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13-Way AMD GPU Open-Source Linux Driver Comparison On The Source Engine
With the several AMD GPU hardware caveats on Linux noted, the Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Source Linux GPU benchmarks that I have to share today are for the following graphics cards:
- Radeon HD 4550
- Radeon HD 4650
- Radeon HD 4670
- Radeon HD 4770
- Radeon HD 4830
- Radeon HD 4850
- Radeon HD 4870
- Radeon HD 4890
- Radeon HD 5830
- Radeon HD 6450
- Radeon HD 6770
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 6950
These 13 GPUs are the assortment of Radeon graphics cards in my possession that didn't suffer from one of the aforementioned Linux driver issues and were the graphics cards laying around not being occupied by tests running on other systems at the moment. You may notice there's a whole lot more older graphics cards than newer graphics cards, sadly since AMD hasn't been sending out any review samples to Phoronix in quite some time... Any GPU from the Radeon HD 7000 series or newer, I unfortunately had to purchase. AMD doesn't appear interested these days in enthusiast Linux hardware reviews and has been uncooperative with any launch review sampling, even when Phoronix is always the first source for any AMD Linux driver announcements in the past nine years, AMD internally uses the Phoronix Test Suite by various GPU/CPU groups, I've long been involved with their Linux Catalyst developments and even their Linux packaging scripts are hosted on the Phoronix-owned Phorogit, etc. It's a pity and the only response on the matter I received recently was from an AMD Germany representative saying, "GPUs are tricky, as they are expensive..." Strange as there was no shortages back in the day and I also have a dozen or so FireGL and FirePro graphics cards sitting around too, and there's been no shortage of AMD GPU reviews on Windows up to the point of being repetitive.
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Being benchmarked for today's open-source driver comparison with the Source Engine are Valve's Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Source games with their Steam updates as of Monday. When Steam is installed to the default path, it's easy to benchmark these games with the Phoronix Test Suite by simply running phoronix-test-suite benchmark tf2 cstrike. Why the Steam-based games are seldom benchmarked on Phoronix and don't serve as good benchmarks, see the original article and then the recent CStrike test profile news.
Benchmarking all of these graphics cards happened from an Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" system and again it was loaded with Ubuntu 13.10 x86_64 with the Linux 3.12 kernel and Mesa 10.0-devel from the Oibaf PPA. Swap buffers wait was disabled during testing as the only non-default change (along with Radeon DPM on the kernel side). Again, later Phoronix articles will compare these results to the binary Catalyst driver for applicable hardware, more NVIDIA benchmarks, and also open-source Intel Source Engine test results. The tests will also be present in the forthcoming high-end GeForce 700 and Radeon R9 290 Linux reviews.