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AMD R600/700 2D Performance: Open vs. Closed Drivers

Oct 01, 2009, 14:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

"The classic Mesa support for the Radeon HD 2000 through Radeon HD 4000 series is maturing and is now able to run basic OpenGL games and applications, while the Gallium3D support is still a ways out. However, now that there is finally the Catalyst 9.10 driver within Ubuntu Karmic Koala that supports the latest kernel, we are finally able to directly compare the performance of AMD's Catalyst driver and that of the latest open-source code. In this article we have benchmarks showing the 2D performance between these two driver options with both an R600 and R700 graphics card.

"For this round of Linux 2D benchmarks we tested an ATI Radeon HD 3850 (RV670PRO) and then the ATI Radeon HD 4650 (RV730). We tested both of these graphics cards on a system running an Ubuntu 9.10 (x86_64) daily LiveCD snapshot with the Linux 2.6.31-10-generic kernel, GNOME 2.28.0, and X Server 1.6.3. The open-source DDX driver was xf86-video-ati 6.12.99 with the respective Linux 2.6.31 kernel DRM (using the EXA acceleration during the testing process) and then the proprietary driver was the Catalyst 9.10 driver that is currently available through Ubuntu's package repository. The rest of the hardware on this test system included an AMD Sempron 3400+ clocked at 2.16GHz, an ECS A790GXM-A motherboard, and Seagate 250GB ST3250310AS SATA HDD."

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