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Graphics Open Source Linux Games

Testing 65 Different GPUs On Linux With Open Source Drivers 134

An anonymous reader writes "How good are open source graphics drivers in 2014 given all the Linux gaming and desktop attention? Phoronix has tested 65 different GPUs using the latest open source drivers covering Intel HD Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon, and AMD FirePro hardware. Of the 65 GPUs tested, only 50 of them had good enough open source driver support for running OpenGL games and benchmarks. Across the NVIDIA and AMD hardware were several pages of caveats with different driver issues encountered on Linux 3.15 and Mesa 10.3 loaded on Ubuntu 14.04. Intel graphics on Linux were reliable but slow while AMD's open-source Linux support was recommended over the NVIDIA support that doesn't currently allow for suitable graphics card re-clocking. Similar tests are now being done with the proprietary Linux drivers."
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Testing 65 Different GPUs On Linux With Open Source Drivers

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  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:08PM (#47166575) Journal

    I recently updated my Mint install and discovered that the newer AMD/FGLRX drivers have a big issue with the backlight on various laptops (mainly, that they turn it off or down to zero).
    At first I thought I had no display, but later noticed that if there is some front-light I could vaguely see the login window.

    As it's an older model, it seems to get less attention from AMD (Nvidia is much the same). However, I was happy to see how much better the FOSS driver seems to work these days, so for now I'm back to using that. Backlight works, and video seems reasonably fast. I haven't tried any 3d/gaming yet but it will be interesting to see how that stacks up.

  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:34PM (#47166767)
    My experience is that the open source Radeon driver has been getting much better in 3D performance lately.
  • by rcht148 ( 2872453 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @03:41PM (#47166807)

    I second this.
    I installed Linux Mint 17 recently and first went with the AMD proprietary fglrx drivers.
    Overall any video (file playback or gaming) would always be choppy and jittery.

    I decided to give the open source radeon drivers a shot. The performance is much better. All the choppiness/jittery is gone.
    I may have lost some fps but it was completely worth it.

  • Yes it does (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @04:14PM (#47167077)

    Their interface is stable per version of Windows. They freeze the ABI and it is set until the next one. They don't change it much usually anyhow, Vista being a notable exception. Now of course when new DX features come out you have to update your drivers to support it if you want those features, but it isn't necessary to make your driver work, the old driver continues to work.

    It does not get updated with every kernel patch, ala Linux.

  • Re:AMD Open Source (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @04:16PM (#47167089) Homepage

    Windows does not have a stable driver interface. What windows does have is the market share necessary to not suffer too much when the interface changes.

    In recent history there was WDDM 1.0 (Vista, 2006) 1.1 (Win7, 2009) 1.2 (Win8, 2012) and 1.3 (Win8.1, 2013) and as far as I can tell they're backwards compatible - if your graphics card has a WDDM 1.0 driver you can still run Win8.1, however it'll also cap your DirectX level. Unless I'm mistaken that's 8 years of a stable (but expanding) ABI, it seems like DirectX 12 will require WDDM 2.0 which may be the next clean break but we won't know until Win9 is out. But I agree that the market share helps Microsoft a lot, particularly the market share of gamers despite Steam now being on Linux - according to their May 2014 survey 95.5% run Steam on Windows. Also for all those pointing to Distrowatch, at least 0.64% of the 1.10% running Linux use Ubuntu with only 0.08% verified as Mint...

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @08:41PM (#47168543)
    Just pass the test the same way you could in 2000 and download the NVIDIA or AMD driver from their websites. If you want a dead simple answer without artificial restrictions that's all you have to do - instead of whining about how your artificial restriction is making things hard.
    In fact such a post makes you look so stupid that I strongly suspect you have an agenda to push and do not care if you look stupid to many so long as you manage to fool the naive. Is that what is going on here?
  • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @06:58AM (#47170501) Homepage

    And that's AMD official stance:
    - once the opensource drivers get good enough, support for older cards gets removed from catalyst, and radeon is pointed as the official go-to solution for older cards.
    - so catalyst = drivers for the current generation of cards (unless you want to beta test the bleeding-edge development) and radeon = drivers for all the previous generation (unless you want specifically a card that still isn't phased out yet, probably because the current openCL support is better in catalyst).
    - that's also part of the reason why AMD has opensource driver developers on their payroll.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!