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GRID Autosport Tested on R7 370 4G

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You've likely already heard what Boss had to say about GRID and its Nvidia performance and now it's my time to show you how it ran on my AMD GPU.

Disclosure: I was part of the voluntary test group for Feral.

Let's start with the proprietary Crimson driver. While it's not necessarily considered the most stable, it's the only option for people like me who run Ubuntu 15.10 base with the 4.2 kernel. Note that GRID's benchmarks aren't frame to frame accurate which causes slight inaccuracies in the results.

As you can see, Crimson doesn't really perform too well in GRID. On Ultra Low you will see a very good performance but it drops rapidly when you set the game to Low or above. On Low the game is having hard time reaching 60 FPS at all and on Medium or higher the game is simply not playable, unless playability has been redefined to include sub-30 FPS gaming experiences. The performance drop seems to be tied heavily to the Shader Quality option, but I'll come back to that a little bit later.

Let's test the open source side next. If you are on AMD and use the open source drivers you might run into a bug that makes the bloom used in the game to be amplified to the point where you can only really see whiteness. This apparently has been fixed in newer drivers but it's still present in my stock drivers (Mesa 11.0.2 built against LLVM 3.6) and the drivers from Padoka PPA simply refused to work properly with GRID. The way to bypass the bloom bug is to set the Shader Quality to Ultra Low.

As you can see, RadeonSI completely wrecks Crimson in the performance department. However, on RadeonSI the Shader Quality had to be dropped so the comparison isn't entirely fair, right?

Let's turn down the Shader Quality on Crimson to see what the results look like on even grounds.

Yup, you read that right. RadeonSI beats Crimson even when they are both running at the same settings. I also can't notice any visual degradation on either side so, as far as I'm concerned, Crimson and RadeonSI both render the game identically and RadeonSI is still winning. It's entirely possible that this is simply a glitch in Crimson and it might get fixed eventually, but for now the most comfortable gaming experience for GRID is actually on the open source driver. Naturally on open drivers you won't be able to make the game as pretty as on Crimson, but in reality the performance trade-off is just too big for that to really matter.

I recorded a video of the game running on High on the open source drivers, which you can see here:

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In conclusion, I think GRID performs surprisingly well on the open source driver and manages to look good regardless of the ultra low shader quality. You can also make it work okay-ish up to Medium settings on Crimson if you drop the Shader Quality but playing on High will start to feel a bit sluggish. So, if you happen to be using an AMD GPU, you should probably check the open source drivers if you want to have the most optimal gaming experience in GRID Autosport.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Benchmark
About the author -
author picture
I'm a Linux gamer from Finland. I like reading, long walks on the beach, dying repeatedly in roguelikes and ripping and tearing in FPS games. I also sometimes write code and sometimes that includes hobbyist game development.
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burnall Dec 10, 2015
I got the latest proprietary driver installed, I guess I will have to switch back to open source again. It's so annoying, some games do work under open source and some not, or only on proprietary.
legluondunet Dec 10, 2015
It's brave to use a AMD GPU card to play games on Linux. I know what I'm talking about, I tried one year before to gave up.
burnall Dec 10, 2015
Well, I decided to stick with my hd 7870 for a little bit longer, at least until the next gen comes out. I hope it will change on better with Vulkan for AMD, otherwise I will just switch to better option.

Last edited by burnall on 10 December 2015 at 6:33 pm UTC
ziabice Dec 10, 2015
Thank you a lot for this article!
Pangachat Dec 10, 2015
Quoting: legluondunetIt's brave to use a AMD GPU card to play games on Linux. I know what I'm talking about, I tried one year before to gave up.

Outside of Feral ports and Dying Light, every game hit at least playable status, but most of them running fine on AMD cards.
sleort Dec 10, 2015
Very cool indeed!
Can't wait until my Fury X gets better open source support.

Could it be that the opensource / mesa driver is more "nvidia-compliant" :D :D

Speaking of GRID releasing today.
Total War: Attila also just released!
BTRE Dec 10, 2015
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Thanks Samsai for your hard work benchmarking. Unfortunately I can't send you $70 for your work as I can't even afford Grid right now ;) . I'll pick it up come this winter sale for sure now that I know it'll work alright on radeonsi.
Tinche Dec 10, 2015
Sooo if I want to run an open source driver, Radeons are where it's at currently?

I was gonna buy a GTX 950, what's AMD's contender in this bracket? R7 370 appears ~25% weaker according to videocardbenchmark.net.
Xzyl Dec 11, 2015
Thanks Samsai picked up this game to play with RadeonSI... can't wait
mao_dze_dun Dec 11, 2015
Daaaamn, I'm impressed. Honestly - if they had a proper GUI for the RadeonSI nobody would bother with Catalyst/Crimson. I for example have an Xfire setup - I need to be able to easily control clock speeds and fan profiles. Although to be honest the latter is done through third party software in Windows, as well, so I'm not holding it too much against them. However frame pacing, triple buffering, fps limiter - etc. Those are features I sorely miss when I use the OS driver.
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