F for Fragging Jul 21, 2013 @ 12:40am
Video stress test results of CS:S on Linux and Win7 with AMD hardware
I have the following hardware: an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 and an AMD Radeon HD 7850. I have a dual boot of Windows 7 and Fedora 19.

I have the impression that some games on Linux, especially Left 4 Dead 2, run with an unreasonably low frame rate. So I wanted to compare the performance objectively. The "video stress test" of Counter-Strike: Source is an easy way to do that as it is directly accessible from its main menu.

I have already seen a benchmark [1] comparing the performance of a Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 on Linux and Windows with the video stress test. It showed the performance on Linux is slightly lower than on Windows, but I think the difference is negligible if we don't consider the results with bloom turned on.

I used the following settings to run the video stress test on both Windows 7 and Fedora 19: model, shader, texture, water, shadow detail all at the highest setting. Anti-aliasing and filtering were set at 8x. Color correction enabled, vertical sync disabled, motion blur disabled, multicore rendering enabled. HDR at full and bloom disabled. The resolution was 1680 by 1050 pixels. Driver versions were Catalyst 13.1 for Windows 7 (older, but shouldn't matter since CS:S is old too) and Catalyst 13.6 beta for Fedora 19 (yes, beta, but betas never gave me widely different performance compared to non-beta versions).

The results: 272 frames per second on Windows 7 and only 104 frames per second on Fedora 19. Put differently the framerate on Windows 7 is 162% higher than on Fedora 19!

I knew that AMD's Linux drivers weren't as good as those from Nvidia, but this amazed me. I'd prefer to reward AMD for it's efforts on their Linux open source driver, but with these results I'm inclined to buy a Nvidia video card.

But before I jump to conclusions, can others with AMD video cards repeat this benchmark? What do you get? Might it be that there is something wrong with my system? Shouldn't I be getting higher framerates on Linux?

[1] http://rootgamer.com/2737/rootgamer/windows-linux-counter-strikesource-benchmark
Showing 1-11 of 11 comments
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Yoyosan Jul 21, 2013 @ 3:34am 
Hello.

Here are my results for AMD HD 5870, CPU i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz:

Debian Linux @ 1680x1050
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=162205131
Debian Linux @ 1080p
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=162218248
Windows 7 @ 1680x1050
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=162214190

Find the system details in the captions.

Cheers.
Last edited by Yoyosan; Jul 21, 2013 @ 3:47am
blackout24 Jul 21, 2013 @ 4:32am 
I tried to benchmark Lost Coast on Linux and Windows but it wasn't really possible, since both offer vastly different graphics options. Linux seems to offer more options and also recommends higer settings by default. Apart from that anti-aliasing doesn't seem to work on Windows 7. I cranked it up to the max but it still looks like crap. It just doesn't AA at all. See here:
http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197999178923/screenshots/

What was also funny is that on german Windows 7 and german Steam Client the game was a mix of korean (for the "Game is loding - notification in the bottom right"), german for the menu and french voice for the fisherman. :D And I thought locale problems only exist on Linux.

With NVIDIA any other benchmark is just as fast as on Windows. http://i.imgur.com/9CAsHmM.png

I also tested Serious Sam 3 with OpenGL Mode on Windows compared to Linux and it's exactly the same performance. Desktop in use was KDE 4.10 with "unredirect fullscreen" and "autosuspend desktop effects on fullscreen".
Do You Even Banana? Jul 21, 2013 @ 5:10am 
Yep AMD drivers on linux are pretty much useless compared to the nvidia ones, my next one will be a nvidia for sure.
Jarno Jul 21, 2013 @ 9:11am 
I dont have Windows, just posting result with Ubuntu.

Intel i5-3570K @ 4.2GHz
AMD HD 7850 @ Core 1000MHz / Memory 4*1400MHz
16GB Ram 1600MHz

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit
Kernel 3.8.0-030800-generic
Catalyst 12.11 Beta
DE: User defined session
WM: Compiz

Model, shader, texture, water, shadow detail all at the highest setting. Anti-aliasing and filtering were set at 8x. Color correction enabled, vertical sync disabled, motion blur disabled, multicore rendering enabled. HDR at full and bloom disabled.
Resolution 1920 x 1080

FPS 261.21
Last edited by Jarno; Jul 21, 2013 @ 9:24am
Yoyosan Jul 23, 2013 @ 10:49am 
Hey guys.

I've just installed the new beta drivers from AMD, from http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?82591-%2823-07-%29-AMD-Catalyst%99-OpenGL-4-3-Beta-Driver

CSS @1080p
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=163021956

Omg, what a performance boost! 255 compared to 187.

Last edited by Yoyosan; Jul 23, 2013 @ 9:22pm
F for Fragging Jul 27, 2013 @ 9:02am 
Thanks for all your responses people. Yoyosan, It surprises me that my framerate is so much lower than the framerate Jarno is reporting, even though we have the same HD7850. Even Yoyosan gets a higher framerate than me, even though his Radeon is two generations older! I'd suspect something must be wrong with Fedora 19, or my specific installation of it.

Yoyosan, I also tried your advice to use the OpenGL 4.3 beta drivers. Now I get 173 fps compared to 104 before, but this is still utter crap if I compare with Jarno and Yoyosan.
RootGamer.com Nov 3, 2013 @ 3:00am 
That's a big difference in performance. I'm not familiar with amd/ati-cards on Linux (never got them to work properly). Also used same driver version on both Windows and Linux to get comparable results.

There should be little difference between opengl and direct-x when it comes to CS:S. However, bloom-effects seem to have the biggest impact to performance.

We didn't use any form of optimalisation, you can view the settings used at: http://rootgamer.com/2737/rootgamer/windows-linux-counter-strikesource-benchmark

Good luck

F for Fragging Nov 15, 2013 @ 10:13am 
I'm writing this with a new PC equipped with a GeForce GTX 770. The fact that your benchmark with a Nvidia card proved that the performance gap between Windows and Linux was minimal was the reason to say goodbye to AMD for me. I like how AMD supported the development of the open source video driver for Linux, but the abysmal performance of their proprietary Linux driver drove me to buy Nvidia. I'll benchmark CS:S with this new PC soon, but I assume I'll no longer be affected by bad performance on Linux anymore.
LOLCAT Nov 15, 2013 @ 12:12pm 
Originally posted by F for Fragging:
I'm writing this with a new PC equipped with a GeForce GTX 770. The fact that your benchmark with a Nvidia card proved that the performance gap between Windows and Linux was minimal was the reason to say goodbye to AMD for me. I like how AMD supported the development of the open source video driver for Linux, but the abysmal performance of their proprietary Linux driver drove me to buy Nvidia. I'll benchmark CS:S with this new PC soon, but I assume I'll no longer be affected by bad performance on Linux anymore.
Problem is, linux gaming is almost non-existent yet, and while AMD is going uphill, nvidia is going downhill. So your choice is only good in the short term. By the time you'll see serious games on linux, you'll probably regret your choice.
Shark Nov 15, 2013 @ 6:12pm 
Same here, same card, more up to date drivers. Dota 2 is barely playable. It's getting better with every driver release though.
Last edited by Shark; Nov 15, 2013 @ 6:17pm
F for Fragging Nov 15, 2013 @ 10:49pm 
Originally posted by LOLCAT:
Problem is, linux gaming is almost non-existent yet, and while AMD is going uphill, nvidia is going downhill. So your choice is only good in the short term. By the time you'll see serious games on linux, you'll probably regret your choice.

Could you please explain why Nvidia is going downhill in their Linux support? The Steam Boxes will run Linux and be equipped with Nvidia cards IIRC, so it seems hard to believe the quality of their drivers is taking a dive.
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Date Posted: Jul 21, 2013 @ 12:40am
Posts: 11