Ideal GPU for 4K desktop work on Linux

In the near future I would like to get a 4K monitor for my Linux (Fedora, Wayland) workstation (Z97, 4790K) which I'm mainly using for programming, office work, watching high-res videos (YouTube etc.) and almost no gaming (max. would be something like AOE).

Since I have heard of a few issues with GPU support on Linux on some cards, I was wondering what is the best bet when it comes to compatibility? I was thinking of something like the new AMD RX 550, since it's quite affordable and should be powerful enough for my workload.

And if I could run the GPU with open-source drivers (which I imagine should be sufficient for my tasks) that would be great. :slight_smile:

I would guess that an RX 460 would serve you a bit better just because its not a brand new GPU and so will probably have better drivers than the 550. That and its like $20 more for a good chunk more performance. Though a 550 might work too

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You're right, I haven't thought of that. Maybe I can get a decent deal, now that the 500 series is out. :wink:

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I have a 40 inch 4k monitor and have used both AMD and NVIDIA GPU's, currently have a GTX 1070.

I used to have an R9 390, and it worked perfectly fine. This was a little over a year ago, so the mesa drivers weren't quite ready for 4k gaming yet, but general usage was awesome.

GTX 1070 proprietary driver has been good when the distro gives an easy way to install it.

But yes, AMD is perfect for open-source usage.

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I am happy to hear that :smiley:

Yeah, since I have no big requirements when it comes to performance, I really don't feel like installing proprietary drivers.

If I remember correctly, the open-source drivers never had issue with screen tearing, proprietary does. And you're guaranteed wayland support too.

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My 1060 works great I play games like gta v and insurgency at 4k easily. So I think you would be fine with a 1050ti for what you are wanting to do

I tested a little intel, amd and nvidia gpus in 4k linux desktop and after having issues with video tearing in videos and small issues I chose the nvidia since It worked the best for my settings.

I wanted to recommend amd because of its generally good open source drivers, but I having the issues with getting 4k@60fps on hdmi output without using a displayport to hdmi adapter as mentioned here. I suspect that I would not have these if my monitor was displayport (and this is possibly a issue that might be fixable in the future), but I can't confirm since I don't have a displayport monitor. If you can confirm this before buying and you intent to buy a displayport the amd might be also a good alternative due to is opensouce drivers.

Are you running it with proprietary Nvidia drivers or with the open-source drivers?

I was planning to run the 4K monitor over DisplayPort and my current Full-HD monitor over HDMI (it doesn't have a DisplayPort, but the RX 460 for example only has one DP anyways).

I'm running closed source because the last time I tested the open source didn't support my card (gtx 960).

Looking on some posts in the arch forums and other posts indicates that card has the same results as I mentioned and it seem to be bug in the driver and you "should" be ok using displayport.

Currently for AMD there is no support for HDMI 2.0 in mainline.
To get HDMI 2.0 you would need DC/DAL patches.
The code lives in amd-staging-4.9 branch of git://

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I'm getting a 580 soon, you might look at one. Though, at the moment nvidia has pretty good drivers. Can't say that they will in a year....

The first review in phoronix for the 580 that I saw said that it went to 4K right away and just worked, though it had a 470/480 ID.

There will be no difference in driver support between the 4xx and 5xx series as there the same type.

@Pixo is right thought hat the DC/DAL patches aren't in yet. probably 4.12/4.13 before we see them in mainline kernel which will be a few months away.

On the plus side, its all open source and just works better with the system.

the DC/DAL patches are also in a copr repo amdgpu-gfx so you can grab that if you want to try it out before it hits mainline.

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