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AMD's R9 290X Tested on Ubuntu: Results - Summary
- Category: General
- Hits: 13795
- Installation went as easily as expected, which one exception: When installing 12.04, the adapter was only driving two of the three monitors, a DVI monitor and the DisplayPort monitor, during installation. However, installation was otherwise unremarkable. Installation of 14.04, 14.10 and 15.04 did not exhibit this behavior and installation was unremarkable.
- Graphical performance of the DE and applications with the open source driver was marginally satisfactory. 3D effects such as the cube performed terribly, since the work was being done by the CPU.
- Video, gaming and GLMark2 performance with the open source driver was very poor. Much of the graphical processing ended up being dumped on the CPU, with predicable results. Despite that, the fact that the dedicated open source driver developers are able to get it to work at all continues to amaze me!
- Installation of the proprietary driver was unremarkable using both the Additional Drivers method and the terminal method (as described in section 2.1 of https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/AMD), which I added to the wiki and have been helping to maintain for several years. I did make some edits to that section after this testing.
- Graphical performance of the DE and applications using the proprietary driver was crisp and 3D was outstanding. However, some tearing was noted when Tear Free was disabled.
- Video, gaming and GLMark2 performance with the proprietary AMD driver were excellent -- as long as the settings were optimized for each.
- Those who are interested in purchasing one of these need to be very careful about the PSU they choose. Although the Silverstone Strider ST1500 provides double the 750 watts recommended by AMD, the amperage rating on the four available 12v PCI-E rails was insufficient to run this card without using two rails. On the PSU used, each rail is rated at 25A. However, the nominal published maximum wattage requires approximately 30A at 12v for 360W. Since this unit can approach or surpass 400W when stressed or over-clocked, at least 35A should be provided. In the end, I had to plug an 8 pin PCI-E power cable in to one 25A 12v PCI-E rail and a 6 pin power cable into another rail. Without doing that, the initial current spike to start the unit tripped the over-current/voltage circuitry on the PSU and the computer would not finish the POST or send any signal to the monitors. This PSU was built when top-of-the-line single GPU cards were rated at about 220W -- and 18A was sufficient. Fortunately, Silverstone included enough cables with the PSU to fill a computer case by themselves.