AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance For 4K Linux Gaming
While we routinely carry out Ultra HD (4K) Linux graphics/gaming benchmarks at Phoronix, it's generally been conducted with the proprietary NVIDIA and AMD graphics drivers since the open-source drivers traditionally have had a challenge on performance even at 1080p. However, thanks to the maturing open-source Radeon driver stack, it's possible with higher-end AMD graphics processors with the latest open-source Linux driver code to begin running at the 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160.
I carried out some tests this week with an assortment of Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards and newer when using the Linux 3.17 development kernel and Mesa 10.4-devel to provide the latest RadeonSI Gallium3D driver. A variety of benchmarks were then run at 3840 x 2140 using the Seiki 39-inch SE39UY04 4K TV.
Trying to run at 4K on Linux with the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver was also attempted on this Linux 3.17 + Mesa 10.4-devel stack, but it failed miserably. With the various NVIDIA GeForce 600/700 Kepler graphics cards tried, none of them were able to detect the 4K resolution over HDMI for the Seiki display. These graphics cards all ended up mode-setting to 1920 x 1080 on the UHD 4K display but work flawlessly at 3840 x 2160 when using the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver.