AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance Has A Long Way To Go
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.
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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