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.
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"
About the author - Liam Dawe