With Steam Machines set to begin shipping next month and SteamOS beginning to interest more gamers as an alternative to Windows for building a living room gaming PC, in this article I've carried out a twenty-two graphics card comparison with various NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon GPUs while testing them on the Debian Linux-based SteamOS 2.0 "Brewmaster" operating system using a variety of Steam Linux games.
Last week I published The Best, Most Efficient Graphics Cards For 1080p Linux Gamers while today are some complementary results with an assortment of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards while running all tests at 2560 x 1440 as a more demanding scenario than last week's results.
Today marks a huge milestone for Steam on Linux: 1,500 games are natively available! This is quite significant while Windows is at 6,464 and OS X is at 2,323.
While Company of Heroes 2 was released for Windows two years ago, this game that's now available on Linux as of earlier today is a disaster if trying to use the AMD Catalyst Linux driver... The performance means an unplayable game. A low-cost GeForce GTX 950 offers much better results.
Earlier this week I published some performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar NVIDIA Linux benchmarks while in this article today are similar tests done on the AMD Radeon front with the Catalyst proprietary driver on Ubuntu Linux.
Given the current state of the AMD Catalyst Linux driver, there exists games on Linux that will run with this closed-source Radeon driver but where the performance of a EVGA GeForce GTX 950 FTW that retails for $180 USD can exceed the performance of a AMD Radeon R9 Fury that sells for more than $550 USD. Here's some of those cases where -- given the current state of Catalyst on Linux -- the OpenGL performance is so far down the gutter.
Yesterday I published the results of a 14-way graphics card comparison for AMD vs. NVIDIA Linux performance on DiRT Showdown, the latest AAA game to be ported over to Linux a few years after its Windows debut. This game was ported by Virtual Programming and utilizes their eON wrapper. In this article are more AMD vs. NVIDIA GPU tests on Ubuntu Linux for this game with slightly more demanding settings plus looking at the CPU and GPU utilization.
Yesterday marked the release of DiRT Showdown for Linux as ported over by Virtual Programming using their eON technology. With being able to use it as an automated, reproducible benchmark, I spent most of the day and into the night working on some initial AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce graphics card benchmarks using this DiRT game that's finally available to Linux/SteamOS gamers, three years after it was released for Windows. This initial comparison is a 14-way Linux gaming graphics card comparison.
A little under a year after its release, Feral Interactive have brought OS X and Linux users a new game to play… And thanks to Michael I spent all of Friday night and most of Saturday binge-playing Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor.
Last week Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was released for Linux after this AAA game premiered for Windows last year. Following its release I ran some Shadow of Mordor Linux benchmarks (and part two). Today are results on the same system when comparing the performance of this game under Ubuntu 15.04 to that of Windows 10 x64 Pro.
Yesterday I delivered benchmarks of Shadow of Mordor on Linux following its native Linux client release this week. In the article today are some more graphics cards benchmarked under this visually amazing game. Shadow of Mordor is quite likely the most GPU-demanding game out right now for Linux/SteamOS.
Yesterday Feral Games released Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor for Linux and Mac OS X. Since its release, I've been very busy working to get some benchmark results produced for this AAA game that's out for Linux one year after the Windows released. Included in these initial results for Shadow of Mordor are benchmark results for a few modern high-end graphics cards plus looking into the warning issued by Feral about the lack of AMD support.
Last week I published the results of a 15-way AMD/NVIDIA GPU comparison for 4K Linux gaming that was centered around the proprietary AMD/NVIDIA graphics drivers. However, if you stick to using open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers and are a Linux gamer, here are some benchmark results comparing the open to closed-source driver performance at 3840 x 2160.
Should you be using a Radeon graphics card with the AMD Catalyst Linux driver and are disappointed by the poor performance, there is a very easy workaround for gaining much better performance under Linux... In some cases a simple tweak will yield around 40% better performance!
While Linux users tend to prefer open-source hardware drivers out of philosophical beliefs or just making an easier out-of-the-box Linux experience, Valve and other early Vulkan stakeholders have yet another reason to appreciate open-source drivers as it allowed them to jump-start porting of the Source 2 Engine over to the new graphics API much faster and easier than if they were relying on a closed-source Vulkan driver. Here's the story that LunarG has exclusively shared with Phoronix about their process of bringing up Vulkan with open-source.
While in the process of benchmarking BioShock Infinite on Linux with AMD and NVIDIA hardware given the Linux release of the title this week, I also took this opportunity to run a 22-way graphics card comparison of Metro Last Light Redux and Metro 2033 Redux on the latest AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers atop Ubuntu 15.04. Here's those results.
This week's release of BioShock Infinite for Linux reinforces the common recommendation by Linux game developers that those seeking the best support and performance should use the proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver. Here's an initial look at the BioShock Infinite performance on Ubuntu between AMD and NVIDIA graphics.
This week BioShock Infinite was finally released for Linux and thanks to this AAA game having good support for automated Linux benchmarking, I've been running some tests over the past two days. In this article is a look at the AMD Catalyst Linux performance for BioShock Infinite while another article in the next few days will compare the graphics card results to the NVIDIA GeForce line-up on Ubuntu, once completed.
With Xonotic 0.8.0 finally having been released after one and a half years in development, here's some open-source Mesa/Gallium3D graphics benchmarks on many different graphics cards for this high-profile open-source first person shooter game.
This week there was a 22-way graphics card test of Metro Redux on Linux using GeForce and Radeon hardware with the latest AMD and NVIDIA proprietary drivers. Today the newest Linux gaming test candidate to look at is the AMD/NVIDIA Linux performance with the latest Unreal Engine 4 demos. In this article is a look at the UE4 Linux performance on AMD and NVIDIA graphics hardware running with Ubuntu.
A few days back I wrote about being able to finally get the Metro Redux game benchmarks running in an automated manner under Linux to the point that we're now able to test it with the Phoronix Test Suite. With Metro 2033 Redux and Metro Last Light Redux now running well for our testing purposes, I've carried out performance tests of these two games with twenty-two AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards on Linux. Besides looking at the normal FPS result there's also frame latency metrics, power consumption data for each of these graphics cards, performance-per-Watt metrics, and GPU thermal results. If you're wondering what graphics card works best for your needs for OpenGL 4.x Linux gaming, here's an interesting look with the Metro Redux titles that premiered on Steam for Linux back in December.
On Thursday, Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth was finally released for Linux. With being able to properly automate the benchmarking of CivBE on Linux, here's our first performance results out for this high-profile, turn-based strategy game for Steam on Linux. Seventeen AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were benchmarked for this article and the results are quite interesting.
Following last week's release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for Linux I published many AMD/NVIDIA GPU benchmarks of CS:GO. Those initial results were done using the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers while starting today will be the open-source graphics driver results for this highly popular Valve game.
Several hours ago Valve finally released to the public the Linux port of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive! This has been one of the most sought after titles to come to Steam on Linux by gamers and now it's finally out there. Of course, soon as it was made public, we added support for the game to our benchmarking software. After a very busy night, here's the first widely available benchmarks of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive running natively on Linux. Up for this first round of testing are an assortment of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards with the proprietary graphics drivers.
While we routinely carry out Ultra HD (4K) Linux graphics/gaming benchmarks at Phoronix, it's generally been conducted with the proprietary NVIDIA and AMD graphics drivers since the open-source drivers traditionally have had a challenge on performance even at 1080p. However, thanks to the maturing open-source Radeon driver stack, it's possible with higher-end AMD graphics processors with the latest open-source Linux driver code to begin running at the 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160.
As earlier this week I did a 20-way AMD Radeon open-source comparison, looked at the most energy efficient Radeon GPUs for Linux gaming, and then yesterday provided a look at the fastest NVIDIA GPUs for open-source gaming with Nouveau, in this article is a culmination of all the open-source graphics tests this week while seeing how Intel Haswell HD Graphics fall into the mix against the open-source Radeon R600/RadeonSI and Nouveau NV50/NVC0 graphics drivers.
Earlier this week I ran a 20-Way Radeon Comparison With Open-Source Graphics For Steam On Linux Gaming and that was followed by looking at The Most Energy Efficient Radeon GPU For AMD Linux Gaming. The tables have now turned as we benchmark a variety of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs using the latest open-source NVIDIA driver article.
In continuation of yesterday's 20-Way Radeon Comparison With Open-Source Graphics For Steam On Linux Gaming, here's a look at the most (and least) energy efficient Radeon GPUs when running Steam games on Linux along with other OpenGL tests while using the very latest open-source graphics drivers.
When it comes to Linux gamers wanting a discrete graphics card backed by open-source drivers, the only solution right now to truly recommend for those serious about performance and making use of the hardware is really AMD Radeon graphics. While Nouveau has been making much progress, until re-clocking and other issues are worked out the performance can be unbearably slow depending upon the particular graphics processor or run into other problems. (Of course, when talking about proprietary graphics drivers on Linux, the story is entirely different, or if considering integrated Intel HD Graphics.) For those pursuing a AMD Radeon GPU for their own Steam Box/Machine build and hope to use the open-source Gallium3D drivers, here's some Steam on Linux gaming benchmarks from almost two dozen different GPUs.
Benchmarks of Valve's Source Engine games (and other Steam titles for that matter) aren't done in all Phoronix driver tests and graphics card articles for various reasons, among which is that there's other more GPU-demanding OpenGL tests to utilize for modern hardware. However, for those curious about the performance of various AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards using the latest proprietary drivers, here's some updated numbers.
155 linux gaming articles published on Phoronix.