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I got an interesting email from Michael A. Marks the technical director for Aspyr Media who built his own steambox and ran some OpenGL tests with interesting results.

Before you read too far into it just bear in mind that Michael knows what he is talking about given he's worked on some AAA titles like Call of Duty & Civilization in the porting process from DirectX to OpenGL.

Benchmarks:
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Not noted in his article is that these tests where done on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with Nvidia 331.79 and AMD 14.6 beta drivers which I managed to get after talking with Michael for a bit. So, it's a recent Linux distribution with recent drivers.

The benchmark used is this tool on github for reference in-case anyone else wanted to give it a go if they have different cards laying around. I would be very interested in seeing results from others.

That's a MASSIVE gap in performance between two providers, considering the AMD card is much more expensive too I didn't think it would be that big a gap. AMD only wins once and although it's a big gap on that one, it utterly fails at everything else. It's not like the AMD card is new either, so it cannot be blamed on drivers playing catch-up with hardware as it's ~8 months old.

Michael A. MarksThis breaks my heart. You present a talk in March of 2013 telling me about all the cool new features, present a bunch of performance graphs, and in reality: ‘it’s completely broken on AMD’

You have to assume AMD knew the talk didn’t apply to Linux in March. The alternative that they weren’t aware is even more heart-breaking. Full results are included in another post on OpenGL.


It's a sad state to be in and I really hope AMD pull it out and get their heads down on pushing OpenGL performance, but while they are so busy with Mantle, do they care? I wouldn't think so, they might care if SteamOS takes off in the way that a lot of people hope it does otherwise people will steer clear of them.

I am optimistic for the future of Linux gaming given how fast games are being pumped out for us, but I just like everyone else want hardware vendors to look at us just as serious as game developers are starting to. I know a lot of people are quick to come to AMD's defence for their open source driver effort, but results are results.

I seriously look forward to the day I can write a headline along the lines of "AMD kicks Nvidia's arse". Bring it on AMD the ball is in your court.

Source article "OpenGL Stop Breaking My Heart" Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Misc
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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Anonymous 30 May, 2014
Liam, you might ask grahamsellers on Twitter if he wants to comment on that numbers/blog posts.
Liam Dawe 30 May, 2014
Quoting: AnonymousLiam, you might ask grahamsellers on Twitter if he wants to comment on that numbers/blog posts.
Good idea, just did.
abelthorne 30 May, 2014
Yeah, AMD perfs suck. But that's not the worst part: the most serious issue IMO is that the Catalyst driver on Linux has a lot of bugs that make some games crash or even unable to start!

I'd be curious to see the same detailed stats on a Windows machine with DirectX. I'm not sure they would be that different from the perfs on Linux...
Anonymous 30 May, 2014
amd sucks. I hope they go out of business. I really do.
Anonymous 30 May, 2014
Quoting: Anonymousamd sucks. I hope they go out of business. I really do.
While they have the most horrible drivers in existence, AMD is the only thing really keeping Intel and NVIDIA in check. It'd be a lot worse for all of us if they weren't in the industry.
Gentleman Squid 30 May, 2014
Quoting: Anonymousamd sucks. I hope they go out of business. I really do.
I just wish they supported their cards in Linux a lot more. Been like this for too long. Performance with NVidia and Linux has been smoother for a while now.
PUN 31 May, 2014
I'm huge AMD fan but looking at the drivers evolution, my next video card will be one from Nvidia. They way better drivers.
neffo 31 May, 2014
Quoting: Gentleman SquidI just wish they supported their cards in Linux a lot more. Been like this for too long. Performance with NVidia and Linux has been smoother for a while now.

It's not just Linux they are doing a terrible job on, it's also terrible on Windows (in OpenGL). idTech5 engines for example.
n30p1r4t3 31 May, 2014
Quoting: neffo
Quoting: Gentleman SquidI just wish they supported their cards in Linux a lot more. Been like this for too long. Performance with NVidia and Linux has been smoother for a while now.
It's not just Linux they are doing a terrible job on, it's also terrible on Windows (in OpenGL). idTech5 engines for example.

What are you talking about? Wolfenstein: N.O. runs flawless on my rig with the latest drivers.
neffo 31 May, 2014
Latest Beta drivers right? The ones that weren't released until after the game was out?

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/10/04/raging-about-rage-pc/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/05/20/wolfenstein-new-order-pc-problems/

(It's not just an AMD issue though, but Nvidia seems to be a bit snappier on the fixes. And WNO runs under WHQL drivers, not just beta ones.)
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