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AMD Games Hardware

Gaming On Linux With Newest AMD Catalyst Driver Remains Slow 178

An anonymous reader writes The AMD Catalyst binary graphics driver has made a lot of improvements over the years, but it seems that NVIDIA is still leading in the Linux game with their shared cross-platform driver. Tests done by Phoronix of the Catalyst 15.3 Linux Beta found on Ubuntu 15.04 shows that NVIDIA continues leading over AMD Catalyst with several different GPUs on BioShock Infinite, a game finally released for Linux last week. With BioShock Infinite on Linux, years old mid-range GeForce GPUs were clobbering the high-end Radeon R9 290 and other recent AMD GPUs tested. The poor showing wasn't limited to BS:I though as the Metro Redux games were re-tested too on the new drivers and found the NVIDIA graphics still ran significantly faster and certainly a different story than under Windows.
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Gaming On Linux With Newest AMD Catalyst Driver Remains Slow

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  • Nothing new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zardus ( 464755 ) <yans@yancomm.net> on Monday March 23, 2015 @02:20AM (#49317851) Homepage Journal

    It's been this way for years. ATI/AMD support for Linux is unbelievably bad. nVidia support is basically perfect, with the exception of the open-source issue. In the past, I've bought a brand new (nVidia) video card, right after it was released, brought it home, and got it running under Linux, day 1, with no headaches. If you want decent Linux graphics, go nVidia.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @04:52AM (#49318349)

      While AMD fans cry foul, it really is true that AMD drivers are worse on Windows than nVidia drivers. It isn't the massive gap like on Linux, but it is there. OpenGL stuff sees particular issues, with slower performance or even stuff outright failing to run on AMD cards, but other issues as well. My 7970M in my laptop has been headaches since I got the thing and only recently got up to a competent level.

      Problems aside, they are just slow with updates for things like Crossfire. Multi-GPU support generally requires game specific profiles to work well, or even work at all. nVidia is quite fast at getting their SLI profiles out, but AMD hasn't had an update to Crossfire profiles since 2014.

      AMD just doesn't focus on the software side of things like nVidia does. Their hardware development team seems to be top notch but their software development is lacking.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        I jumped from nvidia to amd because nvidia drivers have become so bad if you're not on the "current flagship" card. There have been a hell of a lot of serious problems with nvidia drivers over the last two years on windows machines. Off the top of my head: TDR problem caused by drivers, the original thread on the nvidia forums was nearly 700k posts long, with 3m views. The fix apparently was due to them dropping voltages so low it caused the card to crash, that was fixed for about three releases and then

      • This has been going on for well over FIFTEEN years!!! AMD simply inherited the code base from ATi and did nothing. I'm convinced it's either the driver paradigm is fundamentally broken/flawed, coders incompetent, or management not listening. But someone or group should have been fired long ago. It's time for a complete driver overhaul from the ground up!

    • nVidia support is basically perfect, with the exception of the open-source issue.

      Don't forget their dire OpenCL support.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      When ATI made their video drivers open sourced, I was all excited. I am disappointed that their drivers still suck for gaming and other 3D stuff in Linux. NVIDIA still wins. :(

  • Too but it bluntly (Score:5, Informative)

    by hooiberg ( 1789158 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @02:27AM (#49317881)
    Gaming on Linux is done with NVIDIA.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Playing the same game on Linux and Windows.

    More games are turning up on Steam with a Linux port, frame rate may or may not be higher but the controls are far more responsive under Linux making the same games just nicer to play on Linux.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      They may be playing the same game, but the problem is that the code might be vastly optimised towards one platform. Chances are they didn't spend nearly as much time optimising for Linux as they did for Windows, even if they DID port it over. This is not a fair comparison by any means.

      Past that, Linux having "far more responsive" controls - again, I'd like to see a fair comparison (and, personally, how the hell you'd tell the difference past a certain point anyway - unless it "feels" unresponsive on one p

  • I started gaming again over the cold Winter months, I have a Windows 7 desktop with Steam that is there for gaming, specifically RPG FPS games like Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. (Neither have native Linux versions for those who don't know.)

    I recently upgraded the Windows desktop from an old ATI/AMD graphics card to a newer NVIDIA card due to wanting better Fallout performance. All my other desktops run Gentoo Linux and ATI/AMD cards, probably 66xx or 67xx chipsets.

    The only thing stopping me ditching Windows completely is the fact that I have twice as many games in Windows Steam as opposed to Linux Steam, other than that I don't need Windows at all.

    But if anyone can confirm if Windows Steam in WINE works well with NVIDIA cards then I may do an upgrade or two so I can ditch Windows completely. I tried it with ATI/AMD cards and had very little success, especially when it came to game performance. But I also have done very little in recent years on NVIDIA cards and WINE gaming.... so any hints here gratefully received!

  • by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @08:06AM (#49319019) Homepage Journal

    when there was a ATI rage128 X11 driver written by enthusiast and Linux people it was basically the BEST

    then nvidia saw the marketing and CAD market decided to ship a direct port of their windows driver with all the horrible spec breaking kludges that made it fast...

    AMD now released a good driver that doesn't have too many kludges and sticks fairly well to the spec but its slow... they dont want to reveal all their breaking of the spec and kludges that they do on windows...

    basically we could have a driver that was fast but it wont be a good (without fudging colours and resolutions etc)

    AMD need to look at it like a marketing experience and invest in the software drivers for a couple of years... hey they could blow nvidia out of the water in about 6 months if they had the right team and just went for it...


    John Jones

  • by gukin ( 14148 ) on Monday March 23, 2015 @09:52AM (#49319811)

    It's really not that bad and yes I spent a couple of hours playing BS:I yesterday on my core i7 nVidia 660 Ti gaming system with all settings set to Ultra. My AMD system is a Kaveri APU based system and lo and behold, the only game that requires very low settings is BS:I. As I understand it, BS:I and the other game he mentioned are using some form of emulation, similar to WINE for the game to play, this is true of the Witcher and will probably become more and more common.

    So, ONE of my steam games plays better on nVidia than AMD, admitedly, I only have 24 Linux/SteamOS games but I tend to stick with the high profile shooters but one game plays bad and Michael L. makes a big stink. When my Kaveri came out, all the comparisons were against the top of the line i7 and i5 processors and it looked like crap. Using a car analogy, a Camry with a V6 compared to a Hellcat Challenger will look pretty slow but for all other purposes the Camry will have more than enough acceleration to satisfy the average driver.

    Hell I'm just happy the games are coming to Linux, whether the run perfectly or not, I'd rather play on Linux in low settings than Windows in high.

  • ... was how it devolved completely from AMD vs nVidia to the eternal, never-ending, self-righteous Windows vs Linux snarkfest.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor