Greetings DLN peeps (<-- that’s the cool way of saying “peoples”!).
I’m currently looking for a new GPU for an old desktop rig. In particular, I’ve been considering the AMD 5500XT or AMD Vega 56 (or 64). I’m not really a gamer (I play a little QuakeLive every now and then), but I do mess around with some graphics programming in my spare time. The most important thing to me is a smooth Linux desktop experience.
On another desktop rig that I use purely for work, I have an Nvidia 1080Ti. I’ve been very disappointed with my Linux desktop experience with the 1080, which is why I only use this machine for work (my day job involves churning out CUDA code, which is the reason why I need an Nvidia card in that machine).
I currently have an AMD RX 560D, and for the most part, it works okay. I love the way I don’t have to fiddle around with installing proprietary BLOBs, and the performance is pretty good considering the RX 560D is a low-end GPU. It quite comfortably drives my dual-monitor setup (an FHD TV and a 2K panel).
To explain what I mean by “smooth Linux desktop experience”: I recently had both Kubuntu 19.10 and Fedora 31 KDE on this desktop machine. When I played a full screen YouTube video on one monitor, Firefox would become extremely “suttery” on the other monitor (e.g. scrolling in Firefox felt like 5 frames per second - it’s painful!). This is not a “smooth Linux desktop experience”.
With the RX 560 I’ve had a much better experience with Manjaro KDE. I would probably be 80% satisfied with the RX 560 were it not for the screen recording issue - using OBS or SimpleScreenRecorder and trying to screen capture the FHD monitor at 60FPS just doesn’t work - framerate is more like 15FPS. Although I haven’t looked in to it in any great detail (yet), I understand that the hardware encoders for AMD GPUs on Linux are pretty much non-existent at this stage (although I’d loved to be proved wrong!!!). For example, with my Nvidia desktop, I’m able to capture a desktop using SimpleScreenRecorder with the encoder set to “h264_nvenc”, and it’s awesome! A smooth 1080p 60FPS while only using around 3% CPU.
I understand that @dasgeek is “Team Red”, and he seems to have very good things to say about AMD GPUs. I’d like to know more about AMD GPUs from a Linux desktop point of view though (as opposed to how many frames per second you can get with Steam games).
I spend most of my time on the Linux desktop (mostly in IDEs instead of games), so I’d like to know what AMD card is capable of:
- A smooth KDE Plasma desktop experience (i.e. no “jank” or “micro-stutters” with wobbly windows or Firefox scrolling, for example).
- Ability to easily drive two monitors (one FHD, one 2K).
- Ability to capture 1080p 60FPS (with or without hardware encoding).
I understand that what I’m asking is very subjective - I’m OCD about smoothness and responsiveness. I’d love to hear from current AMD GPU Linux users about their experiences/thoughts before making my next purchase.
BTW - love the DLN shows, watch them religiously (although have fallen behind in the last month due to work commitments - will catch up this week by binge watching episodes I haven’t seen yet).