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The Open-Source ATI Driver Is Becoming A Lot Faster

Jan 13, 2011, 19:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

"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.

"Just earlier this month we put out a big ATI Linux driver comparison including the Catalyst Linux driver, the open-source classic Mesa ATI driver, and the open-source Gallium3D ATI driver. These results on the newer generations of ATI Radeon HD graphics processors showed that the Gallium3D drivers are becoming faster than their open-source predecessors (the classic Mesa option), but that there is still room for much improvement to bring it up to performance parity with the proprietary Catalyst driver from AMD. As no R500-generation products were tested in that comparison, since AMD dropped support for the R300 through R500 ASICs after their Catalyst 9.3 driver release in early 2009, which is no longer compatible with modern Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases, we started out this Linux 2.6.38 kernel testing with these older graphics processors."

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