AMD vs NVIDIA

So I am going to be shopping to build a new gaming desktop pretty soon. I’ve been using NVIDIA gpu for many years but running under Linux I have had many headaches. I have heard that there is better Linux support in AMD gpu than NVIDIA.
Is this true? Is AMD better than NVIDIA in Linux, particularly in Fedora?
If you use AMD, what has been your experience, both in everyday use and in gaming?

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Better is completely subjective.

Less headaches and manual intervention is certainly true, in most cases, with AMD graphics, vs NVIDIA graphics, on linux.

That being said, there are NVIDIA users on any number of linux distributions that are perfectly happy with their experience, and don’t seem to have issues (or at least they aren’t talking about whatever issues they may have)

I’d personally recommend AMD, just because there’s no need for third-party drivers for good performance.

I bought an AMD graphics card last year. Because of some issues, I switched from Nvidia RTX 3070 to AMD RX 7800 XT and I thought that buying an AMD graphics card would be the best solution for Linux. But if you want to buy such an AMD card, please be warned. Actually, there are some issues with this card also. Some distributions are not detecting the card, either because the kernel is too low or because the Linux firmware is too old.

I wasn’t able to install Debian 12.5 or Debian Testing, because of that. Also, latest kernel 6.7.4 has issues with that card. It doesn’t matter if you are using Fedora, Arch or another distribution. If you want to do a restart, the monitor is going to sleep, and you have to shut down the computer completely.

Yes, all of these issues will be fixed in the future … That’s what I hope. But there are a lot of Nvidia users having trouble and also AMD users with latest graphics cards are having trouble.

Nvidia requires either their proprietary driver or Nouveau. Nouveau is reverse engineered without much help from Nvidia and may not work fully, or at all with a given card, though in the distant past i have had good results with it. FWIU, the proprietary driver working at all or with a given kernel is largely, if not completely, dependent on Nvidia, and using a proprietary graphics driver (especially from untrustworthy companies) is not acceptable, IMHO, from a security perspective. If you choose to buy proprietary hardware from a historically FOSS-hostile company, IMO, you should expect to “manage” your card’s drivers, compat, features, and integration yourself.

AMD usually works without you having to do anything. It is true that newer graphics cards, or any other hardware, may not work with a given kernel yet, regardless of manufacturer, so i would buy a model that is old enough and known to work well.

As an experienced and dedicated nvidia user my perspective is very different than the earlier posts.

To date, and with many years of using nvidia I have never had an issue with the proprietary driver. I exclusively install the drivers from the rpmfusion repo as I have (in past times) had problems with the drivers installed directly from nvidia or from other 3rd party repos. Never a problem for me since I switched to using the drivers from the rpmfusion repo.

I have a laptop with dual GPU and desktops machines that are exclusively nvidia. I use both wayland and xorg DEs. Some apps (steam notably) work best with xorg but most work well with either DE.

Reading posts about AMD GPUs it seems the newest are poorly supported on Fedora (and other distros) at present with the newer kernels. Based on the issues reported and personal experience I would have to recommend nvidia as the GPU of choice, particularly if selecting one of the newest GPU cards… YMMV.

I have just upgrade from NVidia RTX3060 to and AMD RX7800RT.
I dual boot Windows 11 and Fedora 39.

I have Windows for two reasons, playing games that do not work under linux and developing cross platform open source code. I also have macOS.

The main reason I did this is to stop having to use the rpmfusion NVidia drivers.
My KDE plasma 5 was plagued by problems with nvidia support, I had stopped the upgrades to kwin because of the show stoppers I hit.
In testing KDE plasma 6 under nvidia I found that things did not work well at all.
Then rawhide kernel was not supported by nvidia so I stopped testing.

I have had the rx7800 installed for only for 2 days but I like the AMD GPU so far.

I’m still learning to configure the card in Windows 11, there is a lot of tunable knobs in the config program to play with.

Under Fedora it just worked. However someone did find a bug if you reboot,
which I have confirmed and reported in the Fedora bug tracker.
But it looks to be fixed in the 6.8-rc4 in rawhide that I’m now running.
KDE plasma wayland is working and is noticably faster then on the older RTX3060.

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I started out as an Nvidia die hard, and why would you not, given what was coming out of AMD for years and years compared to nvidias flashy cards.
But since this whole wayland road opened up, and a desire to be using wayland rather than X11, i too moved to AMD, and from that perspective I am not disappointed.
The AMD rx6800XT that i have performs admirably as a display card, but that alone does not make it worth investing in something high end that costs above £600.
If your into games, then having a high end card that works is great and i cant fault the AMD card ive bought for that, but if you spent upwards of £600 on a card, then other than games you have to ask yourself, what are you buying this card for.
More and more apps are starting to make use of a GPU as a co-processor to the main CPU , add to that the AI bandwagon, and your choises are not so straight forward.
I still have the 1070TI in the second slot on my motherboard as a compute only card, but its only got 8 gig, whereas the 6800XT has 16 gig.
AI tensor heavy apps like stable diffusion need lots of memory, even 16 gig is on the edge of not enough, and 8 gig is definitively not enough.
I also use an app called upscayl that rather than using the CUDA or Rocm API uses vulcan, and so it can work on either of the cards, as it only needs 2-3 gig ram.
Stable diffusion or other similar AI based workloads use tensors, and the nvidia card has anything from 2-700 tensor processors, and this makes a huge difference in the performance of that kind of workload.
So while the AMD cards are easily the best for linux compatibility and trouble free display on wayland, the nvidia cards are far ahead in the AI world.
Maybe RDNA4 might be different, but choose based on what your needs are.
regards peter

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From what I am reading so far, there really is no clear winner or better choice. It seems in different scenarios one brand isn’t really better than the other. This gives me a lot to ponder.
Thank you all for your response. I read them all, took them in with careful consideration and appreciate your time.

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I agree.

I think it is mostly user choice based on what tasks are being run (and weighted by personal preference).

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