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The Feature Differences Now Between AMD's Two OpenGL & Two Vulkan Linux Drivers

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  • The Feature Differences Now Between AMD's Two OpenGL & Two Vulkan Linux Drivers

    Phoronix: The Feature Differences Now Between AMD's Two OpenGL & Two Vulkan Linux Drivers

    For modern AMD graphics cards there are two OpenGL drivers and two Vulkan drivers available to Linux users/gamers that support the same modern AMD GPUs, not counting the older AMD Linux drivers, etc. Here's a rundown now on how those drivers compare...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...eonSI-Features

  • #2
    This AMD driver situation is one big mess (from gamer perspective). Some games will work with AMD open-source drivers only. Some games will work on AMD proprietary drivers only. Some games will work on both, but on one or another - there will be some bugs/artefacts or performance issues.

    So what user need to do? Test EVERY single game with both drivers and choose driver per app. If I understand correctly there is still no easy way to switch AMD drivers "online" (i.e. without logoff and/or reboot), so... User every time when want to play game1 (compatible with open-source driver only) need to install driver1 (open-source) and reboot computer. When user wants to play game2 (works better with proprietary) - install driver2 (proprietary) and reboot computer... Insane.

    I forgot to mention that there is also different Vulkan AMD drivers... So there is even more combinations. Great, just great...
    The future of AMD driver is open-source - this is great, but now it is one big mess... Also old (abandoned) games probably never will be updated to be "open-source driver friendly" so what with them? Wine?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Danniello View Post
      This AMD driver situation is one big mess (from gamer perspective). Some games will work with AMD open-source drivers only. Some games will work on AMD proprietary drivers only. Some games will work on both, but on one or another - there will be some bugs/artefacts or performance issues.

      So what user need to do? Test EVERY single game with both drivers and choose driver per app. If I understand correctly there is still no easy way to switch AMD drivers "online" (i.e. without logoff and/or reboot), so... User every time when want to play game1 (compatible with open-source driver only) need to install driver1 (open-source) and reboot computer. When user wants to play game2 (works better with proprietary) - install driver2 (proprietary) and reboot computer... Insane.

      I forgot to mention that there is also different Vulkan AMD drivers... So there is even more combinations. Great, just great...
      The future of AMD driver is open-source - this is great, but now it is one big mess... Also old (abandoned) games probably never will be updated to be "open-source driver friendly" so what with them? Wine?
      Simply use RadeonSI, with a recent enough mesa all games should work just fine and the performance should at minimal be equal to PRO unless you are playing a really really old game that requires compatibility profiles, in that case you are screwed and go bother the developers of that game because I really wish compatibility profiles never make it into mesa ever.

      If you use WS class software(Oreo, catia, etc.) simply use the PRO, that is its main target not gaming

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      • #4
        Not to mention the OpenCL part.

        I am glad that this is happening. Finally we are one step closer to having a feature complete open source graphic stack.

        It's mentioned that the ROCm stack still needs to load some proprietary blobs, what's the status of that anyway?
        Last edited by trivialfis; 12-12-2017, 01:05 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Danniello View Post
          This AMD driver situation is one big mess (from gamer perspective). Some games will work with AMD open-source drivers only. Some games will work on AMD proprietary drivers only. Some games will work on both, but on one or another - there will be some bugs/artefacts or performance issues.

          <snip>
          It's not as big of a mess as you make it sound like. Probably 95% or more of the games work fine on Mesa 17.3 + at least LLVM 5.0 these days - and many of the issues with games that were reported have already been fixed and/or have workarounds. See this wiki page where we have been collecting problematic games on Mesa:

          https://www.gamingonlinux.com/wiki/Games_broken_on_Mesa

          If you have any more games you found not working, please feel free to add them there and report a bug for them in Mesa so it can get fixed.

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          • #6
            People make it seem like information is hard to get by. As long as there is CLEAR information for everyone to get by like where to go, how to do it and why to do it; then it should be easy to understand. Confusing is not the word people should be using in this case, it's really 2 choices (by AMD or by MESA) and one is more "flexible" than the other.
            And here I thought PC was to have choices/alternatives, not automatic "force-into" something.

            Keyword here is information, nothing else and nothing more.

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            • #7
              Open source Vulkan from AMD is great news, but now it's bit confusing (two Vulkan drivers to pick). I hope they will unify this. RADV still makes sense, because it's integrated with whole open source ecosystem. Well, I hope that AMD code will help RADV to achieve AMD quality and performance.

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              • #8
                The AMD Linux stack is a mess totally beyond redemption at this point. I have a Bonaire (Sea Islands - GCN 2) card and the *only* thing I can get to work from AMD's stack is OpenCL 17.10 on Arch Linux. ROCm? Forget about it!

                They are moving fast and breaking things - they've left me behind. Their just-released AMDGPU-Pro 17.50 doesn't even work on Ubuntu 16.04.03, which they claim is supported. This is planned obsolescence at its worst. IMHO they need to open-source the entire Linux stack - not just the new stuff - or give up the market to NVidia.
                Last edited by znmeb; 12-12-2017, 08:46 PM.

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                • #9
                  The big exception right now is that RadeonSI doesn't have full OpenGL compatibility context support, which is needed by some legacy/workstation applications as well as a few awkward Linux games.
                  This is a huge annoyance. It impacts several Windows games that can be played through WINE as well. Any word on when this will be supported?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dragon321 View Post
                    Open source Vulkan from AMD is great news, but now it's bit confusing (two Vulkan drivers to pick). I hope they will unify this. RADV still makes sense, because it's integrated with whole open source ecosystem. Well, I hope that AMD code will help RADV to achieve AMD quality and performance.
                    There was a short talk about this on IRC last night. Licenses are compatible so the new Vulkan driver can be reviewed to see for places where radv can be optimized. Radv also has the benefit of there being actual code sharing between Intel Vulkan driver whereas this new thing is AMD-specific

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