The Graphics Cards On Open-Source Linux Drivers With The Best Value + Power Efficiency

Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 15 September 2015. Page 7 of 7. 23 Comments
Driver Value Open-Source Linux

Based on all of the tests run, the Radeon R9 290 edged past the Radeon R7 370 for delivering the best performance-per-dollar. The R9 290 these days can be found for less than $250 USD and is a great graphics card for use with the newest open-source AMD Linux code.

Driver Value Open-Source Linux

For all of the OpenGL tests run, the Radeon R9 290 also ended up delivering the best performance-per-Watt followed by the other GCN GPUs, including the new Radeon R7 370. The Nouveau-based tests also did well here, albeit the cards were running only at a fraction of their rated speeds.

Driver Value Open-Source Linux

While at first the Radeon R9 290 graphics card was a mess with the open-source driver code and took a while to be supported well, these days with a recent version of the Linux kernel, Mesa, and LLVM, the performance is very good. In some tests, the RadeonSI performance is even competing closely with AMD Catalyst.

The Radeon R9 290 can be found for under $250 at with this Diamond card being the particular one I had bought and use in my R9 290 tests.

If you're looking for something a bit cheaper, the Radeon R7 370 sell for $150~200 with the card I've been testing is the MSI R7 370 GAMING 4G at $180.

Hopefully these new data points were useful if you're in the market for a new graphics card for use with the latest open-source drivers. Again, the data was a bit limited due to the selection of cards available and the support caveats mentioned on the first page. If you'd like to see more AMD cards purchased for future Linux comparisons, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium for making other interesting, new tests possible.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via