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AMD Radeon HD 7950 On Linux Redux

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  • AMD Radeon HD 7950 On Linux Redux

    Phoronix: AMD Radeon HD 7950 On Linux Redux

    Here are some updated benchmarks of the AMD Radeon HD 7950 "Southern Islands" graphics card under Linux with the proprietary Catalyst driver.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=17223

  • #2
    Hey Michael,

    It would have been nice to see how power consumption would have scaled with performance

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MPF View Post
      Hey Michael,

      It would have been nice to see how power consumption would have scaled with performance
      I think my USB power meter broke :/ or since Linux 3.2 kernel the support broke... Haven't had enough time to investigate.
      Michael Larabel
      http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #4
        I'll run this PTS test tonight on my HD7970...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
          I'll run this PTS test tonight on my HD7970...

          Great, thanks
          Michael Larabel
          http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            Great, thanks
            Do you know if AMD would have a shitfit if I just happened to run these tests with... umm....

            With a fglrx driver I have brought back with me on a flash drive, in my time machine (TARDIS-esque) from about May 2012.



            Edit: Also, do you think it will throw off the results terribly much that the rest of my system is somewhat older than the 7970?

            Core i7 920 (first gen Nehalem)
            16 GB DDR3 1066 in dual channel config (because I'm stupid and bought the wrong thing lol)
            ASUS P6T Deluxe v2 motherboard (X58 chipset -- also first gen Nehalem)
            SATA 3gb/s HDDs (2TB)

            (Psst: due to my motherboard, the 7970 is stuck in PCI-E 2.0 configuration, so it might be bandwidth-limited somewhat, though I read on anandtech or somewhere like that, that the GPU isn't even maxing out PCI-E 2.0 bandwidth for games, only for compute)
            Last edited by allquixotic; 03-30-2012, 10:11 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael View Post
              I think my USB power meter broke :/ or since Linux 3.2 kernel the support broke... Haven't had enough time to investigate.
              :s Well, I need one and will buy it this week end. I hope the support isn't broken otherwise I'll have to look at the commit log!

              Hope yours isn't broken!

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              • #8
                I ran Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (too many of the others were not running at all / running incorrectly) using... er... "interesting" drivers on KDE 4.8 with KWin acceleration enabled. On Fedora 16 with hand-built 3.3 stable kernel

                http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28146435/7970-lol.tar.xz

                Untar and open index.htm in a browser.

                For the lazy: my HD7970 turns out to get an average of less than 1 FPS per second higher than Michael's HD7950 overclocked to 900/13975 MHz (which is the same clock frequencies used by the HD7970 ... HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM)

                So basically if you're going to buy a HD7900 series, get the HD7950 and save a few bucks. The 7970 doesn't appear worth it because you can just OC the 7950 the 7970's clock level and will get basically the same performance.

                For those who think you can apply this logic down the line to lower-end cards: no. The physical hardware available on the cheaper cards (7800 series, 7700 series, etc) is / is going to be heavily cut-down. My observations are that if two cards have the same first two numbers (79xx, 78xx, etc) they are probably going to be identical if you overclock the cheaper one to equal the more expensive one's clock rate. I didn't know / believe this until now but it seems like I get zero advantage from the 7970 over the 7950 with a software tweak.

                Then again, my CPU and memory bandwidth is vastly inferior to that on Michael's test system (as you can see from my test results), so that may have something to do with it. Or the differences between fglrx performance on KWin vs unity, or the differences between the fglrx versions we're running (I'm using... an interesting version )

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                • #9
                  The only interesting thing would be the link to 8.97.1. Why dont you use the control file from 8.95.1?

                  Btw. you have got your scripts dir twice in your PATH.

                  I just do not get why you did not buy a gtx 680 for the same price?
                  Last edited by Kano; 03-30-2012, 09:43 PM.

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                  • #10
                    how does the fan sound on that card ?

                    I'm going to be getting a 7850 possibly today and am afraid to get anything with custom cooling or clocks.
                    My thinking is staying close to the reference design will ensure that things like fan/voltage/clock adjustments work in linux.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Soul_keeper View Post
                      how does the fan sound on that card ?

                      I'm going to be getting a 7850 possibly today and am afraid to get anything with custom cooling or clocks.
                      My thinking is staying close to the reference design will ensure that things like fan/voltage/clock adjustments work in linux.
                      The fan on the Sapphire HD7970 is like this (percentage of maximum speed):

                      10%: CPU / case fans are louder. It adds more background noise but you can easily block it out because it's "low-pitch" so it doesn't stand out. I have a pretty big fan on the top of my case that's several times louder (to my ears) than the HD7970 fan at 10%.
                      20%: Slightly less loud than Intel's stock CPU fan
                      50%: VERY noticeable and MUCH louder than any fans in my case or my CPU fan (higher pitched)
                      75%: Sounds like a hair dryer
                      100%: Sounds like an aircraft jet engine

                      However, when allowing Catalyst to automatically change fan speed depending on load, I wasn't able to get it to automatically increase fan speed beyond 28%. 28% was when I was rendering Unigine with 16x AA and AF and tessellation. Get about the same result on Windows. So unless you're running a synthetic OpenCL torture test benchmark, you probably won't be able to get the GPU fan to go much higher than 30-40%. My operating environment is 70 Fahrenheit and I have a very well cooled case (many large fans), but I only use traditional air cooling, not water cooling.

                      Wearing my Sennheiser studio headphones that are "Passive Noise Cancelling" (they surround your ears physically so that air carrying sound waves from the environment can't reach your ears as easily), I can't hear any of my fans at all with the HD7970 fan at 25% or lower. I can barely make it out at like 30%. I can really hear it at 50%. By 75% or higher, it's completely obvious. At 100%, I can play loud music in my headphones and STILL hear the fan in the background as a constant source of noise no matter what I do.

                      P.S. -- I wouldn't advise running the fan at 100%. Make sure you operate your computer in a cool environment (AC or live in a cold climate), and make sure you have lots of low-RPM, large case fans that move a lot of air, and you won't normally need to run the HD7970 fan above 20%.
                      Last edited by allquixotic; 05-02-2012, 10:24 PM.

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