AMD Athlon's R3 Graphics: RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 15 April 2014. Page 5 of 5. 13 Comments

For the very demanding Furmark benchmark on Linux, the Catalyst driver was about 30% faster than the open-source driver in its best-case scenario... Or 2.6x faster than the configuration that's shipped by default in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

While Triangle is a synthetic test limited to video memory speed, the Catalyst driver was almost five times faster.

Besides the AMD Catalyst Linux driver being measurably faster than the best-case numbers out of the very latest open-source driver code for the RadeonSI Gallium3D stack, the Catalyst driver still holds the advantage of OpenGL 4.3 support over OpenGL ~3.3 support within Mesa, the OpenCL support in the open-source stack still being of limited use, and numerous other features (like CrossFire, advanced AA/AF modes, etc) that aren't available at this time through the open-source driver. While the Catalyst driver is faster, the RadeonSI Gallium3D performance has been stable and "good enough" for light gamers or desktop users with the new AMD AM1 APUs.

More tests of the AM1 APUs on Linux (Ubuntu and other distributions) will be forthcoming on Phoronix with both RadeonSI Gallium3D and Catalyst.

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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 or contacted via

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