Some time back I was mentioning a problem I was having with the NVidia
closed src driver. Russel Coker made a sugestion I checked out the open src
driver. Now I have had a look at the state of progress on both NVidia and
ATI/AMD cards and the big open src improver is for Radeon R600g driver.
This covers ATI/AMD Radeon HD3000 to 6870 cards, (NOT the 6900 cards these
being covered by the Radeonsi driver).
For the R600g driver benchmarks using 3.11.1 kernel and Mesa 9.2 (both
being in current debian testing) show that 3D apps were running at around
2/3rds of the frame rate as the windows driver. There were plenty of
reports from users saying it was running all linux games with the quality
sliders at max at 60 fps, there being only a single report slower than that
and it said it was smooth and highly playable. All stated the driver was
very stable and one could switch to a kernel console and back to X without
crashing the system.
With kernel 3.12.0 and mesa 10, this of course is fairly new, benchmarks
comparing with windows 7 produced the same results, ie the driver was as
fast as the one on windows.
This is all excellent news for opensource Linux.
Interestingly around 2 years ago when the AMD open source liason officer
was asked if the opensource driver would EVERY get as fast as the then
windows driver he replied it would and would likely end up faster. His
reasons for saying that was he said that the opensource was a far cleaner
and simpler driver than the windows counterpart, not having to worry about
backwards compatibilty and a binary interface to the kernel.
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