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ATI R300: Open v. Closed Drivers

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  • Michael
    started a topic ATI R300: Open v. Closed Drivers

    ATI R300: Open v. Closed Drivers

    We at Phoronix have just finished up comparing the open-source R300 display drivers against the fglrx drivers -- similar to our R200 article that coincidently came out five months ago to the day. Our comparison can be found @ http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=7481

    Feel free to discuss the R300 drivers in this thread. If you are also interested in any other performance metrics or information, just ask.

    Some X800 open v. closed results will likely wrap up soon.

  • idr1
    replied
    Originally posted by marcheu View Post
    However, I have one question : you seem to have used the default r300 ubuntu packages. These packages are compiled using the default Mesa optimizations options, which use -O. Would you mind testing again with a home-compiled version of r300 using, say, -O2 ? You have to get the Mesa tree for that, and touch the config/linux-dri target. I would expect that to make a difference.
    I've been thinking about this a bit. I suspect that the biggest performance difference on ET is r300's lack of acceleration for compiled vertex arrays. All Quake 3 based games make heavy use of this extension to reduce the geometry transfer load. It's only my todo list to add a generic acceleration path in Mesa for compiled vertex arrays for drivers that support buffer objects.

    Of course, none of that will help the UT performance, and we really get spanked there...

    Leave a comment:


  • drag
    replied
    I doubt you'd see much of a difference, I've tried playing around with compile options and it's almost unnoticable. Not that I used any scientific benchmarks or anything.

    Check out http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/Building

    It'll tell you how to compile sources from CVS. In my experiance the cvs drivers offer better performance then standard stuff. Although that may just be because I am using a x800 card and the default distro drivers that I had installed at the time failed to accurately identify it and treated it as a generic r300 card rather then use any device-specific optimizations or features.

    Also for best stability it may be wise to compile the kernel drm .ko modules for the kernel.

    For the packaged software for the librm I did:
    configure --prefix=/usr --exec-prefix=/usr

    And for the Mesa stuff I copied the libGL stuff over the existing Debian package supplied software in /usr/lib

    That way I didn't have to mess around with any Debian packaging stuff or ldconfig tricks and everythign works fine. The only snafu is that applications look for the *_dri.so files in the old monolythic X.org spot, so I setup a symbolic link to those from were the *_dri.so drivers are installed by default and that works fine.


    edit:

    Also it's nice to keep the source code tree relatively prestine so you don't have to worry about any compile stuff getting mixed up with the cvs tree which you may want to update time to time when you feel like compiling new drivers.

    To do that you can use lndir.. You go like this..
    Say you have ~/sources/Mesa
    so you can go:
    cd ~/sources
    mkdir -p build/Mesa
    cd build/Mesa
    lndir ../../Mesa

    and it should make a duplicate directory structure for you.
    Last edited by drag; 10-09-2006, 08:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    Welcome to the forums.

    The packages used were the latest for Edgy Eft.

    I'll compile the drivers with the argument you mentioned when time permits and see how things change.

    Leave a comment:


  • marcheu
    replied
    Hello, this is my first post here. First of all, I have to say it's a pretty interesting article.

    However, I have one question : you seem to have used the default r300 ubuntu packages. These packages are compiled using the default Mesa optimizations options, which use -O. Would you mind testing again with a home-compiled version of r300 using, say, -O2 ? You have to get the Mesa tree for that, and touch the config/linux-dri target. I would expect that to make a difference.

    Leave a comment:


  • drag
    replied
    What are your system specs? It could very well be a CPU bottleneck.
    At the time it was a dual core with one of the cores disabled (for other reasons nothing to do with the machine) but with it dual core it doesn't make a difference (I tried it to make sure, but obviously since the game is single threaded)

    model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz
    stepping : 2
    cpu MHz : 2800.553
    cache size : 2048 KB

    1 gig of 533 DDR2 RAM (I beleive it's 533, don't remember for sure.)
    945g chipset.
    Gigabyte x800 with 256megs of RAM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by niniendowarrior View Post
    Michael, would it be possible to benchmark the open source driver against as many ATi cards as there are in your test labs? I think it would give readers a good idea which graphics card would be their best bet if they are to forego fglrx for open source drivers.
    When time allows we can probably run benchmarks on all major R300/400 components.

    Originally posted by drag View Post
    R500 series cards.. of which I haven't even heard of the faintest tinkling of in regards to free software drivers.
    Correct, no open-source R500 drivers at this time. Hopefully early next year we will see some open-source X1k drivers in some form.

    Originally posted by drag View Post
    I am trying out that railgun demo.

    I think I have to be doing something wrong here. So this is what I do..
    I go and set the video mode. Maybe something like the default 'normal' mode with it at 800x600.

    Then I go into the console and type:
    timedemo 1
    demo railgun

    Alright then I get a final score of 38-39FPS... on every single video setting.
    From 800x600 on normal to setting it to 'high' and running it at 1600x1200.

    The only way I can get it to increase is to disable dynamic lighting.. then it goes to 44-45 on every single resolution.

    I guess I am hitting a cpu limitation or whatnot.
    What are your system specs? It could very well be a CPU bottleneck.

    Leave a comment:


  • drag
    replied
    nt, double post mistake
    Last edited by drag; 10-06-2006, 08:49 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • drag
    replied
    I am trying out that railgun demo.

    I think I have to be doing something wrong here. So this is what I do..
    I go and set the video mode. Maybe something like the default 'normal' mode with it at 800x600.

    Then I go into the console and type:
    timedemo 1
    demo railgun

    Alright then I get a final score of 38-39FPS... on every single video setting.
    From 800x600 on normal to setting it to 'high' and running it at 1600x1200.

    The only way I can get it to increase is to disable dynamic lighting.. then it goes to 44-45 on every single resolution.

    I guess I am hitting a cpu limitation or whatnot.

    Leave a comment:


  • niniendowarrior
    replied
    The numbers aren't too surprising although I'd like to request that images be also posted for Image Quality comparison.

    I'm actually quite impressed with how the open source drivers did in the benchmark.

    Michael, would it be possible to benchmark the open source driver against as many ATi cards as there are in your test labs? I think it would give readers a good idea which graphics card would be their best bet if they are to forego fglrx for open source drivers.

    Leave a comment:

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