NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980: The Best GPU For Linux Gamers

Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 30 September 2014. Page 4 of 9. 20 Comments

For this first GeForce GTX 980 Linux review, the graphics cards tested included the:

ASUS AMD Radeon HD 7850 1024MB (860/1200MHz)
XFX AMD Radeon HD 7950 3072MB (900/1375MHz)
Sapphire AMD Radeon R7 260X 2048MB (1150/1650MHz)
Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 270X 2048MB (1100/1400MHz)
XFX AMD Radeon R9 290 4096MB (947/1250MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB (1006/3004MHz)
eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 1024MB (1019/2505MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2048MB (1019/2700MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2048MB (980/3004MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2048MB (1045/3505MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3072MB (875/3500MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6144MB (836/3004MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4096MB (1126/3505MHz)

All graphics cards were running at their reference speeds during this round of benchmarking. The selection was obviously limited to the modern GPUs within my possession, which sadly are more lacking on the AMD side as AMD PR hasn't been as interested as NVIDIA in seeing Linux GPU product reviews, etc.

The Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system was running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit while upgrading to the Linux 3.15 vanilla kernel. The NVIDIA 343.22 driver was used for all of the GeForce benchmarks in this article while the latest AMD driver at the time of testing was used -- last week's "OpenCL 2.0 driver" release that's versioned as fglrx 14.40.1 / OpenGL 4.3.13179.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Linux Review

All of the benchmarks in this article were done via the Phoronix Test Suite. First up are some raw OpenGL and OpenCL performance benchmarks followed by thermal and system power consumption / power efficiency results. The Phoronix Test Suite monitored NVIDIA's NV_CONTROL interface for reading the GPU core temperatures while the AC system power consumption was measured by our benchmarking software with a USB-based WattsUp Pro power meter.

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