hello i was wondering whether amd or nvidia has better linux/steam os support. both now and your prediction for the future


I've installed ubuntu on 1 desktop with nivida, 1 laptop with nvidia, and 1 laptop with amd. I'll let you guess which one made me contemplate living. Link to the guide I have bookmarked on every machine in the house when I have an issue with it. That being said it has gotten better lately which is good, I may be able to cancel my therapist. 

Very seriously: go with AMD. Why? Very simple, powerful hardware for which there are open source drivers. That means that whatever happens, whatever deals are made to boycott companies or groups of users, there will always be an open source driver that really performs well and works with your system.


top pic is normal Team Fortress 2. Bottom pic is after playing for 5 mins as the drivers fail.

If you want to say i did something to the brightness notice the UI is perfectly fine. 

The reason AMD made their drivers for Linux open source in the first place was because how horrible they were. The community has actually done a better job. There has been noticeably less artifacts on my screen granted they replaced it with strobe lights.

 I support anything opensource but I can't honestly tell you your gpu would even be usable. I keep the card turned off and the intel graphics on because of this.


1. AMD catalyst still performs better than RadeonSI

2. If you have problems with your AMD drivers, that means that you have messed up your system, for instance, do you use akmods and dkms at the same time? Did you install Ubuntu 13.04 or later? Did you manually calculate VESA mode and made a mistake? Did you try to use install 9.2 or 9.3 on a pre-3.10 kernel? Did you forget to blacklist the open source driver when installing catalyst, or did you forget to update grub or initramfs after changing the settings or installing catalyst from another source than the official repos for your distro? Etc...

Pictures were done using AMD catalyst. The open source driver is unplayable. Thermals get insane.

No, I did not mess up my system I can link at least over 100 documents accumulated over months detailing issues with amd hybrid graphics on this laptop.

I am not running a custom kernel.


My system runs 13.04 with the most up to date kernel. Old driver was blacklisted, grub was updated, the one on the official repo is completely non functional.

I will admit I am not the most literate of Linux but I can fare. A fresh install plus the instructions detailed in the link from the first post sums up the first successful actual use of the graphics card. Until then the laptop would default to intel graphics with no discrete gpu support and upon using the repos would boot in low graphics mode. Virtual terminal being the only way to set it back to the previous driver.

I have installed Linux on a friend's machine that uses an AMD APU and it was more successful. Ocassional artifacts.

Considering the NVidia machines were as simple as using the repos and have less issues I can't make any other recommendation. I wish NVidia was open source but I won't chose dirt because the cook won't share his recipe.  


Say no more... Ubuntu 13.04... sigh...

Old kernel, no DPM, that feature is only available from kernel 3.11 on, and I'm afraid Canonical isn't there yet, and 13.04 will never have it. You can make it work on Ubuntu, but only after a serious hackfest.

Ever thought about Mint on Debian or Debian or Manjaro or OpenSuSE or Fedora or... well... anything but Ubuntu, where AMD drivers, whether RadeonSI or Catalyst, just work out of the box?

For driver support you'll buy amd and wonder why they can't be more like nvidia. That's the main reason why Valve and originpc are exclusive nvidia. :)

No, the reason why they use NVidia is because they don't care about it being proprietary, about new kernels and about new features in general.

So I'm not the type to call something bad because under certain planetary alignments it fails. I downloaded and made a DVD of Manjaro. Which exceeded my expectations. It wasn't even able to launch the LiveCD before it spit out a graphical error. Even with the option to launch with non free drivers.

I took a picture of the error. The gpu works fine in Windows. I'd be insane not to have a dualboot on this machine. 

Subscribe to the RSS feed of the distro you're using. Then you would know that there is a bug in lm_sensors that causes these graphics artefacts. The good people that maintain lm_sensors have no idea what's causing the bug, but in the mean time, they advise to remove it, and have forwarded that recommendation to all the main distros. I had to remove it for my nVidia graphics to work, but my AMD graphics with Catalyst with a Radeon HD 7850 work just fine with lm_sensors. Just sudo apt-get remove lm_sensors and it's solved. There will probably be a patch in a few days and then they will give the go-ahead and you can install it again.

+1, SteamOS is a feature freeze linux distro, it's like the linux distro used on a WD-TVLiveHub or the likes, it's meant as a universal kind of embedded system, not to be updated by the user based on official repos. It's not a regular safe, secure, performance orientated and modern "normal" linux distro, it serves a particular purpose, namely to facilitate the distribution of closed source commercial software.

SteamOS is not out yet, but it will undoubtedly be possible to pull down the Steam client with all the Big Picture features of SteamOS to any normal linux distro, for more features, more privacy, more security, and more performance.

The reason why Valve went with nVidia is commercial, nothing more, nothing less. nVidia used to be the best choice on linux, but since the beginning of 2013, it isn't anymore, not by a long shot. On functional open source drivers (the proprietary nVidia drivers don't work on kernel 3.11/3.12 without serious hacking after every update, and the interesting graphics features that are in those modern kernels, deliver a huge performance boost in linux, both in terms of graphics and in terms of file system efficiency, SteamOS runs on an old kernel, kernel 3.4, which is two years old and has no less than eight kernel generations of features and performance updates missing, but it will work with nVidia cards.

If I were Valve, I'd take nVidia's cash too, let them pay for 300 high-en test systems to show off, and show off that SteamOS works on nVidia cards. When SteamOS finally comes out, Valve can then either try to market the whole thing like it is, there is performance enough even in those old and slow performing linux versions, the performance increase in comparison with Windows will have the user base flabbergasted anyways, or they can upgrade to a more modern, high performance linux version, and show off things that aren't possible in Windows anymore even with the fastest hardware, but they have a lot of time for that, there are practically no next-gen games yet.

I'd go with AMD. Have not gotten Nvidia drivers to work anywhere near pleasingly. My ancient AMD card runs perfectly fine [Ubuntu 12.04]