Unigine Heaven 2.0 Linux Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 24 March 2010 at 10:41 AM EDT. Page 1 of 2. 20 Comments.

Yesterday the 2.0 release of the Unigine Heaven tech demo was released for Microsoft Windows users. This Windows release was greeted finally by the OpenGL Linux release of this impressive demo too. While we had published benchmarks and screenshots of the Unigine Heaven Linux release, this was based off of an internal build that we had received from Unigine Corp back in December -- long before the 2.0 release came about with its optimizations, updated engine, and new artwork. Due to this, we have now published a new set of Unigine Heaven performance numbers for Linux from a selection of ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards along with many new screenshots.

As we also shared yesterday, while the Linux release was held up by bugs in the ATI Catalyst Linux driver in regards to its OpenGL tessellation support, the Linux release yesterday goes with the tessellation mode disabled. Unigine is hoping to update the Heaven 2.x series soon with proper OpenGL tessellation support for both ATI/AMD and NVIDIA, once the GeForce 400 "Fermi" graphics cards are released on the NV side that support the hardware tessellation and once they implement the new OpenGL 3.3/4.0 specifications.

Even ignoring the tessellation issues, there is some problems right now particularly on the ATI/AMD side with this demanding Unigine demo. From the Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" graphics cards that we have tested, all that is displayed using the Catalyst 10.4 drivers found in Ubuntu 10.04 are psychedelic colors. This is a regression from our testing of Unigine Heaven back in December with the older Catalyst releases at the time where the performance and image quality was actually great.

With all of the Radeon graphics cards that we have tested using recent Catalyst drivers, there are also some black shaders showing up in different areas too. In our forum threads there's others sharing the issues they experience too. On the NVIDIA Linux side with the latest proprietary drivers, Unigine Heaven 2.0 for Linux seems to be in rather good shape.

For this testing of the Heaven 2.0 release we used the unigine-heaven test profile in the latest Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 "Lyngen" code that supports this tech demo (along with the earlier Sanctuary and Tropics tests too). The graphics cards we used for testing was the ATI Radeon HD 4650, HD 4830, HD 4850, and HD 4890 on the AMD side. On the NVIDIA side we used an NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT and 9800GTX. With an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS snapshot, we used the fglrx 8.72.10 (what will be Catalyst 10.4) on the AMD side and then with the NVIDIA graphics cards was the 195.36.15 driver. We were using the 64-bit build of Ubuntu 10.04 with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel and X.Org Server 1.7.5.

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