Stefan Dösinger Posted:
Fwiw, WoW should default to D3D9 for new installations. We've removed the script that edited the settings file to put the game into GL mode.
I have a question, which I am sure you can answer. Checking the forums and also considering the fact that major game developers are more or less "ignoring" AMD and sometimes even Intel GPU's for their Linux ports (Borderlands 2, Civilization: Beyond Earth and a few more are officially Nvidia-only titles), I started reading a bunch of posts about ppl recommending Nvidia over AMD for Wine powered games too. Most ppl recommend Nvidia for their superior proprietary drivers and for performance + stability reasons. So I decided to put it to the test...
So far I have only had a Nvidia 525M GT to test games on versus my AMD HD 7850 GPU. But that comparison is extremly unfair, so I got my hands on an Nvidia 450 GTS and was shocked to see that the comments were true; in almost every game I tried via Wine/Crossover, the Geforce GPU (with proprietary driver 331.38 provided by Ubuntu) was performing better and more reliable than my AMD HD 7850 (tested with both the newest open and closed drivers). One small example is WoW in both D3D9 and OpenGL mode.
Starting area with my troll-horde, performance enhanced graphics activated, D3D9:
Nvidia, Ultra settings: 70-100 fps
Nvidia, medium settings: Always over 100 fps, usually 100-140 fps
AMD, Ultra settings: 20-30 fps
AMD, medium settings: about 60-70 fps
Other hard- and software details: AMD Phenom II X6, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, Ubuntu 14.04.1 64-bit.
OpenGL mode was more or less the same situation: Nvidia is much, much faster than AMD. In fact, Nvidia was performing even much faster using OpenGL mode. Using AMD and comparing the two modes, the difference is much smaller. Even though the 450 GTS is technically less powerful than the HD 7850, it was beating the crap out of it. Testing a few other games, I noticed that Nvidia is also less glitchy and performs either exactly like on Windows and often even much better.
My question: What is the cause for this behaviour? Are AMD drivers really that much worse when compared to Nvidia or am I missing something else here?