Gallium3D is taking over

after there was a major performance regression with the introduction of kernel mode setting(KMS) for the radeon driver, it looks like the change starts to pay off now. You can already find on the fly display reconfiguration and dynamic power management with the upcoming kernel 2.6.34.

But if you enable the Gallium3D based r300g driver 3D performance takes off too – and makes you forget fglrx. While the Gallium3D based driver only had OpenGL2 to offer but had a horrible performance, it now easily overtakes the performance the classical r300 driver had with user mode setting.(UMS)

The last major boost came along with ColorTiling support which greatly improves the memory access, here a fast glxgears benchmark:

  • 10208 frames in 5s (no kms + classic mesa)
  • 9200 frames in 5s (kms + classic mesa)
  • 13400 frames in 5s (kms + gallium driver)

although this gives you a clue, the performance gain is much bigger in something that actually uses textures – like openarena.