Display Drivers Linux Reviews & Articles

There have been 1,022 Linux hardware reviews and benchmark articles on Phoronix for display drivers. Separately, check out our news section for related product news.

Intel Arc Graphics A750/A770 Performance Ahead Of Linux 6.2 + Mesa 23.0
Intel Arc Graphics A750/A770 Performance Ahead Of Linux 6.2 + Mesa 23.0

Last month when the Intel Arc Graphics A750 and A770 reached retail availability, there was open-source support available for Linux users assuming you were on a new enough kernel and Mesa release plus having to activate the preliminary/experimental hardware support flag. In the time since the open-source Intel dGPU Linux graphics driver support has continued to mature and with the upcoming Linux 6.2 kernel is where DG2/Alchemist graphics have been promoted to stable / supported out-of-the-box. Given this milestone and the upstream Mesa code for the Intel ANV Vulkan and Iris Gallium3D drivers continuing to mature, here are some fresh benchmarks of the Intel Arc Graphics A750/A770 under Linux.

30 November 2022 - 21 Comments
Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Benchmarks Are Very Competitive To Radeon OpenGL Driver
Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Benchmarks Are Very Competitive To Radeon OpenGL Driver

With this weekend having seen more Zink refactoring code land and Zink being faster than RadeonSI at least for some operations, it was time to fire up some fresh benchmarks of this generic OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation. From the newest Mesa code this weekend after the latest Zink patches were merged, here is a look at how the Zink performance is compared to the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver's native OpenGL support. All of the testing was done using an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card.

22 August 2022 - 42 Comments
Mesa 22.2 Gaming Performance With Radeon RX 6700/6800 XT Graphics Cards On Linux
Mesa 22.2 Gaming Performance With Radeon RX 6700/6800 XT Graphics Cards On Linux

With Mesa 22.2 bringing many new features, you may be curious about how the performance of this next Mesa3D release is looking. For your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of Mesa 22.2 back from the day it was branched against that of the stock Mesa 22.0 on Ubuntu 22.04 if you have been wondering whether it's worthwhile upgrading... Benchmarks for this article from the current-generation Radeon RX 6700 XT and RX 6800 XT graphics cards.

12 August 2022 - 12 Comments
Upgrading Ubuntu 22.04's Kernel & Mesa For Better AMD RDNA2 Performance
Upgrading Ubuntu 22.04's Kernel & Mesa For Better AMD RDNA2 Performance

While Ubuntu 22.04 LTS was just released over one month ago, it is shipping on the Linux 5.15 kernel that was already two stable series behind at release time but chosen as the default due to its long-term support status. Ubuntu 22.04 also shipped with Mesa 22.0 as the latest stable version albeit the open-source OpenGL/Vulkan graphics drivers are quick to advance. So if you've been thinking about upgrading Mesa or the Linux kernel on your Ubuntu 22.04 system for better Linux gaming performance, here are some benchmarks looking at such performance impact for AMD RDNA2 / Radeon RX 6000 series graphics.

1 June 2022 - 23 Comments
The Initial Performance Of NVIDIA's R515 Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver
The Initial Performance Of NVIDIA's R515 Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver

As outlined in yesterday's extensive article about NVIDIA's new open-source Linux kernel GPU driver, currently for consumer GeForce RTX GPUs the driver is considered of "alpha quality" while NVIDIA's initial focus has been on data center GPU support. In any event with having lots of Turing/Ampere GPUs around, I've been trying out this new open-source Linux kernel driver on the consumer GPUs. In particular, I've been curious about the performance of using this open-source kernel driver relative to the default, existing closed-source kernel driver. Here are some early benchmarks.

12 May 2022 - 54 Comments
NVIDIA Transitioning To Official, Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver
NVIDIA Transitioning To Official, Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver

The day has finally come: NVIDIA IS PUBLISHING THEIR LINUX GPU KERNEL MODULES AS OPEN-SOURCE! To much excitement and a sign of the times, the embargo has just expired on this super-exciting milestone that many of us have been hoping to see for many years. Over the past two decades NVIDIA has offered great Linux driver support with their proprietary driver stack, but with the success of AMD's open-source driver effort going on for more than a decade, many have been calling for NVIDIA to open up their drivers. Their user-space software is remaining closed-source but as of today they have formally opened up their Linux GPU kernel modules and will be maintaining it moving forward. Here's the scoop on this landmark open-source decision at NVIDIA.

11 May 2022 - 241 Comments
Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Looking Quite Good & Shining With Mesa 22.1
Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Looking Quite Good & Shining With Mesa 22.1

Recently I carried out some tests looking at the performance of Zink for OpenGL implemented atop the Vulkan API in a generic manner that works across drivers. With the state of Mesa 22.1, all of Zink's recent improvements are paying off and here is a quick look at where the performance stands against using the RadeonSI OpenGL driver.

6 May 2022 - 26 Comments
Mesa 22.1-rc1 AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance vs. NVIDIA
Mesa 22.1-rc1 AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance vs. NVIDIA

With Mesa 22.1 having been branched and working its way towards release in early to mid May, it's a good time to deliver some fresh Linux gaming benchmarks on the latest GPU drivers. In this article are some reference benchmark results of various AMD Radeon graphics cards on Mesa 22.1-rc1 as of branching paired with Linux 5.17 and then benchmarked against NVIDIA's latest driver and various GeForce RTX GPUs.

22 April 2022 - 29 Comments
Open-Source AMD Radeon Linux Graphics In Great Shape For Workstations, Handily Beating Proprietary Driver
Open-Source AMD Radeon Linux Graphics In Great Shape For Workstations, Handily Beating Proprietary Driver

With SPECViewPerf 2020 finally released for Linux I was curious to see how AMD's open-source "RadeonSI" Gallium3D driver within Mesa would compare to the performance offered by AMD's proprietary OpenGL Linux driver. After all, that longstanding proprietary driver, which is distributed as part of their Radeon Software for Linux driver package, has code in common with their Windows OpenGL driver and has previously been talked up as the preferred choice for workstation customers. Well, the latest open-source driver stack was outright kicking mud at that legacy binary blob for SPECViewPerf 2020 as well as the ParaView workstation visualization software.

7 March 2022 - 38 Comments
NVIDIA Linux Gaming Performance For Wayland vs. X.Org On Ubuntu 22.04
NVIDIA Linux Gaming Performance For Wayland vs. X.Org On Ubuntu 22.04

With NVIDIA's newly-introduced 510 Linux driver series paired with the latest XWayland and a modern Wayland compositor like the newest GNOME/Mutter packages, the NVIDIA (X)Wayland experience is in great shape and delivering comparable performance to a traditional X.Org session. The NVIDIA Wayland support with GBM usage has stabilized and appears to be in good shape for the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release. Here are some benchmarks of the NVIDIA 510 driver on the current state of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

2 February 2022 - 83 Comments
Linux 5.16 Graphics Performance In Great Shape For AMD Ryzen APUs
Linux 5.16 Graphics Performance In Great Shape For AMD Ryzen APUs

Back on Christmas Eve I noted how the Linux 5.16 performance was looking real good for AMD APUs as a performance improvement not widely noted to that point with significant uplift over Linux 5.15 stable. The good news is Linux 5.16 is set to debut as stable today and the benchmark results with AMD APU graphics is looking very promising after carrying out tests on additional available systems.

9 January 2022 - 25 Comments
AMD Radeon Open-Source Linux GPU Driver Performance: 2020 vs. 2021
AMD Radeon Open-Source Linux GPU Driver Performance: 2020 vs. 2021

Across dozens of articles over the past year I have covered a variety of different open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver optimizations from their kernel driver through their Mesa RadeonSI Gallium3D driver and the popular RADV Vulkan driver, among other interesting open-source AMD contributions. For those wondering what the cumulative gain was for 2021 from all these AMD graphics driver changes, here are some end-of-year 2020 vs. 2021 benchmarks across a number of different Linux games while testing on Vega, Navi, and Navi 2 graphics cards.

7 January 2022 - 19 Comments
Mesa's RADV Vulkan Driver Holds A Narrowing Lead Over AMDVLK With Ubuntu 21.10 On Wayland
Mesa's RADV Vulkan Driver Holds A Narrowing Lead Over AMDVLK With Ubuntu 21.10 On Wayland

AMD this week released AMDVLK 2021.Q4.3 as their last open-source Vulkan driver version of the year and with it came finally fixing the poor performance seen by that driver when running under Wayland such as with Ubuntu 21.04 and newer. Indeed, my tests have confirmed the AMDVLK performance now being in far better shape under Wayland, but is it enough to better compete now with Mesa's RADV alternative Vulkan driver? Here are fresh benchmarks.

30 December 2021 - 30 Comments
Linux 5.16 Has A Nice Performance Gift For AMD Ryzen Laptops With Radeon Graphics
Linux 5.16 Has A Nice Performance Gift For AMD Ryzen Laptops With Radeon Graphics

For those making use of integrated Radeon Vega-based graphics with modern Ryzen laptops at least, the Linux 5.16 kernel is offering some nice performance gains noticed recently as part of the Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U benchmarking with the Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen2. Here is a look at the AMD Radeon Graphics performance for that Zen 3 laptop across varying Mesa and Linux kernel versions while then expanding the comparison to multiple devices given the Linux 5.16 performance boost.

24 December 2021 - 15 Comments
Zink Is Ending 2021 In Fantastic Shape For OpenGL Over Vulkan
Zink Is Ending 2021 In Fantastic Shape For OpenGL Over Vulkan

Following all the work carried out by Mike Blumenkrantz (Valve) and others, the Mesa Zink code is ending the year in terrific and very capable shape for OpenGL running atop the Vulkan API. Here is a look at where things currently stand with mainline Mesa for Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan compared to the native RadeonSI Gallium3D OpenGL driver.

30 November 2021 - 23 Comments
Linux & Mesa Driver Comparison For Intel Core i5 12600K / UHD Graphics 770
Linux & Mesa Driver Comparison For Intel Core i5 12600K / UHD Graphics 770

Earlier this month I provided benchmarks showing the Intel UHD Graphics 770 with Alder Lake compared to other CPUs/APUs under Linux. Those tests were done with the latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver code at the time, but for those running Alder Lake and wondering if it's worthwhile moving from the stable versions to more bleeding-edge components, this article is for you.

18 November 2021 - 8 Comments
Radeon RX 6600 Linux Performance Rising Even Higher With Newest Open-Source Driver
Radeon RX 6600 Linux Performance Rising Even Higher With Newest Open-Source Driver

Just one week ago was the public launch of the Radeon RX 6600 as the newest offering in the RDNA2 GPU line-up. While in our Radeon RX 6600 Linux review the performance was good on AMD's well regarded open-source driver stack and standing ground against the likes of the GeForce RTX 3060 with NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver, it turns out the RX 6600 Linux performance can be even better already. Here are benchmarks of the Radeon RX 6600 on Linux across six different driver configurations.

20 October 2021 - 29 Comments
NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Resizable BAR Support Continues Helping Performance On Linux
NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Resizable BAR Support Continues Helping Performance On Linux

While NVIDIA has been supporting Resizable BAR for a while now with their GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, for those exclusively using Linux it remains more of a challenge due to AIB partners generally not releasing any vBIOS updates for ReBAR support that can be easily applied under Linux. But if you do carry out an update -- such as under Windows -- the performance uplift can be worthwhile if using a game that can benefit from the support.

14 September 2021 - 9 Comments
Zink Mesa 21.3-dev Benchmarks - Increasingly Capable Of Running OpenGL Games Atop Vulkan
Zink Mesa 21.3-dev Benchmarks - Increasingly Capable Of Running OpenGL Games Atop Vulkan

Zink as an OpenGL-over-Vulkan API implementation living within Mesa merged its sub-allocator code that could deliver 10x the performance for some games. Plus it also landed OpenGL compatibility context support for getting more games working now with this open-source GL-on-VLK solution. Given the progress made in Mesa Git over the past week, here are some fresh benchmarks now for how the performance stands across various games and benchmarks.

23 August 2021 - 31 Comments
Radeon RX 6600/6700/6800 XT: RADV vs. PRO Vulkan Driver Performance
Radeon RX 6600/6700/6800 XT: RADV vs. PRO Vulkan Driver Performance

With yesterday's launch day Radeon RX 6600 XT Linux review the benchmarks were conducted using the popular Mesa RADV open-source driver used by many Linux gamers considering it's the driver Valve has been relentlessly optimizing and is the default on most (or all) Linux distributions. For those wondering how the performance of RADV is comparing to that of AMD's closed-source "PRO" Vulkan driver distributed as part of the "Radeon Software for Linux" package, here are some benchmarks exploring that difference.

11 August 2021 - 22 Comments
Mesa RADV vs. AMDVLK Radeon Vulkan Performance For July 2021
Mesa RADV vs. AMDVLK Radeon Vulkan Performance For July 2021

It's been a while since last looking at the performance of AMD's official "AMDVLK" open-source Linux Vulkan driver against that of the popular Mesa "RADV" Radeon Vulkan driver. But here are some fresh benchmarks for those interested while using the latest-generation Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card paired with the in-development Linux 5.14 kernel across testing both Vulkan drivers.

23 July 2021 - 97 Comments
Linux Gaming Performance With Radeon Vulkan NGG Culling
Linux Gaming Performance With Radeon Vulkan NGG Culling

The newest performance optimization merged this week for Mesa's "RADV" Radeon Vulkan open-source driver is NGG culling for Navi 1x/2x graphics cards. NGG Culling "NGGC" isn't enabled by default at this time but can be easily activated and depending upon the software under test can provide some minor performance gains on top of all the other optimizations seen in recent times for RADV.

16 July 2021 - 23 Comments
NVIDIA 470 EOL Drivers For Kepler Still Obliterating Open-Source Alternative
NVIDIA 470 EOL Drivers For Kepler Still Obliterating Open-Source Alternative

With the recent NVIDIA 470 series Linux driver beta this R470 branch is the point at which NVIDIA is ending its GeForce 600/700 series "Kepler" support. The 470 driver series will be maintained as a long-lived driver that will continue to see security updates and Linux kernel / X.Org Server compatibility updates for another three years. If this end-of-life status has you thinking about trying out the open-source "Nouveau" Linux driver with Kepler, here are some current benchmarks.

30 June 2021 - 29 Comments
Another Test Drive With Crocus Gallium3D On Old Intel Hardware
Another Test Drive With Crocus Gallium3D On Old Intel Hardware

Since Crocus was merged into mainline Mesa last week we have been looking at benchmarks of this new open-source Intel Gallium3D driver designed exclusively for older Intel graphics hardware (i965 Gen4 through Haswell Gen7, plus Cherrvyiew and experimental Gen8 Broadwell) compared to the existing open-source i965 classic driver. Prior articles have looked at the quite good performance with Haswell while Sandy Bridge is in somewhat rough shape. Today's testing is going in the middle and looking at the Crocus vs. i965 OpenGL driver performance for Ivy Bridge with the once great Core i7 3770K.

24 June 2021 - 5 Comments
Running The New Intel OpenGL "Crocus" Gallium3D Driver On Sandy Bridge
Running The New Intel OpenGL "Crocus" Gallium3D Driver On Sandy Bridge

Merged this past week was Crocus as the new open-source Intel Gallium3D driver developed by the community and used for Gen4/i965 through Gen7/Haswell generations of Intel graphics. This week I ran some Crocus benchmarks on Intel Haswell comparing against the existing i965 classic Mesa DRI driver while in this article are some comparison driver benchmarks using Intel Sandy Bridge graphics for those still running those once popular processors.

21 June 2021 - 18 Comments
GravityMark OpenGL/Vulkan Performance For NVIDIA RTX 30 vs. AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series
GravityMark OpenGL/Vulkan Performance For NVIDIA RTX 30 vs. AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series

A few days ago I wrote about GravityMark as a new cross-API GPU benchmark from a former Unigine developer. Being curious about the Linux GPU driver performance for this benchmark that is focused on delivering maximum GPU acceleration support, I ran some benchmarks on the latest NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards with this benchmark for OpenGL and Vulkan.

18 June 2021 - 38 Comments

1022 display drivers articles published on Phoronix.