Intel Celeron/Pentium/Core i3/i5/i7 - NVIDIA vs. AMD Linux Gaming Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 8 February 2017 at 10:30 AM EST. Page 1 of 4. 42 Comments.

Five AMD/NVIDIA graphics cards tested on five different Intel Kabylake processors from a low-end $40 Celeron CPU to a high-end Core i7 7700K is the focus of today's Linux benchmarking. Various OpenGL and Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks were run to see how the RadeonSI and NVIDIA Linux performance evolves from a Celeron G3930 to Pentium G4600 to Core i3 7100 to Core i5 7600K to Core i7 7700K.

There's been a lot of requests for a multi-way GPU vs. CPU comparison with modern hardware and games. Given the recent roll-out of Intel Kabylake processors in January and the ever-advancing state of RadeonSI, I figured it was a good time for a fresh comparison. The AMD cards were tested with Mesa 17.1-devel as of earlier this week along with the Linux 4.10 kernel. Those red cards tested were the Radeon RX 480 (Polaris) and Radeon R9 Fury (Fiji) for a modern look at things. Tested with the NVIDIA proprietary 378.09 beta driver atop Ubuntu 16.10 was the GeForce GTX 1050, GTX 1060, and GTX 1080 from the Pascal family.

So with those two Radeon GPUs and three GeForce GPUs, they were tested with the Celeron G3930 (dual-core 2.9GHz; 2MB cache), Pentium G4600 (dual-core + HT 3.6GHz; 3MB cache), Core i3 7100 (dual-core + HT 3.9GHz; 3MB cache), Core i5 7600K (quad-core 3.8GHz; 4.2GHz turbo; 6MB cache), and Core i7 7700K (quad-core + HT 4.2GHz; 4.5GHz turbo; 8MB cache). All the tests happened on the same MSI Z270-A PRO motherboard, 2 x 8GB DDR4-2400MHz Corsair memory, and Samsung 950 PRO 256GB NVMe SSD system running Ubuntu 16.10 x86_64 and then the aforementioned driver configurations for the latest RadeonSI and NVIDIA look. AMDGPU-PRO wasn't tested since most Linux gamers now are using RadeonSI as well as because AMDGPU-PRO doesn't yet support Ubuntu 16.10.

A variety of OpenGL and Vulkan benchmarks were run for this multi-way comparison. All of the benchmarks were carried out in a fully-automated and reproducible manner with the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. If you appreciate all of the Linux hardware benchmarks we carry out at, please consider joining our premium service for a few dollars per month to get the site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits while providing us with more resources to continue these Linux enthusiast testing efforts.

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