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AMD Announces Radeon RX 7900 XTX / RX 7900 XT Graphics Cards - Linux Driver Support Expectations

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  • #61
    Originally posted by albatorsk View Post
    I'm a long time Geforce user and I'm seriously considering getting a new RX 7900, as I especially like AMD's stance on open source, but I am utterly confused about the driver situation. I'm using Ubuntu and I'm used only have one driver to install (nvidia-driver-###) and then I'm all set. What's messing with my mind is the bit below:

    To an outsider like it it seems like there are several different drivers, or combination of drivers. Will I (most likely) need to upgrade to a newer kernel than what's included in Ubuntu 22.10 by default? What is "the RADV Vulkan driver". How does it relate to "RadeonSI Gallium3D", if at all? How do I figure out what I should use? Can both be installed at the same time? Do they provide the same functionality? Is RADV required for Vulkan? Does that driver also support OpenGL for all non-Vulkan titles? There's also something called AMDGPU and AMDGPU-PRO. How do they fit in with all this?

    Or am I just overthinking all this, and all I have to do is plop in an AMD graphics card and it'll just work?
    AMDGPU-PRO is AMD's equivalent to your proprietary NVIDIA driver package. It is something you can install on stock ubuntu (or even older LTS Ubuntu) and have everything work, useful for professionals who need a standardized driver package.

    However, that's usually irrelevant, because AMD's drivers are open-source and part of upstream projects (linux kernel, mesa). So yes, you can just "plop in an AMD graphics card and it will just work" ... assuming your distro's versions of linux and mesa are recent enough to have support for your hardware. Hence all the talk in Phoronix articles around new graphics card launches about when support will land.

    Distros like Ubuntu (unlike bleeding edge distros like Arch) tend to lag behind and not have the latest versions of the kernel/mesa/etc. So if you get brand new AMD hardware soon after it was launched, it might NOT work out of the box. If that's the case, you need to find a way to get the newer versions of Linux/Mesa (via PPAs / other repositories) or install AMDGPU-PRO. If you wait a few months / until the next Ubuntu release, then it will just work out of the box without installing anything.

    All the other "fancy technical names" refer to the individual "components" of the drivers:

    - AMDGPU: the driver in the kernel (Linux kernel module) that implements the raw hardware access and everything else is built on; usually tied to your Linux version (unless you get the AMDGPU-PRO version).
    - RadeonSI Gallium3D: the OpenGL support, part of Mesa; tied to your Mesa version.
    - RADV: the Vulkan support that is part of Mesa; tied to your Mesa version; this is the unofficial/community vulkan driver NOT developed by AMD, comes by default on most distros
    - AMDVLK: AMD's official opensource Vulkan driver (based on the same code as the one in PRO and Windows), not installed by default on most distros; RADV is often good enough or even better anyway


    So, to recap, when you install Ubuntu, you get Linux (which includes AMDGPU) and Mesa (which includes RadeonSI and RADV) installed by default out of the box. However, they might be outdated and not support the latest hardware.

    If you want an alternative Vulkan driver that is developed officially by AMD (and expected to work/perform the same as Windows, for better or for worse), you can install AMDVLK (opensource). If you install AMDGPU-PRO, you also get the AMD Vulkan driver from there.​

    If you want a single proprietary driver package (like NVIDIA), that's AMDGPU-PRO. It installs all driver components as officially provided by AMD: their latest kernel driver, vulkan driver, opengl driver, ...


    • #62
      Originally posted by Hibbelharry View Post
      in a perfect world, things should just magically work and read people's minds. but that's a perfect world, utopian thinking. real world, things don't work that way. the control panel is about basic control. its about tweaking, its about monitoring, its about enabling and disabling stuff because not everything is universal. and this may come to a surprise, but there are people that use their video cards as more than just a display adapter.

      here is my radeon control panel on windows 11:

      the control panel gives a stupid easy way to configure fan profiles and other stuff like overclocking, underclocking, boost behavior, etc. i use it because i hate zero rpm and always disable, and stock firmware fan control maxes out at 50% fan speed and i set it to max out at 100%. cooler the card, the higher it boosts itself. but sadly, you have people who care more about muh sound, than muh performance.:

      provides basic stats of the gpu + even the rest of the system:

      has an ability to record game play:

      per video game settings and even records basic stuff like average fps per game and how many hours of game play:

      you DO NOT want radeon chill enabled and "just work" universally. that is subjective and per game basis and NOT EVERY SINGLE PERSON WILL WANT IT ENABLED. same thing goes with super resolution, image sharpening, and other features like enhanced sync, or enabling disabling freesync in certain games because some rare occasions you might have flickering problems or crashes with it enabled.

      if linux ever wants to grow in the enthusiast market, with out a doubt stuff like amd gpus need a control panel for at bare minimum overclocking support. overclocking scene is big and there are a lot of people that don't even game, they just love overclocking and run benchmarks. i never understood why linux didn't try to really focus on that market. you have people who love tweaking hardware and tweaking their system to extract every last drop of performance. with linux open nature, linux is a dream in the tweaking regard. where you can go as far as mess with your kernel and run your own custom kernel. linux SHOULD be the defacto overclocking and benchmarking platform.

      but ranting aside, i would love for amd to finally have an official supported control panel on linux that provides similar functionality.
      That stuff comes in a 500+ megabyte download. Wtf.


      • #63
        You know what a new display engine means, boys? Get ready for another two million lines of autogenerated register definition header files. :+ )


        • #64
          Originally posted by Hibbelharry View Post
          Except next to noone uses any of those panels, even in Windows.

          Mostly useless bling bling.

          Things should just work with no adjustments needed, thats convenience.
          This post is a perfect description of how ridiculously out of touch the Linux community is to its own software.

          Linux is a million times less convenient and full of gotchas, config files, tweakable things, and configuration requirements than Windows is.
          I dropped Windows to come to Linux and I sincerely miss the simplicity of usage and lack of necessary documentation reading every few days. My PC used to "just work", provided I accepted it to be owned by MS. Now I get to spend hours every week having to understand why X doesn't work out of the box and learning tons of stuff I don't care about and never wanted to learn. I get to see glitches and bugs that come from things that are staples in Windows since forever. I have to mind tons of little things and learn a billion little cogs in the machine.

          Linux isn't getting popular because it's full of options that require hours of learning.
          Windows is still dominating because despite having almost no options, it requires almost no learning.
          The day the Linux community realises that their problem is that they can't look at the inconvenience that using Linux is, then Linux will actually take a step forward.

          Linux offers all the choice in the universe with no oversight: it's a mess of programs and features that do not mesh together and each require their own little world of config. You can find posts online saying "Wayland is the future, but it's not for right now" that are 15 years old.
          Some of the "advanced" features that just work decently enough anywhere else are a 50% chance of failing for some reason on Linux. VRR, multi monitor, an external hdd that you just unplug and forget to plug back when you restart the PC...all of this is seamless on Windows and a pain on Linux, crashes all over, glitches of all types, thing won't even start because /etc/fstab expects an HDD that I unplugged. So now I have to rely on the DE to mount my external HDD because the kernel is thought up in a 1970s server fashion where a missing drive is somehow a critical failure that won't let the thing come out of hibernation without some endless timeout.
          I still am baffled that programs like "find" which are the most obvious of the obvious, require a syntax like "find . -name name". It's so out of the 80s with 0 self-cricitism on its impracticality that it's just shocking. So because Linux is the Land of Freedom, you have cool things like "fd" that replace it. Great. But now we get a useless POS program in the core that will never be removed, and we have a better one that people have to actually find.

          Linux is FULL of extremely deprecated programs and principles, design ideas that have nothing to do with a modern desktop usage. It's full of stuff that requires to understand a certain config's syntax, language and expectations. Your GRUBs, your Xs, your DEs, your weird awk, sed, find, grep and all their million flags.
          If Linux had any sense of "convenience with no adjustments", there's a thousand things that should've been done in the past 20 years. Unfortunately, none of them will happen because they'd require an actual authority. They'd require to forcibly remove X for Wayland, to kick out old 80s programs for modern replacements, to standardize ALL config files to something modern like TOML, YAML, JSON, to have clear cut definitions of responsibilities for each programs. Dumb but pure example: my notifications on Linux sometimes don't disappear. They don't do it even after hours. Why? Because the spec says that it's the sender's job to give a timeout. If it doesn't, it just stays until I manually click. Is there a way to automate this away? Sure. You just need to read however many online pages and explanations and you'll eventually script something away. Meanwhile in Windows the thing stays 15s and goes away and MS doesn't care about the sender or the spec.

          The absolute problem in Linux is that they refuse to see the inadequacy of their OS towards the common user's case. The common user wants simplicity and no surprises. A nice config program that's bloated and pretty looking and offers buttons with labels that do things instantly. A 'find name" that finds the thing called name. A config system that is quick to read, universal and doesn't demand schooling to use it. A freaking "I shut down my external DAC AFTER I shut down the PC, and when I start it again, it doesn't hang on boot like a moron because it can't find the DAC anymore and just lets me restart the DAC in 10 seconds".

          Linux is everything but convenient. And as someone who actually made the big jump and refused to have even a Windows VM on my machine, I find the inconvenience of Linux to be a recurring problem that plops back pretty much every 2-3 weeks. Uninstall a game? Good luck getting it to start when you reinstall it. Your mouse pointer somehow won't let your character change direction in game? Just Alt-Tab in and out till it fixes itself. Hardware encoding won't work after you spent literal hours trying to install all the VA-API and extra stuff? Tough luck, read more and maybe you'll find it, or maybe it won't work.

          I usually wouldn't be so pissed off about Linuxians being so self-obsessed with the Righteousness of Their Mighty OS, but talking about "convenience with no adjustments" is just pushing it. Linux is the most inconvenient big OS. I must regrettably say that I jumped to Linux to own my PC instead of MS owning it, and it is an incredibly more complicated, annoying and time-consuming experience than Windows. It's getting to the point where every bug I find, every inconvenience that demands more reading about specifics due to a poor design done in the 1990s, is pushing me back to just burn Win10 back on my SSD and ignore Linux as a daily OS.

          When your OS is so much more inconvenient to use than the competition, and so incredibly full of specifics that demand insane amounts of time sunk into them instead of "just working without adjustments", that people seriously consider going back to being owned by Microsoft rather than dealing with your shit, at the very least don't have the arrogance of giving lectures about convenience and how things should work without adjusments!

          Oh and also, if people want to have useless bling bling, it's their choice. Especially when the bling bling is easy, practical and nice looking, and doesn't demand 3 hours of reading man pages and stack overflow or arch linux forums reading.


          • #65
            Originally posted by theriddick View Post
            Shame Linux won't/can't get any of these special low latency and special driver software improvements that come with the Windows AMD software suite.
            It's one of those unfortunate loses, even NVIDIA cards loose allot of those features.
            X11 and Wayland just too limited in what they can do atm, maybe in 10 years they'll catch up. Hope so.
            Mesa already implements the equivalent of the "anti lag" features.


            • #66
              Originally posted by agd5f View Post

              Mesa already implements the equivalent of the "anti lag" features.
              That is interesting.
              Most of the discussion above is due to ignorance from end users (including myself) of all the features Mesa has enabled by default already.
              ... and the issue does not sit (only) with end-user, it is hard to find out what 'end-user' feature are available in Mesa per driver (aka RadeonSI, RADV, etc)

              On my end I game under wayland because by empirical tests I found out that it provides higher min FPS, absence of stuttering compared to X11 (e.g.: Cyberpunk 2077, 1440p, ultra settings, rx 6800, RADV), it does not present screen tearing even when fps below monitor refresh rate and vsync off, ... and no input lag ...
              (no intention to open a silly war wayland vs x11, only my empirical experience)


              • #67
                Originally posted by piotrj3 View Post

                I strongly agree and I vote for it with my hands and legs. IT is even ironic we have such tool for Nvidia (Greenwithenvy) that is closed source but we don't have one for AMD.
                You’re referring to an open source overclocking GUI that maintainer is most likely switching to a AMD GPU. There is a ton for AMD too, most common one used is called CoreCtrl.

                System utility designed to provide information, control the fans and overclock your NVIDIA card
                Last edited by WannaBeOCer; 04 November 2022, 11:57 AM.


                • #68
                  Originally posted by ms178 View Post
                  Item 1 and 2 - I'd argue that the chiplet design is exactly meant to drive down costs to save on die space on the expansive node.
                  Using chiplets just lets them get more perf/$. It still doesn't mean their price window for the design was where you want it to be. Don't forget that chiplets also add some overhead, in terms of needing an interposer and additional packaging costs. So, they're not a free lunch. They just make it more economical to scale up.

                  Originally posted by ms178 View Post
                  You might have seen the news about new GPU vendors from China (albeit the US government might force them out of business for protecting their own companies disguised as "security measure").
                  The problem is China's IP laws, where the government can compel any employee to divulge any technical details for "national security" reasons, though China has a broad definition of national security that even sometimes includes economic interests. To protect your IP from that, you basically have no choice but to limit how much of your IP makes it into China. Or, would you prefer to see China rob the world of all its IP and then run all non-Chinese companies out of business? The national security aspect merely ups the stakes.

                  Open competition requires fairness. And until China demonstrates that it truly understands that, I think there are going to be barriers in place.

                  Originally posted by ms178 View Post
                  Item 3 - You are not quite up-to-date on the shipping costs: Recent figures show rates to the US west coast plunged 20% in one week in early October alone, to $2,361.
                  Changes in shipping costs take a while to get reflected in product pricing. Thanks for sharing the news, because that suggests we can anticipate further price cuts.

                  Originally posted by ms178 View Post
                  Item 4 - No, TSMC just cut orders to their suppliers by 50% [Source]​. I think that figure speaks for itself for how much backlog is still left. In fact most of their customers face inventory issues right now and cut new orders.
                  They order in advance, as well as selling fab capacity in advance. The wafers coming out of their fabs were probably purchased about a year ago. So, it'll take time for any slack to get reflected in their pricing.

                  ...however, where TSMC has a technology lead, I think they'll still command premium pricing. It's more on nodes like N6 and N7 where we should expect to see the main price reductions.


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by WannaBeOCer View Post

                    You’re referring to an open source overclocking GUI that maintainer is most likely switching to a AMD GPU. There is a ton for AMD too, most common one used is called CoreCtrl.

                    Additional to that, with wayland-based compositors, only the compositor can control display related features so a vendor specific control panel that controls display related features is not really possible unless you added support to every wayland compositor out there and have every compositor accept the patches so they make it into distros, etc.


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by drakonas777 View Post
                      VEGAs were sold near the loss,
                      True. The mining boom is what really saved Vega from being a disaster for AMD.

                      Vega seemed to be intended to compete with higher-end Nvidia cards, which would've meant AMD could price it accordingly. The fact that Vega 64 couldn't touch a GTX 1080 Ti meant it had to slot into the next lower pricing tier, which was barely break-even for them.