4K AMD/NVIDIA High-End GPU Comparison On SteamOS Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 26 October 2015 at 09:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 7. 41 Comments.

Continuing on from Friday's article that was a 22-way comparison of AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards on SteamOS for Steam Linux gaming, which tested the hardware at the common TV resolution of 1080p, here are results for the higher-end Radeon and GeForce graphics cards at 4K.

This article is structured quite similarly to Friday's article but rather than testing at 1080p, the Steam Linux game tests were at 4K (3840 x 2160). Due to the increased resolution, not all twenty-two graphics cards were used for this article but only the higher-end AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.

The graphics cards tested for this 4K Linux game benchmarking on SteamOS 2.0 Brewmaster were:

- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3072MB
- eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2048MB
- eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2048MB
- eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4096MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4096MB
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6144MB
- XFX AMD Radeon R9 285 2048MB
- XFX AMD Radeon R9 290 4096MB
- Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 Fury 4096MB

It comes down to the complete range of GeForce GTX 900 "Maxwell" graphics cards plus the high-end Kepler GTX 680 and GTX 780 Ti graphics cards. On the AMD side, it came down to the few high-end cards in my possesion, which is far fewer than the NVIDIA assortment since in recent years the AMD cards I've had to purchase as opposed to being review samples due to AMD's lack of Linux interest given their current driver situation. The AMD cards are the R9 285 Tonga, R9 290 Hawaii, and R9 Fury Fiji GPUs.

Another difference compared to last week's 1080p article is the DiRT Showdown testing couldn't be done since this Linux port had problems running at 3840 x 2160 and would keep reverting back to 1920 x 1080. However, new to this 4K comparison are Team Fortress 2 tests now that the game is less CPU bottlenecked at the higher-resolution. So for this comparison we have BioShock Infinite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Metro 2033 Redux, Metro Last Light Redux, and Team Fortress 2.

Like Friday's article, besides looking at the raw OpenGL performance for these Steam Linux games, there are also performance-per-dollar (cost analysis), GPU thermal results, and AC system power consumption results as well as performance-per-Watt figures. All of this Steam Linux benchmarking was carried out via the open-source Phoronix Test Suite automated benchmarking software.

Benchmark Result

As another reminder, if you enjoy Linux articles like these, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip to make more articles possible. One of the next Steam Linux tests planned for this week would be comparing these SteamOS benchmarks with the proprietary graphics drivers to the same system running Ubuntu 15.10 while upgrading to the Linux 4.3 kernel, Mesa 11.1-devel Git, and LLVM 3.8 SVN.

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