The Current NVIDIA vs. AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance Ahead Of Ampere

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 27 August 2020 at 02:33 PM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 63 Comments.

With NVIDIA next week expected to launch their next-generation GeForce RTX 3000 "Ampere" graphics cards, here is a fresh look at the current GeForce RTX 2000 series performance up against the latest AMD Radeon competition when using the very latest Linux graphics drivers for both vendors. This is the very latest performance showdown right now for the AMD/NVIDIA GPU performance under various Linux and Steam Play games on Ubuntu.

While we should be delivering NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series Linux benchmarks upon hardware availability, the purpose of this article is to look at the current generation AMD/NVIDIA GPU performance with the very latest Linux graphics drivers. Particularly on the AMD Radeon side with their open-source driver stack we have seen a lot of work this summer with RADV Vulkan defaulting now to the ACO compiler back-end by default, a lot of work in general on RADV+ACO, continued AMDGPU kernel driver improvements, and an assortment of other work while their RadeonSI OpenGL driver continues seeing improvements too. On the NVIDIA side, they have continued pushing forward with continued Vulkan driver optimizations too. Thus ahead of Ampere it's a good time to deliver some fresh benchmarks. Aside from the drivers, Steam Play (Proton) and DXVK have also continued improving through the summer as well for bettering the experience of running Windows games on Linux with better performance and correct rendering.

The latest NVIDIA Linux driver release is the 450.66 version. On the AMD Radeon side, the newest open-source driver stack is by making use of Mesa 20.3-devel and the Linux 5.9 Git kernel for the newest AMDGPU kernel driver support. These tests were done off a Ryzen 9 3950X system running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS plus these respective driver upgrades. The graphics cards tested for this comparison in the current-generation look include:

- Radeon RX 5600 XT
- Radeon RX 5700
- Radeon RX 5700 XT
- Radeon VII
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

A number of different OpenGL and Vulkan graphics/gaming benchmarks were tested, including both native titles and those running under Linux via Steam Play with DXVK. All of this graphics card benchmarking was carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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