15-Way Open vs. Closed Source NVIDIA/AMD Linux GPU Comparison
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 29 April 2013. Page 6 of 6. 69 Comments

For those that wanted to see the AMD and NVIDIA open-source vs. closed-source driver performance side-by-side, here's the numbers. Overall, the open-source AMD performance is much better than the open-source NVIDIA driver performance. The open-source NVIDIA driver developed by the "Nouveau" project is done through clean-room reverse-engineering and as such they have large hurdles to jump when it comes to GPU re-clocking, power management, and other important functionality that Linux desktop users expect. At the same time though, the open-source AMD Linux support for the Radeon HD 7000 series is still being brought up into a suitable state one and a half years after the Southern Islands debut.

Other advantages to the open-source AMD Linux driver aside from the relatively better performance are Radeon support for UVD video decoding and numerous other features.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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