AMD Radeon RX 480 On Linux
All of the initial RX 480 Linux benchmarks in this article were done with the same Intel Xeon E3-1280 v5 Skylake system running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x86_64.
The AMD hardware was tested with both the latest open-source driver stack (Linux 4.7 polaris-test + Mesa 12.1-dev) as well as the new AMDGPU-PRO 16.30.3 driver. Testing was done with both drivers except where only supported by open-source (e.g. GCN 1.0 for AMDGPU-PRO) or running into any other driver problems. The NVIDIA graphics cards were tested with the 367.27 proprietary driver.
The NVIDIA graphics cards tested for comparison purposes included the GeForce GTX 950, GTX 960, GTX 970, GTX 980, GTX 980 Ti, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080. On the AMD side the comparison cards used were the Radeon HD 7950, R9 270X, R9 285, R9 290, R7 370, and R9 Fury. The comparison cards on the red side are sadly less interesting due to the RX 480 being the only review sample provided by AMD in the past few years with the other cards were retail models I purchased over the years. On the NVIDIA side, nearly all of those were provided by NVIDIA Corp. Basically, making the best comparison with the hardware I have available.
In addition to looking at the raw OpenCL/OpenGL/Vulkan performance, the performance-per-Watt, overall AC system power consumption, and performance-per-dollar were tested in a fully-automated and reproducible manner too using our open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. The system power consumption was monitored using a WattsUp Pro USB power meter.