Give AMD Some Love
I recently went through several methods to try out SteamOS. When it came to video issues, some of my test hardware still exhibited the same issues. I found either AMD or Intel was quite acceptable for a CPU but Nvidia preferred for the graphics card. Having recently acquired a low profile ATI 6670 (who would have thought those massive cards could shrink that small!), I decided to revisit my Steam gaming options apart my my more powerful desktop.
Why AMD deserves some more credit today
As most people know, AMD has been hot in the Linux-sphere recently, more than likely spurred by Valves commitment to Linux gaming. With Project Mantle set to being a lot of great improvements to their proprietary drivers, hope once lost for ATI video performance, is now shimmering on the horizon. While working with the installers can still be frustrating, recent driver updates and testing out the Linux beta drivers has been more than promising for me
Testing some hardware out
In a few scenarios I tested out various configurations of my CPU, RAM, and the Video Card. One such odd case was Dust: An Elysian Tale. Even on my more powerful desktop comprising of an Intel Core i5, 16 GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 560ti, I’d get some stuttering on battle scenes, but not on my test AMD rig.
My AMD 6670 Video Card sat in a machine consisting of a Core 2 Duo E8400 and 6 GB of RAM. I had smooth as butter play with the same settings in comparison to my Nvidia rig. Now this is not to say drivers were worse vs my AMD test system, but just proof that just because you own an ATI/AMD card under Linux, you’re not completely down and out. Its hard to ignore them, but try not to believe every benchmark and fanboy and test things yourself.
Even on some games like Metro: Last Light, I found the game quite playable a around 40 FPS with medium settings. So, for the majority of my games, like more platformers and indie titles, I may just keep the PJs on and game on the couch. Now I enjoy my mouse and keyboard as much as the next person, but couch gaming is quite addictive.
Getting down to it
In summary, don’t count AMD out theses days. While AMD/ATI is always good on a budget, you always should investigate performance between their processors and video cards vs. Intel and Nvidia. I’ve found a capable Intel Core 2 Duo and a cheap 70 dollar ATI 6670 to be more that plausible for a small system. Be sure to keep and eye on Project Mantle and the next few months. You may see some magic from AMD that just may change your mind
-written via mobile