GLAMOR vs. EXA 2D Radeon Performance On X.Org Server 1.18.3 / Ubuntu 16.04
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 24 April 2016 at 07:16 AM EDT. 10 Comments
X.ORG --
In continuation of yesterday's article about the Radeon vs. Modesetting X.Org DDX drivers when tested from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, here are the 2D performance benchmark results for those interested when it comes down to the xf86-video-ati's EXA acceleration versus its GLAMOR option as well as the only 2D acceleration offered by xf86-video-modesetting via GLAMOR.

The tests were done on the same system with FirePro V7900 (Cayman) GPU and Xeon E5-2387W v3 running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x86_64 with Mesa 11.2.0 and X.Org Server 1.18.3. The test configurations were:

- The Ubuntu default of the AMD GPU using the xf86-video-ati DDX with EXA acceleration. EXA is used by default on xf86-video-ati for all pre-GCN GPUs where as with GCN GPUs only GLAMOR is supported.

- Switching the xf86-video-ati DDX driver to using GLAMOR for this Cayman GPU. You can easily switch the acceleration architecture via the AccelMethod configuration option.

- Switching to the xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver on X.Org Server 1.18.3, which uses GLAMOR for doing 2D acceleration over OpenGL.

Those were the only changes during testing.

A few different 2D benchmarks were run via the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

The results varied but overall were quite interesting with the GLAMOR difference between the -ati and -modesetting DDX drivers, EXA winning in some tests, etc. You can see many more of these EXA vs. GLAMOR Radeon 2D benchmarks via the 1604243-HA-2DTESTING99 result file.
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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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