7-Way Low-End Open-Source Linux GPU Comparison

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 17 October 2013 at 04:28 PM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 9 Comments.

If you're in the market for a low-end graphics processor that's compatible with Linux and the available open-source Mesa/Gallium3D graphics drivers, here's a roundup of benchmark results for seven different AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA graphics processors.

After carrying out the tests for last week's Intel HD Graphics 4400 under Linux, which is the graphics core packaged on lower-end Haswell CPUs like the Core i3 4130, I then compared the budget Haswell graphics to various discrete AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. (If you're just interested in the Intel Linux graphics performance, see that earlier article as there's comparisons to other Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell graphics processors.) In this article is just a look at how Intel HD Graphics 4400 compare to budget offerings from the AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce families.

Open-Source Low End GPU Linux Comparison

Besides the Intel Haswell graphics, the tested graphics cards on the AMD side included the Radeon HD 4550, HD 4670, HD 5450, HD 6450, and HD 6570. On the NVIDIA side, the comparison could just be done with the GeForce GT 220. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 was able to successfully re-clock with the open-source Nouveau driver to run at its rated speeds and didn't exhibit any problems during testing. With the other GPUs tried, particularly from the GeForce 8 and 9 series families, there were stability and/or re-clocking issues that made them irrelevant to today's testing. This low-end comparison was also obviously limited to the graphics cards in my possession. All of the GPUs were tested with the Linux 3.12 Git kernel and Mesa 9.3.0-devel and using the Intel Core i3 4130 CPU.

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