Company of Heroes 2 Is The Latest Linux Game Showcasing AMD's Performance Wreck With Catalyst
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 27 August 2015. Page 1 of 1. 101 Comments

While Company of Heroes 2 was released for Windows two years ago, this game that's now available on Linux as of earlier today is a disaster if trying to use the AMD Catalyst Linux driver... The performance means an unplayable game. A low-cost GeForce GTX 950 offers much better results.

Leading up to the Linux launch of Company of Heroes 2, Feral Interactive Games that ported the title from Windows to OSX/Linux mentioned the game is only playable with Intel and NVIDIA graphics. Yep, Intel graphics, but no AMD Catalyst graphics support...

When trying out the game myself on an Ubuntu 15.04 box with the Catalyst 15.7 driver, this game was just the latest showing what bad shape the Catalyst Linux driver is in for OpenGL gaming... Like with the Shadow of Mordor Linux port, even when launching the game from Steam on Linux with the AMD Catalyst driver loaded, there is immediately a warning:

While I will be running a more proper Company of Heroes 2 Linux benchmarking comparison in the next few days, below are some initial results using their built-in performance/stress test for this game. All tests were done on the same Core i7 5960X system with Ubuntu 15.04 and Catalyst 15.7 at 1080p. The results are the low /average / high frame-rates.

Radeon R7 370:

1080p Low Quality - 8.23 / 9.39 / 11.87
1080p Medium Quality - 6.83 / 8.38 / 11.54
1080p Maximum Quality - 6.90 / 8.45 / 12.24

Radeon R9 290:

1080p Low Quality - 9.06 / 11.86 / 17.37
1080p Medium Quality - 7.50 / 10.41 / 15.67
1080p Maximum Quality - 2.19 / 9.49 / 14.90

The game is completely unplayable with Catalyst on Linux, even with the high-end Radeon R9 290 Hawaii graphics card! 11 FPS average for the R9 290 at 1920 x 1080 with low image quality settings...

Meanwhile, here's a run I did from the brand new GeForce GTX 950 on Linux () with the very same system:

GeForce GTX 950:

1080p Low Quality - 0.79 / 27.85 / 43.91
1080p Medium Quality - 12.62 / 26.28 / 39.60
1080p Maximum Quality - 14.81 / 25.03 / 41.83

The game is certainly on the heavier side, but with NVIDIA, the frame-rates are MUCH better. Feral Interactive Games recommends at least a GeForce GTX 760 for playing this game on Linux. This $150 GeForce GTX 950 was running multiple times better than the Radeon R7 370 and R9 290.

Again, I'll have a more proper graphics card / driver comparison of the Company of Heroes 2 Linux port in the next few days, but the results already are clear: don't use Catalyst to play this game. Just like with Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, BioShock Infinite. and other recent Steam Linux games, the performance with Catalyst is abysmal. More examples are outlined in the recent article of The Extreme Cases Where A NVIDIA GTX 950 Can Outperform An AMD R9 Fury On Linux OpenGL and The AMD Radeon R9 Fury Is Currently A Disaster On Linux.

Stay tuned for more Company of Heroes 2 Linux benchmarks on Phoronix in the near future.


About The Author
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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 10,000 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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