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Testing 65 Different GPUs On Linux With Open Source Drivers

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the line-'em-up-and-knock-'em-down dept.

Graphics 134

An anonymous reader writes "How good are open source graphics drivers in 2014 given all the Linux gaming and desktop attention? Phoronix has tested 65 different GPUs using the latest open source drivers covering Intel HD Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon, and AMD FirePro hardware. Of the 65 GPUs tested, only 50 of them had good enough open source driver support for running OpenGL games and benchmarks. Across the NVIDIA and AMD hardware were several pages of caveats with different driver issues encountered on Linux 3.15 and Mesa 10.3 loaded on Ubuntu 14.04. Intel graphics on Linux were reliable but slow while AMD's open-source Linux support was recommended over the NVIDIA support that doesn't currently allow for suitable graphics card re-clocking. Similar tests are now being done with the proprietary Linux drivers."

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ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166493)

As a notice before getting started, if you appreciate all of this extensive Linux hardware testing done exclusively at Phoronix, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium. Premium subscribers are able to view the site ad-free, view multi-page articles on a single page, and it goes to support the site. At the very least, due to the vast amount of time I single-handedly invest into the site, please don't use AdBlock for Phoronix.com.

THIRTEEN page clicks and no Print option?
FUCK YOU.

Re:ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166625)

So go buy a goddamn subscription you cheap motherfucker.

Re:ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (2)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 7 months ago | (#47166757)

I am sensing a lot of hostility.

Re:ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166809)

No, really, I'm completely serene and sympathetic to OP's complaint. NOT!!!1! (p.s. that's a freebie US Secret Service)

Re:ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47170121)

No, really, I'm completely serene and sympathetic to OP's complaint. NOT!!!1!

Wayne's World was more than 20 years ago, time to give the joke up.

Re:ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167845)

So go buy a goddamn subscription you cheap motherfucker.

I recommend just not going there. If they put ads on their site, they shouldn't be on the internet.

Re:ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47169951)

So go buy a goddamn subscription you cheap motherfucker.

I recommend just not going there. If they put ads on their site, they shouldn't be on the internet.

By your logic Slashdot shouldn't be on the internet.

Re:ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING?!!! (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 7 months ago | (#47168277)

They paid for their bandwidth and he paid for his.. Now they want him to pay for theirs too? Who's the cheap motherfucker again?

Sadly (0)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 7 months ago | (#47166511)

It looks as if 2014 will not be the year of Linux on the desktop. Not all of them anyway...

Re:Sadly (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#47166707)

The problem is that games and benchmarking applications require only a single simple OpenGL context but the performance of composited Linux desktops is trash.

Re:Sadly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166871)

Quickly followed by the second coming of Christ.

SUSE Linux does (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166543)

SUSE Linux [youtube.com]
SUSE Linux is the best distro !

We'll have to see what Valve can do (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166573)

Right now, there are practically no reasons to focus on video drivers and graphics acceleration for Linux. DVDs and GNOME 3 are barely enough to scratch the surface. Once games come in and improve the driver landscape, there are all sorts of things that will benefit from access to the video cards' power.

Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (4, Informative)

phorm (591458) | about 7 months ago | (#47166575)

I recently updated my Mint install and discovered that the newer AMD/FGLRX drivers have a big issue with the backlight on various laptops (mainly, that they turn it off or down to zero).
At first I thought I had no display, but later noticed that if there is some front-light I could vaguely see the login window.

As it's an older model, it seems to get less attention from AMD (Nvidia is much the same). However, I was happy to see how much better the FOSS driver seems to work these days, so for now I'm back to using that. Backlight works, and video seems reasonably fast. I haven't tried any 3d/gaming yet but it will be interesting to see how that stacks up.

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#47166767)

My experience is that the open source Radeon driver has been getting much better in 3D performance lately.

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (3, Informative)

rcht148 (2872453) | about 7 months ago | (#47166807)

I second this.
I installed Linux Mint 17 recently and first went with the AMD proprietary fglrx drivers.
Overall any video (file playback or gaming) would always be choppy and jittery.

I decided to give the open source radeon drivers a shot. The performance is much better. All the choppiness/jittery is gone.
I may have lost some fps but it was completely worth it.

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (1)

qubezz (520511) | about 7 months ago | (#47169083)

The open source driver needs to be good; the latest version of the ATI proprietary driver has dropped support for relatively new cards - anything before HD 5000 series. This means that cards that include very good h.264 decoding engines such as the AMD Radeon HD 3850 256MB reviewed can no longer use the latest driver. In Ubuntu 14.04 this also means that trying the older last-supporting driver version no longer works, one would need to downgrade the x server version used in the distro.

This is one of the few cases where hardware on Linux becomes "obsolete" far sooner than it should because of lacking manufacturer's driver support (as opposed to many hardware devices like gameports, scanners, and printers that lost their Windows support in Vista but continue working on Linux). This will make me more wary not of Linux, but of the manufacturers that pull such shenanigans.

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 7 months ago | (#47168659)

Honest question. Outside of certain Linux packages/distros and kernels pissing and moaning about loading proprietary drivers why not use them? If you are simply "using" the graphics card there is nothing against this that I can tell, just not recommended by Linux developers because it's anti GPL by nature.

I developed several (3) VR centers for a company which used professional nVidia cards and proprietary Linux drivers. Using Open source drivers was not even an option, because multi-pipe graphics requires syncing which is not available in the Open source drivers (neither is the port for sync on the majority of cards people use at home). 5 hosts each with 2 graphics cards for floor, ceiling, center, left, and right walls. We used the same commercial graphics cards and drivers for CAE and CAD applications, where 3D graphics performance was essential.

As a side note, you will be happy to know that Linux outperformed Windows in every aspect for Altair, MSC, and CEI applications and not by a little bit.

I could honestly see consumers being angry if they were charged additional money to run the proprietary Linux graphics drivers, but this is not the case. Sure, proprietary drivers are not available for all distros. Sure, an RPM may or may not work outside of a Redhat system. In those cases though, why not use a supported Distro with a vendor supported driver? If you are really in need of high end performance for an application the distro should not matter as much as the core OS.

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (1)

spitzak (4019) | about 7 months ago | (#47168867)

The GP *was* using the proprietary drivers. He was complaining that they were broken, and to his surprise the FOSS driver worked better.

I agree that the open source versions are nowhere near the nVidia proprietary drivers, though.

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 7 months ago | (#47168943)

Thanks for clarifying, I didn't get that from their post.

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (1)

phorm (591458) | about 7 months ago | (#47169341)

Yeah, to be specific, fglrx (proprietary) worked very nicely until an update (I believe a combination of new backlight functionality in a recent kernel and/or updated fglrx) caused it disable the backlight in X11.

I went back to using the GPL driver, which is working much nicer than it was the last time I used it. This is good because otherwise I'd have to choose between slow unaccelerated video (suck) or dim barely visible video (more suck).

Re:Thankful for the FOSS drivers on older hardware (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 7 months ago | (#47169453)

I think my bigger concern is when people make a stink about performance while using the open source driver. The open source driver is not a performance driver and never has been, it's a compatibility driver. If you want performance, you are not running older hardware and not running with older drivers.

I can see running the benchmarks to find out what works, but people will complain about and ridicule the benchmarks as given. That Windows can't run worth shit without proprietary drivers does not make a difference to those people historically, and we all know how certain companies fudge benchmarks anyway.

AMD Open Source (4, Insightful)

slacka (713188) | about 7 months ago | (#47166615)

I have an old Radeon X1950PRO in guest/spare PC. While it's getting long in the tooth it's still good enough for some Star Craft 2 and Dota 2 action with friends. Unfortunately I have to boot to windows 7 to get decent performance. The kernel devs are always changing the driver interface, so the last time I was able to use the proprietary drivers was around Ubuntu 6. Now in Linux my only option are buggy, glitch drivers like Phoronix described in their drivers or booting to Windows. The hardware specs were released. Now if after 8 year, the open source drivers are still buggy and slow, they will never be as good as the proprietary. What Linux needs a stable driver interface like Windows has.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166711)

I see that you totally ignored the shenanigans for supporting drivers between XP, Vista/7, Metro/8/8.1.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166813)

Because they're largely overblown by Linux zealots and FOSS fanatics.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47170215)

I think you're the posterchild for that not being so.

Re:AMD Open Source (2)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 7 months ago | (#47167163)

One driver model change in 13 years... oh the shenanigans. Bash Windows for all the deserving reasons, but graphics drivers come on...

Re: AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169003)

That's not entirely true. While in name it has only changed once, xpdm to wddm, wddm has had several iterations. The win8 changes even provide a fairly simple transition path from xpdm (kernel mode display only model). Windows display stack is far more sane than Linux. Layers are clearly defined in modern wddm, in comparison to the alphabet soup that is libdrm, kms, gem, ttm, gallium, mesa. Those layers are intertwined, all the way up through the display server/handler

Re:AMD Open Source (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 7 months ago | (#47166803)

What Linux needs a stable driver interface like Windows has.

Windows does not have a stable driver interface. What windows does have is the market share necessary to not suffer too much when the interface changes.

In any event its inexcusable in both cases to ever undergo more than 1 driver interface change per architecture. I get it.. at first you do something that works but later the design proves inadequate, so the second time around it should be designed right. Pick an ABI and stick with it, and design to be extensible.

Yes it does (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 7 months ago | (#47167077)

Their interface is stable per version of Windows. They freeze the ABI and it is set until the next one. They don't change it much usually anyhow, Vista being a notable exception. Now of course when new DX features come out you have to update your drivers to support it if you want those features, but it isn't necessary to make your driver work, the old driver continues to work.

It does not get updated with every kernel patch, ala Linux.

Re:Yes it does (0)

Xolvix (3649657) | about 7 months ago | (#47168595)

A lot of people here know a hell of a lot about Linux but don't know much about Windows (or don't know as much as they think they know about Windows), hence there's a lot of misinformation about how things are done in Windows and what Windows is capable of these days. Often due to ignorance, but sometimes malicious - Linux zealots don't like it being pointed out that their system of choice can sometimes (sometimes!) be inferior to the most widely used and supported desktop/laptop OS on the planet.

Re:Yes it does (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169305)

A lot of people here know a hell of a lot about Linux but don't know much about Windows

A lot of people here don't know much about either. This place is a shell of what it used to be. It has been largely taken over by self-described "libertarians", most of whom are filled to the brim with moral outrage derived from an overly-simplistic black-and-white view of the world (that suggests most of them have not ventured forth beyond the shelter of home or college yet). At least the bitcoin stories have died down (for now), but you know as well as I what same memes will get fast-tracked to the front page.

and what Windows is capable of these days.

LOL! For almost 20 years I keep hearing the same refrain: "well, obviously you aren't aware that Windows isn't as bad as it used to be" (which used to be followed by "and I would TOTALLY switch, but I can't because I need to run Quicken"; i.e., "I can't really argue against your points, but switching my OS sounds too hard so I will justify it by arguing that the ENTIRE reason I am stuck to a platform I claim I don't like is because of ONE program -- ooh look, another new version of Windows is coming out!").

Often due to ignorance, but sometimes malicious - Linux zealots don't like it being pointed out that their system of choice can sometimes (sometimes!) be inferior

Well, the ones that really were linux zealots didn't mind you pointing something like that out to them, it is just that they would gladly tell you why you are wrong to have that opinion.

to the most widely used and supported desktop/laptop OS on the planet.

I agree about "used", but I think that by far linux is much, much better supported. The linux kernel can and does get patched quickly; Microsoft will kick all but the very important security issues down the road to the next release (unless they have a major customer forcing their hand earlier).

Re:AMD Open Source (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 7 months ago | (#47167089)

Windows does not have a stable driver interface. What windows does have is the market share necessary to not suffer too much when the interface changes.

In recent history there was WDDM 1.0 (Vista, 2006) 1.1 (Win7, 2009) 1.2 (Win8, 2012) and 1.3 (Win8.1, 2013) and as far as I can tell they're backwards compatible - if your graphics card has a WDDM 1.0 driver you can still run Win8.1, however it'll also cap your DirectX level. Unless I'm mistaken that's 8 years of a stable (but expanding) ABI, it seems like DirectX 12 will require WDDM 2.0 which may be the next clean break but we won't know until Win9 is out. But I agree that the market share helps Microsoft a lot, particularly the market share of gamers despite Steam now being on Linux - according to their May 2014 survey 95.5% run Steam on Windows. Also for all those pointing to Distrowatch, at least 0.64% of the 1.10% running Linux use Ubuntu with only 0.08% verified as Mint...

Re:AMD Open Source (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 7 months ago | (#47169289)

Going with distrowatch numbers is complicated, as it seems to be promoting/pushing not so good distros, and then either all the users are retarded, or something smells fishy, either the statistics are damned lies, or even the users might smell fishy, as in conspiracy and stuff, ya know.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47170079)

And what use is that, when people perfectly good hardware with drivers for XP?

Though not graphics hardware (game requirements move too fast there), my brother has a scanner that he needs to keep an XP machine around for, and a colleague has a printer with the same problem.

Both work just fine on Linux, however.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167095)

Windows does not have a stable driver interface.

What? Yes, it does. All right, you won't be able to use Windows 95 drivers anymore, but the interface stays stable way longer than under Linux.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167441)

In the pragmatic case it is impossible to use pre-Vista drivers with Vista+, since most pre-Vista drivers were 32-bit and most post-Vista installs are 64-bit.

Case in point: I have a boatload of Ethernet cards (don't ask why) and an old Adaptec 1210SA card and a spare PCI slot in my machine. None of the XP drivers work.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167547)

They change and update the drivers more for releases of cards and features than they do changes to windows driver interface.

Re:AMD Open Source (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 6 months ago | (#47169633)

Windows XP still has ~25% market share. If Linux users were still running whatever version of Red Hat came out in 2001, it'd probably have good driver support by now.

Re:AMD Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47169749)

Windows puts every third party driver through their standard automated conformance test suite in order to get certified.

Re:AMD Open Source (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 7 months ago | (#47168215)

I have an ancient X1650 card with my main monitor on the analog VGA and TV on the DVI. Every Linux distro ignores my X config and makes the monitor some miniscule resolution like 320x240. However if I unplug the TV its fine. This happens even with the TV powered off.

Ha ha ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47170239)

"What Linux needs a stable driver interface like Windows has."

You're KIDDING, right?

Linux developers actually add extra code to specifically make it hard to install and use non-opensource drivers; they're NEVER gonna make a stable interface that would enable any vendor to depend upon it and release drivers that violate the FOSS religion. If Linus developers actually cared about "freedom" and wanted to encourage anything other than "free" amateur video drivers, [1] they'd have a stable, documented driver interface for each major Kernel version, [2] have NOT ONE LINE OF CODE in the build to intentionally cripple proprietary drivers, [3] distributions would (at install time) allow the user the easy option of specifying a proprietary driver rather than quietly forcing a terribly dysfunctional but "religiously pure" Nouveau driver, and [4] distributions and Linux would fix their licenses to make it clearly legal for distros to (if they choose to) bundle proprietary drivers along with the "free" ones, without threatening the licenses of the proprietary ones.

Nouveau performance is horrible! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166635)

TLDR: Thanks to nouveau the nvidia cards get slaughtered.

Re:Nouveau performance is horrible! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166929)

Nouveau project is a secret plot to make Intel graphics look good by comparison.

Guyz turn off adblock because I'm poor.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166703)

then proceed through 13 pages of eye cancer....kthnxbye

My hardware is so old it is unlisted (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 7 months ago | (#47166729)

SOL

Re:My hardware is so old it is unlisted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166763)

And yo momma so old that when she walked out of a museum, the alarms went off.

Re:My hardware is so old it is unlisted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166781)

My 260 GTX is nowhere to be found but still works just fine on the proprietary driver(331).

Re:My hardware is so old it is unlisted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166939)

What hardware?

Phoronix Rocks (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166793)

I just wanted to say that Phoronix is an undervalued gem. These guys (I think just one guy actually) puts in the grunt work to get us hard performance numbers. He's developed a fully automated testing system that makes it easy to bisect kernel patches to identify the source of kernel regressions. I get the impression he runs on a shoestring budget out of his house but the work he does is the kind of thing that OS vendors of old used to dedicate entire teams too. He really ought to be fully funded by some group like the Linux Foundation because his work is invaluable in that nitty-gritty unsexy way that really helps out more visible engineering.

Re:Phoronix Rocks (3, Interesting)

gigne (990887) | about 7 months ago | (#47167539)

Yeah i'm going to have to second that.

Not only do they have great perf tests, but there is also a great depth of kernel news, x/wayland/mir and other general good to know linux news

If only those popup ads were destroyed. On my mobile it can be hard to get rid of them.

I'm going to head over there right now and pay for a subscription

Re:Phoronix Rocks (0)

avgapon (1851536) | about 7 months ago | (#47167805)

probably this also a reason why the tests and reports completely ignore statstics

Re:Phoronix Rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167887)

if you are going to be a douche, at least explain yourself, else all you are doing id dousing yourself with the douchewater.

But it's open and free!!!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166841)

Also, THIS year will be the year of the Linux desktop. Mark my words. THIS year is it.

Linux and the Office Max/Staples Test. (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#47166853)

The real trick for Linux compatibility is the ability to go to a box store, buy a new graphics card (or any device) Plug it in into your PC and see if it works, works without having to spend hours finding the driver for your common distribution, and works well.

That has been my biggest problem with Linux support.
It is a case where a particular component failed on my computer, and I need a new one right away. Being that your computer is down, you are unable to research what you should get. So you go to the store look around and find something that would seem to work with your computer. A name that you recognize, and specs that are probably better then your old one.

Re:Linux and the Office Max/Staples Test. (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 7 months ago | (#47167241)

It is quite funny how the experience is usually the reverse for everything except video cards. I still need to get my wifi drivers using a USB flashdrive when setting up a Windows box. In linux my wifi just works out of the box. I had similar situations with ethernet drivers and webcams in some machines.

Of course the stuff that don't work out of the box in linux it is usually better to not even try to get working.

Re:Linux and the Office Max/Staples Test. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167575)

Windows actually includes drivers that are compatible with most manufacturers devices even if it doesn't support all the features. It's been a while since there wasn't a driver for a network card or wifi that didn't work enough for me to get online and get the correct ones.

Re:Linux and the Office Max/Staples Test. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167727)

That's because video cards are the one last bastion of closed source on linux. Even AMD, who has released specs, is still mostly closed because, frankly, their hardware is too complicated for normal hackers to get working full blast. Half-blast, definitely, but full-blast, nobody's got the time for that. Which is sad. If AMD would only dump the proprietary drivers and go fulll-ass on the open source ones, they would be in great shape.

(note: no AMD (or nvidia) apologias please, it is what it is)

captch: lifeless (I swear the captchas are psychic, or maybe they feed the text of what I type into something at google to generate targetted captchas)

Re:Linux and the Office Max/Staples Test. (1)

NotFamous (827147) | about 7 months ago | (#47167347)

Being that your computer is down, you are unable to research what you should get.

If only there was some way to search the internet without a desktop PC. Well, maybe some day!

Re:Linux and the Office Max/Staples Test. (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#47167359)

Being that your computer is down, you are unable to research what you should get

This was true for me in the 90s In 2014 I probably have 10 different internet devices in the house between consoles, phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Sure I'm on the high side of things, but even my parents on both sides have at least 4-5 devices each. My 80 year old grandmother I think might have just one... but she's not going to be researching hardware for her linux desktop build by herself either.

Who today is a linux enthusiast and would really not have any internet access if their computer went down because they only have one device that can browse the internet?

Privileged much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169039)

Just saying.

Re:Linux and the Office Max/Staples Test. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47168099)

> The real trick for Linux compatibility is the ability to go to a box store, buy a new graphics card (or any device)...

This is a trick with OpenWRT. This hasn't been a trick for Linux on PCs in years.

Frankly, the last time I went to the store to grab a random (Microsoft-branded) webcam, I was up and running with it in Ubuntu in a matter of seconds. In Windows, I had to wait for five minutes for the installer on the packaged CD downloaded the "latest" driver package, then wait for fifteen minutes while that installer did god-knows-what.

Don't get me started about the five-to-thirty-second-long "driver installation" song-and-dance that Windows does whenever you have the audacity to unplug a USB device from one port and plug it into another USB port on the same machine. Ubuntu handles that in *microseconds*.

Just pass the test the same way you could in 2000 (3, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#47168543)

Just pass the test the same way you could in 2000 and download the NVIDIA or AMD driver from their websites. If you want a dead simple answer without artificial restrictions that's all you have to do - instead of whining about how your artificial restriction is making things hard.
In fact such a post makes you look so stupid that I strongly suspect you have an agenda to push and do not care if you look stupid to many so long as you manage to fool the naive. Is that what is going on here?

Re:Just pass the test the same way you could in 20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169045)

Yes.

Good? What about working at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166859)

I'm happy if graphics work at all on a Linux box. I tried to install Fedora 20 on a box last week, and the installer would not work in any graphics mode (safe mode or otherwise) and I had to go back to Fedora 19. I had a box with a name-brand video card, and keeping the drivers working was a hideous process being dumped to a console every time I updated the kernel and having to update the drivers, and the desktop environment crashed all the time. The only stable, working graphics I have ever had with Linux are Intel's built-in motherboard graphics. I don't know about the performance, but at least it doesn't crash constantly. Linux just plain sucks rotten eggs on the desktop. I'm a die-hard user and I hate it. I don't see how a normal human being could ever deal with it.

Re:Good? What about working at all? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#47166997)

When I rant about something like that, the typical robotical response I get is "and proprietary software is any better?". There's a lot of hardcore open source fans around here, and you won't get the message across their boneheads, no matter how much it is obvious that open source sucks in that particular area.

Open Source drivers? (1)

Torp (199297) | about 7 months ago | (#47166863)

As far as I know the only way to get good gaming performance on Linux is by using the proprietary drivers on a NVidia card.
Has anything changed lately?

Re:Open Source drivers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167011)

If you favor open-source games, the Radeon drivers, especially on 6000-series cards, have been absolutely excellent. The GCN architecture change certainly stalled progress, as well as the need to shoehorn GLAMOR onto the stack (no 2D acceleration hardware on GCN cards). Performance is definitely getting close, though, and Intel is even putting work into GLAMOR now, allegedly because it shows more promise than even SNA as an EXA alternative.

Re:Open Source drivers? (2)

Balinares (316703) | about 7 months ago | (#47167639)

The open source Gallium3D driver for Southern Island Radeon GPUs has come a LONG way in the recent months. Given a 3.14+ kernel and the soon-to-be-released 10.2 Mesa libs, you can expect performance within 80% of that of the Catalyst driver, and it only keeps getting better. The stability is also pretty good. I love being able to flip smoothly between a full screen game and a chat window or a Web browser.

Re:Open Source drivers? (1)

Torp (199297) | about 7 months ago | (#47169309)

I favour commercial games under wine. With the NVidia binary drivers, a lot of them work well. Anecdotically, back when I was playing World of Warcraft I had better performance on Linux with Wine than on Windows :)
Open source games are unfortunately just NES-era clones and multiplayer-only shooters. Open source can do much better than commercial at infrastructure type software, but the same doesn't go when making a coherent entertainment experience...

Re:Open Source drivers? (0)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#47167201)

I think the better (and more common way) is to simply boot into Windows to play your games.

Re:Open Source drivers? (2)

epine (68316) | about 7 months ago | (#47167811)

I think the better (and more common way) is to simply boot into Windows to play your games.

If I only had to boot into Windows in order to run my games (of which I have none, because of what comes after "only") then I would surely do so. What I'm not willing to do is boot into the Windows EULA and revenue collection racket—please inform me on how to do one without the other if you know how—after its ape-like thumb collapsed the trachea on any vestige of consumer choice worthy of so much as a solitary big whoop.

If Ambrose Bierce had an entry in his Devil's Dictionary for the word "simplicity" (he doesn't, I actually looked) he would most likely have defined it as "expediting gratification by paying more to receive less" or some scalding variation upon that theme at the expense your precise invocation, and many more besides.

Re:Open Source drivers? (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#47168131)

Sorry, I was being snarky. Primarily the lack of AAA games for Linux. (Yes, there's a token number of them out there, cherry picking a few titles only reinforces my point: The general dearth of linux compatible games.)

Re:Open Source drivers? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#47168555)

That's not going to happen so long as Microsoft has a lot of pull in the game industry. It's a market dominance and agenda thing and not a technical thing.

Re:Open Source drivers? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169081)

What I'm not willing to do is boot into the Windows EULA and revenue collection racket—please inform me on how to do one without the other if you know how

Some faggots like you refuse to grow up, forever holding onto their teenage angst. I suggest you give up games entirely and get therapy before you end up like the next Elliot Roger.

Re:Open Source drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169367)

I am still hopeful for the Nouveau drivers. Apparently there are one or two people (maybe more? I don't know), who are working on them. Setting the clock frequencies (likely more than one clock) knowing what address to change, and what to change it to, and then also getting thermal (heat sensor) readings from the card, and then (possibly) spinning up the fan (if its not thermostatically controlled). That's a lot of registers, a lot of values, and many are 'blind' registers which don't accept anything unless something else is activated. Power control is a big thing for these cards (particularly in laptops). And since also 1) its a trade secret and 2) the free drivers would be at par with the proprietary driver, Nvidia doesn't want to let any information out.

Re:Open Source drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47170145)

2) the free drivers would be at par with the proprietary driver, Nvidia doesn't want to let any information out.

It probably would not be on par. Naive calculations that simply multiply the current Nouveau frame rates by the ratio of the GPU clock frequencies might suggest it would, but that ignores the fact that the rest of the system (particularly the CPU overhead of the driver) would not become faster, and therefore the overall improvement would be less than linear with the increasing clock frequency. For comparison, the open source Radeon drivers (which are likely better developed and more mature than Nouveau, even ignoring the power management issues) still tend to have worse average performance than Catalyst, and the Nvidia proprietary OpenGL driver is better than Catalyst.

6870 represent (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about 7 months ago | (#47166891)

I bought a 6870 as an upgrade to my Mac Pro, mainly because it was highly compatible with OS X (it only fails to show the grey apple screen during boot) and is far cheaper than officially-supported cards. It's also a good mid-tier card on Windows.

And according to this, the 6870 is also basically the best card for use under Linux using open-source drivers, so I guess it's just a very good card in general. When I do a new from-scratch build, I might put Linux on the old Mac so I can play around with Linux gaming more.

Re:6870 represent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167043)

I believe that might one of the reasons they're so damned expensive. You can't risk a used one because they were quite popular with bitcoin miners back in the GPU-mining days, and the new ones run anywhere from 200-350 USD. I'm biding my time until GLAMOR is finally smoothed out for good so I can pick up an R9 270X after the price drops again, though.

Re:6870 represent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167271)

Why do that when you have far more games and higher performance available with OS X? Really, why?

add.: Captcha for this is "oddness", which describes your action.

Re:6870 represent (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 7 months ago | (#47168481)

I'd be keeping OS X on there - I would be switching from dual-boot OSX/W8 to OSX/Linux. I guess I could triple-boot, but that seems a bit excessive when I'd have a dedicated Windows machine as well.

Re:6870 represent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169211)

This card is well supported because of bitcoin mining.

Seriously

50 out of 65, that ain't half bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47166901)

77% seems like some fairly good numbers... sure 80-90% would be better, but you can't win them all.

skipped the next 16 pages as I don't care about what you need to do to get 15 different graphics cards to work on ubuntu....
really I'd only care about what it would take to a graphics card that I owned working on linux....

Zork One (2)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 7 months ago | (#47166957)

It's the best game ever. The GPU can handle it -- believe me.

Re:Zork One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167323)

nethack

Re:Zork One (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 7 months ago | (#47167395)

Don't be so sure -- from TFA (page 2 http://www.phoronix.com/scan.p... [phoronix.com] ):

The GeForce 9600GSO was running into font rendering issues.

Maybe stick with the PDP-10 ;)

Zork One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167937)

Pick Up the Phone Booth and Die.

This is why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167085)

This is exactly why Linux will never take over desktop. Same goes with any open source OS/software. It just never easy enough for an end user to buy what they need without a headache.

Don't ever click on a phoronix story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167283)

Unless you like to see ads and terrible writing by Michael Larabel

Get ready! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167443)

It's going to be 65 flavours of bad!

4K cards & monitors (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 7 months ago | (#47167655)

Since we're on this subject and I'm too damned lazy to research, I'd welcome any suggestions for cards that play nicely with 4k monitors, preferably at 60Hz, on Ubuntu derivatives, especially Mint.

Seems like a pointless discussion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167691)

While hacking open source drivers for many things is great, it seems like a huge waste of time when the proprietary drivers exist. The end user isn't really to concerned about where the driver comes from so long as it works.

Re:Seems like a pointless discussion. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47167843)

While hacking open source drivers for many things is great, it seems like a huge waste of time when the proprietary drivers exist. The end user isn't really to concerned about where the driver comes from so long as it works.

This is not true. For most Slashdot readers it is extremely important that software is open source. Proprietary software is shunned upon. I'm not completely sure why this is, though, but it's just the tradition around these parts. It should be respected.

Re:Seems like a pointless discussion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47170137)

I am certain it is not most slashdot readers, it's just that most of the people for whom open source is important are running Linux or some kind of BSD, so you will see them on these kinds of discussions.

The people who don't care about open source are already running proprietary drivers on their Windows or OSX systems, and have no reason to comment on these discussions.

The people who don't understand the open source debate are those who really wanted Windows without paying, but picked Linux instead of getting a pirate bay edition of Windows. They will gladly take anything to make their system as closed as Windows, because that's what they wanted in the first place.

As for me, I'm running both open and proprietary drivers. Open source drivers on my open source Linux system, and proprietary drivers on the Windows 7 machine.

Re:Seems like a pointless discussion. (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 6 months ago | (#47169661)

The proprietary driver works today. Tomorrow, it stops working. It's happened to me and probably to any linux user, your computer gets a few years old and the manufacturer drops all support for your card for newer kernel versions. Better hope there's an open source driver.

Re:Seems like a pointless discussion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47170177)

It's happened to me and probably to any linux user, your computer gets a few years old and the manufacturer drops all support for your card for newer kernel versions.

Well, those who care about performance (and they probably do if they use the proprietary drivers) could very well just upgrade a GPU that is several years old. It is likely to be outperformed by more recent models, or the same performance could be achieved at lower power consumption, or maybe even with integrated video. But if legacy hardware compatibility is important, then open source drivers are indeed useful (even if they do not remain compatible forever, either).

I disable AdBlock for no-one (1, Insightful)

epine (68316) | about 7 months ago | (#47167981)

These people would do as well to stand on a soap box on a public street corner to engage in gifted oration, then hand out leaflets to the crowd suggesting that people express their support and appreciation by signing up for a no-cost-to-your-pocket-book alcohol tolerance study at the local university (to more precisely characterize the vomit threshold for the advancement of medical science) , for which the orator himself receives a small referral fee.

Advertising, much like alcohol, is hardly known as a tonic to clarity of mind. I'll pass, thank you very much. I've far in extreme of the Mormons on the issue of what passes into my brain through my eye sockets. Alcohol only makes me vulnerable to the lizard housed within (he's not so bad, really, once you stare him down). Advertising, on the other hand, exposes me to spitting cobra exotoxins. The dead giveaway is the spinning iris of seduction: animated GIFs, Flash-based logo rotations, pop-ups, pop-overs, all resembling nothing so much as a vulture with the twitching tail of a live and highly agitated squirrel shit to the ischium out of the vulture's ass.

Shall I welcome this bubonic creature to peck at my eyeballs from the side of my screen? Even for "Four score and twenty" or "I have a dream"?

Nah. I don't think so. Not unless I've got a bag full of Shuriken ice picks and it's somebody else's HD monitor.

Let me turn you onto something BETTER (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47169135)

By FAR & on multiple levels in efficiency, speed, security, + reliability:

APK Hosts File Engine 9.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Details of hosts' benefits enumerated in link)

Summary:

---

A. ) Hosts do more than AdBlock ("souled-out" 2 Google/Crippled by default) + Ghostery (Advertiser owned) - "Fox guards henhouse", or Request Policy -> http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org]

B. ) Hosts add reliability vs. downed or redirected DNS + secure vs. known malicious domains too -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] w/ less added "moving parts" complexity + room 4 breakdown,

C. ) Hosts files yield more speed (blocks ads & hardcodes fav sites - faster than remote DNS), security (vs. malicious domains serving mal-content + block spam/phish & trackers), reliability (vs. downed or Kaminsky redirect vulnerable DNS, 99% = unpatched vs. it & worst @ ISP level + weak vs FastFlux + DynDNS botnets), & anonymity (vs. dns request logs + DNSBL's).

---

Hosts do more w/ less (1 file) @ a faster level (ring 0) vs redundant browser addons (slowing up slower ring 3 browsers) via filtering 4 the IP stack (coded in C, loads w/ OS, & 1st net resolver queried w\ 45++ yrs.of optimization).

* Addons are more complex + slowup browsers & in message passing (use a few concurrently - you'll see)

** Addons slowdown SLOWER usermode browsers layering on MORE - & bloating memory consumption too + hugely excessive CPU usage (4++gb extra in FireFox https://blog.mozilla.org/nneth... [mozilla.org] )

SO - Instead, I work w/ what you have in kernelmode, via hosts (A tightly integrated PART of the IP stack itself)

APK

P.S.=> "The premise is, quite simple: Take something designed by nature & reprogram it to make it work FOR the body, rather than against it..." - Dr. Alice Krippen "I AM LEGEND"

...apk

Re:Let me turn you onto something BETTER (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47169515)

Wow, you are a nutter. And like most nutters, you won't even be able to see it.

Strange use of the word "Only" (1)

BoogieChile (517082) | about 7 months ago | (#47169105)

You could conceivably say that of the 65 tested, "only" 15 did not have good enough OpenGL support. This...other...usage of the word "only"...I do not think it means what you appear to think it means...
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