Early Radeon vs. Nouveau OpenGL Tests On Linux 4.4

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 23 November 2015 at 12:00 PM EST.

With Nouveau Kepler re-clocking beginning to work better on the in-development Linux 4.4 kernel, here are some fresh benchmarks comparing the open-source NVIDIA driver on the Git kernel compared to some AMD Radeon graphics cards on its open-source driver.

For this comparison, only NVIDIA Kepler (GeForce GTX 600/700 series) hardware was tested given the re-clocking progress. Re-clocking was attempted on each of the graphics cards. As noted in the comments to the earlier article, re-clocking isn't yet perfected for this unofficial NVIDIA driver. In cases where the 0f performance state still wasn't working well, I followed the advice of the developers and went back to then hit the other lower performance states first prior to switching back over to 0f, but that still didn't do the trick in all cases. The cards tested on the Nouveau side included the GeForce GTX 650, GTX 680, GTX 760, and GTX 780 Ti. No GTX 900 Maxwell graphics cards could be tested since Linux 4.4 still goes without Nouveau hardware acceleration for these cards.

On the Radeon side for this initial Linux 4.4 comparison was the Radeon HD 6570, HD 6870, HD 6950, R9 290, and R7 370. As this is a Linux 4.4 kernel being tested, the R9 285 Tonga and R9 Fury graphics cards on the AMDGPU DRM driver weren't tested since they lack re-clocking support on this kernel. The AMDGPU PowerPlay patches won't be merged until Linux 4.5

For all of this testing from the Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system atop Ubuntu 15.10 x86_64 I was running the Linux 4.4 Git kernel as of last week along with the Padoka PPA to provide Mesa 11.1-devel + LLVM 3.8 SVN + the latest DDX drivers.

All of these OpenGL benchmarks were facilitated using the automated open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. This article is just one of many Linux 4.4 benchmarks in the works at Phoronix.com.

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