11-Way Low-End & Older Open-Source GPU Linux Comparison

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 26 February 2014 at 08:56 AM EST. Page 1 of 5. 16 Comments.

In finding it interesting that the Radeon HD 8210 Gallium3D performance can outperform Catalyst from an AMD E1-2100 "Kabini" low-end APU, which was tested on an ECS KBN-I Kabini system that can be found for just over $30 USD when on sale, it's time for some more Linux benchmarks. The latest tests from this low-end but fascinating platform are benchmarking a variety of PCI-E graphics cards on this AMD Kabini platform using the open-source Radeon and Nouveau graphics drivers on Ubuntu 14.04.

The E1-2100 "Kabini" APU is just a dual-core processor running at 1.0GHz. The Radeon HD 8210 graphics performance is rather low but fun for benchmarking if considering that this APU is found in ultra cheap systems and that the open-source RadeonSI Linux graphics driver stack works well for the hardware. In putting the Kabini performance into greater context, I benchmarked a variety of low-end and older AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards from this mini-ITX Linux system.

The tested graphics cards in this latest Linux GPU comparison at Phoronix include:

- Radeon HD 3650
- Radeon HD 4550
- Radeon HD 4670
- Radeon HD 4770
- Radeon HD 4830
- Radeon HD 5450
- Radeon HD 6450
- Radeon HD 6570
- Radeon HD 8210 (Kabini APU Graphics)
- GeForce 9500GT
- GeForce GT 220

This is just for putting some low-end Linux GPU performance numbers into perspective. The selection of NVIDIA graphics cards was limited since the open-source Nouveau driver still lacks proper re-clocking / dynamic power management support, which means most all modern NVIDIA GPUs are being severely hampered on this driver. The clock speeds used by default with Nouveau end up being very low since they're locked to their boot vBIOS frequencies. Until the re-clocking is sorted out in a future Linux kernel release, Nouveau isn't the performant open-source Linux graphics driver. Newer and higher-end GPUs weren't tested in this article since they'll be easily bottlenecked by the AMD Kabini APU.

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