Running OpenGL 4.1, DRI3 With Mesa Git On An AMD Cayman GPU

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 16 December 2015 at 07:24 AM EST. 12 Comments
As of earlier this month in Mesa Git is finally OpenGL 4.0 and 4.1 support for the Radeon R600g driver for pre-GCN hardware, albeit the subset capable of advertising GL4 compliance is right now just Cypress and Cayman. I took this opportunity to run some fresh Mesa Git benchmarks on an AMD Cayman GPU and a third run when enabling DRI3.

The Cayman GPU used for this round of testing was the Radeon HD 6950 but rather a FirePro V7900, the old workstation card with a "Cayman Pro GL" GPU and 2GB of GDDR5 video memory that's still available to this day and commanding a $700+ USD price for a brand new card.

The days when AMD used to send out (a lot of) review samples to Phoronix for Linux testing...

This Cayman graphics card was indeed able to advertise OpenGL 4.1 when upgrading to Mesa Git. For an easy experience, from an Ubuntu 15.10 install I just enabled the Padoka PPA that ships Mesa Git alongside LLVM SVN.

For this brief comparison, I compared the performance with stock Mesa (v11.0.2) to Mesa 11.2-devel Git and then finally Mesa 11.2-devel Git while manually enabling DRI3. In an article last month I was showing off the significant DRI2 vs. DRI3 performance.
Ubuntu 15.10 FirePro Cayman DRI3
The kernel version was maintained on Linux 4.4 Git throughout testing. All benchmarks were run in a reproducible manner via the Phoronix Test Suite.
Ubuntu 15.10 FirePro Cayman DRI3
The tests run for this one-page article aren't using OpenGL 4 but this comparison is mainly for some new Mesa Git + DRI3 data.
Ubuntu 15.10 FirePro Cayman DRI3
Ubuntu 15.10 FirePro Cayman DRI3
You can find more of this data via this result file.
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Michael Larabel

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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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