AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 4 November 2014. Page 2 of 6. 14 Comments

With the tested Catalyst Linux driver, Unigine Heaven would crash upon start-up when attempting 1920 x 1080. AMD Catalyst Linux driver regressions/issues with the Unigine tech demos aren't too uncommon. When comparing the open-source Radeon Linux driver stack against Windows 8.1 Pro, the R9 270X ran Unigine Heaven at 77% the speed of the binary Windows stack. The Radeon R9 290 on the open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver ran at 65% the speed of Windows 8.1 with Catalyst 14.9.

When launching Unigine Heaven at 3840 x 2140 (the native 4K resolution used during testing of the Seiki display), the Catalyst Linux driver no longer crashed. The Catalyst Linux driver performance for Unigine Heaven at 4K was faster than the open-source Linux driver as expected but behind the Windows driver performance. Catalyst on Ubuntu Linux 14.10 was 19% faster than the Linux 3.17 + Mesa 10.4-devel open-source driver configuration with the Radeon R9 290. However, the Catalyst Windows driver was 17% faster for the Hawaii graphics card. With the Radeon R9 285 there isn't much to say due to the aforementioned Linux driver difficulties.


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