A Preliminary Look At Radeon RX 6800 XT Windows Performance vs. Open-Source Linux Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 10 December 2020. Page 1 of 4. 29 Comments

For those wondering how the open-source Radeon Linux graphics drivers compare to the Radeon Software Windows drivers for the recently released Radeon RX 6800 XT, here are some preliminary data points looking at the OpenGL / Vulkan performance between Windows and Linux for RDNA 2.

While working on some extensive Ryzen 9 5900X Windows vs. Linux benchmarks, with the Radeon RX 6800 XT installed I also ran some preliminary GPU performance tests for those curious how well the AMD Linux graphics driver stack is performing roughly one month after launch.

The same system was obviously used with the Ryzen 9 5900X, ASU ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, and the reference Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card.

On the Windows side was Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.11.3 (27.20.14501.24001). On the Linux side was Ubuntu 20.10 and having moved to the Linux 5.10-rc6 kernel, Mesa 21.0-devel with LLVM 11.0 via the Oibaf PPA, and linux-firmware.git for the Sienna Cichlid firmware support. For the OpenCL support, the ROCm-based OpenCL stack via the Radeon Software for Linux packaged driver was extracted into this setup.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of GPU benchmarks were carried out including OpenCL, OpenGL, and Vulkan both for graphics and compute workloads. This article isn't too focused on the gaming performance that will come in a separate article, due to the complexities involved there and with focusing right now just on the driver performance and thus using native software on both Windows and Linux than the likes of Proton/DXVK powered games that are emulated of the Windows game builds and thus subject to extra overhead.


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