For those that may have missed it, the ATI/AMD fglrx 8.42 display driver that was released last month had introduced AIGLX support. The open-source â€œRadeonâ€ driver for ATI graphics cards going up to the R400 generation has supported AIGLX for quite some time, but the ATI binary display driver hadnâ€™t until last month. However, one of the complaints about the fglrx implementation of AIGLX is that in the 8.42.3 driver, some are encountering slow performance in Compiz / Compiz Fusion. We have taken an ATI Radeon X800XL 256MB PCI-E graphics card, which is supported by both the Radeon and fglrx drivers, and have compared their Compiz performance in a few different scenarios.
ATI Open vs. Closed-Source AIGLX Performance
The system once again was running Ubuntu 7.10 â€œGutsy Gibbonâ€ with the Linux 2.6.22 kernel and X server 1.3, but with these benchmarks, the Compiz effects were disabled during testing. The hardware included a PCI Express ATI Radeon X800XL 256MB graphics card, Intel Pentium D 820 (2.80GHz dual-core), 2GB of DDR3-1333 memory, and an ASUS P5E3 Deluxe (Intel X38) motherboard. We had used Enemy Territory and GtkPerf as our vehicle for benchmarking the two drivers, since both benchmarks are compatible with the current Radeon driver. The ATI driver used was fglrx 8.42.3.