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Old 03-23-04, 06:57 PM   #1
Imbroglio
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Default Nvidia vs ATi performance...

alright before i get any flame threads saying how this topic is bs and exists on all other forums, i'd like to think this is more linux/nvidia specific, basically i run slackware 9.1 and have a 9800pro and achieve framerates comparable to most 60 dollar nvidia cards running linux, and what i was wondering is how nvidia's linux drivers compare to their windows drivers, from almost everything i've read says that performance is practically equal, but i wanted to get an honest person's opinion, hence this thread, and hence this post, because in all honesty i'm thinking about selling the 9800pro for a 5900ultra because i'm tired of loading up windose just to play games
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Old 03-23-04, 07:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Nvidia vs ATi performance...

Performance across platform for the nVIDIA drivers is very close to 'equivalent', but of course verifying this introduces too many factors to make it a simple framerate comparison. So.. my experience just suggests:
America's Army Ops: framerate down in linux by roughly 10fps but more stable
--highly depends on the map running (fog is worse on performance in linux than in winxp)
--graphics settings on my system do not effect the performance much indicating its cpu locked (so there is alot that could be screwing up this comparison)

Quake3: performance much faster in linux than winxp (+20%) on average in several mods (TrueCombat, UrT, NS:CO) which have higher loads

UT2k3/UT2k4: Faster in linux when maps are small, faster in winxp when maps are large, again cpu load seems to be the limiting factor for this engine / my system. Although 2k4 is faster than 2k3 it has the same trend on this topic.

NeverwinterNights: Hard to tell... this game looks/runs good everywhere.

P4-2.0A 512mb PC800rambus GeForce ti4400 (driver version: winxp 53.04, linux 53.36)
(its fair to say: linux 2.6.3-mm4 kernel being used and does make a difference over 2.4.x)

In short, the nVIDIA drivers are quite similar in performance across the platform, but the feature set lags for linux.
And yeah.. this is seriously flamebait. Even when breaking out the big guns in performance tests there can be no definite, all-encompassing answer; and I'm comparing an old, slow, featureless card essentially...
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Old 03-23-04, 07:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Nvidia vs ATi performance...

I use Linux 99.9% of the time now and because of moving over I brought a GF 5900U, I've never looked back, the nvidia drivers are much better than ATI in Linux. Nvidia is the way to go In linux as the drivers are much more mature and thanks to the nvidia installer it's rather easy to install them.
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Old 03-23-04, 09:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nvidia vs ATi performance...

yea thanks for the responses, its rather annoying to play load intensive games on linux like ET and have your gpu max out at 80-90 fps while in windows at the exact same settings the card will max out at about 170, but thats an opengl game, move over to a ut2k3 engine and its not even worth mentioning the figures they are so bad, lets put it this way, some ppl with 9800pro cards were getting about 20-30 fps in ut2k4demo, i'm sure i could go buy a 60 dollar nvidia card and almost double that, but what pisses me off the most is ati's response to linux users, basically they told us since ati's "figures" show that 96percent are windows based that they aren't gonna devote much time or money in ati linux drivers, and since they've switched from germany to canada the drivers have actually gone backwards in the releases.... still have yet to figure that out (although they claim its to code reconstruction), rather than ramble on for the next 20 minutes i'll just leave it at that
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Old 03-24-04, 02:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Nvidia vs ATi performance...

Let me put it to you this way. Over five years ago when I first started dabbling with Linux, one of the things holding me back from making the complete switch was video card drivers. I knew it was a community sort of project and for a while it was just a toy to me. id had previously released Linux-compatible Quake 2 and Quake 3 binaries, but I was never able to get those running with much success using MesaGL. Then one day roughly three years ago I noticed that nVidia had Linux drivers on their webpage, the *ONLY* company that offered me direct driver support for my hardware. I installed the driver, did the usual RTFM routine, and they worked flawlessly. I benchmarked Quake 3 and to my surprise it ran a few FPS faster in low res modes than in Windows! High-res wasn't an issue since framerate was not really playable at 1600x1200 on a TNT2U, but driver performance at high resolutions increased along with nVidia's evolution of their graphics line-up. Before I knew it I had Quake 3 and UT running silky smooth framerates on relatively low-end hardware with max details and resolution, fragging it out with my friends running Windows with no problems what so ever.

Goes without saying that with the exception of a very few select games I finally made the switch. To this day, I only take my system into Windows one day a week for Warcraft-centric LAN parties. In all honesty, without the 3D support for top tier games like Q3, UT, and some Loki titles (Tribes 2 was another favorite) and the graphics power to run them, I think Linux would still be little more than a toy to me outside of a work environment.

Just my story. I think it's great that you're trying to do gaming under Linux, I couldn't imagine having a computer only for work-related purposes. Then again, I've always liked PC gaming more than consoles, but that's another flame war.
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Old 03-24-04, 05:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Nvidia vs ATi performance...

There are also a number of other factors in this, Linux kernel is still being developed nicely, the kernel devlepers will add refinements for gaming later on and the 2.4 still needs alot of clening up.

Linux has the potencial to beat Windows for gaming and soon as ATI realize that the better, there drivers are buggy in WIndows never mind Linux. Just let people buy nvidia instead of ATI in Linux, there maket share is bigger now so why should they both with Linux, especially with HL2 coming out.
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Old 03-24-04, 06:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Nvidia vs ATi performance...

kernel 2.6 is faster than 2.4 .. I used 2.5 kernels which became 2.6 and its much faster than 2.4.. I this is true for both nvidia and ATI cards.. lets not forget ATI has no AMD64 drivers out for linux or windows
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Old 03-24-04, 07:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Nvidia vs ATi performance...

nvidia's drivers don't seem to work right with the FX5200 yet. I've been forced to disable AGP to get any stability at all, so I get performance roughly equivalent to an ATI Mach64 2MB PCI vidcard.
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