AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance Has A Long Way To Go

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 28 June 2013. Page 5 of 5. 19 Comments
AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Fedora 19

The RadeonSI Gallium3D driver is clearly not optimized for performance at this time. The Radeon HD 7850/7950 graphics cards on the open-source RadeonSI driver were running only marginally better (or comparable) to the Radeon HD 6450. The higher-end Radeon HD 4000/5000/6000 series graphics cards were all running much faster on their open-source driver.

AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Fedora 19

Beyond the performance, the RadeonSI driver right now is capped to OpenGL 2.1 and as shown there were also rendering problems for Xonotic.

As found in Fedora 19, at least the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver is good enough for running an accelerated GNOME Shell or KDE experience, but for gaming it's not there yet. If you're buying new hardware and plan to use the open-source AMD Linux driver, it's generally better to buy a graphics card that's one or two generations old for a much more mature open-source experience.

With tiling in the Linux 3.10 kernel and other improvements likely on the horizon, hopefully the H2'2013 Linux distributions will be a much better story for the HD 7000 series. At least things are looking brighter with AMD already having open-source Radeon HD 8000 "Sea Islands" support prior to the hardware launch albeit it's based on the RadeonSI driver. In the past few months we have now also seen UVD video decoding finally surface and finally there is dynamic power management support.

Stay tuned for more RadeonSI 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