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  • AMD open source driver stability/performance

    So the big thing holding me back up until now from switching to Linux for my main desktop has been gaming. Looking at Steam Proton, seems that that's handling most stuff that I'd want to play, if it doesn't have a native Linux version.

    So my next thought is going Nvidia or AMD. I'd rather support AMDs open source stance with their drivers, if they're reasonably solid overall. Prioritizing stability and solid performance, although obviously higher performance is better.

    Right now I have a 1080 GTX, although I'm looking to upgrade in the near future (month or two I hope), and if I do and AMD has been solid over the last year, I'll get the 7900XTX (I'm figuring 4-7 year life span). I understand that currently the next-gen drivers are in beta branches and not in mainstream quite yet, and might be in the same state when I get it. Otherwise I'll probably get one of the 4080 flavors for Nvidia, if that's the best route to go. I'm willing to put up with a small bit of manual pain for the AMD to support those efforts.

    So, what say you all, go team Red or team Green?

  • #2
    Stability on the open source drivers is usually quite, I've been using them for years now and it works really well. First on a Vega, now on a 6900XT.
    OpenGL and Vulkan work really well with a recent mesa. Of course, the 7900 XTX is still very new, so there could be a few quirks here and there, usually this means that it's a good idea to get a distribution that provides you with a recent kernel and mesa.
    Normally I'd recommend Arch Linux, but if this is your first time using Linux, then maybe you'd be scared by the manual installation method they use. They have a very good documentation/wiki though, so it's doable even for beginners, but still harder than installing e.g. Ubuntu or Mint.
    OpenCL is available via ROCm, but I'm not sure whether every distribution already packages that, better check before, if you need it.
    Video acceleration is available via libva, which should be available on all major distributions.
    Also be aware, that although AMD on Linux did catch up a lot in recent years, there are still some things on the todo list. e.g. HDR is still ongoing effort and not complete.

    Regarding performance, there has been a comparison of the performance on Phoronix. The 4000 series was unfortunately missing there, but you kind of know the difference between the 3000 and 4000 series from Windows benchmarks, so you still can draw some conclusions there.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Berniyh View Post
      Also be aware, that although AMD on Linux did catch up a lot in recent years, there are still some things on the todo list. e.g. HDR is still ongoing effort and not complete.
      HDR (or lack there of) is not something specific to AMD. This applies to all Linux GPU drivers at the moment. We are still sorting out the APIs and how compositors and applications would use this.

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      • #4
        Good point. Still, it is something that a Windows user might expect, but we're not there yet on the Linux landscape.

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