R600 SB Shader Optimizations May Become The Default
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 22 August 2013 at 06:13 PM EDT. Add A Comment
Vadim Girlin has proposed a Mesa patch that would enable the "R600 SB" shader optimizations to be enabled by default for the Radeon Gallium3D driver. This R600 SB support has already become very popular with Linux graphics enthusiasts for its performance-enhancing abilities.

The R600 SB shader optimization back-end is the work of Vadim Girlin and was committed earlier this year for the soon-to-be-out Mesa 9.2 release. By simply setting R600_DEBUG=sb with Mesa 9.2, the shader optimization back-end can be enabled and Phoronix tests have shown the performance can be increased significantly.

Vadim has worked out most of the GLSL shader optimization issues in the past few months, seen the very positive results, and is now hoping to enable the back-end by default. The performance can improve by quite a lot for OpenGL games and applications making use of shaders.

Vadim mailed out a patch on Thursday that would enable the R600 Gallium3D driver to use this shader optimization back-end by default while allowing users to optionally disable the back-end through the R600_DEBUG=nosb environment variable.

The patch has yet to be merged into mainline Mesa but so far it's been positively reviewed by AMD's Marek Olšák.

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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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