Here's the first bits of information following Phoronix tests of the "Southern Islands" AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics card running under Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with the Linux 3.2 kernel and the AMD Catalyst driver.
The full review of the AMD Radeon HD 7950 under Linux will be published next week on Phoronix. Right now there's just a few early numbers to share, some image quality screenshots, and a few extra words.
This first round of Radeon HD 7950 testing was done from an fglrx 8.95.3 press driver. This supported OpenGL acceleration (OpenGL 4.2.11566) on the Radeon HD 7950, however, there was still the watermark in the lower right hand corner stating that this was unsupported hardware. This was on a clean Ubuntu 12.04 installation when this AMD binary driver was freshly installed. According to Phoronix user reports, the "unsupported hardware" watermark was happening with the Radeon HD 7970 as well up until yesterday's Catalyst 12.2 driver release, which is based upon an earlier fglrx 8.95 release.
For those interested in how the Radeon HD 7950 image quality looks, below are a few samples from the common Nexuiz IQC test. From the same system and when all the GPUs were using their latest respective binary blobs, here's a look at the Radeon HD 4890, Radeon HD 5830, Radeon HD 6950, and Radeon HD 7950.
For a look at how NVIDIA compares with their blob, below are the Radeon HD 6950 and Radeon HD 7950 results with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 added in.