Clear Linux Now Offers Radeon Mesa Graphics Support, Yields Speed Advantage In Some Tests
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 2 June 2018. Page 4 of 4. 26 Comments

As it's still non-trivial getting Steam working on Clear Linux, for these initial benchmarks were just some of the standalone OpenGL game/graphics benchmarks.

ET: Legacy was 10% faster than the Linux 4.16 + Mesa 18.2 configured Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or about 22% faster than the stock Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation, though the gains on Vega were much less.

Tesseract is fairly CPU bound at 1080p and shows Clear Linux squeezing out 4% faster performance on the RX 580 over Ubuntu 18.04 LTS stock or 11% on the Vega GPU.

In the Unigine tests where the GPU is being pushed to its limits, the performance was about the same but there seems to be a strange Vega bug on Clear Linux only exhibited under Unigine.

Xonotic on Clear Linux was generally faster than Ubuntu Linux for the Radeon GPUs, particularly with the RX Vega 64 where even with the ultra/ultimate quality settings carried about a 4% performance advantage.

These initial Radeon GPU numbers on Clear Linux have shown a slight advantage in OpenGL gaming tests while a significant benefit under the desktop/2D tests, with the latter some of that benefit might be explained by the expedited adoption of X.Org Server 1.20. But these initial numbers have piqued my interest enough that my next round of tests will be once going through the process of setting up Steam for Clear Linux to see how the performance optimizations carry over to those popular Linux games with the newly-enabled Radeon graphics support... This should be particularly interesting given that many Linux game ports tend to be CPU-heavy, where Clear's optimizations may have a more profound impact, but alas only so much time in a day for this first article. If you want to give it a whirl yourself this weekend, their latest rolling-release images are available at

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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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