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AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz - Is It Worth It On Linux?

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  • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz - Is It Worth It On Linux?

    Phoronix: AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz - Is It Worth It On Linux?

    In its battle against NVIDIA's Kepler, yesterday AMD released the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz graphics card. Here's some thoughts from a Linux perspective...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTEyNTM

  • #2
    The story will change once Steam for Linux is released with various Source Engine titles, but you're still weeks away from seeing any beta at least.
    I can't wait.

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    • #3
      I was actually thinking of getting an AMD 7970 instead of a GTX 680 due to the recent benchmarks posted here, but now I'm not so sure.
      Can any of you offer any advice? I'm going to use the card for mostly gaming, likely playing games through Wine (seeing that the only demanding native Linux game seems to be Oil Rush) and playing video (through HDMI to my TV).
      Would there really be much difference between the two cards? And which would be most future proof in regards to Wayland?
      Last edited by Cybolic; 06-24-2012, 12:58 PM. Reason: Woups, meant 680, not 580

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      • #4
        I would go for GTX 670. Maybe not winning every benchmark but fast enough and games work with wine and you can use newer kernels (currently fglrx max is 3.3) and xservers (fgrlx does not run with debian 64 bit xserver 1.12).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kano View Post
          I would go for GTX 670. Maybe not winning every benchmark but fast enough and games work with wine and you can use newer kernels (currently fglrx max is 3.3) and xservers (fgrlx does not run with debian 64 bit xserver 1.12).
          You're probably right. I just can't shake the feeling that the 2GB RAM is going to bite me in a year or two (or three), depending on when ID Software puts out their next game Hence the GTX 680.

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          • #6
            ...yesterday AMD released the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz graphics card.
            Which is rather pointless, given that most 7970 models (with quieter, more efficient coolers) already surpass the 1GHz clock speed. Even the ones that don't can be easily OC'd to 1GHz+.
            The lower-end cards that have "GHz editions" I can somewhat understand, but a 7970 edition seems extremely pointless to me.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cybolic View Post
              I was actually thinking of getting an AMD 7970 instead of a GTX 680 due to the recent benchmarks posted here, but now I'm not so sure.
              Can any of you offer any advice? I'm going to use the card for mostly gaming, likely playing games through Wine (seeing that the only demanding native Linux game seems to be Oil Rush) and playing video (through HDMI to my TV).
              Would there really be much difference between the two cards? And which would be most future proof in regards to Wayland?
              Performance should be about the same.

              I'd probably recommend NVidia in your case, because WINE support is generally still better, and VDPAU is definitely better.

              Both cards will gain Wayland support eventually, and it will almost certainly come in this order: 1. 7970 OSS driver, 2. NVidia binary driver, 3. 7970 fglrx driver.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cybolic View Post
                I was actually thinking of getting an AMD 7970 instead of a GTX 680 due to the recent benchmarks posted here, but now I'm not so sure.
                Can any of you offer any advice? I'm going to use the card for mostly gaming, likely playing games through Wine (seeing that the only demanding native Linux game seems to be Oil Rush) and playing video (through HDMI to my TV).
                Would there really be much difference between the two cards? And which would be most future proof in regards to Wayland?
                They are identical, with the 680 having a very slight edge at 1920x1200 and low/no antiassailing, at 2560x1600 and/or high AA they are even or the 7970 edges it out depending on if the title was sponsored by Nvidia or not. In ether case replace the cooling with something beefier and give it an OC, you won't be likely to damage the GPU unless you start boosting the voltage, so you're only concern would be how to deal with the heat without adding enough high performance(read as loud)fans to get your comp airborne, since the reference design cooler can get quite loud when it decides to rev high.

                As for future proofing, both are currently far more powerful then you'd need with any game availible natively via Gameolith or Desura need, but personally I'd go with an AMD part due to their commitment to OSS graphics drivers. Though currently Nvidia cards have better support in Wine due to all the years of the only real option being Nvidia hardware, but as we've seen that is starting to change now that more devs are picking up AMD GPUs.

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                • #9
                  Well you can play rage with wine + nvidia, but had issues with fglrx + hd 5670. i would definitely not buy amd hardware for linux, no and never. Especially not a highend card, maybe a 20 one in case i dont have got onboard vga and search something cheap...

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                  • #10
                    I'm convinced. GTX 680 4GB it'll be; especially since I won't have to fiddle with OC (I don't trust myself with that). Maybe I'll give AMD a new chance in 3-5 years.

                    Thanks Kano, smitty3268 and Kivada for the advice.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cybolic View Post
                      I won't have to fiddle with OC (I don't trust myself with that).
                      Eh, as before overclocking is pretty damn safe these days so long as you don't bother increasing voltages, pretty much every card can hit the same speed as any factory overclocked card on on the market. For example, any HD7970 can hit the 1050Mhz Core/6Ghz VRam speed of the HE7970Ghz and can even go faster then that without touching the voltages, the reason they don't at stock is because of noise since the cooler can handle the heat, just not without making it run loud enough that people would complain about the noise.

                      The few outliers in that would be certain custom types like the models that come with a preinstalled liquid cooler or something like the MSI Lightning series, though that's also got tons of marketing hype about how many extra voltage regulation rails and whatnot they added that are just beyond overkill and add no actual benefit unless you're going for cryogenic level temperatures for competition class overclocking.

                      Thus any 680 should be able to hit around the 1.2GhzCore/6.*Ghz VRam of the factory overclocked cards.

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                      • #12
                        Has support for the 7970 gotten better? Will 3.11 help when it is released? I have a 7970 and want to make the switch to linux from windows but don't want to if it's more trouble then it's worth.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by javy29sp View Post
                          Has support for the 7970 gotten better? Will 3.11 help when it is released? I have a 7970 and want to make the switch to linux from windows but don't want to if it's more trouble then it's worth.
                          I'd say that buying a high-end AMD card for linux use is foolish. If you look at the benchmarks you see that the linux versions of the drivers are abysmally slow compared to the windows versions. So you pay for nothing basically.

                          This combined to the sad fact that driver support is always lagging on new graphics hardware with linux, you're going to see needless problems.

                          Believe me, I haven't bought Nvidia since the horrible RF filtering fiasco of Geforce 1-2 - but having seen how bad AMD support for linux is, I'm definately considering to get a Nvidia for my next card.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ACiD View Post

                            Believe me, I haven't bought Nvidia since the horrible RF filtering fiasco of Geforce 1-2 - but having seen how bad AMD support for linux is, I'm definately considering to get a Nvidia for my next card.
                            Nice trolling. So you're saying that you've been using ATI (Now AMD) cards for a long time but now are about to dump them because of crappy linux support? Really? You made it through their REALLY crappy days and just as they're starting to get better your like "AMD is too crappy I'm switching!"? LOL

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chris200x9 View Post
                              Nice trolling. So you're saying that you've been using ATI (Now AMD) cards for a long time but now are about to dump them because of crappy linux support? Really? You made it through their REALLY crappy days and just as they're starting to get better your like "AMD is too crappy I'm switching!"? LOL
                              They're still just as bad if you use catalyst. Using it means you're actually trying to use your GPU power.

                              Only the OSS driver is getting better. Using it means you barely use a fraction of the power of your GPU so you wasted your cash on a high end card for no reason.

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