Late last month we published system benchmarks of Ubuntu 7.04 through 8.10 and had found -- at least with the Intel notebook we were using -- that the performance had degraded with time. This article had then resulted in benchmarks of Fedora 7 through 10 and most recently were Mac OS X 10.5 vs. Ubuntu 8.10 benchmarks. In our original article we hadn't focused much upon the graphics tests and we were just using ATI's binary driver, but per a request from Canonical's Bryce Harrington, we have carried out some open-source graphics tests on Ubuntu 7.04 through 8.10 and we started with the ATI performance.
Any thought to the degradation being the new drivers forced to use AtomBIOS?
If flops speed is better, then computational-wise, the kernal is more streamlined/optimized. But for desktop use, raw number calculations must take in account operations that suck bandwidth and clock time.
I wonder...if you use Ubuntu 7.10, which appears to have better frame rates and updated only the ATI drivers to their October/November level, would the framerates drop?