More Mesa 10.2 + Linux 3.14 Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 2 March 2014 at 11:30 AM EST. 9 Comments
In verifying and complementing the major R600/RadeonSI performance regressions noted earlier today for a wide-range of AMD Radeon hardware, here's some more tests that were done this weekend on a different system that also finds the newer code to be running slower than Linux 3.13 + Mesa 10.1

Read that earlier article for more details. Since then, Phoronix readers were quick to point out that HyperZ is now disabled by default for the R600 and RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers. HyperZ is known to provide significant performance improvements but is now disabled by default over apparent issues with some Linux games on some hardware. Now to have HyperZ and its benefits you will need to set the R600_DEBUG=hyperz environment variable.

However, this doesn't appear to be the only cause for the performance drop when upgrading Ubuntu 14.04's graphics stack. Other regressions have also been reported by other users of the open-source AMD driver. "This is not completely from HyperZ and so still worth investigating. We have reports from Luke and dungeon on this forum that confirm there's another regression besides the intended hyperz change. Luke specifically tested it, dungeon's case is media apps that do not use the Z buffer." There's more comments in this forum post about the issue unrelated to HyperZ.

Anyhow, on an older AMD Opteron system with Radeon HD 4870 graphics I am in the process of testing every Ubuntu Linux releases where there's hardware support available and ultimately going back far enough to test the legacy Catalyst driver that supports the Radeon HD 4870 "RV770" graphics card. This article should provide a nice look at how the open-source performance has evolved and how it's running against the legacy Catalyst driver. Yesterday though I ran a similar Ubuntu 14.04 Linux 3.13 + Mesa 10.1 vs. Linux 3.14 + Mesa 10.2 graphics benchmark on this Opteron 2384 + Radeon HD 4870 system and found similar results.

For those curious about those extra results from yesterday, you can find them on via 1403016-PL-UBUNTUTES16.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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