With the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" right around the corner we have out today some new benchmarks of various AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards when testing them with the latest Linux GPU drivers on Ubuntu 14.04 at 4K (3840 x 2160).
For those not familiar with the overall state of 4K Ultra HD Monitors on Linux, read the Phoronix Ultra HD 4K Linux Graphics Card Testing review from late November of last year when I tried out all the different driver / hardware combinations on Ubuntu 13.10. That article thoroughly goes over all the details you need to know if you're thinking about 4K Linux gaming while this article is to serve as a performance update for those early adopters that already have 4K displays. The only driver change to report since that article is that with at least the NVIDIA 334 Linux driver series there is no longer any xorg.conf configuration changes needed to mode-set NVIDIA hardware at 3840 x 2160 on the Seiki SE39UY04 Ultra HD TV... The latest AMD Catalyst and NVIDIA 334 Linux drivers were both mode-setting correctly with the Seiki SE39UY04 on the range of supported graphics cards in our possession.
Besides the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release coming up soon to warrant some fresh 4K testing, the other reason for doing these tests at this time was being curious about the 4K performance out of the GM107 Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 750 and GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics cards. Both of those graphics cards plus an assortment of other AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were tested for today's article.
Aside from any HiDPI issues with the different Linux desktops depending upon your screen size, the overall support now for 4K displays by the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers is okay. With the open-source drivers, your mileage will greatly vary, especially when it comes to the particular hardware and whether the performance out of the open-source driver is good enough for keeping up with a 4K resolution. High-end AMD Radeon hardware on RadeonSI Gallium3D should be good enough, but we'll know for sure in our next 4K article when we focus exclusively upon the open-source graphics Ultra HD performance. In terms of where the performance is at right now between the open and closed-source drivers for HD Linux gaming, read Radeon Gallium3D Performance Gets Close To Catalyst On Ubuntu 14.04 and Radeon Open-Source Performance Over Three Years, Compared To Legacy Catalyst. The Nouveau driver will be in the toughest shape for 4K support due to its lack of proper re-clocking / dynamic power management right now so its core and video RAM clock speeds are crippled and for some hardware perhaps not even fast enough to feed at 3840 x 2160.