At the request of many Phoronix readers, here's our first tests of Apple's OS X 10.10 "Yosemite" operating system as we see how the OpenGL performance compares between it and Ubuntu Linux with an updated kernel and Mesa.
With OS X Yosemite still being in development stages, our testing of it is limited and will have out many benchmarks upon its official release, but for those that have been really curious, I ran some quick Intel graphics tests.
The Bay Trail HD Graphics tests for this article came down to:
- Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS with all available stable release updates.
- The updated Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS state with then enabling the Oibaf PPA for Mesa 10.3-devel.
- The Oibaf'ed Ubuntu LTS configuration with then installing the Linux 3.16 stable kernel.
- The above configuration but then upgrading to the experimental Linux 3.17 kernel in Git form.
This article serves as a comparison of the stable Linux 3.16 kernel against the latest Linux 3.17 Git kernel when testing a range of graphics cards from the Radeon HD 5770 through the Radeon R9 270X. The system setup was maintained the same through testing and Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS was used as a host but with upgrading to the Mesa 10.3-devel and xf86-video-ati 7.4.99 Git using the Oibaf PPA. With Linux 3.16.0 and Linux 3.17 Git, the following AMD graphics cards were tested on the Intel Core i7 4790K rig:
- Radeon HD 5770
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 6950
- Radeon HD 7850
- Radeon HD 7950
- Radeon R9 270X
Coming up next week is a comparison of the Radeon R9 290 graphics card against various other graphics cards on the latest open-source driver. Additionally, there will be a RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst driver comparison for the Radeon R9 290 graphics card. Unfortunately there will be no Radeon R9 290X graphics tests for lacking that GPU and having bought the R9 290 myself. For those that are anxious to see how the R9 290 performs on the open-source driver, I uploaded some initial standalone results this weekend for you to facilitate your own comparisons.
release plan continues as follows:
- two weeks to let the alpha version stabilize, and only merge small
features along with bug fixes
- RC1 release on September 5th, Friday
- RC2 release on September 12th, Friday
- hopefully no more bugfixing much
- 1.6.0 release on September 19th, Friday
- at some point later master branch opens again for all new things.
Yesterday I shared some benchmarks showing Intel Sandy Bridge HD Graphics performance increasing on Linux 3.17 for this several year old architecture. This came as a surprise but the good news is the performance improvements on this new Linux kernel don't stop with OpenGL but extend to CPU performance too.
Besides the recent work to support OpenGL Geometry Shaders for Sandy Bridge in Mesa, users of Intel "Sandy Bridge" HD Graphics can also be thankful for the forthcoming Linux 3.17 kernel. Early testing of Linux 3.17 has revealed that for at least some Intel Sandy Bridge hardware are OpenGL performance improvements with the newer kernel code.
Tests I carried out last month with a Haswell-based Apple MacBook Air showed Linux largely smashing OS X 10.9 with the latest open-source graphics driver code on Linux over Apple's OpenGL driver. Today I'm testing the latest OS X 10.9.4 state against the newest Linux kernel and Intel Mesa driver code on Ubuntu while this time using an older Sandy Bridge era Apple Mac Mini.
Early benchmarking of the Linux 3.17 kernel have indicated faster performance for AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver thanks to Radeon DRM improvements.
There's plenty of Radeon changes for Linux 3.17 among which is properly-working AMD Radeon R9 290 (Hawaii) graphics support after these high-end GPUs were busted on the open-source Linux driver for countless months. Linux 3.17 also expands where Radeon Dynamic Power Management (DPM) is enabled, supports uncached and write-combined GTT buffers, Userptr support, and there's GPU VM improvements among other fixes and improvements.
AMD's proprietary Catalyst Linux driver installer is interestingly being prepared for an environment without an X.Org Server.
While there's no announcement out of AMD indicating any future support directions for their Catalyst Linux driver, it seems their Catalyst driver will soon be equipped with an option for building the driver packages without X.Org Server support, a.k.a. no building of the fglrx DDX driver.