This year has seen multiple updates to the Linux operating system from AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA when it comes to covering graphics cards in the open-source kernel or improvements in processing power, as well as video codecs, leaks of new technology, and more. That being said, the most recent tests conducted by the Linux Hardware editor and reviewer of the website Phoronix — as well as an entrepreneur, Linux software engineer, and analyst — Michael Larabel, shed light on the AMD Radeon Gaming performance in Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux environments.
Windows 11 OS Offers Best Graphics Performance For AMD Radeon GPUs Vs Linux 6.2
Larabel used several games available on PC and Linux operating systems. The games were chosen by titles that worked exceptionally well on Steam Play in Linux compared to the Windows 11 experience. In the coming days, Larabel plans to place Intel and NVIDIA under similar tests to find out what performs better, especially entering a new year. Today's focus is on AMD.
The game titles handpicked by Larabel were:
The Phoronix editor also chose three benchmarks for the tests. The first test handles better in Vulkan and OpenGL, while the second and third from UNIGINE are better equipped for OpenGL.
Yesterday, we reported that the Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards were going through isolated but growing issues with overheating and losing performance because of the temperature spikes. It will be interesting to see if this will affect performance. Larabel utilized the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX GPUs for this testing.
The Windows operating system used for testing is Windows 11 Pro Edition, which he mentions was updated with the current drivers available. In contrast, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT driver used is the Adrenalin 22.11.2 Recommended WHQL driver, and the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTDX used Adrenalin 22.12.2. The difference between the two drivers is that the 22.11.2 Recommended driver offers the latest updates for Navi 2 GPUs, while the 22.12.2 driver offers the latest RDNA 3 drivers.
With Linux, in Ubuntu 22.10, Larabel used Linux 6.2-rc1 alongside Mesa 23.0-devel, offering the best support for RDNA 2 and 3 architectures. The processor utilized for the testing is Intel's i9-13900K CPU with 32GB DDR5-6000 memory on an ASUS PRIME Z790-P WIFI mobo and Solidigm's P44 PRO 2 TB NVMe solid state drive.
Hitman 3 showed higher gains with Windows 11 Pro and the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, whereas the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT led close to the same performance on Steam Play in Linux and the standard Windows operating system (Windows was seven frames per second faster). The same is said for both frame time and resolution while stressing the game in a 4K environment.
Left 4 Dead 2 was the opposite, with the OpenGL rendering showing a better FPS on both graphics cards from AMD than in Windows 11 Pro. However, Portal 2 jumped back into Windows with both graphics cards, but Linux was a close competition on the newest GPU from AMD. Quake II RTX, especially having NVIDIA-centric ray tracing, was almost identical in Windows and Linux, with ray tracing activated showing the most similarities with it deactivated. Linux did pull slightly ahead of both graphics card tests in the game for the RADV ray tracing driver, which shows the amount of work placed into the compatibility and performance of the driver over the last year. But, once again, in 4K resolution tests, Windows 11 Pro outshined Ubuntu. Strange Brigade also favored Windows 11 Pro over Ubuntu Linux and X-Plane 12.
GravityMark 1.72 benchmarking allowed for the Ubuntu Linux graphics to outshine Windows 11 Pro most of the time, thanks to the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver and Vulkan driver support, including 4K resolution settings. Larabel notes that the UNIGINE Heaven benchmark is slowly becoming outdated but remains relatively faithful to OpenGL native benchmarking. Windows 11 did show the most considerable improvement on the Heaven benchmark tests but flipped in the Superposition benchmarks, only gaining a slight lead over Windows.
Next for the Phoronix editor will be Intel Arc Graphics and NVIDIA's newer RTX 40 series GPUs in the coming days. You can check all benchmark results on his Phoronix website, and you can check out his other projects on his professional portfolio site, MichaelLarabel.com.