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Nouveau vs. Radeon vs. Intel Tests On Linux 3.16, Mesa 10.3-devel

Michael Larabel

Published on 25 July 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 5 - 8 Comments

As the second part of our Linux graphics testing this week after a Radeon R600/RadeonSI performance update with the Linux 3.16 kernel and Mesa 10.3-devel are some comparative numbers that include Intel's Haswell HD Graphics and various NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards on the Nouveau driver.

What we have for this article are the benchmarks of an assortment of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs (and the integrated HD Graphics of the Core i7 Devil's Canyon processor used for testing all the hardware) with the latest open-source graphics drivers using Linux 3.16 and Mesa 10.3-devel. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was running on the system with using the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA for the latest kernel and the Oibaf PPA for the updated graphics drivers.

The newly-added NVIDIA GeForce GPUs to this comparison were based upon testing a range of the more recent NVIDIA GPUs along with an old GeForce 9 series GPU. The NVIDIA comparison is slightly smaller than anticipated due to some of the NVIDIA GPUs no longer working and that matter is still being investigated.

The assortment of tested GPUs on the updated Linux graphics stack included:

- Radeon HD 6770
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 6950
- Radeon HD 7850
- Radeon HD 7950
- Radeon R7 260X
- Radeon R9 270X
- GeForce 9800GT
- GeForce GTX 460
- GeForce GT 520
- GeForce GT 610
- GeForce GTX 650
- GeForce GTX 680
- GeForce GTX 760
- Intel HD Graphics 4600 (Core i7 4790K CPU)

Overall, Nouveau is running fairly well with Mesa 10.3 Git and the Linux 3.16 Nouveau DRM. Linux 3.16 finally brings Nouveau re-clocking support for NVIDIA Kepler GPUs so that the GeForce 600/700 series hardware can clock up to its higher performance state. As a follow-up to that re-clocking article from a few weeks ago, the 100% fan speed bug has been fortunately addressed. When trying out the re-clocking on the aforementioned GeForce 600/700 series hardware, only the GTX 650 could be re-clocked to the highest-speed state (0f) while the other hardware could only run at the 0a performance state before facing lock-ups or screen corruption. Hopefully with Linux 3.17 the situation will improve a bit more and also for Fermi owners.

On the following pages are these updated open-source Linux OpenGL performance numbers for Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA. Next week the open-source vs. closed-source driver results using the latest drivers should be available on Phoronix. As always, the benchmarking was done by the Phoronix Test Suite.

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