and in most tests, the evergreen card was actually faster (or at least on par) with previous-generation cards. Wow! That never happened before (memories of r300g kicking r600g/evergreen's butt in every benchmark...)
Dave Arlie committed some code to r600g on April 19th (the day before this test) which stopped flushing everything to the GPU all the time, and i think that gave a pretty significant speed boost.
I'll be glad when Texture Compression, etc are enabled by default.
But until then these little posts about performance:
a. Are always subject to debate by the people who have enabled the hidden tweaks the rest of the userbase has not a single clue about. Which leads me to suspect one of us needs to go to Ubuntu Brainstorm and add a proposal to have the tweaks enabled by default. Texture compression, odds and ends, filesystem modifiers
b. Should actually be run from fluxbox so that limited resources are used and we see the raw results.
c. I'm actually very happy running LTS copies of the operating system with one exception. 8.04 / 8.10 were the prime for my laptop in terms of raw performance. Although I'm neglecting the I915 driver. Ubuntu 11.04 is the prime for that chipset. See you can't have your cake and eat it too.
d. Distributions need a build system that incorporates these performance exceptions by compiling mismatches in terms of New Xorg with Old userbase. New userbase with Old Xorg. Puppy is about the only distribution I've read about who does this.
But who am I, what do I know of such things. I'm but a sentinel watching the progress of slime sliding down a dirt hill.
I have a 6950, one of the last remaining unsupported cards, it would seem. Well, unsupported in terms of 3D acceleration, anyway - KMS works, but no direct rendering. I really want to like GNOME Shell, but can't give it a fair try, because if I use the open-source drivers or llvmpipe it goes into fallback mode, and if I use the proprietary drivers I get creeping texture corruption until the session eventually becomes unusable.
Wake me up when Gallium3D support arrives for Cayman....
I'm in the same boat. I have a 6970 and usually just switch to my integrated 4200 chipset for Linux to avoid using the VESA driver.