X.Org 7.2: ATI Open v. Closed Drivers

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 6 February 2007. Page 3 of 3. Add A Comment

The last time we had compared the ATI display drivers was last October with X.Org 7.1 and a Mobility Radeon X300. In those tests the open-source drivers had taken a beating over the binary blob in Enemy Territory and Unreal Tournament 2003. In today's tests, we had used a Radeon X800XL with X.Org 7.2 and the latest fglrx display drivers (8.33.6). With respect for the differences between the X300 and X800, the results had not changed much. The ATI/AMD fglrx driver continues to lead in the frame-rate performance over the open-source Radeon driver. In Enemy Territory the fglrx driver was over twice as fast, while in Unreal Tournament 2004 the performance difference for the fglrx driver spiked at 460% faster.

While these fglrx drivers are faster for gamers, the open-source drivers continue to boast the advantages of desktop effects support (AIGLX), inclusion with a majority of recent distributions, and simply the fact that the drivers are open-source. Feel free to discuss this article in the Phoronix Forums.

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Michael Larabel

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.