At the request of many Phoronix readers here are the updated benchmarks comparing the performance of several NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards under Ubuntu 14.04 Linux to Windows 8.1 with all of the latest updates for each operating system. While the NVIDIA graphics driver code-base is largely shared between platforms, many Linux gamers will be pleased to note that the Linux performance has begun advancing beyond the frame-rates offered under Microsoft Windows.
In the past when comparing the Linux and Windows performance with NVIDIA graphics when using their proprietary drivers, the performance has largely been the same. With the very latest drivers on each platform, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS seems to have an advantage over Windows 8.1 in many of the tests. With Ubuntu 14.04 LTS we were using the NVIDIA 337.19 Beta as the latest publicly available driver at the time of testing while for Windows 8.1 Pro x64 the 337.50 driver was their latest equivalent. As usual for ensuring accuracy and being a fair "out of the box" comparison, the stock settings were used for each operating system.
An Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" system was used for all testing under both Ubuntu and Linux with no hardware changes being made between the OS installs. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has the Linux 3.13 kernel, Unity 7.2.0 desktop, and X.Org Server 1.15.1.
The graphics cards used for this cross-platform NVIDIA testing included a mix of old and new, low and high end GPUs:
- GeForce 9800GTX
- GeForce GT 520
- GeForce GTX 680
- GeForce GTX 750
- GeForce GTX 760
- GeForce GTX 780 Ti
A similar comparison will be done in the days ahead of various AMD Radeon graphics cards under Linux and Windows. All benchmarking was automated in a reproducible manner using OpenGL games/demos known to be in a good standing under each OS using the Phoronix Test Suite.