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Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 vs. AMD Radeon Graphics On Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 17 June 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 5 - 24 Comments

Already published on Phoronix have been Intel HD Graphics 4600 benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux from the Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" processor and compared against previous generations of Intel HD Graphics. Being benchmarked today is the Intel HD Graphics 4600 on Linux compared against various AMD Radeon graphics cards using both the open and closed-source graphics drivers.

Rather than looking at just the Intel HD Graphics performance from different CPUs, the Core i7 4770K graphics performance was compared against the AMD Radeon GPUs on the open-source driver -- using the same kernel and Mesa Git revision -- and then again with the AMD Catalyst proprietary graphics driver.

Why just AMD Radeon graphics today? Well, with the Mesa 9.2 Git revision (as of last week) that was used for the Intel and AMD R600g testing, when it came to powering on the NVIDIA graphics cards with the Nouveau Gallium3D driver, there were problems. With this latest Mesa code using the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver, the Compiz compositing window manager was producing segmentation faults when starting and due to a problem within the Nouveau code. Moreover, for Linux desktop users wanting open-source drivers, it's usually a decision between AMD and Intel. Both AMD and Intel have official open-source driver support (though AMD also maintains Catalyst) where as all of the open-source NVIDIA support is left up to the community. The current state of the Nouveau graphics driver is that it varies a lot, re-clocking still doesn't work "out of the box" for delivering proper performance, and regressions are sadly all too frequent. With that said though, in a later article (once the Mesa Nouveau Compiz issue is resolved) will be new benchmarks that incorporate more AMD Radeon graphics cards plus various NVIDIA GeForce hardware.

All testing happened from the Intel Core i7 4770K system with the Intel DH87RL motherboard. The AMD Radeon graphics cards included the AMD Radeon HD 4550, HD 4870, HD 5450, HD 6570, and HD 6770. For the HD 5000 and 6000 generations, the Catalyst driver was also tested, but the HD 4000 hardware had to be ignored since it was dropped from the mainline Catalyst driver. For the open-source driver testing, the latest Linux 3.10 Git kernel was used in conjunction with Mesa 9.2 git-6d7abaf and the latest X.Org drivers. When using the AMD Catalyst driver, the Catalyst 13.6 Beta driver was tested from Ubuntu's 3.8 kernel.

All benchmarking was handled in a fully automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software.

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