Following yesterday's NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 launch, here's an 11-way comparison looking at all of NVIDIA's Maxwell GPUs as well as many Kepler and Fermi GeForce graphics cards under Linux. Beyond the raw OpenGL performance, the thermal and power efficiency data is also available for the tested range of GeForce 900/700/600/500/400 series graphics cards.
In yesterday morning's launch article for the GTX 960 there were some Linux benchmark results but it was limited by the time available with having this $200 Maxwell graphics card just a few days before launch and also running into various Catalyst 14.12 Linux driver issues. Running the AMD Radeon graphics card tests on Linux are messy with the Catalyst 14.12 Omega driver having big issues in running tests like Unreal Engine 4 and Metro Redux under Linux.
For this article I decided to publish the full NVIDIA-only Linux benchmark results in this 11-way comparison as they were trouble-free while following this over the weekend or on Monday will be the AMD vs. NVIDIA results that will lack the UE4/Metro results and other OpenGL workloads where the Catalyst Omega driver falls to its knees and lock-up the system. The Linux OpenGL testing line-up for this article is Metro 2033 Redux, Metro Last Light Redux, Tesseract, UE4 Atlantis Substance, UE4 Elemental, UE4 Matinee Fight Scene, Unigine Heaven, Unigine Valley, Xonotic, GpuTest, and LuxMark. Following the raw OpenGL results are also some additional numbers when looking at the GPU core temperatures, AC system power consumption via the USB-based WattsUp Pro power meter, and the performance-per-Watt. All of the benchmarks were carried out via the open-source and fully-automated Phoronix Test Suite Linux benchmarking software.
The selection of NVIDIA graphics cards tested for this article were basically the range of GPUs that were Fermi or newer and were on hand without being preoccupied in any of the other Phoronix test systems (e.g. the LinuxBenchmarking.com test farm too). The selection included the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 650, GTX 680, GTX 750, GTX 750 Ti, GTX 760, GTX 780 Ti, GTX 960, GTX 970, and GTX 980.
All of the initial GeForce GTX 960 Linux testing is being done with the EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SuperSC 2GB GDDR4 (02G-P4-2965-KR) graphics card. This graphics card has a 1279MHz base clock with 1342MHz Boost, ACX 2.0+ cooling, 6+2 power phase design, five display output support, and is currently priced at $234 USD while other GTX 960 graphics cards with reference specs are priced closer to $199.