Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Radeon Gaming Performance With Linux 4.13 + Mesa 17.2

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 2 August 2017 at 05:56 PM EDT. Page 1 of 6. 51 Comments.

In the past few days I have posted benchmarks showing how AMD's latest open-source Radeon Linux driver code is faster than their hybrid/proprietary driver for OpenGL and perhaps most excitingly is finally how AMD Radeon GPUs are beginning to really compete with NVIDIA GPUs on Linux and in some cases performing better against the GeForce competition than they do under Windows. This comes after years of work on their open-source driver stack and especially a lot of work done over the past year not only by AMD but also Valve and other open-source contributors to Mesa, their RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, their AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end continues to be refined for compute and graphics, and the AMDGPU kernel driver. So here are the latest Windows vs. Linux gaming benchmarks on the Radeon side to see where things stand now with this latest code.

For this testing today I used a Radeon RX 580 and R9 Fury and tested the following configurations:

- Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 16251.rs3_release.170721-2122 x64 running Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.7.2.

- Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with all currently available stable release updates that take it up to the Linux 4.10 kernel and Mesa 17.0.

- Manually upgrading the Ubuntu 16.04 system to the latest stable components: Linux 4.12 from the stable mainline kernel archive and the latest Mesa 17.1.4 release. Mesa 17.1.4 was built against LLVM 4.0 and obtained via the Padoka Stable PPA.

- The very bleeding-edge open-source AMDGPU+RadeonSI graphics stack on Linux by upgrading to the latest Linux 4.13 development kernel paired with Mesa Git, which is now at Mesa 17.3-dev after 17.2-dev was branched last week. Mesa 17.2.0 will be released as stable in the next week or two. The Mesa Git build was obtained using the Padoka PPA and it's compiled against LLVM 5.0 SVN for the AMDGPU compiler back-end.

With this round of testing I ran a number of traditional OpenGL benchmarks we know to be of similar quality on both Windows and Linux (Unigine Heaven, Unigine Valley, OpenArena, Xonotic) but then manually I also ran a number of Windows vs. Linux gaming tests manually to see how the performance compares. Among the games tested that are new (at least recent to Linux) with native ports include Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, GRID Autosport, Shadow of Mordor, and Total War: WARHAMMER. For two of the games there are also Direct3D 12 renderers also tested for this article.

Windows 10 Radeon 17.7.2 vs. Ubuntu And Linux 4.13 Mesa 17.3-dev

The selection of those manual game tests were limited due to time/resource constraints from not testing even more titles and selecting the titles that I knew had in-game accessible benchmark options and the same game settings across platforms. If you are interested in seeing larger and more frequent tests Windows vs. Linux tests on Phoronix, consider joining Phoronix Premium or even making a PayPal tip. Thanks for your support and by joining Phoronix Premium you are also able to access this site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and enjoy other benefits while allowing this Linux hardware testing to continue.

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