Integrated Intel vs discrete AMD GPU on open source drivers

In this article you are gonna see how good is are OPEN source drivers with discrete GPU. Normally discrete GPU is supposed to perform better than integrated GPU but is it true if open source driver is handling things instead of proprietary drivers released by the vendors.

This article is not a total waste because most vendors don’t release proprietary drivers of all of their products for Linux and you have to rely on open source drivers. Probably because gaming in Linux is not mainstream. Well, it should be obvious that performance may differ from product to product. I’m not saying it holds true for everything,

I’m just sharing what I have maybe it will save some time for a person or answer somebody’s question. I have a laptop which comes with a discrete AMD Radeon r5 M430 and an integrated Intel HD 620 GPU. One of those hybrid setups. I would have no problems related to GPU if I was using Windows as my primary OS but I recently migrated to Linux.

AMD doesn’t provide any kind of Proprietary driver for the AMD GPU I have onboard for Linux. Oh yes, of course, they provide an official driver for Windows. Because of all the above reasons I had to rely on xorg open source drivers that come default with Ubuntu. And I wanted the answers to some of the questions I had questions “How good is this xorg driver with my discrete GPU? Is it even worth using? How well it performs against my integrated Intel GPU being on open source driver?

And I couldn’t seem to find clear answers to those elsewhere so I went ahead and benchmarked both the GPU. But please do keep this in mind that this test was only performed with AMD Radeon R5 M430 and Intel HD 620 GPU on my laptop. So I’m not claiming the information and conclusion to hold true for every case.

Okay, then let’s get started with the real thing now. I’m running the glmark2 benchmark on both the GPU under the same environment and conditions to draw conclusions.

Integrated Intel HD 620 GPU scores on glmark2 benchmark

glmark2 benchmark scores of intel hd 620 integrated GPU on Linux

So here are the results. The score could have been a little better maybe a 100 to 150 FPS more, a few processes were running while I ran this benchmark. And this holds true for the both GPU.

AMD Radeon R5  M430 GPU scores on glmark2 benchmark

Opps the image that lived here was accidentally deleted. But the scores were bad really bad.

I could really see and feel the difference the first time I ran the benchmark using AMD Radeon R5 M430 GPU after running the benchmark on Intel HD 620 and I was really disappointed. The discrete GPU which was supposed to THE performer is not doing well at all with those open source drivers on Linux.

And if you are wondering if I performed the same test with the latest version of mesa drivers then yes I also tried it the latest version of mesa driver to make sure. And also I tried to install the proprietary drivers of R5 M230 manually with high hopes because I somewhere read that driver of M230 work fine with M330 anyways and M430 is just an overclocked version of M330, go figure. But I was let down. Nothing else seemed to work even after days of research. The pain and struggle were real lol.


I decided I will write a conclusion part for this article because I just wrote it spontaneously. Purpose of this article is most likely to be misunderstood.

Basically, this was the test I ran to see if I could get a little better gaming experience on my Linux machine even without proprietary drivers for the GPU on board. And the result is clear as crystal, Intel’s integrated GPU works better than the discrete one with the open source drivers.

I’m going to do a few more tests with my GPU so that this article will make a little more sense. It will be like an article series. Makes most sense when you read all of them. I will link to those new tests as soon as I perform them on appropriate places.

I hope this article provided you with some value and probably answered some of your questions. This is it for this article.

Have a good day.

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