17-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison With Civilization Beyond Earth
On Thursday, Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth was finally released for Linux. With being able to properly automate the benchmarking of CivBE on Linux, here's our first performance results out for this high-profile, turn-based strategy game for Steam on Linux. Seventeen AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards were benchmarked for this article and the results are quite interesting.
The performance of Civilization: Beyond Earth on Linux is quite demanding. The OpenBenchmarking.org test profile of Civilization Beyond Earth uses roughly the high image quality settings and for this article the tests were done at 1920 x 1080. As the results are about to show, even with modern graphics cards, it's quite a chore putting out a decent frame-rate at 1080p for this strategy game.
When Beyond Earth was being ported to Linux, Aspyr Media who was porting the game to Linux / OS X was looking at dropping Intel and AMD graphics support due to performance/compatibility issues they were encountering. However, since then they've worked with Intel and AMD to overcome their Linux driver issues but using the proprietary drivers is still recommended for this game over the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers. For this article, the proprietary AMD Catalyst and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers were used. Civilization: Beyond Earth tests on the open-source Intel/Radeon/Nouveau drivers may come once Mesa has matured enough to be able to adequately run this game with high image quality settings.