13-Way R600/RadeonSI GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.1 On Ubuntu 14.04
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 27 February 2014. Page 1 of 6. 17 Comments

With the imminent release of Mesa 10.1 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS landing this updated open-source 3D graphics stack at the last minute, here are some benchmarks of this preliminary open-source GPU driver stack of Ubuntu 14.04 with Mesa 10.1 and the Linux 3.13 kernel. With Mesa 10.1 there is now also Unigine Heaven & Valley benchmarks that are now compatible with the Radeon Gallium3D drivers.

Thirteen different AMD Radeon graphics cards were tested on the open-source driver going as far back as the Radeon HD 4650 (R700 series) and as recent as the Radeon R9 270X. The Radeon R9 290 "Hawaii" was attempted with this open-source graphics stack of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS but after enabling hardware acceleration, the graphics failed to work appropriately:

Aside from the Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card tests, Radeon HD 3000 (RV600) series hardware was even attempted to be tested, but with the Linux 3.13 + Mesa 10.1 combination the display would end up turning black (still was mode-set / DPMS didn't happen) during the OpenGL benchmarking.

What makes today's tests of 13 AMD Radeon graphics cards on Mesa 10.1 + Linux 3.13 so interesting is that with Mesa 10.1 there is finally OpenGL 3.3 support out of the R600 and RadeonSI Gallium3D drivers so Unigine Heaven/Valley and other games/benchmarks are now compatible.

The results in this article should offer a look at what AMD Radeon users can expect "out of the box" on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS when using the open-source driver. There's more AMD Radeon improvements found with the Linux 3.14 kernel, but it's not clear that the newer kernel will land in time for the initial release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Coming up in early March on Phoronix will be benchmarks comparing the open-source AMD Radeon stack in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS against Linux Git + Mesa 10.2-devel Git as well as benchmarks comparing the R600/RadeonSI Gallium3D performance against the proprietary AMD Catalyst Linux GPU driver.


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