ATI R500 Gallium3D Performance In June 2010

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 7 June 2010. Page 2 of 3. 60 Comments

Beginning with Warsow we see the classic Radeon Mesa driver being slightly faster than Gallium3D, but not by a wide margin at all. The classic driver was just a few frames per second faster than R300g, but with this game and the Radeon X1950PRO hardware the game is playable regardless. The newer Mesa 7.9 code also handles this Qfusion-powered game properly where as with Mesa 7.7.1 in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS the game is not playable.

At the lowest resolution tested, 800 x 600, the classic Mesa driver was noticeably faster than the Gallium3D equivalent (94 vs. 127 FPS) while the Ubuntu Lucid Mesa stack came in at 98 FPS. However, at all higher resolutions (1024 x 600, 1280 x 1024, and 1920 x 1080), the Gallium3D driver was noticeably faster. The Radeon X1950PRO with the R300g driver could easily handle running this ioquake3-based game at 1920 x 1080 without any major slowdowns. This is an improvement compared to our testing in March where the Gallium3D driver was much slower than the classic driver and maxing out around 30 FPS.

Between Ubuntu's 2.6.32 kernel with Mesa 7.7.1 and the mainline 2.6.35-rc1 kernel with the latest Mesa 7.9-devel code for the classic Radeon driver the frame-rate performance is nearly identical. Meanwhile, the ATI R300/400/500 Gallium3D driver started out at 800 x 600 running slower than the classic Mesa stack, but beginning at 1024 x 768 and continuing at 1280 x 1024 and 1920 x 1080 it began pulling out ahead.

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