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It seems AMD is optimizing their Windows OpenGL driver

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  • It seems AMD is optimizing their Windows OpenGL driver

    This morning I stumbled upon this reddit post about the upcoming Windows driver with OpenGL optimizations. Someone who got a pre-release version of that driver made a comparison of the current driver and the new driver, and the difference seems pretty big. From that screenshot it doesn't look like a new/different driver so it seems they simply reworked their WIndows GL driver.
    When I first saw this, I couldn't believe my eyes considering AMD's attitude towards their Windows GL driver for years.
    Now the question is how will it compare to RadeonSi. Also, I wonder if these optimizations will make it to AMDGPU-pro GL driver, because it's essentially the same codebase as the Windows GL driver.

    Edit: Here is another comparison of the current and pre-release driver with Unigine Valley benchmark. The difference really is massive.

    Edit 2: Looking at this discussion of guru3d forums, there are some more interesting findings: It looks like the new OpenGL driver works similar to Zink. They just took part of their OpenGL driver and rebased it on top of DirectX 11. There are other interesting findings like rebasing the DirectX 9/10/11 drivers on top of PAL, on which the DirectX 12 and Vulkan drivers are already built. The whole discussion about the new drivers starts at page 35.

    Btw, the same user who made those findings also claims that the shader compiler in the new Windows drivers now weights more and is slower than before, which makes me think AMD has switched to LLVM in the new Windows drivers because I remember that AMDVLK-open weights more than AMDVLK-pro.

    So judging from these findings, it looks like AMD is getting rid of all its legacy cruft, at least in their WIndows drivers. Maybe bridgman can elaborate on this? I know you're from the Linux team, but since you also talked about AMDGPU-pro, which shares code with Windows drivers, maybe you know something more about this?
    Last edited by user1; 12 June 2022, 09:42 AM.

  • #2
    OpenGL is used heavily by retrogamers who play older PC titles that haven't been upgraded to Direct3D rendering or older versions of popular titles that have switched to D3D, such as Half-Life, so bringing the driver up to snuff will help to move the latest generations of GPU/APU and also act as a goodwill gesture to the wider gaming community. It also greatly benefits the Windows Gaming hand-helds that are running AMD APUs, as those are running a lot of older titles that use OpenGL. Just my two cents.
    Last edited by TheLexMachine; 18 June 2022, 01:21 PM.


    • #3
      It may sound surprising, but there are some very new indie games that use OpenGL exclusively. Most of these games are built using an in-house engine. 3 of such games I can think of as an example are:
      -Sector's Edge
      -DRAG Outer Zones