AMD APU On Linux: Gallium3D Can Be 80%+ As Fast As Catalyst

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 30 November 2013 at 03:55 PM EST. Page 5 of 5. 56 Comments.
Radeon AMD A10-6800K APU Ubuntu Linux
Radeon AMD A10-6800K APU Ubuntu Linux
Radeon AMD A10-6800K APU Ubuntu Linux
Radeon AMD A10-6800K APU Ubuntu Linux

Xonotic remains one of the most demanding open-source multi-platform games and with the latest Gallium3D driver code and Linux 3.13 it's still not enough to let it be competitive with the proprietary AMD Catalyst driver. While it's still much slower than the binary blob, the newest code allowed the AMD A10-6800K with Radeon HD 8670D to run much better than where it was running at "out of the box" in Ubuntu 13.10.

While the AMD open-source driver was made much faster over the past few months and it's now much more competitive to the Catalyst driver, the open-source driver does still struggle with its OpenGL support (R600g is still at OpenGL 3.1 -- but almost GL 3.2/3.3 -- where as the binary driver is at OpenGL 4.2), the OpenCL/GPGPU support is still being brought up, and various AMD-specific features like CrossFire being non-existent on the open-source Linux driver.

If you want to try out the very latest Gallium3D Radeon driver for your AMD APU (or other GPUs), check out the Oibaf drivers to make it easy along with using the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA for a 3.13 snapshot. On Linux 3.11/3.12 you can also try manually enabling DPM using the radeon.dpm=1 parameter. For more details see Radeon DPM Is Fantastic For Power Use, Thermal Performance. The Radeon driver is doing much better than the open-source NVIDIA driver. For more open-source driver benchmarks check out the 21-way Linux GPU comparison from this week. Also of interest would surely be the Ultra HD 4K resolution Linux GPU/driver benchmarks.

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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