A Linux 4.5-rc1 Kernel With AMDGPU PowerPlay Enabled For Ubuntu Systems
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 25 January 2016 at 01:31 PM EST. 18 Comments
RADEON --
Here's a fresh kernel spin of the brand new Linux 4.5-rc1 kernel with the latest AMDGPU PowerPlay bits enabled.

While the Ubuntu Kernel Mainline PPA continues producing daily Linux kernel Git builds, sadly they do not yet enable the CONFIG_AMD_DRM_POWERPLAY Kconfig option needed for compiling the PowerPlay support in the AMDGPU driver. Thus even with the latest Ubuntu daily kernel, you won't get any decent performance out of this driver. Hopefully they'll end up enabling this option in the Ubuntu kernel builds by the time Linux 4.5 is stable. Upstream, this option is disabled by default.

Therefore I went ahead and spun up a Linux 4.5-rc1 kernel for Ubuntu x86_64 systems with this kernel enabled. However, even with this option enabled, you still need to pass the amdgpu.powerplay=1 kernel module parameter for enabling the support at runtime, as previously detailed in How To Use AMDGPU PowerPlay On The Linux 4.5 Kernel. But at least now you don't need to rebuild this kernel yourself.

Additionally, this kernel build I uploaded today also enables CONFIG_DRM_AMDGPU_CIK. This option enables the AMDGPU DRM driver to work for Sea Islands GPUs. This was the unofficial option for pre-Tonga hardware where AMD had initially developed this driver but then disabled the support since the CIK GPUs are already supported by Radeon DRM. However, given the new Catalyst driver and forthcoming Vulkan driver being tied to the AMDGPU driver, enabling AMDGPU support for older GCN GPUs is one of the options being looked at by AMD. So if you want to test it, go ahead and try this kernel.

You can download this AMDGPU PowerPlay-enabled Linux 4.5-rc1 kernel build via Phoronix.net.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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