Is AMD doomed? (Linux)

So, I've been running Linux for almost an entire year. My PC still has a Windows partition, but I haven't had the need to boot into Windows for this entire year.

This has spurred me to start thinking about buying another GPU. I currently have two Radeon HD 7950s in CF. On Linux, they perform terribly. I used to own a Radeon HD 6670, but I upgraded to the Radeon HD 7950's. The performance that I get out my two 7950s (on Linux) is akin to the performance that I got out of the 6670 (on Windows.) Before anyone comments, I have tried both the open source drivers (Mesa 11) and the closed source drivers (Catalyst 15.9). I'm a bit upset, because I bought these cards when they were still $350 per card.

So, I'm thinking about buying a GTX 970. My brother owns a GTX 780 and the performance on Linux just destroys my AMD cards. I, however, have this guilt. AMD is doing poorly. There stock price (as of this post) is ~$1.80 and NVIDIA is known to do some shady things. There are some people that blame Intel/NVIDIA for AMD's failures, but I'm not so sure. AMD's products have just been really low quality for me.

There are people who are just going to say "wait it out," but I've been waiting for 2 years for the drivers to get better. (This isn't my first attempt at Linux.) There was a fair bit of hype about Catalyst 15.9 for Linux, but AMD never fails to disappoint. The only game that really changed under Catalyst 15.9 was CS:GO. I don't even own CS:GO so the new driver literally did nothing for me. Also, the fact that users had to patch Catalyst 15.9 for Linux 4.1 is extremely disappointing.

Anyways, as always, what are your thoughts on the matter? I also didn't mean to make this post insight any rage from anyone. These are my honest opinions about the situation.

First thing that comes to mind is why? why are you using linux?
The preformance on both AMD and nvidia parts are really spotty on linux, and they will keep being bad until some major "steambox cough" changes occur.
Not saying you should totally ditch linux, but it doesn't hurt to use windows (unless you're on windows 10)

You would waste money, Nvidia and AMD both do not care about Linux as much as moste Linux users want them to. The best thing to to is to wait and hope for the best.

Edit: Please change the headline or add Linux to it, I was like "Did Samsung buy Nvidia?" when entering this thread.

1 Like

Hey, thanks for the reply.

I use Linux because I prefer the freedom that it gives to the user. I run ArchLinux and the performance that I get everywhere else is awesome. I also write programs and the tools GCC work really well on Linux. I also believe that the future of gaming should heads towards open platforms. It bothers me that the future of PC gaming is in Microsoft's hands.

On my Windows partition I upgraded to Windows 10 before I discovered how bad the spying actually was. I might reinstall Windows 7, but then I'll try to do the hardware pass-through the Wendell did.

Thanks for replying BTW.

Hmm, I'll do some tests later today with my brother's computer. I also changed the title.

well how does a single card perform?
And what cpu do you have?

AMD as an overall company is doing bad period. if you want to be blunt. AMD is basically off the market at this point.. they have no tablet processors, they have like 1 or 2 laptops with their APUs in it (I'm referring to Carrizo) and the Desktop market, hasn't really been updated since Kaveri and the FX CPUs haven't been updated since 2011. a lot of people are jumping on Intel cause AMD hasn't delivered..

What will be the end all for AMD is if Zen Fails. If Zen Fails, rest in peace AMD, and all of our graphics cards will have to go into a display case somewhere in our houses (unless someone buys them out) which right now there is 2 potential buyers. Samsung and Microsoft

As for Driver support on Linux. you have to understand AMD cares for Open-Source, but they don't have the R&D to continue putting out quality stuff for the Open Source Community. And Nvidia is the LAST Company you want to invest onto for Open Source products. (they don't give two shits about Linux) unless it throws money in their pocket..

you can run Windows in a virtual machine, and do a GPU passthrough so you can technically run Windows IN Linux. but it's a hassle. or at least in my opinion Wendell made it look like more harder than it needed to be in this overview..

Kat, I agree with everything you are saying and especially the quote above (I've been thinking the same ever since watching the video), while what Wendell did was cool because it was on very new hardware, when I did the pass through it was nothing as involved, maybe the newness of hardware and it being on Arch made a difference, but on Fedora it wasn't anywhere as complicated and the proof is that I was able to accomplish it! lol

I tried that with the W8100 in my machine, it works for having Windows inside Linux but as we all know FirePros are not meant for gaming. (I know, I have way to much time on my hands.)

I mean depending on which firepro card you had. the graphical performance that were on them were equivalent to a 7870 or 270x. or for the fun of it the 370X (AMD is re-releasing Pitcarin once again for the 300 series).

and just cause i said it's a hassle, that shouldn't discourage people. but i felt like Wendell made it look a lot harder than it needed to be. and what sucks is you need specific hardware to get it going. which sucks. well at least for people running Haswell it sucks (Which myself and I'm sure many are running still).

I think that a single card performs about the same as the cards in crossfire. It was funny, because for one week I thought that I was running the dual cards, but it wasn't enabled in Catalyst. When I enabled it, nothing really changed. (I have rebooted.)

I have an i7-2600. Which is capable of Vt-d I think.

I think I might try it. I'm not a stranger to a bit of work. The only thing that I'm limited on is time.

I feel bad for confusing you, sorry for that.
What I meant was that it works good enough to have software like SonyMovieStudio in state where you do not need to boot into Windows. The bad part is that it does not want to deliver in newer games. Minecraft, Masseffect and Starcraft2 on lower settings are playable. Trouble starts when trying to play Battlefield4 or Witcher3. 20 to 30FPS on Pacman graphics are just not accepatble. Might be my laughable Linux "skills" or some settings I managed to forget but for now gaming on a FirePro running Windows via Linux does not quiet work out as I hopped.

I am sorry to hear about your challenges / difficulties. I have an AMD 7850 on my linux rig and running Ubuntu 15.04 (upgraded from 14.04) with Gnome 3 and I have had some challenges with the AMD driver installation but saying that I have had no performance issues with my 7850 on Linux. for the titles I have that work on linux. Granted I haven't got a Crossfire setup like you have. I wish I could provide some assistance...

My advice save up for a 980, I do not care about the BS politics of ether company. all i can say is that Nvidia does work better then AMD video cards on linux. my card the 980, is only 730 points different on linux vs windows using unigine valley test, it runs all of my games with zero issues, CS:go, dota 2, metro, civ 5, don't starve together, I just saw that arma is now ported gonna try that tonight.

take a look at this thread to see differences in performance on openGL at least.

Disclaimer: I only buy nvidia, my knowledge on amd on linux is from what others have said. Things like trying to use the amd drivers but then having issues with certain things, and those certain things don't happen on the community drivers, but the community drivers had less performance. again just what others have said. I do not personally use AMD.

I also do not use SLI or Crossfire anymore even on windows i had issues, games not supporting it, the profile wasn't refined yet, ect.

ALLOT of people make the mistake of using VSYNC with their AMD cards under Linux (Tear Free option auto enables it btw in CCC, so you must go into the 3d section to disable it again.)

Also people using older supported drivers on repositories that don't get much attention, latest is 15.9 (15.201) catalyst drivers. Lastly older generation cards I think are suffering lack of support now, my 390x does a decent job compared to the GTX980 I had (which had memory limits at 4GB btw).

However its worth noting that 390x only does well when at 4k resolutions, in comparisons. There are some games that still have issues such as Dying Light (at all resolutions) / ARMA3 (at 4k) in certain cases (low FPS / dips). Other games like The Talos Principle and PA Titans actually run better on my 390x compared to the GTX980, yes its a very weird land we live in when it comes to Linux & 3D Performance.

I second the motion to go Single card instead of Crossfire. Keep your cards. My 7970Ghz runs exceptionally well under Linux. I get ~45-50 FPS on Arma 3 under Linux. That is saying something.

Keep the dual cards but not in crossfire. use your setup to go KVM with GPU-passthrough. That would give you one card for the Windows environment and 1 for Linux. Also, get the latest kernel and the latest drivers from the AMD website. Evidence shows that the AMD FGLRX drivers ubuntu provides are out of date...behind a release or two.

AMD is just doing a disappearing act, and they're quite right to do so, because things are getting really bad in the US. The article with leaked documents in the Washington Post says enough: the president doesn't want to support a law that would protect the citizens, and he doesn't want to solidify into any law what has been going on for quite some time behind the scenes (building in backdoors and massive surveillance). Therefore a climate of arbitrary totalitarianism is being actively stimulated, whereby the powers that be just find it easy to ignore democratic principles entirely and just do what they want.

AMD is not owned by an American company, it's owned in majority by a company that's de facto mostly owned by a United Arabian Emirate. It's more than clear that the majoritarian owners of the company that owns AMD has opposite interests.

That is the only thing that is bringing AMD down for the moment. It's also bringing Intel down. Intel has already moved most of its development to China and has just fired another couple of thousand employees. It's what's bringing all US companies down, and it will bring down even the largest US companies if this is allowed to continue.

The US puts quite a lot of pressure on its "allies" to create a similar pseudo-democratic environment. Very old democracies like England are like a barometer for what happens behind the curtains, because at least there is some kind of legislative effort to reflect the de facto practices, with even teenagers and developers being jailed for not surrendering cryptokeys. Many countries adopt the same totalitarian habits of the US military industrial complex though, and just sabotage any effort to come to any legislation whatsoever, at the same time however producing regulations that don't have to pass a democratic process that support the totalitarian interest, like the regulation concerning the prohibition of free software on hardware that contains a radio, or like the deferral of the rule of law of a European country to private corporate courts in New York when it comes to intellectual property, inventions, food and medicine.

The whole world is getting screwed.

If you look at what the very rich are doing, it doesn't look good. For instance: there is a company called Corbis, which is provately owned by Bill Gates, and which buys the rights to pictures of important works of art in Europe and Russia. The whole concept is crazy, namely Corbis insists on having the rights to pictures of visual works of art like paintings and sculptures.... not the painters or sculptors mind you, those don't have to make any money according to Bill Gates, but Corbis needs to be paid for the rights to pictures to these works of art.

Now here's the problem: in the US, the rights associated with pictures tend to end pretty quickly in comparison to other countries. Now if those pictures for which Corbis, a US company, holds the rights, are stored on a European server, for instance in a European country where these rights last for a very long time, and if it's decided in the US that these pictures stored outside of the US are not subject to US law, that would mean that those rights to those pictures would last much longer... but why would Corbis need those rights and need them to last for a long time? Maybe because something will happen with the originals, and the pictures will be a goldmine because they will be the only thing left of the original works of art, and people will pay dearly to see pictures of the art works? There must be a compelling reason why Bill Gates is investing so much money into a company that has never made a single buck of profit, and that has exposed one of his other companies to enormous amounts of costs just to make a point for Corbis...

Now if nothing what you see is what is it when it comes to a company owned by Bill Gates, isn't it plausible that the rich buggers on the other side of the pond that own AMD might be up to things that aren't what they seem to be?

In fact, the RISC-division of AMD is not doing half bad, and they are the hardware supplier of choice on ALL of the most popular gaming and entertainment platforms in the world. They are still the preferred hardware choice for linux people because there are less problems with AMD hardware in general and some specific problems, that might have something to do with RNG's, are not present on AMD chips. AMD graphics drivers will find their way into linux kernel 4.3 (as KMS modules that work together with userspace software that provides the rest functionality), so no more catalyst woes. Windows drivers for linux for AMD suck balls, but so do the nVidia Windows drivers for linux, even though until two years ago, nVidia was the dominant platform for GPU's in linux because they would maintain their linux drivers meticulously... nothing of that is left, in fact, nVidia has not followed a lot of open standard functionality (and that is even backfiring now in Windows for DX12). Intel, the largest supplier of PC graphics solutions (according to the Steam hardware survey, more than half of all gamers plays on Intel graphics), hasn't been very successful in the last two years when it comes to producing working drivers for power management, graphics, OpenCL, etc... to the point where Intel (that only has open source drivers basically) isn't able to follow AMD and nVidia in providing OpenGL 4.1 compatibility with kernel 4.3... in the end, AMD isn't doing that bad at all, they're just hollowing out some company structures that have become a liability for other reasons than commercial reasons...