Radeon KMS On PC-BSD/FreeBSD 10.2 Surprisingly Worked On A FirePro+DP System

Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 9 October 2015 at 09:49 AM EDT. 19 Comments
While open-source AMD Linux users have largely been able to take it for granted for years that the Radeon DRM/KMS driver will at least light up their display when using an older GPU, after the Radeon KMS problems I ran into on DragonFlyBSD, I didn't expect this hardware to play nicely on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 10.2. Fortunately, I was proven wrong and this AMD FirePro graphics card driving a DisplayPort monitor managed to run nicely out-of-the-box.

After the latest DragonFlyBSD release (v4.2) didn't play nicely with the Radeon GPU and DisplayPort monitor, I didn't have high hopes that this configuration would be any better with FreeBSD 10.2 given that even on Linux occasionally there can be DP problems on the open-source drivers. The graphics card is a AMD FirePro V7900 that uses a Cayman Pro GL graphics processor (a.k.a. the Radeon HD 6900 consumer series equivalent). The V7900 was hooked up via DisplayPort to the ASUS PB278Q WQHD LED PLS Professional Graphics Monitor.

Surprisingly, when booting the PC-BSD 10.2 USB installer everything "just worked" fine! The ported Radeon KMS driver even mode-set properly to the 2560 x 1440 resolution.

The Radeon KMS driver on FreeBSD 10.2 was playing fine on this system without any troubles!

I then checked on the presence of 3D acceleration and (to a bit more surprise) that was working fine too! Mesa 10.4.6 was packaged and it was providing OpenGL 3.3 as expected for this AMD CAYMAN GPU.

Nice job to the FreeBSD/PC-BSD developers and great to see their ported open-source AMD Linux graphics driver stack becoming more and more usable. Stay tuned for some fresh FreeBSD vs. Linux benchmarks shortly on Phoronix.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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