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Thread: r600g or Radeonsi?

  1. #1
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    Default r600g or Radeonsi?

    I just recently discovered that there is a difference between r600g and Radeonsi. I'm not exactly sure what that difference is.. Basically what I am wondering is that since I currently have a Radeon 6770 in my computer, I am using the r600g driver, right?. I would like to upgrade to something like an R7 260 at some point in the future but according to the feature matrix, it may not be supported. It appears the most recent card supported by the open source Radeon driver is the HD 8000 series.

    If I upgraded to a card that uses the Radeonsi driver, could I expect a performance boost? It sounds like most of the recent development on the open source driver is happening to the Radeonsi driver..

  2. #2
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    RadeonSI and RadeonCI GPUs use the GCN architecture. GPUs before that which used VLI4/VLI5 architecture and are termed as R600g. Technically, you are using the open source radeon drivers which supports all of the above if you have a recent version of mesa/xorg drivers with an updated kernel.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bockscar View Post
    If I upgraded to a card that uses the Radeonsi driver, could I expect a performance boost? It sounds like most of the recent development on the open source driver is happening to the Radeonsi driver..
    r600g is more stable and mature - radeonsi isnt there yet.

  4. #4
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    So if I wanted to try out a new Radeon card with RadeonSI, how would I do it? It appears RadeonSI isn't supported by the default packages in Ubuntu yet.

  5. #5
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    If on Ubuntu you can use oibaf's ppa...

    https://launchpad.net/~oibaf/+archive/graphics-drivers/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bockscar View Post
    So if I wanted to try out a new Radeon card with RadeonSI, how would I do it? It appears RadeonSI isn't supported by the default packages in Ubuntu yet.
    What do you mean? It is supported by the default packages in Ubuntu. I've been using my Radeon HD 7950 in Ubuntu since Ubuntu 13.04 -- now on 14.04.

  7. #7
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    http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1...SO-1402021SO83

    6770 vs 7790(r7 260x) in ubuntu and opensuse

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmstick View Post
    What do you mean? It is supported by the default packages in Ubuntu. I've been using my Radeon HD 7950 in Ubuntu since Ubuntu 13.04 -- now on 14.04.
    What kind of fancy magic are you doing it make it work? I have an R7 260X and the open source drivers don't work with it at all. I can't even get Ubuntu to boot up in "low graphics" mode with it. I have no choice but to use Catalyst 14.1.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bockscar View Post
    If I upgraded to a card that uses the Radeonsi driver, could I expect a performance boost?
    Maybe. While the new hardware would be a bit faster (12-45% depending on the metric), the radeonsi driver is less optimized than r600. They're also different drivers with different strengths and weaknesses. You may find r600 to be faster in one application, but slower in another.

    Right now, for radeonsi you will always want to use the most recent release of everything in your graphics stack - kernel, libdrm, xf86-video-ati, mesa etc. That's a lot of manual work and will lead you away from the packages your distribution supports.

    r600 also has its own 2d/exa driver, while radeonsi uses glamor to accelerate 2d via 3d. glamor is kinda beta-ish. 2d operations aren't vsynced (if tearing while scrolling bothers you), and some 2d operations are horribly slow. For example, scrolling in a urxvt window increases my cpu load to 100% and is still slow. So anytime I'm compiling something, I need to minimize the terminal or it'll take forever.
    glamor isn't very stable, either. Upgrading X, or upgrading glamor, or upgrading mesa, and suddenly it breaks horribly and it won't start X. I haven't found a way to get glamor to work with mesa 10 yet, even though I'd like to use mesa 10 for the performance improvements it'll bring.

    This should hopefully start to improve once the next major X release hits around july. Glamor will be integrated into X, which would resolve most of the versioning conflicts. Glamor developement will thus be easier and should hopefully speed up.

    So maybe a year until that hits stable distributions?


    I upgraded from a HD 5770 to a R9 270. I don't really regret it since I wanted the upgrade for windows games (where it really is a lot faster). However, I'm also using this computer for programming work on linux, mostly 2d applications, and those were noticeably more responsive with r600. Heck, my notebook with a E2-1800 / HD 7340 APU has faster 2D and doesn't require me to fiddle with bleeding edge packages.

    Going from your GPU to merely a R7 260 is just small hardware improvement. Unless you're dual-booting, I don't think its worth the money nor dealing with the troubles of radeonsi.

    Or did you have any specific applications in mind that you need to render faster?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohcQaH View Post
    Or did you have any specific applications in mind that you need to render faster?
    Not necessarily. I just felt it was time for an upgrade and the hardware store had this hard for a really good price. The card itself works pretty good with the latest Catalyst drivers (14.1), however it falls flat on its face with the RadeonSI drivers. I expect that by the end of this year, the performance will be at least on par with the r600 driver.

    As a side note, Ubuntu 13.10 boots straight into the terminal with the standard open source drivers. OpenSuse loads the Radeon driver just fine. Not sure what that's about. I've always had hardware issues with Ubuntu, so there's that.

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