AMD’s Radeon RX 7800 XT is Slower than the RX 6800 XT in Linux Games

Linux gaming is an obscure niche. One that is rapidly growing thanks to its use in handhelds like the Steam Deck. However, there’s a long way to go before it can challenge Windows. Unlike the latter, AMD graphics drivers are much more mature on Linux than its rivals. As shown by the below benchmarks (courtesy of Phoronix), Team Red is the obvious choice here:

The Radeon RX 7600 is markedly faster than the GeForce RTX 4060, while the RX 6700 XT easily beats the RTX 3070 Ti. Higher up, the Radeon RX 6800 squishes the RTX 3080, and so does the RX 7700 XT. Strangely, the RX 6800 XT is faster than the RX 7800 XT. And it is the case in every single game.

One can easily chalk this down to a CPU bottleneck, but looking at RX 6800 XT’s 40 FPS lead in “The Talos Principle” makes me wonder if it has something to do with the drivers or the API. Here, the RX 6800 is nearly as fast as the RX 7800 XT, so it could just be a CPU limitation, but you never know.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a title that scales exceptionally well on fast hardware. And yet again, the RX 6800 XT decisively defeats the RX 7800 XT, while the RTX 3080 moves past the RX 6800. This is the only game tested by Phoronix (till this point) where we see this happen. It is also the only title where the RTX 3070 edges past the RX 6700 XT.

As you can see, most of the GPUs switch places from game to game, but the RX 6800 XT is firmly lodged ahead of the RX 7800 XT, indicating a driver-side issue. F1 2022 produces the same behavior. The 6800 XT is on the top, followed by the 7800 XT and the RTX 3080.

RDNA 3 GPUs don’t seem to have much of an advantage on Linux. Apart from the RX 7800 XT, the RX 7700 XT also loses to the RX 6800 in nearly every game. In the above example, the performance delta is as wide as 26 FPS. It’s not something you see in every CPU-limited scenario.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact:
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