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Catalyst On Ubuntu 14.04 Linux Competes Well With Windows 8.1

Michael Larabel

Published on 23 May 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 6 - 14 Comments

After this week having carried out benchmarks showing Intel's Windows 8.1 OpenGL driver is outperforming their open-source Linux driver but NVIDIA's driver on Ubuntu Linux is commonly faster than Windows 8.1, the time has come to benchmark several different AMD Radeon graphics cards under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with all available updates and each OS using the latest Catalyst 14.4 driver.

The graphics cards we're benchmarking for this latest AMD Windows vs. Linux OpenGL performance comparison are:

- Radeon HD 5770
- Radeon HD 5830
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 6950
- Radeon HD 7950
- Radeon R7 260X
- Radeon R9 270X
- Radeon R9 290

The graphics cards used were limited by the hardware we have, which on the AMD side is rather limited since I'm often left buying the graphics cards since AMD hasn't been willing/able to supply many higher-end graphics cards to Phoronix in recent years.

The Catalyst 14.4 driver was used on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Windows 8.1. The open-source Radeon Linux driver wasn't used as part of this comparison since a few days ago I already ran updated R600/RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst benchmarks within the Catalyst 14.4 Has Advantages Over Linux 3.15 + Mesa 10.3 Git article. Beyond that, there's still some outstanding regressions within the latest open-source AMD driver code and open-source Hawaii GPU support doesn't even work right now.

The same Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" system was used for all of the graphics card testing under both Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Windows. Each OS was in its updated configuration and running Catalyst 14.4 with the default settings. All of the benchmarking under Windows and Linux was done in a fully-automated manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software.

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