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Adept I

Best AMD GPU for OpenCL on Desktop Machines with Linux Driver support

Hi All.

I wan to buy an AMD GPU card for doing some experiments with OpenCL.

I have NVIDIA cards running opencl on it, but just for comparison purposes.

Could any one suggest me a good (in terms of pric/performance)  GPU card  with less driver issues and able to run OpenCL 2.0 under linux desktop and PCI (PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82G33/G31/P35/P31 Express PCI Express Root Port).

Thank you.

2 Replies
Adept I

The cards that definitely support OpenCL 2.0 are 7790/R7 260/R7 260X, R9 285, and R9 290/290X.

As long as you don't have huge amounts of data to crunch, I would go with 7790 and R7 260/260X. Those are excellent GCN 1.1-based entry cards. They are fairly powerful already. I develop OpenCL programs for academic research, and have had a few interesting experiences with OpenCL across different platforms and hardware. I never needed anything more powerful than a 7790.

Beware that AMD's early 14.xx Linux drivers have a funny memory leak problem. If you use CodeXL to monitor GPU usage, it always complains about that. I don't know if this has been fixed - it's not a general problem either since the only negative effect I've noticed is slower data transfer rate. NVidia's opencl driver, on the other hand, is very robust and stable, but only supports OpenCL 1.1.

Under Windows, this memory leak problem doesn't exist. All my opencl programs also run marginally faster as a result.

Hope this this helpful!

I will go for 7790/R7 as you mentioned. Yes the NVIDIA drivers are most robust but some specialized OpenCL functions in the latest releases are not  supported.  I wanted to explore OpenCL 2.0 for the Dynamic Parallelism feature.

Thank you very much for the helpful answer.