|Release 177.83||Release 177.92||Difference|
|Soft Shadows Branching OFF||6054||5817||-4%|
|Soft Shadows Branching ON||10198||9542||-6.5%|
|FluidMark GeForce PhysX||9626||9579||-0.5%|
|FluidMark Software PhysX||1495||1503||0%|
Well… many websites have claimed that release 177.92 brings a boost in performance. Maybe in Direct3D (I also ran Aquamark and 3DMark2006 under WinXP and I didn’t see differences) under Vista. But in OpenGL, there is no performance gain.
|Catalyst 8.8 graphics drivers have been released few days ago, and today, or better this evening I’ve done some tests with oZone3D.Net OpenGL Benchmarks and a Radeon HD 3870 (stock clocks). I also used Lightsmark 2008 in order to have another OpenGL 2.0 application to confirm oZone3D.Net OpenGL benchmarks.|
|Catalyst 8.7||Catalyst 8.8||Diff|
|Soft Shadows Branching OFF||3384||2590||-23%|
|Soft Shadows Branching ON||4088||2993||-26%|
Global Performance Drop: 18%. OpenGL performance tumbled by around 26% in dynamic branching (soft shadows), around 23% in vertex processing (surface deformer) and around 4% in Lightsmark 2008. Only FurMark takes advantage of Catalyst 8.8 with a little 4% of performance boost. FurMark makes an intensive use of texture fetching and blending (ROPs) and maybe ATI has improved something in this part of Catalyst. But as said hereafter, Expreview has noticed a performance drop with a Radeon HD 4850 and FurMark. I don’t have such a radeon and then I can’t confirm this last result but FurMark score is somewhat weird…
Expreview on his side, has tested the Catalyst 8.8 with an ATI Radeon HD 4850 and compared to Catalyst 8.7, the new driver boosts the performance in games. If you have a Radeon HD 4850, Expreview recommends you update to Catalyst 8.8. But if you look at the results more seriously, you can notice that scores are boosted mainly for DirectX 10 titles. In other OpenGL or DirectX 9 titles, there is no or a little boost only. And with FurMark, Expreview has the same kind of performance drop I had with the HD 3870.
TweakTown in his Catalyst 8.8 review has also experienced a severe OpenGL performance drop with Radeon HD 3870 and Cinebench, the OpenGL benchmark derived from Cinema 4D. The Radeon HD 4870 has a drop too but less important.
Conclusion: for OpenGL applications that are performance focused, it’s better to not use Catalyst 8.8. In some cases, Catalyst 8.8 brings a little boost only and in other cases, a dramatic drop is noticed.
If you have some interesting results with OpenGL applications, do no hesitate to post a comment!
The chaps overs at Phoronix have analyzed the performance of the Radeon HD 4850 under Linux.
Read the complete article HERE.
While the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series was greeted with same-day Linux support, this first-cut Linux support clearly isn’t as well optimized as the Windows driver.
Alternatively, to this point they may have spent all of their resources tuning the DirectX performance and have forgone tuning the OpenGL side.
What’s the explanation for the Radeon HD 4850 on Linux falling so far behind their competitors? According to AMD engineers the Linux driver has yet to be well optimized.