I am furious to say the least. I am building an Ubuntu desktop PC to use for high performance computing, i.e. modeling, running Physics & Engineering simulations...etc. I got everything figured out in a couple of hours, processor, ram, mobo...EXCEPT the graphics card, and I hate to say that the picture is not bright for the linux user, here is how it goes:
DISCLAIMER: if you find any of what I say here inaccurate, I will be delighted to hear the correction.
- It's a linux box, so I'll opt for Nvidia, as AMD linux driver support is not up to par, not yet, and it seems like it never will (didn't they downsize the linux driver team during the last economic recession? + they don't have any plans yet to support Wayland).
Anyway, so I googled for the latest and greatest Nvidia card and I expected top OpenGL performance, not so fast
- So it was probably a 'brilliant' idea from a marketing intern. Nvidia now has two distinct lines of products, the GeForce gaming line and the Quadro professional line. And even if two cards from these different lines have the same exact GPU chip, the OpenGL (double precision) performance of the GeForce line have been intentionally crippled (to the stone age) to the point that a 3-4 yrs. old GeForce card will have noticeably better OpenGL performance.
Nvidia puts it like this, well, the Quadro drivers are a result of long and expensive R&D to fine-tune the performance. The equivalent Quadro card is like 2-3 times as expensive! And no you can't install the Quadro driver on the GeForce, if you do, the GPU detects it and starts infinite looping with itself until the machine freezes.
- The point of this rant is that I am not seeing too many people unhappy about this, so I'll just bite the bullet I guess. It feels really bad that the choice I have is like a $600 Quadro card or a $50-100 3-4 yrs. old Geforce, I mean come on!
- Another issue that gave me some grief is that nowhere I could find any usable OpenGL benchmarks. After some searching, I found the SPECviewperf, and I don't see it that popular. The benchmarks I see at Phoronics are all games.