20-Way NVIDIA/AMD Vulkan Linux Gaming Performance Comparison

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 26 July 2018. Page 1 of 7. 21 Comments

For those curious about the current performance state for the recent wave of Vulkan-powered Linux games, which so far are primarily Linux game ports from Feral Interactive, aside from Valve's Dota 2 and Croteam's games, here are some fresh benchmarks using twenty different graphics cards on the latest drivers.

The AMD Radeon graphics card testing was using Mesa 18.2-devel via the Oibaf PPA as of 22 July. The Linux 4.17.8 kernel was in use for the latest stable AMDGPU DRM driver support. The Radeon graphics cards tested -- based upon what I had available -- were the Radeon HD 7950, R7 260X, R9 285, R9 290, RX 560, RX 580, R9 Fury, RX Vega 56, and RX Vega 64. Note that with the GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics cards they were booted with the AMDGPU DRM driver support being enabled in order to attain RADV Vulkan driver compatibility.

On the NVIDIA driver side was the 396.45 latest driver release, also tested using the Linux 4.17.8 kernel. The NVIDIA graphics cards I had ready for testing in this comparison were the GeForce GTX 680, GTX 760, GTX 780 Ti, GTX 960, GTX 980 Ti, GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 Ti. Note that with these results, based upon analysis by them from other recent tests on this i7-8086K system, in at least some tests NVIDIA has indicated the performance is slightly lower than what they are expecting. In particular, Thrones of Britannia is one game they have mentioned. So take those results as you wish and at least for some game configurations the NVIDIA Vulkan driver might still be able to squeeze out slightly better performance. It was with the NVIDIA 396 driver series where they transitioned to their new SPIR-V compiler for Vulkan. We're certainly happy to run more Vulkan benchmarks when any new driver releases materialize.

All of these tests were done from the Core i7 8086K CPU at 5.0GHz and running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x86_64 with the GNOME Shell 3.28.2 session on X.Org Server 1.19.6. The performance governor was forced during testing for the P-State driver and the only other non-default items to note is the GCN 1.0/1.1 GPUs being set to use the AMDGPU DRM driver.

20-Way NVIDIA GeForce + AMD Radeon Vulkan

All of these NVIDIA / AMD Vulkan benchmarks were carried out in a fully-automated manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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