AMD Catalyst: Ubuntu 12.10 vs. Windows 7
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 19 October 2012. Page 7 of 7. 86 Comments

When moving to high quality settings with Xonotic, the Linux performance fell noticeably behind Windows 7. Windows 7 jumped ahead to being 21% faster than Ubuntu 12.10 with the Catalyst blob.

With ultra quality settings, the Windows 7 configuration was 18% faster than Ubuntu 12.10.

While in Linux vs. Windows comparisons of past years the OpenGL performance was largely the same, this is no longer the case. The Catalyst driver code-base remains largely shared between Windows and Linux, but evidently, the Linux driver may be missing some optimization work, and then with the recent shortcomings of the Unity desktop and overhead of the Compiz window manager is leaving Linux at a measurable disadvantage. The shortcomings though aren't limited to just the stock Ubuntu desktop as the KDE desktop with KWin was also disappointing for a number of the GL workloads.

Microsoft Windows 7 was faster than Ubuntu 12.10 with the AMD Radeon graphics performance when using the official Catalyst driver releases. If the open-source Radeon Linux (Gallium3D) driver was tossed into the mix, the numbers would be even more favorable to Windows with the open-source driver performance still being significantly less than the proprietary Catalyst driver. There's definitely a lot of work ahead if Ubuntu really wants to become a gaming platform.

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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 or contacted via

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