NVIDIA's Latest Maxwell Line-Up Against AMD With Catalyst On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 28 January 2015. Page 1 of 4. 17 Comments

Last week NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 960, a great $200 GPU for Linux gamers that is based on their new power-efficient Maxwell architecture. On launch-day I delivered some initial performance figures of the full GeForce GTX 900 series line-up along with other graphics cards and following that I did many new NVIDIA Linux GPU tests going back to the GeForce GTX 400 (Fermi) series. Not part of those tests were any AMD Radeon graphics cards while in this article are such numbers in making a new 18-way graphics card comparison with the latest Linux graphics drivers.

The AMD Radeon results were left out of the earlier articles since the AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega driver on Linux has been causing issues with a number of our newer test profiles. This proprietary driver update has run into troubles with the Unreal Engine 4 tests on Linux, Civilization: Beyond Earth on Linux, and the Metro Redux games on Linux. Unfortunately there isn't yet any new driver -- either in public beta or stable form -- so for this article we're leaving out these newer tests still causing issues with Catalyst on Linux. Even for many of our long-standing Linux OpenGL tests used at Phoronix, Catalyst 14.12 seems to have some fundamental performance troubles as you'll see on the pages ahead. If you want to see the Metro and Unreal Engine 4 results, click on the articles above.

The AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards tested for this article included the:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB
eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1024MB
MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 1024MB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB
eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 1024MB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2048MB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2048MB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3072MB
eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2048MB
eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4096MB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4096MB
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6870 1024MB
Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6950 2048MB
ASUS AMD Radeon HD 7850 1024MB
XFX AMD Radeon HD 7950 3072MB
AMD Radeon R9 270X 2048MB
AMD Radeon R9 285 2048MB
AMD Radeon R9 290 4096MB

For the NVIDIA GPU tests the NVIDIA 346.35 binary driver was used while with the AMD testing the Catalyst 14.12 Omega (fglrx 14.50.2) driver was at play.

All of the tests happened on the same Intel Core i7 5960X system running Ubuntu 14.10 x86_64 out-of-the-box. The OpenGL benchmarks were facilitated via the Phoronix Test Suite.

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