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Quake Linux

Open Source ARM Mali Driver Runs Q3A Faster Than the Proprietary Driver 71

An anonymous reader writes "The lima driver project, the open source reverse engineered graphics driver for the ARM Mali, now has Quake 3 Arena timedemo running 2% faster than the ARM Binary driver." There's a video showing it off. Naturally, a few caveats apply; the major one is that they don't have a Free shader compiler and are forced to rely on the proprietary one from ARM, for now.

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Open Source ARM Mali Driver Runs Q3A Faster Than the Proprietary Driver

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  • by TejWC ( 758299 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @11:24AM (#42808625)

    Based on the article, it seems like they first ported Q3A from OpenGL ES1 to OpenGL ES2, and then they used the closed source shader compiler to do most of the work (OpenGL ES2 forces most of the code to be in the form of shaders). It seems like they really didn't make much of an actual driver and just off-loaded most of the work to the shaders (I could be wrong though).

  • 2 whole percent? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @11:39AM (#42808777)
    So it's a value that's well within random fluctuation levels? Meanwhile, how's the reliability, memory usage, compatibility, performance outside of that single game?
  • by gmack ( 197796 ) <gmack AT innerfire DOT net> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:26PM (#42809397) Homepage Journal

    Quite often binary drivers are written by people who, either ported the code from other Operating Systems, or must maintain the code in such as way as to be able to share the code base with operating systems having different driver models. A pure free driver can lose a lot of cruft and can often have things like memory management better tuned for the system or interact with the hardware in more efficient ways.

    The NVIDIA Ethernet driver from a few years back was a good example of that. The Linux people created a free driver that ran a lot faster than the binary driver forcing NVIDA to abandon their driver.

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