The Open-Source ATI Driver Is Becoming A Lot Faster
Phoronix: The Open-Source ATI Driver Is Becoming A Lot Faster
Now that the kernel mode-setting page-flipping for the ATI Radeon DRM kernel module has been merged into the Linux 2.6.38 kernel and the respective bits have been set in the xf86-video-ati DDX, we're in the process of running new open-source ATI graphics benchmarks under Linux. Our initial results (included in this article) show these latest improvements to cause some major performance boosts for the open-source ATI driver as it nears the level of performance of the proprietary Catalyst driver.
Michael, in every article comparing open source and proprietary GPU drivers, please, add CPU usage stats.
// I'd be also much interested in seeing the system power draw - but that'll be a tedious work for you.
Not for notebooks. PTS can monitor power sensors (just like CPU temperatures and usage and all other hwmon/thinkpad/LM_Sensors modules) in real-time and line graph them for each test, but for desktops I have no systems with integrated power sensors (I guess just some high-end workstations) and won't use my wall power monitor since it can't plug into PTS.
Originally Posted by birdie
Is this relevant for R700? Or we have to wait yet again?
These results are absolutely remarkable. If most of these optimisations eventually find their way into r600g, then we have lots to rejoice about. Many of these improvements are indeed on their way for r600+ cards too.
The 300+ FPS on OpenArena are meaningless. The frames are so easy to render that it just measures the ability of the driver to quickly push lots of data to the card. It doesn't really play an important role for anything, and is caused by the driver being CPU-bound and single-threaded.
The results in more challenging games which use lots of GLSL (like Nexuiz) are far more telling. It's amazing that we're that close to Catalyst.
This sort of performance is already completely satisfactory for users like me, who are not into high-performance gaming, which is the vast majority. If we get this sort of relative performance compared to Catalyst in r600g by the end of this year, that will be an amazing achievement. And still there is profiling being done and still optimisations to come.
I'm very happy about this.
Thank you, Michael, the 9.3 comparison is much appreciated.
From these results, it is obvious that radeon is still CPU limited. It is probable, if not certain, that R300-R500 will reach or even surpass fglrx once these CPU bottlenecks are eliminated.
This is unlikely to happen for R600+, as the hardware and drivers are much more complex. Still, very positive results! I'd love to see what will happen once hyper-z and z-compression is implemented.
Yep, that would be a good idea.
Originally Posted by birdie
But good to see the free drivers catching up, so soon <R600 users won't miss much performance. Though the classic mesa stuff seemed to be quite ok, too. And nobody has to stay with an outdated fglrx/distributionfor performance anymore.
Looks like I'm going to have to get a new PSU and test these improvements out on my X1250 and 4650 on my HTPC
Fingers crossed that 1080p video plays smoothly too
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