NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 On Linux: OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 4 June 2016. Page 11 of 11. 57 Comments

If you looked at all of the results shown in this article, there isn't too much need for a conclusion... Many of the GeForce GTX 1080 numbers were phenomenal and represented huge improvements over the GeForce 900 "Maxwell" graphics cards and only furthering the performance advantage NVIDIA has over AMD on Linux, particularly for OpenGL when factoring in the respective company's drivers.

Not only was the GeForce GTX 1080 performing great with the raw performance in OpenGL, OpenCL, and Vulkan games and applications, but the performance-per-Watt was also nothing short of astonishing. In a few of the performance-per-Watt results, it was incredible to see how much further ahead Pascal has put NVIDIA even compared to just Maxwell cards from last year.

During all of my intense Linux benchmarking of the GTX 1080 over the past few days, I didn't hit any cases where there was a system hang or other notable bugs. The NVIDIA 367.18 driver was in great shape for inaugural Linux support.

At this time I basically have only two complaints about the GeForce GTX 1080: the price and the open-source driver situation. Regarding the open-source driver situation, as explained already near the beginning of the article, it will likely be several months before there is any accelerated GTX 1000 series support in Nouveau, due in large part to the locked down firmware situation with needing to wait for NVIDIA to release their binary blobs. But even after that, it will likely be many months before the open-source driver could perform close to these proprietary driver results shown today. As it stands today there isn't even any re-clocking offered for Maxwell cards on Nouveau while only in recent months has the Kepler re-clocking support been getting into shape where we are seeing good open-source driver performance results for GeForce GTX 600/700 series hardware. If you consider open-source driver support a requirement, there really isn't a NVIDIA option to consider at the moment for new hardware.

The other problem is the price, particularly with this "Founder's Edition" pricing where the cards right now will set you back $699 (or ~$750 in my case with shipping and tax) while the AIB partner cards will be at least $100 less than that, once they start becoming widely available later in June. Such a high price is tough to swallow for most gamers -- especially if the Radeon RX 480 ends up living up to AMD's claims -- but it will get you the best PC gaming performance possible today. When my credit card statement comes, I think I'll be opening up a few Bavarian beers and watching loops of my favorite OpenGL/OpenCL/Vulkan benchmarks via the Phoronix Test Suite to cope with the price and remind myself what an amazing card the GTX 1080 wound up being for raw performance and in power efficiency.

That's all I have to share today after spending a few days with the GeForce GTX 1080 Founder's Edition. Coming up tomorrow will be an interesting look at comparing the raw performance and performance-per-Watt with some OpenGL game classics in going all the way back from the GeForce 9800GTX to today with high-end NVIDIA GPUs to see how those generational gains look over the long-term. Aside from that, in the week ahead are more GTX 1080 Linux benchmarks coming, especially with some Steam Linux gaming at 4K, maybe some dual-screen 4K gaming, more OpenCL (and likely some CUDA too) benchmarking, etc. If you have any other relevant test requests for the GTX 1080 on Linux, feel free to post away on the forums. I'm also hoping to be able to get my hands on a GeForce GTX 1070 in the next few days.

I hope you enjoyed this GeForce GTX 1080 Linux benchmarking. If you found it useful please consider joining Phoronix Premium to support this work and allow for future Linux hardware reviews. Tips are also welcome for also helping offset hardware costs. This week with phoronix turning 12 years old, there's also a massively-discounted premium birthday deal you can also take advantage of if wanting to show your appreciation for our Linux hardware testing over the past 12 years as well as the last eight years of releasing our open-source benchmarking suite.

If you want to see how your own Linux system(s) compare to the GTX 1080 results I have published, refer to this article. Via the Phoronix Test Suite with the strict standards for reproducibility and standardization, it's easy to compare your system's performance side-by-side.

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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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