Revisiting Linux GPUs: Playing the Driver Gameby Kristopher Kubicki on December 17, 2004 12:49 AM EST
- Posted in
The TestWe will run a few different configurations of GPUs and operating systems just to give everyone a point of reference. The graphics cards that we have selected today should strongly correlate the same market segments - the Radeon X800 Pro and the GeForce 6800 generally both run at or over $300. Unfortunately, there are very few cards still available today that compete on the 9800 Pro level, so we were limited to including a GeForce 5700 Ultra for comparison (both cards run around $200.
|Performance Test Configuration|
|Processor(s):||AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (130nm, 2.4GHz, 512KB L2 Cache)|
|RAM:||2 x 512MB Mushkin PC-3200 CL2 (400MHz)|
|Motherboard(s):||MSI K8T Neo2 (Socket 939)|
|Video Card(s):||GeForce 6800 128MB
GeForceFX 5700 Ultra 128MB
Radeon X800 Pro 256MB
Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
|Operating System(s):||SUSE 9.1 Professional kernel 2.6.8-14-default x86
SUSE 9.1 Professional kernel 2.6.8-14-default x86_64
We will try to demonstrate the performance between the 64-bit and 32-bit kernel on Linux with the two driver sets. The NVIDIA driver that we are looking at today is already a month old - but most Linux users take a very conservative approach to inserting binary code into their kernels and we wouldn't be surprised if a strong majority of users have not updated to this release yet. ATI's 3.14.6 driver is also about a month old, which gave us some lead time to test the newest build of Doom3 with the newest drivers.
You will notice the test configuration that we are running looks a little old - SUSE 9.2 has been available for a few weeks now. However, since we had some of these benchmarks completed in October on the SUSE 9.1 platform, we opted to continue this analysis with the same platform to illustrate the differences on a stable platform. Feel free to check out the previous analysis test page here. The kernel used in this benchmark is still fairly current, but the userland is older.
Our test methodology is very straight forward, since we will only be benchmarking three games for this analysis. For Enemy Territory, Unreal Tournament and Doom3, we will run a basic set of timedemos along with two dimensional data from the AnandTech FrameGetter utility that we unveiled several weeks ago. We will be watching for specific fluctuations between the two driver sets on each video card. Furthermore, we will use Unreal Tournament 2004 in 64-bit and 32-bit mode to compare performance between the two sets of drivers in 64-bit mode. Unfortunately, there are still no 64-bit ATI binaries, so those tests are limited to NVIDIA only.