks from a variety of AMD/ATI Radeon graphics cards.
Phoronix benchmarks have already shown that Mesa 9.2 dramatically improves the Intel Haswell Linux experience and that there's even some performance gains for other intel GPUs. On the AMD Radeon side, Mesa 9.2 also improves the performance for AMD hardware. How does Mesa 9.2 change the game for the Nouveau driver with NVIDIA graphics hardware? Here's some new results looking at the Mesa 9.1 vs. Mesa 9.2 performance for Nouveau, the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA graphics driver.
The performance of the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver for AMD Fusion APUs has improved a lot, but the Gallium3D driver performance still isn't yet on par with the AMD Catalyst binary driver. In this article are a variety of tests from an AMD APU including with the Linux 3.11 dynamic power management support, Mesa Git, and when using the R600 SB shader optimization back-end.
While this week we published benchmarks that showed how NVIDIA's Linux driver can compete with Windows 8 -- when using the closed-source drivers and not the open-source Nouveau solution -- and that even the FreeBSD NVIDIA performance is competitive, this isn't the case for AMD's drivers. From the same Core i7 Haswell system as used for the NVIDIA testing, AMD Radeon graphics cards were tested on Windows 8 and Linux. It wasn't a surprise that the open-source Radeon Gallium3D was much slower than Catalyst, but took us off guard a bit was that the Linux Catalyst driver does take some noticeable performance hits over the Microsoft Windows driver in some OpenGL workloads.
One of the most exciting features of the upcoming Linux 3.11 kernel is the open-source Radeon driver's support for dynamic power management (DPM). We have already done preliminary benchmarks and found that Radeon DPM can boost the GPU's performance in cases where the boot clock speeds are slower than their rated frequencies (as in the case of AMD APUs and modern high-end GPUs). For other GPUs, Radeon DPM can lead to lower power consumption and better operating temperatures. Here's looking at the Linux Radeon DPM performance with the Linux 3.11 Git kernel.
For those ATI/AMD customers with graphics cards of the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 generations, they are supported by the "Catalyst Legacy" driver but this older proprietary driver branch is seldom updated for new Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases. Thus, the only real option for those with these older Radeon GPUs is to use the open-source Radeon Gallium3D graphics driver. But how does this driver compare to the still-maintained Catalyst Legacy driver for Windows 8? Here are some benchmarks.
Yesterday I shared open-source Linux graphics benchmarks showing the Intel Ivy Bridge performance improving on Mesa 9.2 over the earlier releases of this important open-source Linux graphics driver component. However, for the latest-generation Intel "Haswell" graphics, Mesa 9.2 is an even more important upgrade. Here's a look at the performance benefits in moving from Mesa 9.1 to the soon-to-be-released Mesa 9.2.
With Mesa 9.2 due to be released next month, here's the very latest Git benchmarks of Mesa 9.2-devel on an Intel Core i5 Ultrabook with HD 4000 "Ivy Bridge" graphics compared to the stable Mesa release versions going back to Mesa 8.0.
As promised, now that Linux 3.11-rc1 has been released, it's time for the new dynamic power management support of the Linux 3.11 kernel for AMD Radeon graphics. This first article previews the possible OpenGL performance gains for an AMD APU when enabling "DPM" for allowing the graphics core to properly re-clock based upon its workload.
770 display drivers articles published on Phoronix.