Display Drivers Archives
Nouveau Driver Remains Much Slower Than NVIDIA's Official Driver

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.

4 January 2013 - 107 Comments
Nouveau NVIDIA Driver Can Be Faster With Linux 3.8

Published already on Phoronix have been benchmarks of the in-development Linux 3.8 kernel when it comes to measuring the DRM graphics driver performance improvements for AMD Radeon hardware. In this article is a look at the Nouveau driver performance, the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA graphics driver. There's a fair amount of changes to look forward to in the next Linux kernel release for Nouveau and it's yielding some performance improvements.

2 January 2013 - 2 Comments
Checking In On Nouveau Gallium3D For Mesa 9.1

Up this holiday weekend on Phoronix are benchmarks of the open-source Nouveau Gallium3D when comparing the driver's state on the Git branches of Mesa 9.0 and Mesa 9.1-devel. While checking in on the latest Mesa Nouveau code, three NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were benchmarked from a development snapshot of Ubuntu 13.04.

29 December 2012 - 9 Comments
NVIDIA Anti-Aliasing Benchmark Comparison

As some extra benchmarks being published before the holidays, here's some Linux OpenGL performance results comparing the frame-rate impact of FXAA to other anti-aliasing modes as supported by the latest NVIDIA 313 Linux Beta driver on a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler.

21 December 2012 - 7 Comments
AMD 2012 Catalyst Driver Year-In-Review

For the past seven years I have been writing annual year-in-review articles for the AMD and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers. Much progress has been made in recent years for bettering the OpenGL Linux support from these leading closed-source graphics drivers and this year is no exception. Up today is a recap of this year's AMD Catalyst graphics driver releases plus benchmarks of this year's driver releases going back to Catalyst 11.12.

20 December 2012 - 4 Comments
AMD Radeon Performance Preview On Linux 3.8

With word this week that there's some performance improvements for the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver to be found with the Linux 3.8 kernel as a result of the a-synchronous DMA engine support, some very early benchmarks of the "drm-next" code were done from five different AMD Radeon graphics cards. In extreme cases, the open-source graphics driver can deliver 10x higher OpenGL frame-rates with the experimental kernel.

14 December 2012 - 17 Comments
Intel Ivy Bridge Acceleration Of UXA vs. SNA

It's been a few months since last delivering any Intel SNA acceleration architecture benchmarks but with all of the many recent xf86-video-intel 2.20.x driver releases, here's some new benchmarks comparing the UXA and SNA acceleration back-ends for Intel's Ivy Bridge hardware.

6 December 2012 - 11 Comments
Radeon HyperZ R300g Performance

With Marek Olšák having fixed-up the R300 Gallium3D HyperZ support and then finally enabling this performance-boosting technology by default for the vintage Radeon X1000 (R500) series graphics cards, new benchmarks were conducted to look at the performance impact of ATI HyperZ finally being flipped on in this legacy ATI Linux graphics driver.

4 December 2012 - 29 Comments
Mesa 9.0 vs. Mesa 9.1-devel On Intel Sandy Bridge

For those Intel "Sandy Bridge" CPU owners with integrated HD 2000/3000 graphics, here are some benchmarks showing the performance of the current Mesa 9.1-devel Git code compared to the stable Mesa 9.0 release. There are a few performance improvements to be found for this open-source Intel Linux graphics driver.

2 December 2012 - 5 Comments
Mesa 9.1-devel LLVMpipe With LLVM 3.1/3.2

With a number of commits made to the mainline Mesa repository recently that concern the LLVMpipe Gallium3D driver for pushing OpenGL onto the CPU, here are benchmarks of the very latest Mesa Gallium3D development code from and AMD FX-8350 Vishera Eight-Core CPU when using both LLVM 3.1 and LLVM 3.2 SVN.

30 November 2012 - Add A Comment
AMD Catalyst vs. Linux 3.7 + Mesa 9.1-devel Gallium3D Performance

In this article is a large OpenGL performance comparison looking at the frame-rates in different Linux games for different AMD Radeon Linux graphics cards when running the stock Ubuntu 12.10 operating system (Mesa 9.0 + Linux 3.5), the Catalyst Linux driver (fglrx 9.0.2) as found in the Ubuntu Quantal archive, and then when running the very latest Radeon Git code: The Linux 3.7 kernel, Mesa 9.1-devel, and xf86-video-ati 7.0.99 Git.

26 November 2012 - 34 Comments
AMD's New Catalyst Linux Driver Isn't Too Good

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.

22 November 2012 - 51 Comments
Benchmarking NVIDIA's R310 Linux Driver Improvements

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.

8 November 2012 - 37 Comments
Clock-For-Clock, Nouveau Can Compete With NVIDIA's Driver

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.

6 November 2012 - 27 Comments
Radeon Gallium3D R600g Color Tiling Performance

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.

3 November 2012 - 19 Comments
AMD R600g Performance Patches Yield Mixed Results

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.

2 November 2012 - 51 Comments
Ubuntu 12.10: Open-Source Radeon vs. AMD Catalyst Performance

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.

30 October 2012 - 67 Comments
Testing NVIDIA's Linux Threaded OpenGL Optimizations

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.

18 October 2012 - 49 Comments
Gallium3D LLVMpipe On Mesa 9.0

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.

11 October 2012 - 3 Comments
Trying Out The Nouveau Driver Rewrite

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.

6 October 2012 - 5 Comments
Intel Linux OpenGL Driver Remains Slower Than Windows

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.

25 September 2012 - 15 Comments
NVIDIA FXAA Anti-Aliasing Performance

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.

18 September 2012 - 6 Comments
Intel SNA Ivy Bridge - September 2012

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.

4 September 2012 - 7 Comments
Intel Graphics Mature Greatly With The Linux Kernel

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.

27 August 2012 - 5 Comments
R300 Gallium3D Performance Is Topping Out

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.

13 August 2012 - 7 Comments
Radeon Gallium3D Has Made Much Progress In Two Years

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.

8 August 2012 - 10 Comments

730 display drivers articles published on Phoronix.