Gaming With The Open-Source R500 Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 28 May 2008 at 01:05 AM EDT. Page 2 of 2. 24 Comments.

Looking at something more demanding, we had turned to id Software's Doom 3. While the game and introductory cut-scene had loaded smoothly, once loading a level or timed demo, many textures were missing and the frame-rate was unbearably slow. For now, Doom 3, Quake 4, or Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will not work with the Mesa R500 3D implementation.

With Unreal Tournament 3 still missing in action, Unreal Tournament 2004 continues to live on for Linux gamers. Fortunately, running the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo with this open-source setup had yielded very promising results. We hadn't run into any noticeable issues and there were no complaints at all about the frame-rate.

We will be delivering benchmarks of the open-source R500 3D driver (via the Phoronix Test Suite) in the near future once this support has matured some. With that, we'll be comparing the performance to AMD's proprietary Catalyst driver as well as comparing the performance to the R300 Mesa driver with an ATI Radeon X800 graphics card. Share your ATI Linux driver thoughts in the Phoronix Forums. For those not concerned about gaming but more interested in desktop effects, the Mesa driver is compatible with Compiz.

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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