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

Shader Optimization Back-End Might Go In For R600g

Mesa

Published on 19 April 2013 01:25 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa
15 Comments

For many months there has been a "shader optimization" branch of Mesa/R600g that sought to rather noticeably boost the performance of the AMD R600 Gallium3D driver. While this work by Vadim Girlin didn't look like it would be merged, after being revived and cleaned-up, it might reach mainline Mesa/Gallium3D as a new performance-boosting option.

Vadim Girlin had been working on shader optimizations for some time to more efficiently generate shader code and the back-end has evolved quite a bit in recent months. Diminishing prospects for this code has been that it doesn't use the R600 LLVM GPU back-end, which will eventually become the default for AMD's Gallium3D driver as it's needed for OpenCL/GPGPU support. With this custom back-end not using LLVM, it looked like it wouldn't be merged, but now the story is different.

Some time has been spent cleaning up the code and also to better isolate this shader optimization back-end from the rest of the R600g driver. Now this back-end is in a rather standalone state that only hooks into the R600g driver in a few spots and the shader code passed to/from the "r600-sb" component is hardware bytecode. With this lower maintenance burden, it stands better chances of being merged for at least a temporary and experimental Mesa build option.

Vadim writes, "this branch already works and provides good results in many cases. That's why I think it makes sense to merge this branch as a non-default backend at least as a temporary solution for shader performance problems."

Aside from faster performance over the open-source Radeon driver's current default back-end and the LLVM back-end, there's also debugging benefits and other advantages to toying with this "r600-sb" implementation.

Some initial benchmark results and other information on the proposal to merge r600-sb into mainline Mesa can be found with this mailing list message. So far the feedback is fairly positive about being able to merge this as at least an experimental option that can be turned on by interested users/developers.

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. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  2. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  3. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
  4. Apotop Wi-Copy
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  2. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  3. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
  4. 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Linux 3.18-rc1 Released One Week Early With Many Changes
  2. The VC4 Gallium3D Driver Is Still Moving Along For The Raspberry Pi
  3. Direct3D 9 Support Might Land Within Mainline Mesa 3D Drivers
  4. OpenGL Preview Benchmarks For NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970
  5. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  6. Vitesse: Using LLVM To Speed Up Databases
  7. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  8. Linux Testing Of The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
  9. Qt 5.4 Now In Beta With Web, Bluetooth LE, Graphics Improvements
  10. AMD's Radeon R9 285 On Linux Offers Good OpenCL Performance
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
  2. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  3. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  4. Open-Source AMD Fusion E-350 Support Takes A Dive
  5. Upgrade to Kaveri, very slow VDPAU performance
  6. ChromeOS Drops Support For EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 File-Systems
  7. Lennart Poettering On The Open-Source Community: A Sick Place To Be In
  8. The Slides Announcing The New "AMDGPU" Kernel Driver