Radeon Gallium3D Can Beat AMD's Catalyst In Select Workloads
Phoronix: Radeon Gallium3D Can Beat AMD's Catalyst In Select Workloads
For seeing how far the open-source ATI/AMD Linux graphics driver has advanced, in this article are benchmarks from a vintage Radeon X1800XT (R520) graphics card when it's tested on a Catalyst Linux graphics driver from five years ago. The Ubuntu Linux releases every year going back to 2010 were then tested for reference to see how the open-source graphics driver matured just in the past three years. Here are the results in this article from the extensive round of testing.
It's good to see, how far the OSS radeon driver for the elder cards progressed. Yet, it would be interesting to see how far the legacy driver progressed in comparison. AFAIR there was also a jump in performance for the fglrx driver.
There is more performance to be pushed into the OSS drivers, but at this point permanently deprecating the legacy Catalyst driver is becoming a real possibility.
AMD should shift those workers to either Catalyst current, or give us more OSS developers, which is what I'd really like to see. End legacy Catalyst, and put those developers to work on the power management capabilities of the OSS driver.(which is now probably the biggest unaddressed general sore spot)
I think getting openCL support is also absurdly critical. There are entire swathes of software that can make up for the inefficiencies and slowness of radeon if it had the full programmable logic it offers. Also, the highest demand for foss drivers is in compute class cases where engineering teams want the ability to modify the drivers to suit their needs, and neither vendor comes close to offering that option, and Intel tech just isn't beefy enough to compete.
Originally Posted by halfmanhalfamazing
Without question. But OpenCL/Radeon is under major development and has been for quite some time.
Originally Posted by zanny
AFAIK nobody is addressing power management. With the prevalence of laptops, and other mobile devices which may have relevant chips in them, this is an important major and general function.
Crossfire is important, but it's not general. A specific, smaller crowd uses this.(It should be addressed at some point, but it's likely a lower priority)
And Mesa/OpenGL compliance. It would be great to see AMD have a much larger role here in adding new features to Mesa's capabilities, but at least Intel is addressing it so it's not going completely unaddressed.
Everybody loves performance and sparkly graphic features, which is what brings people like Marek to the table. But I do not believe power management in Radeon/r600/SI will be addressed until AMD themselves do it. And deprecating the legacy driver set which is increasingly less relevant at this point is a great place to find the necessary manpower, even if it's only one person. Gotta start somewhere.
Last edited by halfmanhalfamazing; 02-25-2013 at 11:20 PM.
For advancing Mesa/OpenGL its not that bad. AMD can quickly port Intel code to gallium and add needed infra in their drivers. That way AMD work as "reviewed by" for Intel code :P
Originally Posted by halfmanhalfamazing
I've just purchased an SSD to put a Linux install on (probably Gentoo) for gaming on my, previously Windows only, gaming PC. Now that Steam is out I thought it was about time.
I've got a Radeon card (6870), and I had planned to use the open source driver. My reasoning was there wasn't that much difference between running something like Half Life at 90fps on the open source driver or 120fps on the Catalyst. Just plucking figures out the air there, but you get the point, the Catalyst is better, but it's not like I'm running Crysis 3 on a Linux install.
But reading this I'm not sure that's a wise decision. Can someone give me a brief overview of the pros and cons of Radeon vs Catalyst? I'd prefer open source, but not to the point where I'd cripple my gaming performance just to stay OSS.