Radeon Gallium3D Moved Closer To Performance Parity With AMD's Catalyst In 2014

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 29 December 2014. Page 1 of 5. 108 Comments

Last week I wrote about the incredible improvements to AMD's open-source Linux driver over the course of 2014 that showed many significant OpenGL performance improvements for the open-source driver on various Radeon GPUs... But how does the latest open-source code compare to the closed-source Catalyst driver? In this article are benchmarks from an even larger assortment of Radeon GPUs while testing the latest Radeon Gallium3D and Catalyst drivers at the end of 2014.

All tests in this article were done from the same Intel Core i7 4790K system running Ubuntu 14.10. The open-source driver configuration consisted of the Linux 3.18 kernel, Mesa 10.5.0-devel Git master, LLVM 3.6 SVN, and xf86-video-ati 7.5.99. The same graphics cards were then tested from the same system when switching to the Catalyst 14.12 (Omega) x86_64 Linux driver (OpenGL 4.4.13283). The graphics cards tested were the:

- Radeon HD 6450
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 6950
- Radeon HD 7850
- Radeon R9 270X
- Radeon R9 290

This selection of graphics cards should provide a very nice look at the latest state of the open-source graphics drivers on Linux at the end of 2014 compared to the latest Catalyst driver as of this month. If you wish to see the 2013 vs. 2014 numbers for the open-source driver, see the aforementioned article. A few days prior from Ubuntu 13.10 I also delivered a 2014 Catalyst Linux Graphics Benchmarks Year-In-Review. All of the benchmarks were carried out using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. The OpenGL games / tech demos used for this article were ones that could be fully-automated well and ran well both on the open and closed-source AMD graphics drivers with similar GL feature parity.

Ubuntu Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 2014

The next step to this testing is delivering these numbers plus a comparison to the latest Catalyst 14.12 driver on Windows, as I alluded to on Twitter, I should have those numbers in the next few days -- along with a similar comparison on the NVIDIA side. If you do appreciate all of the Linux benchmarking I painstakingly carry out (pretty much single-handedly) 365 days per year and other Linux work at Phoronix Media, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium for viewing these multi-page articles on Phoronix as a single-page and ad-free. You could also consider a PayPal tip or even Bitcoin contribution. Thank you for your support to make this possible and to yield greater articles in the future.

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