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AMD Radeon R9 290 Is Still A Wreck On Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 24 November 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 28 Comments

Several days ago I published my review of the AMD Radeon R9 290 on Linux. While the graphics card is hopeful and has received a fair amount of praise on the Windows side, I found the current Linux performance to be troubling and offered bad OpenGL performance. On Friday AMD released a new Catalyst 13.11 beta and there was hope the R9 290 series performance was corrected, but that is not the case: the performance still is ridiculous on Linux.

The Catalyst Windows driver was quickly updated for bettering the R9 290 performance, but nearly one month after the hardware first shipped the Linux Catalyst performance is still extremely troubling. There was hope the Catalyst beta driver on Friday would offer R9 290 performances, but I can now say that is certainly not the case. I have carried out a driver comparison on my R9 290 and other Phoronix readers with AMD "Hawaii" GPUs have also confirmed similar results: no change in performance.

In some tests I've seen small changes in performance, but nothing substantial. With this latest "v9.4" beta driver release the OpenGL version string hasn't even been bumped. Overall, it's rather disappointing and the driver comparison benchmarks for the Radeon R9 290 graphics card are on the following pages from Ubuntu Linux.

Aside from checking out my aforelinked R9 290 review, be sure to check out my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Linux review that includes tests of fourteen different AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, including the R9 290. NVIDIA is back to commanding on Linux with their higher-quality binary driver. R9 290 benchmarks between Windows 8.1 and Linux will be published in the next day or two.

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