AMD Gallium3D & Catalyst Drivers Compete Against Windows
Kicking things off with Nexuiz where immediately we see the Linux Catalyst driver on the respective GPUs being much slower than Windows Catalyst. Again, the same hardware was used throughout and the tests occurred in a manner just like the NVIDIA testing where for the same GPUs the performance was similar between Windows and Linux with the NVIDIA binary driver.
In terms of the Radeon Gallium3D performance, the results were decent for the Radeon HD 6770 and HD 6870 graphics cards. The performance was surprisingly close between the two Linux drivers. The Radeon HD 7850 was omitted from open-source driver testing in this article since the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver is still being matured.
When upping the resolution to 2560 x 1600 for our 30-inch Samsung display, the Radeon Gallium3D driver was actually faster than Radeon Catalyst on Linux! The renderings to the human eye between the two drivers also looked close, but there may be other subtle differences with the Catalyst driver exposing OpenGL 4.2 support (or OpenGL 4.3 if using the very latest beta) while the Radeon Gallium3D driver is still living in the GL3 days with just OpenGL 3.1/3.2 compliance. Compared to Windows, both drivers performed noticeably worse.
With the very lax OpenArena game, the Catalyst driver performance was similar between Windows 8 and Ubuntu Linux while the Radeon Gallium3D driver was slower.