The AMD Radeon Performance Is Incredible On Linux 3.12

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 14 October 2013 at 09:27 AM EDT. Page 6 of 6. 78 Comments.
Linux 3.12 Radeon GPU Kernel Tests

Lastly, with Xonotic on ultra quality settings there were still AMD Radeon GPU performance improvements present on Linux 3.12 except for the Radeon HD 6450 again and then the Radeon HD 3850 performance was acting up and regressed. The Radeon HD 3000 series traditionally has been buggy on recent driver releases but surprisingly it's still acting better now with Linux 3.11/3.12 + Mesa 10.0-devel compared to in the past. The performance improvements for Xonotic with ultra settings were about 16% for the mid-range Radeon HD 4670 or closer to 21% with the Radeon HD 6870.

Whether running the very basic OpenArena 0.8.5 game or Xonotic with ultra quality settings, Radeon DRM performance improvements on the Linux 3.12 kernel are to be found for most graphics cards. In this 10-way AMD graphics card testing, most GPUs on the R600 driver from the Radeon HD 3850 to Radeon HD 6950 were benefited from this yet-to-be-determined change in the Linux 3.12 kernel. The only graphics card generally not being helped much by the new kernel was the low-end Radeon HD 6450 crippled graphics card. The graphics cards that tended to benefit the most from the Linux 3.12 kernel with the change not yet even known to the upstream AMD developers were the higher-end GPUs of each generation.

Bisecting of these results is now underway so stay tuned for additional information in the next 24 hours or so; updates will also be shared via @MichaelLarabel on Twitter. If you appreciate this extensive testing done over the weekend on ten different graphics cards and as is entirely funded by advertisements and site subscriptions, please disable AdBlock when viewing this site and/or please subscribe to Phoronix Premium or consider a PayPal contribution. All of this testing is done single-handedly by myself while writing thousands of articles per year for Phoronix. Just the testing for today's article ended up being twenty hours of work between Saturday and Sunday to complete this massive comparison and was my unexpected way to spend the weekend, on top of my usual seven-day-per-week workload. Your support and donations are appreciated to continue this work. Beyond that, AMD hasn't even been sending out hardware samples lately for Linux testing so the recent AMD GPUs I've actually had to purchase retail. Thank you, I hope to have the bisected information published tomorrow. In addition, if you missed page two, there's work that can be done to detect Linux kernel performance changes in real-time in the future.

An updated open-source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Linux driver performance comparison is also forthcoming.

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About The Author
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