Are Open-Source GPU Drivers Sufficient For 4K Linux Gaming?
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 28 July 2015. Page 3 of 3. 19 Comments

The open-source Tesseract game at 4K was playable for the R9 290 and roughly so for the HD 7950 and R7 370, considering the game isn't demanding compared to AAA Steam games. The Catalyst driver on the R9 290 was close to 30% faster than the Linux 4.2 + Mesa 10.7-devel stack at 4K for Tesseract.

Lastly is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The Radeon R9 290 on the modern open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver stack was playable at 3840 x 2160, but the HD 7950 and R7 370 were not -- however, those mid-range graphics cards did deliver much better results on Catalyst. Catalyst on the R9 290 Hawaii was about 65% faster than the tested open-source driver updated on Ubuntu.

Well, those were the few results I was able to salvage from last week's 4K Linux gaming comparison given the current limitations of Mesa's OpenGL 4 support and the Nouveau driver not being able to mode-set to 4K, at least on this particular display and with the Linux 4.2 kernel. If you didn't yet look at last week's large Linux graphics/game comparison at 4K with the binary blobs, go read the article. Meanwhile, coming up later this week are the much anticipated AMD Radeon R9 Fury Linux benchmark results.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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