Open-Source Radeon 2D Performance Is Better With Ubuntu 14.10
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 25 October 2014. Page 1 of 4. 13 Comments

While we're most often looking at the OpenGL 3D performance of the Linux graphics drivers, in the tests currently being done of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS vs. Ubuntu 14.10 are also a number of 2D graphics benchmarks. In the article today are our 2D benchmarks between Ubuntu 14.04.1 and Ubuntu 14.10 for various AMD Radeon graphics cards and it shows off significant performance improvements.

In this article are graphics card tests going back to the Radeon HD 4870 and even going back that far are 2D improvements with Ubuntu 14.10. However, most interesting is the Radeon HD 7000 series and newer where GLAMOR is used for 2D acceleration rather than UXA. GLAMOR leverages OpenGL for 2D acceleration and with X.Org Server 1.16 the GLAMOR support went from being an independent library to a highly-optimized implementation within the X.Org Server. Ubuntu 14.10 uses X.Org Server 1.16.0 along with Mesa 10.3.0, Linux 3.16, and xf86-video-ati 7.4.0.

The graphics cards tested for this article included the:

- Radeon HD 4870
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 7850
- Radeon HD 7950
- Radeon R9 270X

Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS and Ubuntu 14.10 were both tested out-of-the-box on the Core i7 5960X system running at stock settings on the Gigabyte X99-UD4-CF motherboard, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB Crucial SSD. Another important change in Ubuntu 14.10 is that for Intel CPUs the P-State driver is now enabled by default: thus for the out-of-the-box settings the CPU scaling driver goes from CPUfreq Ondemand on Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS to now using the P-State powersave mode.

QGears2 and GtkPerf ran via the Phoronix Test Suite are used to represent the 2D workloads for this basic weekend comparison of Radeon 2D out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 14.04 vs. 14.10.

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