How Ubuntu 16.04 Is Performing With AMDGPU/Radeon Graphics Compared To Ubuntu 14.04 With FGLRX
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 15 March 2016. Page 6 of 6. 46 Comments

The Furmark synthetic test results were very similar between fglrx and the current open-source Radeon driver code.

The basic triangle synthetic OpenGL test continues to perform horribly on the open-source driver stack.

The Pixmark results were fairly competitive with some open-source wins for this final synthetic test.

Well, there you have it for the upgrade experience in going from Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS from either the open-source driver stack or fglrx (Catalyst) proprietary driver to Ubuntu 16.04 where you are now forced to use the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver code. The OpenGL performance isn't too different from our other recent Mesa 11.2~11.3-devel plus Linux 4.4~4.5 benchmarks where in a number of tests the open-source driver performance is leading over the deprecated Catalyst driver while in other tests it's still an uphill battle for the open-source driver code. With fglrx not being supported on Ubuntu 16.04, it's good at least that the Ubuntu developers got a feature freeze exception so they'll be able to land Mesa 11.2. Likewise, it's also great they were able to back-port the DRM changes into their Linux 4.4 kernel for being able to have the much-neeeded AMDGPU PowerPlay re-clocking support, various bug fixes, and other recent improvements.

If the games you care about are the ones where the open-source driver is still trailing, you'll be better off sticking to Ubuntu 14.04.4/15.10 until the new hybrid driver rolls out or for an update like Ubuntu 16.04.2 that will pull down the newer Mesa and kernel DRM code. Besides the performance still lacking in some areas, OpenCL compute, CrossFire, OverDrive for overclocking, OpenGL support above 4.1, and other advanced Radeon features are where you'll need to stick to using an older Linux distribution release for the Catalyst driver support.

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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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