12-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison Using The Newest May 2018 Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 26 May 2018. Page 1 of 5. 21 Comments

Here is a look at twelve different AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards while testing was done using the newest available graphics drivers and using an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation.

With the Phoronix.com 14th birthday coming up in two weeks as well as marking the 10th birthday of the initial Phoronix Test Suite release, a lot of exciting benchmarks are coming in the days to come. For kicking off the latest of some large comparisons to come are some fresh graphics card benchmarks using the newest and continuously evolving open-source Radeon graphics drivers as well as the latest NVIDIA 396 Linux driver, which is also exciting due to the roll-out of their new LLVM-based SPIR-V compiler.

The Radeon Linux graphics driver stack used was with the Linux 4.17 Git kernel and using Mesa 18.2-devel as of this week built against the LLVM 7.0 SVN AMDGPU back-end as packaged easily for Ubuntu users via the Padoka PPA. This provides a very fresh look at the current Radeon OpenGL and Vulkan (via RADV) gaming capabilities. The Radeon graphics cards I tested went back to GCN 1.0 with the Radeon HD 7950. With the GCN 1.0/1.1 hardware the tests were done when switching from the Radeon DRM to AMDGPU DRM for using this newer and more actively developed kernel driver and also being able to make use of the RADV Vulkan driver. The tested Radeon hardware for this comparison included the Radeon HD 7950, R9 285, R9 290, RX 580, R9 Fury, RX Vega 56, and RX Vega 64.

On the NVIDIA Linux side was their latest release, the 396.24 driver. With the 396 series they introduced their next-gen Vulkan SPIR-V compiler based upon LLVM along with various other driver improvements in this latest cycle. For the NVIDIA Linux testing we used the standard Pascal GPU line-up including the GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 Ti. For those wondering about current Kepler/Maxwell numbers in comparison, that data will be coming in an even larger CPU comparison coming up closer to the Phoronix 14th birthday in early June.

All of these Linux OpenGL/Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks were carried out in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. If you enjoy my frequent Linux hardware benchmarks alongside the other daily content on Phoronix, please consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip or at the very least to not use this site with any ad-blocker.

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