This week we showed how the new AMDGPU driver stack is performing on Ubuntu 16.04 and that the recent generations of Radeon graphics cards are commonly seeing 80~90% the performance of Catalyst. However, it's important to keep in mind that aside from Catalyst being more buggy than the proprietary NVIDIA driver, the NVIDIA binary driver also tends to be more performant. So for putting the Ubuntu 16.04 open-source Radeon numbers into perspective, here are results putting them against the GeForce Kepler and Maxwell graphics cards.
In this article are the results from this week's AMD comparison when using Ubuntu 16.04 in its development form with the Linux 4.4 kernel (with this Xenial Xerus build having back-ported the Radeon/AMDGPU changes from Linux 4.5) and Mesa 11.2-rc3 built against LLVM 3.8. Then on the NVIDIA side was the 361.28 driver on Ubuntu 16.04 that was easily installed via apt-get install nvidia-361-updates. For those curious how the open-source NVIDIA vs. closed-source performance is going, I'll have some of those numbers in the next few days while these closed-source results were more of a priority considering it's what a majority of the Linux gamers rely upon.
The cards available on the AMD side were the R9 270X, R9 285, R9 290, R7 370, and R9 Fury. On the NVIDIA side there are more graphics cards to test thanks to the green company kindly submitting to us review samples. The cards I used for this comparison were the GeForce GTX 760, GTX 780 Ti, GTX 950, GTX 960, GTX 970, GTX 980, GTX 980 Ti.
All of the OpenGL benchmarks in this article were run via the open-source Phoronix Test Suite.