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Phoronix Test Suite


A New & Exciting OpenGL 3 Benchmark To Run


Published on 09 July 2013 09:15 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming

There's finally a new and visually exciting OpenGL benchmark to try out for Linux, OS X, and Windows users alike. The benchmark also supports OpenGL 3.x contexts for making testing more exciting with regard to the Linux graphics driver stack.

The new graphics test to run -- and what will now be featured in future Phoronix articles of Linux graphics card reviews and driver/performance testing -- is Unvanquished. This is the open-source game that's long been in development and has shown much promise for being a game with awesome open-source graphics / in-game assets.

Unvanquished is now a distant fork of the Tremulous game. The Unvanquished game is powered by the Daemon engine, which is an advanced manipulation of the ioquake3 and XreaL game engines. While Daemon shares code with ioquake3, the open-source game engine has advanced greatly and it features an OpenGL 3.x renderer that's advance by today's open-source game standards. Compared to closed-source games, there's still ground to cover, but overall it's very promising.

Frankly, Unvanquished is the most exciting community-based open-source game I've been watching in recent times.

While I've been very fond of the Unvanquished open-source project and they've been delivering monthly releases, it hasn't been a good candidate for benchmarking. Long story short, their download-able installer has been dependent upon external files to fetch, their packaging hasn't always been consistent, and there's been other limitations.

With the release of Unvanquished Alpha 17 on Sunday, the project is finally providing a "universal zip package", which is what I've long been waiting for. The zip package includes the game binaries for Linux, OS X, and Windows along with all of the necessary game assets, which means no separate downloading or stupid installers are necessary. With this, it's very easy now to run automated and reproducible tests. Being open-source software is just a plus.

With now having a nice universal package for Unvanquished, this game and its GL3 renderer are finally going to be benchmarked extensively on Phoronix. In a couple minutes, it was easy to create an Unvanquished test profile for the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org.

A New & Exciting OpenGL 3 Benchmark To Run

For those curious how simple it is to create an automated test profile when there is a straightforward package, it's some simple scripts and XML files to provide full integration support. With that simple work, this GL3-rendered game will now get its fair share of benchmarks on Phoronix in GPU, driver, and OS reviews. (The shipped pre-set file for this test right now is defaulting to the GL3 renderer and other high quality visual settings.)

With that test now on OpenBenchmarking.org, whether installing the phoronix-test-suite from your operating system's package management system or downloading from Phoronix-Test-Suite.com, it's a simple matter of executing phoronix-test-suite benchmark unvanquished to have the game automatically download, setup the environment with the standard test demo, and execute the Unvanquished / Daemon Engine test at your choice of resolution(s), followed by comparing the results to your choice of systems on OpenBenchmarking.org and a host of other options. It's all fully-automated, completely reproducible, and allows for turn-key deployments.

In the couple hours since writing this very simple test profile on Monday, some simple use-cases I've done include:

- Various Unvanquished benchmarks found via its test profile page.

- With the options offered on OpenBenchmarking.org, one can easily see the resolution scaling of Unvanquished from a GeForce GTX 460 graphics card (among other GPUs if applying the same settings to those pages) with the NVIDIA Linux driver.

A New & Exciting OpenGL 3 Benchmark To Run

- For at least some generations of NVIDIA hardware on the Nouveau NV50 Gallium3D driver it's easy to see the Unvanquished screen rendering garbage: mostly a black screen and occasionally some random jaggies.

- A nice start NVIDIA OpenGL performance comparison for this game between the GeForce 9800GT, GT 220, GTX 460, GT 520, and GTX 550 Ti graphics cards.

- All the other features of the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org are now exposed to Unvanquished from being able to run large multi-way divided benchmarks to being able to easily plot performance-per-Watt results and many other metrics. It is so trivial to deploy the Phoronix Test Suite software.

Look forward to Unvanquished with its GL3 Daemon XreaL-derived renderer to be featured in future Phoronix articles. In the mean time you can try out to see how Unvanquished performs on your hardware/software by simply running phoronix-test-suite benchmark unvanquished -- and if uploading your results to OpenBenchmarking.org the open-source gaming community can better see what hardware and software drivers are needed to properly run this fledging game. This should work whether you are running Linux, OS X, or Windows (though right now obviously most of the focus is on Linux performance testing).

If you're an (open or closed) software project and are looking for help in getting your program PTS-ready, feel free to contact me; any other questions can also be directed to the forums. There's really many benefits to automated performance testing. All of this also works with Phoromatic for remote test management, timed/commit-based test execution, and other abilities.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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