Best GPU Benchmarks on Linux

Some of the best benchmark tools on Linux. The list will be comprised of command line tools and also the non-terminal based benchmark tool. You won’t see complex testing suites or benchmark tools in this article. Only simple GPU benchmark tools. We want something that is easy to use and just does the job.

Why GPU benchmark is important or can be useful? GPU benchmark can help you out in many situations. You could measure before and after scores after performing some kind of GPU driver update or driver swap. You could measure the performance difference between proprietary and open source drivers or measure performance difference of your GPU in different platforms.

For example, I used GPU benchmark to figure if the driver was installed for my discrete AMD Radeon R5 M430 GPU and test the performance of my GPU on open source mesa drivers(no proprietary driver for the GPU model I had ). Also, in this case, I tested my discrete GPU against my integrated Intel HD 620 GPU. Guess what the integrated GPU beat my discrete GPU scores while both being on open source drivers.

I’m planning to test the performance difference of the GPU between the Windows and Linux platform soon. Of course, Linux will lose the game for sure but just wanted to see how great is the difference without proprietary driver. I’ll make sure to link it in an appropriate place once I perform the test and write about it. Okay, enough of this background talk now let’s start with the main purpose of this blog post.

Best GPU benchmark tools for Linux

1- glmark2

First one on the list is glmark2 it is a command line tool. It is a tool to test your GPU performance basically. According to the man page of glmark2, “glmark2 is a benchmark for OpenGL (ES) 2.0. It only uses the subset of the OpenGL 2.0 API that is compatible with OpenGL ES 2.0.”

It can be installed with a single line command on mainstream Linux distros mostly. It is very simple and easy to use. Its man page doesn’t say much about it either, it is a pretty minimalistic tool. Anyways it does what we need it to do and does it quite fine. I’m not sure if this tool will work with proprietary drivers(I tested it with open source drivers). Try it out for yourself.

It is not a multiplatform tool it is only available for Linux so it is useless if you want to test inter-platform performance. But that is when the second program of this list comes into play.

# Install glmark2 tool.

sudo apt-get install glmark2

or

sudo rpm install glmark2

or

build glmark2 from source.

To launch glmark2 you need to just type in glmark2. But if you want to test your discrete AMD GPU with glmark2 then you might wanna look at this tutorial. This tutorial is about launching app or tool using discrete AMD GPU, use the same steps to run glmark2 using your AMD GPU.

2- Unigine benchmarks

I didn’t specify any specific product of Unigine because you can download and use any of them for free and start testing according to your needs and condition. It is more flexible this way. I would go with the heaven benchmark just because of its smaller size and also because I have a pretty old GPU chip onboard.

Go to Unigine’s website to download the benchmark program of your choice.

The best thing about the Unigine benchmarks is that it is an inter-platform product. Meaning it will work on Linux, Windows, and Mac. You can easily compare the performance of your GPU chip on Windows and Linux with this program.

The process of setting up and using this program is pretty standard on both Windows and Linux. Now it might get a little complicated on Linux but I’m sure most can get through easily. Read the README and other documentation for files for reference. Or maybe I’ll write a post on setting up Unigine benchmarks and provide the link here very soon, we’ll see. Comment down if you are having trouble setting it up.

To run this benchmark using your discrete AMD GPU follow the instructions provided in the link above(look under the glmark2 header).

So this is it for this article. Hope it helped you in some way. Have a good day.

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