AMD Radeon R600 Gallium3D Performance Over The Past Two Years
Today's Linux benchmarking is looking at the performance of the open-source Radeon R600g Gallium3D driver for pre-GCN GPUs over the past two years. A Radeon HD 6870 was used while testing all of the Ubuntu Linux releases going back to Ubuntu 13.04, plus the latest Git code as well.
For seeing how the performance of the R600g driver has evolved over the last roughly two years, I benchmarked Ubuntu 13.04, 13.10, 14.04, 14.10, and 15.05 out-of-the-box with their default driver stack of the Linux kernel, Mesa, LLVM, X Server, and xf86-video-ati code of the time. That was done rather than building all of the Mesa/kernel releases from the same modern Ubuntu host to avoid LLVM/libdrm build issues, any X.Org Server / DDX compatibility problems, etc.
Following the benchmarks of Ubuntu 15.04 out-of-the-box I then proceeded to do some bleeding-edge Git driver tests when switching to the current Linux 4.3 kernel Git, Mesa 11.1-devel Git master, LLVM 3.8.0 SVN, and xf86-video-ati Git. Thus we're getting a look at things for R600g from the Ubuntu 13.04 days with Linux 3.8 and Mesa 9.1 to today with Linux 4.3 and Mesa 11.1-devel. The Xfce (Xubuntu) version of each Ubuntu Linux release was tested to avoid any performance changes as a result of Unity/Compiz.
Of course, similar tests are being done for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver too with a GCN GPU to complement the tests here with the R600g driver. All of the OpenGL benchmarks carried out were done in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. All of the same hardware in the same configuration was tested under each of these runs with the out-of-the-box Ubuntu (as a reminder, on the older Ubuntu releases ACPI CPUFreq is used rather than Intel P-State, which is why on the system table it reports the base vs. turbo frequency, and other slight differences based upon the hardware information reported on the given Ubuntu release even though the same hardware was always used).
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