A Fresh Look At The AMD Radeon Gallium3D Performance
As noted earlier in the week, the open-source AMD Radeon "R600g" driver that supports 3D acceleration on Radeon HD 2000 series graphics cards through the latest Radeon HD 6000 and Fusion graphics processors, is becoming quite fit. The driver is nearing a point of stability, is mature enough for most desktop users, and it is beginning to receive some performance optimizations and other improvements. Thanks to this recent work, plus the ongoing development of the Linux 3.0 kernel, here is a fresh set of AMD Gallium3D Linux driver benchmarks.
This article provides results for an AMD Radeon HD 4870 (RV770) graphics card using the stock Catalyst 11.4 driver on Ubuntu 11.04, the stock Ubuntu 11.04 open-source driver with Mesa 7.10.2 and Linux 2.6.38 kernel, and then using the very latest driver stack as of 10 June 2011. This very latest driver stack includes the Linux 3.0-rc2+ kernel, Mesa 7.11-devel (ECA3E91), xf86-video-ati 6.14.99, and the latest libdrm. These three configurations were all tested with their stock settings.
As we have not tested the non-default Radeon code-paths in a while, we also ran this latest driver stack (Linux 3.0 + Mesa 7.11-devel) when disabling Swapbufferswait and enabling color-tiling for this RV770 graphics processor. These two options are designed to deliver the best performance for the hardware on the open-source Radeon Linux driver. See these original benchmarks from January.
The Radeon HD 4870 graphics card was running on an AMD Opteron 2384 setup with a Tyan S2927 motherboard, 4GB of system memory, and 64GB OCZ Agility EX solid-state drive. Ubuntu 11.04 (x86_64) was the base operating system with the Unity desktop, X.Org Server 1.10.1, GCC 4.5.2, and an EXT4 file-system.
Benchmarking was done using the Phoronix Test Suite and several of the popular OpenGL tests that are capable of running on Mesa / Gallium3D.