NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680: Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 12.04 Linux
Following up on the performance comparison earlier this month of comparing Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge graphics between Windows and Linux, up today are the results of a comparison of Windows 7 to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS when using a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler" graphics card.
For the most part the Intel Linux graphics performance struggled against the latest Intel graphics driver for Windows 6 x64. However, unlike Intel, NVIDIA (and AMD) maintain a largely shared code-base between operating systems for their official proprietary drivers. The open-source drivers for Radeon/Nouveau are, of course, a different story but that is not what is being compared here since they easily lose to the official proprietary drivers in terms of features and performance. This article is showing the results from a GeForce GTX 680 when using the official drivers for each platform. On the Linux side, this meant the NVIDIA 295.40 while on the Windows side it was their 301.34 release.
NVIDIA GeForce graphics comparisons between Windows and Linux have been done in the past on Phoronix such as here and here. However, since then new hardware has come, the drivers have evolved, and there has been new Linux releases too. This is a fresh look at things on the NVIDIA GeForce side with the GTX 680 Kepler. AMD Radeon HD 7950 "Southern Islands" results between Linux and Windows are forthcoming.
Each OS was left in its stock configuration along with the relevant graphics driver settings. The Phoronix Test Suite carried out the tests on both operating systems. All hardware was maintained the same throughout testing. The test profiles used were the ones that could be natively executed under each platform, utilize OpenGL, and the quality of the versions for each operating system is known to be equivalent.
This testing is quite straight forward so we can immediately move to the results.