1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

The State Of Open-Source Radeon Driver Features

AMD

Published on 16 January 2013 12:37 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
223 Comments

As a result of a discussion about when the AMD open-source drivers will be feature complete, AMD's John Bridgman summarized the state of some Radeon driver features like UVD video decoding, Hyper-Z, Hybrid Graphics, OpenCL, and other AMD Radeon GPU functionality on Linux.

Per this post by AMD's John Bridgman:
* Video Decode (XvMC/VDPAU/VA-API) on the 3D engine -- Christian and others put a lot of work into this and concluded that it wasn't likely to work particularly well for H.264 using the graphics pipeline. Christian thought that compute shaders (with their lower overhead) might be a sufficient improvement but at the time the compute infrastructure wasn't in place. Short term focus is on investigating whether we can expose UVD support (internal), and building up compute infrastructure via OpenCL efforts below.

* Video Decode (XvMC/VDPAU/VA-API) on UVD - see above

* Hybrid Graphics - lots of work on this over the last year, mostly by airlied

* Stippled Primitives - don't think anyone is looking at this, or if there is much use outside of a few workstation apps

* Smooth Primitives - ditto

* Tessellation Shader Stages - believe this is GL4 functionality so would probably get looked at after 3.3 is done

* Geometry Shaders - this is GL3.2 so "it's number just came up" -- article in the last few days about work on this by airlied

* Hyper-Z - lots of work on this over the last year but don't think it's ready to turn on by default yet

* CrossFire (multi-card) - don't think anyone is looking at this -- improving performance of single card 3D is generally felt to be better use of time

* Compute (OpenCL) - lots of work on this over the last year by tstellard and a some community developers
Bridgman additionally wrote:
One or the other of the Video Decode features may be "nice to have" or "must have" for media playback depending on the codec used (some codecs are not supported by UVD anyways), resolution of the video (lower res videos are easier to play without decode acceleration), and whether your machine has enough CPU/GPU power to play it acceptably without decode acceleration.

Hybrid Graphics support is important if you bought a laptop that uses hybrid graphics (typically an IGP and GPU together), not used otherwise.

HyperZ is interesting because once all the quirks are figured out it has the potential to add maybe 10% improvement in 3D gaming performance, which is definitely nice.

The rest are probably not important to most people for everyday use.

Note that even if a GL level or GL feature is not needed today it probably will be needed for some game at some point in the future so worth working on today anyways.

In case it helps, the most requested additions seem to be (a) improved power management (current PM implementation depends on having fairly complete power tables in the VBIOS and increasingly that is not the case), (b) video decode acceleration for HTPC-type applications, (c) improved OpenCL support.
Now join the discussion about the feature completeness of the open-source AMD Linux graphics drivers.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  2. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  3. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
  4. AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
  2. Is The Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Fast Enough For Steam On Linux Gaming?
  3. Linux 3.18 File-System Performance Minimally Changed But Possible Regressions
  4. AMD Radeon Gallium3D Is Catching Up & Sometimes Beating Catalyst On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. There's New In-Fighting Over The Future Of Compiz
  2. GTK+ Inspector Gains More Features Ahead Of GNOME 3.16
  3. Clang 3.6 Will Hopefully Have OpenMP Support
  4. A Go Front-End Could Soon Be Landing In LLVM
  5. Linux 3.18-rc6 Released, A Worrisome Regression Remains
  6. HandBrake 0.10 Brings H.265 & VP8 Encoders
  7. Gngr: A New Web Browser Focused On Privacy
  8. Linux 3.18 Kernel: Not Much Change With Intel Haswell Performance
  9. More File-System Tests Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel
  10. Using NVIDIA's NVENC On Linux With FFmpeg
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  2. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  3. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  4. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  5. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  6. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  7. Script for Fan Speed Control
  8. Debian Init System Coupling Vote Results