Windows 10 vs. Linux Radeon Software Performance, Including AMDGPU-PRO & RadeonSI
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 28 August 2016. Page 1 of 7. 82 Comments

As alluded to earlier and on Twitter, the past few days I have been working on a fresh Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux graphics/gaming performance comparison. This time it's looking at the latest Radeon performance using an R9 Fury and RX 480. Tests on Windows were obviously done with Radeon Software Crimson Edition while under Linux were the two latest AMD/RTG Linux driver options: the hybrid AMDGPU-PRO driver and the fully open-source driver via Linux 4.8 and Mesa 12.1-dev.

Given all the progress of particularly the open-source AMD Linux graphics driver stack this summer and the recent RX 480 Polaris launch, I figured it was a good time to do a fresh comparison of Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux on the red side. Windows 10 Pro x64 had all available updates and was running Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.8.2. On the Linux side was Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS x86_64 with all available updates. Tested first on the Linux side was AMDGPU-PRO 16.30.3-315407 followed by the open-source driver. For the open-source driver tests was the Linux 4.8 Git kernel along with Mesa 12.1-dev. The Mesa 12.1 Git packages were obtained from the Padoka PPA that are also built against LLVM SVN for the latest AMDGPU compiler back-end.

The same Intel Xeon E3-1280 v5 Skylake system was used for both the Windows and Linux benchmarking. With the current AMD open-source driver OpenGL 4.3 was exposed while via AMDGPU-PRO and Radeon Software on Windows there is OpenGL 4.5. It hopefully won't be too much longer until the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver is caught up to OpenGL 4.5.

Tested for this article were a wide variety of cross-platform games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Metro Last Light Redux, GRID Autosport, and Tomb Raider. Also tested were Dota 2 and The Talos Principle; with both those games offering OpenGL and Vulkan renderers they were each tested on Windows and Linux to make for a nice comparison. See our premium comparison with Direct3D 11 if you want to see how D3D11 is competing with Vulkan and OGL.

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