1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

The Good & Bad OpenGL Drivers On Linux

Gaming

Published on 28 September 2013 04:57 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming
56 Comments

What are the best and worst Linux OpenGL graphics drivers from a game developer's perspective? Here's some feedback from one open-source game project.

The Dolphin Emulator project, which just released Dolphin 4.0, supports running Nintendo GameCube and Wii games under Linux. The 4.0 update was huge with more than 2,500 changes and their developers have shared the best and worst Linux OpenGL graphics drivers from their support perspective.

Coming in with the only "excellent" rating for OpenGL drivers from the Dolphin Emulator perspective was NVIDIA's binary blob. This is hardly a surprise as the NVIDIA binary driver tends to offer the best performance and feature-set on Linux and is on par with NVIDIA's WIndows driver. The only gripes they have with the NVIDIA blob is no support for client side buffer storage until the driver's latest blob, NVIDIA's Graphics SDK license being incompatible with the GPL, and getting support or technical answers is difficult.

With a "good" rating was the Mesa driver stack but there's a few bugs and performance issues.

AMD's Linux OpenGL driver has a "medicore" rating with "A lot of issues that do not happen on Windows are present on Linux, sometimes with a very visible effect in our emulator."

Coming in with "bad" Linux OpenGL support is ARM's Mali graphics hardware and their driver. Lastly, Qualcomm's Adreno driver for its OpenGL status from the Dolphin perspective has a "horrible" rating with numerous issues occurring.

Find out more thoughts on the OpenGL driver situation on the Dolphin Emulator blog.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. 13-Way Low-End GPU Comparison With AMD's AM1 Athlon
  2. ASUS AM1I-A: A Mini-ITX Board For Socketed Kabini APUs
  3. Mini-Box M350: A Simple, Affordable Mini-ITX Case
  4. Overclocking The AMD AM1 Athlon & Sempron APUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. 14.04 LTS Cloud Benchmarks
  2. Ubuntu 12.04.4 vs. 13.10 vs. 14.04 LTS Desktop Benchmarks
  3. AMD OpenCL Performance With AM1 Kabini APUs
  4. A Quick Look At GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5
Latest Linux News
  1. Borderlands Is Being Considered For Linux
  2. Mesa 10.0 & 10.1 Stable Get Updated
  3. Getting Hit By The Variable Performance Of The Public Cloud
  4. Git 2.0 Test Releases Begin With Many Changes
  5. Wine 1.7.17 Works On Its Task Scheduler, C Run-Time
  6. The Improv ARM Board Still Isn't Shipping; Riding A Dead Horse?
  7. Debian To Maintain 6.0 Squeeze As An LTS Release
  8. Wasteland 2 Is Finally Released For Linux Gamers
  9. FreeBSD Advances For ARM, Bhyve, Clang
  10. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" Officially Released
  11. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. 14.04 LTS Server Benchmarks
  12. QEMU 2.0 Released With ARM, x86 Enhancements
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Suggestions about how to make a Radeon HD 7790 work decently?
  2. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  3. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  4. Radeon 8000M problematic on Linux?
  5. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  6. After Jack Keane, RuseSoft will briing Ankh 3 to Linux through Desura
  7. Suspected PHP Proxy Issue
  8. Change installation destination from home directory