AMD Radeon RX 6800 vs. NVIDIA RTX 30 Linux Performance Heating Up
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 8 February 2021. Page 1 of 6. 73 Comments

Given the open-source Radeon driver progress for RDNA2 over the past three months since the Radeon RX 6800 series were launched, here is a look at how the Radeon RX 6800 series and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series is currently competing on Linux when using the latest Linux drivers from the respective vendors.

Today's article offers a fresh comparison at how the latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards are competing on Linux for various gaming and Vulkan compute benchmarks when using the very latest graphics drivers. This round of tests was conducted on an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X system with the ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard (3202 BIOS), 2 x 16GB DDR4-3600 Corsair memory, 2TB Corsair Fore MP600 NVMe solid-state drive, and the various graphics cards under test. Ubuntu 20.10 was running on this AMD Ryzen 9 5950X system while was modified with the noted driver modifications/updates.

On the AMD Radeon side using the latest graphics driver code meant running Linux 5.11 Git for the latest AMDGPU kernel driver. In user-space was Mesa 21.1-devel via the Oibaf PPA built against LLVM 11.0.1 while the RADV driver continues to default to the ACO back-end. The Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT were tested as the newest "Navi 2" graphics cards while I have no Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card which is why there haven't been any Linux tests for that flagship graphics card. For additional insight into the Linux gaming performance are also metrics from the older Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon VII graphics cards.

On the NVIDIA side the latest graphics driver support meant using the 460.39 packaged Linux driver. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3080 were tested there as the only RTX 30 hardware I've been supplied with by NVIDIA for Linux testing. For additional perspective are also benchmarks from the RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080 SUPER, and RTX 2080 Ti.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite various OpenGL and Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks were carried out plus Vulkan compute tests too. No Vulkan ray-tracing tests in this article with the Linux Radeon driver stack not yet exposing Vulkan RT capabilities.


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