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. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Radeon Graphics Yield Mixed Results With Linux 3.17 Kernel
  2. AMD's RadeonSI Driver Sped Up A Lot This Summer
  3. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  4. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Preview Of AMD Radeon R9 290 Hawaii Open-Source Performance
  2. Intel Bay Trail Performance With Linux 3.16/3.17 & Mesa 10.3
  3. EFL Sees A Ton Of Work Following Recent v1.11 Release
  4. ARM Talks Up Wayland For Mali
  5. GNOME/GTK+ Human Interface Guidelines Updated
  6. Robocraft Is Rolling Over To Linux
  7. The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter
  8. Wayland & Weston 1.6 Alpha Released
  9. A New First-Person Mystery Game Might Be Coming To Linux
  10. Patch By Patch, LLVM Clang Gets Better At Building The Linux Kernel
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  2. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  3. OSS radeon driver for A10-7850K (Kaveri)
  4. Could be avoid to use flash for show the benchmark on the articles?
  5. American Citizens running AMOK for food stamps
  6. What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?
  7. Company I work for is looking to contribute to Open Source projects... but wrongly?
  8. Microsoft vs. Campaign