AMD Radeon Gallium3D Is Catching Up & Sometimes Beating Catalyst On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 17 November 2014. Page 2 of 6. Add A Comment

With Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Radeon HD 5000/6000 series graphics cards were running on the open-source driver close to the same speed as the closed-source Catalyst driver. With these cards that are using the R600 Gallium3D driver, the open-source driver support is very mature and in good shape: the Radeon HD 6870 on the open code runs at 92% the speed of Catalyst on Ubuntu 14.10.

When testing the GCN graphics cards in the Radeon HD 7000 series and newer, the open-source results were still competitive but not anywhere close to the 90%+ speed of Catalyst. The Radeon HD 7850 was at 79% the speed of Catalyst, the R9 270X at 58%, and the Radeon R9 290 Hawaii graphics card at 73% the speed of Catalyst. Again, this is with the latest drivers where on the open-source side consists of the Linux 3.18 kernel, Mesa 10.4-devel, and LLVM 3.6 SVN.

When looking at the performance-per-Watt against the overall AC system power consumption, the outcome is roughly the same with the power management now being similar by both Linux graphics drivers.

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