Radeon GLAMOR vs. Radeon EXA vs. Catalyst On X.Org Server 1.17

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 18 March 2015 at 04:00 PM EDT. Page 1 of 3. 15 Comments.

With Ubuntu 15.04 now shipping X.Org Server 1.17, I've run some 2D performance tests comparing the performance of this newest Ubuntu version when using the open-source Radeon graphics driver -- both with the EXA and GLAMOR acceleration methods -- compared to the new Catalyst Linux driver beta.

Given that X.Org Server 1.17 has GLAMOR optimizations and other improvements, I found it time to run some fresh 2D comparison benchmarks. I ran some basic benchmarks while using the xf86-video-ati 7.5.0 DDX currently shipped by Ubuntu Vivid. The Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards and newer only support GLAMOR for 2D acceleration while the Radeon HD 6000 series and older default to EXA but can switch to using GLAMOR when changed by the xorg.conf. Thus I tested a Radeon HD 6950 first with the default EXA acceleration and then enabled GLAMOR on X.Org Server 1.17.1. Next up I installed the new Catalyst driver beta that supports X.Org Server 1.17 on Ubuntu 15.04. This Catalyst 15.3 Linux beta is advertised as fglrx 15.20.2 / OpenGL 4.4.13374. The other important open-source Radeon Linux driver version information is the Linux 3.19 kernel and Mesa 10.5.0.

2D Testing Ubuntu 15.04

All of these basic 2D benchmarks between the three driver configurations for the AMD Radeon HD 6950 were done with the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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