27-Way NVIDIA & AMD Graphics Card Benchmarks On Linux
After last week delivering a 21-way graphics card comparison on Linux using the open-source Intel, Radeon, and NVIDIA (Nouveau) graphics drivers, this week at Phoronix we have a 27-way graphics card. This time around all of the graphics cards were tested using the closed-source/proprietary AMD Catalyst and NVIDIA graphics drivers.
Twenty-seven different AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were tested over the past week using the latest binary Linux drivers: AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta v9.4 and NVIDIA 331.20. All testing happened from an Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" system running at 4.40GHz and with Ubuntu 13.10 x86_64 using the mainline Linux 3.12 kernel.
The results should be very interesting given that the NVIDIA Windows vs. Linux performance is nearly identical but as testing has shown the AMD Radeon R9 290 is disappointing on Linux even with the latest drivers while NVIDIA's GeForce 700 series is running superb. Testing 27 different graphics cards on the same hardware/software stack adds more perspective to the Linux GPU/driver situation.
On the NVIDIA side the graphics cards tested spanned from the GeForce GTX 780 Ti / TITAN all the way back to the GeFoce 8 series, the oldest NVIDIA GPUs still supported by their mainline Linux graphics driver. On the AMD side the graphics cards ranged from the Radeon R9 290 back through the Radeon HD 5000 series, which is the oldest generation supported by their mainline Catalyst Linux driver. The Catalyst Legacy driver doesn't support Ubuntu 13.10 so we couldn't test any older hardware on the closed-source driver.
A range of OpenGL benchmarks were done on the hardware from Counter-Strike: Source to Xonotic, all done via the Phoronix Test Suite. Here's the full listing of the graphics cards tested:
01: Radeon HD 5750
The range of graphics cards tested were limited by the hardware supported by the mainline NVIDIA/AMD drivers and the hardware available. There were more NVIDIA GPUs tested than AMD since their mainline driver supports hardware going back longer than AMD and because at Phoronix there's now more NVIDIA GPUs than AMD, since AMD hasn't been supplying review samples to Phoronix recently since they have lost interest in Linux testing or just trying to cover up their current Catalyst driver issues with Steam Linux games. Thus most of the recent AMD graphics cards tested at Phoronix are graphics cards Phoronix Media had to purchase; to help out the site please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium. Besides hardware costs, these tests are very time consuming and Linux tests like these can't be found anywhere else on the web. Phoronix Premium also allows reading multiple page articles (such as this large comparison) on a single-page and ad-free.
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