BioShock Infinite Is The Latest Game Showing Why Linux Gamers Choose NVIDIA

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 20 March 2015 at 11:00 AM EDT. Page 3 of 3. 110 Comments.

First up is BioShock Infinite on Ubuntu 15.04 at 1080p.

BioShock Infinite Linux - AMD Catalyst vs. NVIDIA Preview

Where as the AMD Radeon graphics cards were becoming bottlenecked with the latest Catalyst Linux graphics driver at 42~47 FPS, the NVIDIA Linux driver didn't encounter these problems... The GeForce GTX 550 Ti -- an old, mid-range Fermi graphics card -- was 69% faster than the Radeon R9 290! The high-end GeForce GTX 980 Maxwell graphics card was 2.7x faster than the R9 290 Hawaii! There were no major rendering/visual differences noted between AMD Catalyst and the NVIDIA Linux binary blobs on Ubuntu 15.04 in this testing.

BioShock Infinite Linux - AMD Catalyst vs. NVIDIA Preview

At 2560 x 1600, the GTX 550 Ti was no longer running leaps ahead of AMD's line-up. However, the AMD Catalyst results still ended up being embarrassing for BioShock Infinite on Linux with the GTX 750 Ti running around the same speed as the R9 290 -- while the GTX 780 Ti / GTX 980 were more than twice as fast. Hopefully the AMD Catalyst performance will be better aligned with a future driver update. It will also be interesting to see how the open-source Radeon/Intel/Nouveau graphics drivers perform once they're compatible with the game.

As embarrassing as these results are for AMD, it's been the same situation with other games too like back in December when running the first tests on Civilization: Beyond Earth 17-way GPU comparison with Ubuntu. In January there were also AMD Catalyst issues with Unreal Engine 4 on Linux.

Stay tuned for the rest of the BioShock Infinite Linux benchmarks in the next few days along with fresh Metro Last Light / 2033 Redux numbers too on Ubuntu 15.04. Again, if you appreciate all of the work invested in this testing, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via