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Escapee from Nvidia: What AMD cards work best on Linux?

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  • Escapee from Nvidia: What AMD cards work best on Linux?

    I've been using Nvidia for a very long time and I'm fed up with the driver. Sure, it's got top-tier performance capabilities but it frequently destroys general-purpose desktop usage. Since 2007 when I started I've been experiencing one bug after another in their driver - I've had enough!

    However, I'm treading into brand-new territory with this AMD stuff. I've briefly used AMD-based open-source drivers a bit before and they seem to work alright for me. I don't game terribly heavily and when I do it's not to play the latest Witcher but something more graphically modest. Therefore, I'm seriously considering using Intel's newest chips for my next build as they've been nothing but awesome for me. But for now, I'm thinking of selling my GTX560 and getting a radeon of sorts.

    Thing is, it's kinda difficult for me to get any recommendations for 2014 hardware in this front. I don't need the latest and greatest, but I would like good stability, reasonable performance, and the open source drivers.

    I hear that support can be spotty for the open drivers. Will it be a common theme to have games not work because of a missing extension? Will desktops have tearing issues? (I'm a gnome/arch user). What can I expect on the issues front? Regressions? I'd prefer to keep the 'fixing' to a minimum.

    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    Most say that cards that use the r600g driver are the best right now (HD2K-HD6K), but I find my HD7850 (radeonsi) to be rather good. Every Linux game I have tried works. Haven't been trying Wine that much to be honest. 2D desktop is fast and the only real issue I have come across is blur in KDE not working properly.

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    • #3
      I think the most completely supported discrete cards are the R7 260/260X (along with the R9 290/290X but for those you need very recent mesa/kernel). For older GCN cards there is no VCE support, and the newer card (R9 285) is still unsupported by open source drivers.

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      • #4
        I second the r600g mention. Everything works, there is no tearing even when you don't use a compositor, things have been stable for several years. The best such card is 6850 or 6870, but if you require Intel performance, a 66xx or 65xx will do.

        The newer cards require radeonsi and have issues with llvm, 2d use (glamor still tears without a compositor, and is slow), and generally need the newest components to work well. Since you asked for minimum fixing, get a r600g card, and you can use whatever the 2014 distro shipped with, and have no issues.

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        • #5
          Thank you all for your kind help! I think my current plan of attack is to list my current GPU for sale and use those funds to replace it with this:

          We’re sorry, but this page does not existing. Please visit our home page for more information.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by drspinderwalf View Post
            Thank you all for your kind help! I think my current plan of attack is to list my current GPU for sale and use those funds to replace it with this:

            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-578-_-Product

            I own a 6970 and its performance its not significant better than the 6870. Look at the tests here in Phoronix and you will see the 6950 is constantly outperformed by the 6870. The 6970 is only slightly better than the 6950.

            The 6870 must be cheaper and less power hungry than the 6970.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by drspinderwalf View Post
              Thank you all for your kind help! I think my current plan of attack is to list my current GPU for sale and use those funds to replace it with this:

              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-578-_-Product
              If I'm not mistaken then the HD6900 series cards do not perform very well with the open-source drivers. Worse than HD6870 for example.
              Here is a recent benchmark: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...15way_linux317
              Last edited by joh22n; 05 November 2014, 04:52 PM.

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              • #8
                6870

                Originally posted by drspinderwalf View Post
                Thank you all for your kind help! I think my current plan of attack is to list my current GPU for sale and use those funds to replace it with this:

                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-578-_-Product
                I own a 6970 and its performance its not significant better than the 6870. Look at the tests here in Phoronix and you will see the 6950 is constantly outperformed by the 6870. The 6970 is only slightly better than the 6950.

                The 6870 must be cheaper and less power hungry than the 6970.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by joh??n View Post
                  If I'm not mistaken then the HD6900 series cards do not perform very well with the open-source drivers. Worse than HD6870 for example.
                  Oh, my. Thanks for catching me on that. I'm too used to the Nvidia way of numbering, I figured it was just a slightly 'more powerful' version of the 6800s and therefore used the same driver.

                  I will diligently seek out a proper 6850 or 6870, then! I appreciate the help, once more.

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                  • #10
                    It does use the same driver and it is faster than the 68xx cards. The thing is that it uses a slightly different arch, with which the r600g driver has some problems with.

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