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AMD Catalyst Linux OpenGL Driver Now Faster Than Windows Driver In Some Tests

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  • AMD Catalyst Linux OpenGL Driver Now Faster Than Windows Driver In Some Tests

    Phoronix: AMD Catalyst Linux OpenGL Driver Now Faster Than Windows Driver In Some Tests

    Earlier this week I showed benchmarks of AMD's incredible year for their open-source Linux driver and how the open-source Radeon Gallium3D driver moved closer to performance parity with Catalyst. One of the lingering questions though is how does the Catalyst 14.12 Omega Linux driver from December compare to the latest Catalyst Windows driver? Here's some benchmarks looking at the latest open and closed-source drivers on Linux compared to the latest Catalyst Windows release.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=21296

  • #2
    The only thing this lacks is a comparison to D3D, such as comparing OGL to D3D performance in Unigine benchmarks.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mmstick View Post
      The only thing this lacks is a comparison to D3D, such as comparing OGL to D3D performance in Unigine benchmarks.
      Why would this be comparable at all? OGL and DX engines are typically completely separate

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      • #4
        The problem is that OpenGL under windows is just as unoptimized in Catalyst as under linux. If you run Heaven in OpenGL vs D3D mode, the latter one gets much better scores.

        Some tests I ran yesterday:

        Heaven, OpenGL, High quality, No tessellation, AA off, 1080p: 249 points
        Heaven, DX11, High quality, No tessellation, AA off, 1080p: 829 points

        This is using a 6850, Catalyst Omega, Win8.1 x64

        The funniest thing is that the OpenGL driver is messed up so much that Ultra settings with Extreme tessellation actually yield a better score (265). AMD only "optimizes" for Doom 3 and Rage, and everything else is left in the dust.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
          Why would this be comparable at all? OGL and DX engines are typically completely separate
          Yes, but most people programming games/etc for Windows are using D3D. We can claim faster OpenGL performance on Linux, but if the overall performance is still noticeably less than DX on Windows, then people aren't going to take us seriously yet (especially since OGL is harder to program in, making it slower AND more difficult...).

          If the OGL performance is on par, or slightly better than the DX performance on Windows, developers will start seeing Linux as an actual target instead of just the latest Valve fad.

          If (when) we get full DX support in Linux, I'd love to see us blowing the Windows drivers out of the water with MS's own API

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          • #6
            And why should we, Linux users, give a hoot about D3D performance on Windows?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by eydee View Post
              The problem is that OpenGL under windows is just as unoptimized in Catalyst as under linux. If you run Heaven in OpenGL vs D3D mode, the latter one gets much better scores.

              Some tests I ran yesterday:

              Heaven, OpenGL, High quality, No tessellation, AA off, 1080p: 249 points
              Heaven, DX11, High quality, No tessellation, AA off, 1080p: 829 points

              This is using a 6850, Catalyst Omega, Win8.1 x64

              The funniest thing is that the OpenGL driver is messed up so much that Ultra settings with Extreme tessellation actually yield a better score (265). AMD only "optimizes" for Doom 3 and Rage, and everything else is left in the dust.
              The Unigine just doesn't have a greatly optimized OpenGL renderer. Even with Nvidia GPU's, which have superb OpenGL drivers, Unigine performs quite a bit less than with the DirectX renderer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by curaga View Post
                And why should we, Linux users, give a hoot about D3D performance on Windows?
                Because it shows you what your hardware is actually capable of and how much money you lose because of bad optimization.

                Originally posted by clementl View Post
                The Unigine just doesn't have a greatly optimized OpenGL renderer. Even with Nvidia GPU's, which have superb OpenGL drivers, Unigine performs quite a bit less than with the DirectX renderer.
                Are you sure a 333% difference is something negligible? Someone with an nvidia card, please post some windows scores to compare...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by clementl View Post
                  The Unigine just doesn't have a greatly optimized OpenGL renderer. Even with Nvidia GPU's, which have superb OpenGL drivers, Unigine performs quite a bit less than with the DirectX renderer.
                  I'm not sure I'd agree with superb but sure, they are pretty fast.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                    Why would this be comparable at all? OGL and DX engines are typically completely separate
                    First, you would have to define the meaning of separate. When a game or benchmark provides OGL and D3D rendering paths, they typically offer equivalent levels of features, wherein D3D11 = OGL4 and D3D10 = OGL3. AMD's Catalyst drivers are heavily optimized for D3D, leaving OGL performance as an afterthought. Therefore, the performance that a benchmark or game receives in D3D on Catalyst is what we should be striving for, a milestone, with OGL drivers on both Linux and Windows.

                    What these benchmarks tell us are that if you were running an OpenGL game or application in Windows, you'll gain a slight performance boost by running the same game/app in Linux (if available). What they do not demonstrate, however, is how much of a performance hit someone would take if they were playing D3D games/apps and were to switch to playing them on Linux with OGL. At the end of the day, you may parade around that you've defeated the Catalyst OGL performance on Windows with Gallium3D and Catalyst on Linux (not surprising), but the bigger picture remains that we are likely very far behind the level of performance that we could have. This is an article in regards to performance compared to Windows, so it would only be natural to see it compared against the native API on that platform as well, D3D.

                    tldr; we need to know where we stand in comparison.

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