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Looking At The OpenCL Performance Of ATI & NVIDIA On Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 6 September 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 3 of 3 - 35 Comments

With the Caustic3 rendering scene in the SmallPT GPU test, the ATI graphics hardware and their OpenCL implementation within the Stream SDK 2.2 release finally came out ahead. The Radeon HD 4890 was about 1.64x faster than the GeForce GTX 460 and the Radeon HD 5770 was 1.78x faster. While the GeForce GTX 460 lost in this test, the Fermi OpenCL performance still was well ahead of the GeForce 8800GT and 9800GTX PCI Express graphics cards.

In our last test for today is the MandelbulbGPU test profile. In this test the GeForce GTX 460 returned to be the fastest and was several times faster than the ATI Radeon HD 5770. In fact, the Radeon HD 5770 was only marginally faster than the GeForce 8800GT GPU. The ATI Radeon HD 4890 with Stream SDK 2.2 was not able to successfully finish this test. MandelbulbGPU is another instance where the OpenCL capabilities trumped that of the GeForce 9800GTX.

Judging from these first five OpenCL benchmarks, under Linux the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 "Fermi" series on the currently available drivers is looking great with its OpenCL performance compared to previous-generation NVIDIA GPUs and to the ATI Radeon HD 4000/5000 series competition presented by AMD. While the GeForce GTX 460 performance when it comes to OpenGL under Linux may be close to that of the Radeon HD 4890, with OpenCL it is definitely not the case. You may also be interested in our benchmarks two weeks ago comparing the Mac OS X vs. Linux OpenCL performance.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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