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AMD Graphics Games Linux

22-Way SteamOS Graphics Card Comparison: NVIDIA Wins Across the Board (phoronix.com) 98

An anonymous reader writes: A 22-way AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce graphics card comparison on SteamOS 2.0 "Brewmaster" was carried out with one month to go until Steam Machines begin to ship. The article looks at the OpenGL performance of this Debian-based Linux distribution as well as the power/performance efficiency, thermal efficiency, and value of the entire line-up. The results make it pretty clear why the current range of Steam Machines with SteamOS all ship with NVIDIA graphics.
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22-Way SteamOS Graphics Card Comparison: NVIDIA Wins Across the Board

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  • What else is new? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday October 23, 2015 @04:54PM (#50790283)

    AMD has never been able to write OpenGL drivers worth a damn. I dunno why they have so much trouble, but it has been that way forever. Holds true on Windows too. nVidia cards run equal speed in DX and OpenGL on Windows, AMD cards run was faster in DX mode.

    Allegedly the open source drivers would fix it, however it turns out that programming graphics drivers is really hard, particularly when you can't use licensed code, and the drivers have not provided impressive features and performance yet.

    So, as ever, nVidia is the winner because their proprietary Linux drivers are just as fast as their proprietary Windows drivers which is to say damn fast.

    • I searched all over and still can't see how this test matters if he doesn't list the mb which can change the results drastically. .. Maybe I'm blind but I don't see it listed anywhere...
    • by mikael ( 484 )

      Any slow down with device drivers usually depends on mutexes and waiting for hardware to finish. Sometimes it needs some encouragement with flush commands (that's true for anything from serial communications to network packet drivers). With network drivers you have memory buffers to store received and sent packets. With graphics drivers you have memory buffers for reading textures, blocks of vertex data, shader variables, and writing out the resulting pixels into a framebuffer or texture.

  • Best? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Coren22 ( 1625475 ) on Friday October 23, 2015 @05:03PM (#50790341) Journal

    So, the best price/performance comes out to a GTX 750, so why even bother with a newer card?

    GTX 750 - $109
    GTX 960 - $205
    GTX 970 - $318

    Yet, the reviewer recommends the above 960 or 970 for living room builds. Do you really get that much more performance to spend $100 and $200 more on a video card for a TV?

    The 750 also runs cooler

    750 - 35-54 deg C
    960 - 45-74 deg C
    970 - 34-63 deg C

    which will allow your living room PC to run quieter. I recommend the 750, you will be happier being able to hear your games/movies over the spinning fans.

    • I'm thinking about buying a GTX 700-series card from NewEgg. Do you have any advice?
      • I don't know.

        My main desktop's video card is this:
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/... [newegg.com]

        and it still runs anything I throw at it perfectly.

        Video cards are so overpowered current games that I just don't see the point of upgrading, I've had that card for 3 years, and haven't even see it degrade in a game yet. My most recent game is The Witcher 3, so it isn't like I am playing outdated games, and yes, it can play Crysis 2. (I don't own Crysis 3)

        • You're all dorks. I somehow wound up with a bunch of steam games, and the experience has been thus:

          Most games play fine on my built-in Intel HD graphics in my old Core i5 and newer Pentium dual-core.

          Some games--irritatingly, no-fog, low-effects, and even 2D-sprite-driven platformers--run at 6fps every time there's some action, and even go to 1FPS on a fucking loading screen with a 2D, flat, single-color progress bar. This is why I usually stick to consoles.

          I don't even have the new Intel HD4000. I have

      • I'm thinking about buying a GTX 700-series card from NewEgg. Do you have any advice?

        Well, I'm not personally very experienced with the GTX 700 series, but I can give some general NewEgg advice that I'm not sure if everyone is following. Read a few reviews from people who gave both good and bad reviews of the product. Don't just rely on the star ratings.

        The nicest thing for me about NewEgg (other than the very nice RMA policy for defective items) is that a lot of the reviewers are usually pretty technologically proficient and will get specific about their praise/gripes. Sometimes you'll

      • Hate to reply to myself, but the whoosh is mounting. Maybe I'm just not that funny.
      • My advice is to always buy at at least an X60 card in the series and avoid any of the X50 or less series unless you are really trying to save a buck. Architecturally, the X60/X70 is usually much better than the X50, where the difference between X60 and X70 is usually just clock speeds. So, in short, get at least a 760.

      • by Tool Man ( 9826 )

        Test for what you need, or at least look for related benchmarks. Mine (750 Ti) does more crunching for password cracking than anything else, but helps out nicely for certain jobs. (Hashcat FTW of course!)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Single fan mini 960 is quiet, at least stock clock models. Mini 970 cards however start to sweat while trying to cool off. 960 should be notably faster than 750 and 750 Ti. It's a nice compromise of speed vs watts.

    • So, the best price/performance comes out to a GTX 750, so why even bother with a newer card?

      Because you are willing to pay a higher price for more performance? the 750 may have the best price to performance ratio, but some people need / want more raw performance and are willing to pay more.

      • On a TV though? I doubt they can refresh fast enough to matter.

        • Most current model TV's are at least 60Hz, which is the standard refresh rate for PC gaming. Several are 120Hz or 240Hz, higher than a lot of PC monitors, mostly because they also have 3D option and you need high refresh rate to maintain an acceptable rate when in 3D mode.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Most current model TV's are at least 60Hz, which is the standard refresh rate for PC gaming. Several are 120Hz or 240Hz, higher than a lot of PC monitors, mostly because they also have 3D option and you need high refresh rate to maintain an acceptable rate when in 3D mode.

            It should be noted that despite having high refresh rates, few >60Hz TVs accept signals higher than 60Hz. It's mostly wasted on frame-interpolation bullshit and, as you mentioned, displaying 3D content via synchronized LCD shutter glasses.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The VR helmet requirements seem to demand a lot more than what a 750 can deliver.

      As I think about my next machine, I've heard a lot of shitty things about Nvidia in the past few months:

      namely this:

      http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/213519-asynchronous-shading-amd-nvidia-and-dx12-what-we-know-so-far

      and

      http://wccftech.com/nvidia-geforce-gtx-970-memory-issue-fully-explained/

      • Well, since this is an article on gaming under Linux, I do not think the DX12 stuff is all that relevant. :) Under Linux, nVidia spanks everyone. The debate is over. :)
    • I've had the 750 since it came out, and it is a great card! I've been playing Dying Light with close to full setting, and it almost never lags.
    • by faraway ( 174370 )

      I'm in the market for a card.

      I'll be getting a GTX 960/970 this consumer savings season because I upgrade GPUs every 3 years and I want to be able to support Oculus when it comes out.

    • Re:Best? (Score:5, Informative)

      by The Raven ( 30575 ) on Friday October 23, 2015 @06:03PM (#50790727) Homepage

      The 960 was only a barely behind the 750 in performance per dollar... which means you are getting nearly double the performance for that doubling in price.

      Or, to put it another way, the 960 is 90% faster than the 750, for 100% more money. The 970 is 160% faster for 200% of the price. Those are actually great stats... when you normally look at high end cards, you often get 50% faster for 100% of the price.

      Finally, all the games he tested were rather old (common for Linux). If I'm buying a new steam machine now, I don't want to buy one that can play three year old games for $100, I want to buy one that will play next years games.

      • 200% of the price IS 100% more money :).

        I usually just use the old stuff my friends with more money than brains upgraded from.

        • I poorly worded a few areas. On the first, I said '100% more', but on the second I didn't say '200% more'. I think the meaning is clear overall.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      During the game I really don't care about the fan noise and at least on my card (Asus Strix 970) it got 0db technology so the fan will spin down completely when it's idle. Do you really need a 970? No, but you don't really need a 750 either. Or a Steam Machine. It's entertainment, use as much on it as you want and can afford.

      • But will you notice the difference on a TV from 10 feet away? Are you actually gaining something from all that extra money?

        I linked my card above: http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

        I run the Witcher 3 at 1920x1200 and never see any detail drop with the screen a foot or two from my face. Would you honestly notice anything better than that from 10 feet away in your living room?

    • So, the best price/performance comes out to a GTX 750, so why even bother with a newer card?

      Having watched some reviews I would suggest a 950, because you can run a pair of them in SLI and get quite good results. I have a 750, and if I had it to do again, and waited a month before buying a card so that the 950 was a thing, I'd have ponied up the extra dough for a 950. If you don't have a SLI motherboard, though (this is my first, actually) then the 750 is probably fine for most users.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      So, the best price/performance comes out to a GTX 750, so why even bother with a newer card

      Because you want better performance of course.

      Also on a other-wise $600 build adding a $600 graphics could be viewed as spending twice as much rather than five times as much since it's relative the price of the computer with a different graphics card.

    • by mOzone ( 1447147 )

      960 is silent and makes no noise fan doesnt spin inless it gets hot then shuts off only time i heard fan come on in weeks was playing witcher 3

      also sips power like crazy would take it over a 750 anyday

      • The point was, at ten feet from a screen running 1080i, does it really matter what video card you get? This isn't a review of the latest desktop using a great monitor, it is a review of a Steam box meant for the living room computer.

        I don't notice the difference running at 1920x1200 a foot or so from my face on a GTX 560 SE, why would I need the latest generation card to play on a TV in the living room? What benefit is there?

  • ATI is responsable that i didn't build up any more gaming PCs, in 2008 i bought an ATI Radeon HD 4870, at that moment, where i lived at least, it was one of the high end cards, ATI only offered the Dual 4870 and 4890 as better graphic cards. I thought i have built a very good gaming rig, and it turned out not being able to run Need For Speed Most Wanted (released 2005) with high settings, that day i decided that i would only play games on consoles, sure, they are less powerful, closed, but you put the disc
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dejitaru ( 4258167 )
      Then the issue must have been something else or you got a crap card, because when I built my computer with the same GPU video card (Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4870) I played the hell out of NFS:MW at full settings.
      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        yep played it on a 4850 maxed out no problems, sounds like OP needed to stop "building" computers

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      I still use my old 4870 video card. I don't play games anymore so it works fine.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    . . . not OpenGL. Don't expect their OpenGL performance to improve much in the future.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    doesn't matter. We need AMD because Nvidia and Intel needs competition.

  • by Kartu ( 1490911 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @02:58AM (#50792331)

    And while they are not brand new architecture from AMD, they DO perform differently than 2xx series.
    Yet they didn't make it into the review.
    HALF of the AMD cards reviewed aren't even previous generation, they are pre-previous.

    There is a reason (LiquidVR) Dell/Alienware went exclusively with AMD for Oculus Rift builds, somehow that doesn't matter for SteamOS, eh?
    http://hexus.net/tech/news/sys... [hexus.net]

    AMD 380 is the best 200$ card out there at the moment. It beats 960 handily in most games, while consuming 10-30w more (n games)
    390 is within 5% of 980 performance, at a fraction of a price, and 30-40% more power consumption.

    AMDs GPUs are more than competitive at the moment, stop spreading BS.

    • There is a reason (LiquidVR) Dell/Alienware went exclusively with AMD for Oculus Rift builds, somehow that doesn't matter for SteamOS, eh?

      Correct. That doesn't matter for SteamOS. Occulus announced they were dropping Linux (SteamOS) and Mac support back in May.

      AMDs GPUs are more than competitive at the moment, stop spreading BS.

      Maybe on Windows, but if you RTFA, you'd see that in Phoronix's tests, the $650 R9 Fury X was regularly outperformed by a $120 GeForce GTX 750 on SteamOS.

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