AMD Continued Its Great Linux Embrace In 2022 With Better Launch-Day Support + Optimizations

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 31 December 2022 at 06:10 AM EST. 22 Comments
AMD in 2022 continued its open-source/Linux support embrace with offering good launch-day support on both the CPU and GPU sides with their new products, continued ramping up their Linux support on the client side, and has worked more on optimizations and other enhancements to their Linux support.

AMD this year enjoyed good launch-day support for their new Zen 4 processors both with the Ryzen 7000 series and EPYC 9004 "Genoa" server processors, continued making refinements to their Linux laptop SoC support, and capped off the year by having RDNA3 support in place for the Radeon RX 7900 series launch earlier this month. In particular having the RDNA3 support in place going back to Linux 6.0 was pleasant in not requiring Linux Git or the like for launch day support, which had been a requirement for some of the past AMD GPU launches.

This year we've seen AMD publish more open-source code not only for their hardware enablement but various user-space libraries and other tooling. And we've seen more fixes from AMD's growing number of Linux engineers this year in going back and providing fixes/optimizations for older products that previously got overlooked or lacked the necessary resources. Among the many patch series volleyed this year by AMD engineers, standing out has been their continued work on the AMD P-State driver and getting that into shape for improved power/efficiency on Linux with that work hopefully culminating in a few months with getting Guided Autonomous Mode and EPP merged. AMD's early work on the Platform Management Framework merged will also be important for next-generation wares.

Of course, there is still room for improvement with AMD's Linux support. The area that continues to stand out is their belated new processor support within the open-source compilers... With the AMD Zen 4 launch their GCC and LLVM Znver4 enablement came post-launch and still remains ongoing with LLVM not yet having any tuned support for Zen 4 while the GCC tuning work just began landing days ago thanks to SUSE. Meanwhile that Znver4 support will only premiere in a few months in stable form with GCC 13 and LLVM 16. Intel meanwhile had their Xeon Sapphire Rapids support in GCC already going back to last year's stable release and has added Granite Rapids, Meteor Lake, Sierra Forest, and other next-generation CPU targets to the open-source compilers already.

But beyond the compiler critique, hopefully in 2023 we'll see AMD continue doing much of the same for open-source/Linux support with timely hardware enablement and pushing more performance optimizations. Given the successes of AMD in the data center and continued Linux-based client wins with the likes of the Steam Deck and Tesla in-vehicle infotainment system, hopefully we'll see AMD in 2023 continue their Linux hires. If I can dream, it would also be great to see AMD do more around Coreboot and open-source firmware.

For looking back at some of the major AMD Linux milestones of 2022, below are the most-viewed articles on the topic for the year:

A 20 Year Old Chipset Workaround Has Been Hurting Modern AMD Linux Systems
AMD engineer K Prateek Nayak recently uncovered that a ~20 year old chipset workaround in the Linux kernel still being applied to modern AMD systems is responsible in some cases for hurting performance on modern Zen hardware. Fortunately, a fix is on the way for limiting that workaround to old systems and in turn helping with performance for modern systems.

AMD Finally Opens Up Its Radeon Raytracing Analyzer "RRA" Source Code
This summer AMD announced the Radeon Raytracing Analyzer "RRA" as part of their developer software suite for helping to profile ray-tracing performance/issues on Windows and Linux with both Direct3D 12 and the Vulkan API. Initially the RRA 1.0 release was binary-only but now AMD has made good on their "GPUOpen" approach and made it open-source.

With AMD Zen 4, It's Surprisingly Not Worthwhile Disabling CPU Security Mitigations
While some Linux enthusiasts eagerly recommend users boot their systems with the "mitigations=off" kernel parameter for run-time disabling of various relevant CPU security mitigations for Spectre, Meltdown, L1TF, TAA, Retbleed, and friends, with the new AMD Ryzen 7000 "Zen 4" processors while still needing some software mitigations, it's surprisingly faster for the most part leaving the relevant mitigations enabled.

Updated AMD Zen 1 Through Zen 3 CPU Microcode Published
On Friday AMD published new CPU microcode files for both Family 17h and Family 19h for Zen 1/2/3 processors. At the moment there isn't any public insight into the changes with this updated microcode but it may be significant.

How To Use The New AMD P-State Driver With Linux 5.17
Since the release of the Linux 5.17 kernel the leading question in my inbox has been from readers asking how to actually make use of the AMD P-State driver. Right now this driver isn't the default over ACPI CPUFreq and I haven't seen any Linux distribution vendors announce their plans to immediately default to this new driver, but over the months ahead I expect that to change. In any case, if wanting to use amd_pstate on Linux 5.17 today here is a brief how-to guide for making the transition.

AMD Ryzen 6000 Series Mobile CPUs Feature Microsoft's Pluton Security
Back in 2020 Microsoft announced their "Pluton" security chip that woulld be coming to future AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm processors. The Pluton security processor is designed to improve the system security under Windows and now we find out that AMD's forthcoming Ryzen 6000 "Rembrandt" mobile processors will be the first featuring this security feature that may prove controversial to Linux/open-source fans.

AMD Linux Kernel Graphics Driver Closing In On 4 Million Lines
For quite a while now the modern AMD Linux kernel graphics driver (AMDGPU/AMDKFD code) has been the single largest driver within the mainline Linux kernel code-base. It's been far larger than the other upstream kernel drivers given the complexities of modern GPUs and is only becoming even larger.

New Lenovo AMD Laptops With Pluton Co-Processor Reportedly Only Boot Windows By Default
At least some of Lenovo's new AMD Rembrandt powered laptops with Microsoft Pluton security co-processor are set by default to only trust Microsoft's key and not the Microsoft 3rd Party UEFI CA Key that Linux distributions and others use for UEFI Secure Boot support. Thus by default only Microsoft Windows will boot with the default firmware configuration on some new Lenovo laptops.

AMD Improving The Linux Experience When Running New GPUs Without Proper Driver Support
While AMD provided upstream open-source driver support for the Radeon RX 7900 series launch, the initial user experience can be less than desirable if running a new Radeon GPU but initially running an out-of-date kernel or lacking the necessary firmware support. With a new patch series posted AMD is looking to improve the experience by being able to more easily fallback to the firmware frame-buffer when their AMDGPU kernel graphics driver fails to properly load.

Linux 6.0 Merges The AMD Performance Fix For The Old "Dummy Wait" Workaround
This morning I called attention to some pending work around a 20 year old chipset workaround in the Linux kernel had been hurting modern AMD systems by erroneously still applying the change to modern hardware. Fortunately, that patch has now been picked up by Linus Torvalds in time for the Linux 6.0 kernel expected for its stable debut next weekend.

Mesa 22.0 Released With Vulkan 1.3, Many Open-Source Intel & AMD Driver Improvements
Mesa 22.0 is out today as the quarterly feature update to this collection of open-source OpenGL and Vulkan graphics drivers used widely by Linux systems.

AMD Quietly Working On New Linux GPU Driver Support Block By Block
AMD's Linux graphics driver engineers have been working on the driver support for new graphics processors and now the patches are at the earliest stages of publishing. However, due to driver handling changes, it's sharply different this time around where in the past they volleyed a big set of patches under some colorful fishy codename in an effort to conceal their hardware enablement work.

AMD Releases Updated CPU Microcode For Zen 3 CPUs
AMD today pushed updated Family 19h / Zen 3 CPU microcode to the linux-firmware.git tree.

Blender 3.2 Debuts With AMD GPU Linux Rendering Support
Blender 3.2 is releasing this morning as the newest version of this open-source, cross-platform 3D modeling and animation software package. Blender 3.2 finally adds AMD GPU-accelerated rendering support on Linux and many other refinements.

Mesa 23.0 Enables Vulkan Mesh Shaders For AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series
As of today with Mesa 23.0 Git the EXT_mesh_shader extension is finally enabled by default for AMD Radeon RX 6000 "RDNA2" graphics hardware when running on a new Linux kernel build.

Lenovo Expects 30+ Platforms With Linux Support This Year, Both AMD & Intel Systems
At DebConf22 in Kosovo that recently wrapped up, Lenovo's Mark Pearson who leads the company's Linux initiatives talked in-person about their 2022 platform support for Linux and their progress over the past year. In 2022 they expect 30+ platforms with Linux support.

AMD Working On RDNA3 User-Mode Graphics Queue For Their Linux GPU Driver
A request for comments patch series sent out by AMD Linux graphics driver engineers ahead of the holidays is implementing support for user-mode queues in conjunction with Radeon RX 7000 "Navi 3x" graphics cards and newer.

AMD Releases Brotli-G For GPU-Accelerated Brotli Compression
After open-sourcing its Radeon Raytracing Analyzer code last week, this week AMD's GPUOpen team has a new open-source project announcement: Brotli-G.

AMD Now Backing AlmaLinux As This Increasingly Popular RHEL/CentOS Alternative
AMD is now among the latest companies backing the AlmaLinux OS Foundation for that increasingly popular free build derived from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux sources now that CentOS 8 is end-of-life.

AMD Making It Easier To Switch To Their New P-State CPU Frequency Scaling Driver
Following our how-to guide for enabling the new AMD P-State driver that premiered in Linux 5.17 after finding many users were unsure to go about using this new CPU frequency scaling driver, AMD is now making it easier to switch from ACPI CPUFreq to AMD P-State.

AMD Continues Working Toward HDR Display Support For The Linux Desktop
One of the rather elusive items on the Linux desktop is High Dynamic Range (HDR) display support... There's been code in the works for years but across desktops and drivers, it's still a long-term effort getting HDR support on the Linux desktop. Even going back to 2016, with NVIDIA's cross-platform driver code the Linux desktop remained the bottleneck. There is at least some ongoing work to address this long-term issue with AMD this week presenting on the topic.

Linux 5.18 To Bring New Intel Drivers, Optimization For AMD EPYC, C11 & Much More
Linux 5.17 will hopefully be released on Sunday and with that next kernel there are many exciting features in tow. But for as great as Linux 5.17 is, there are many features I am already eager for with Linux 5.18. Here is an early look at a number of the changes expected in this next kernel version.

AMD Cezanne Laptops See Last Minute Suspend/Resume Fix With Linux 6.1
For those running an AMD Ryzen 5000 series "Cezanne" powered laptop, squeezing into the kernel this week ahead of the Linux 6.1 debut on Sunday is a suspend/resume fix affecting various models.

The Most Interesting New Features Of Linux 5.17 - Intel & AMD Continue With Big Changes
Assuming nothing major comes up in the next few days, the Linux 5.17 kernel is expected to be released on Sunday. While we have been covering Linux 5.17 kernel activity already for a while prior to the merge window even getting going, here is a convenient look at some of the most interesting changes to find in this new release.

Coreboot 4.17 Brings New Motherboards, AMD PSB, Doom Game Ported To Run As A Payload
Coreboot developers are releasing Coreboot 4.17 today with various new motherboards supported, support for GRUB2 atop SeaBIOS as a payload, and various low-level code improvements too. Plus Coreboot 4.17 brings the "coreDOOM" payload -- yes, it's possible to get the game Doom running atop this system firmware. There is also AMD Platform Secure Boot (PSB) support introduced to Coreboot too.

And the most popular AMD Linux hardware reviews and featured benchmark articles of the year:

Apple M2 vs. AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U Performance In Nearly 200 Benchmarks
Last week I published initial Apple M2 vs. AMD Rembrandt vs. Intel Alder Lake Linux benchmarks using Asahi Linux and Arch Linux across the board. For ending out this week, here is a follow-up article looking more closely at the Apple M2 in the MacBook Air against the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U "Rembrandt" within the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen3. This time around are also results from performance tweaks to each laptop for the CPUFreq governor and platform profile.

Apple M2 vs. AMD Rembrandt vs. Intel Alder Lake Linux Benchmarks
Given the significant interest from Phoronix readers about how well Apple M2 performs on Linux, especially after it was noted Linus Torvalds using an Apple MacBook Air M2, here are the first of many benchmark articles to come looking at how well Apple's M2 performs under Linux against Intel/AMD x86_64 competition. The new Apple MacBook Air with M2 was benchmarked for this article against the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U "Rembrandt" Zen 3+, Intel Core i7 1280P "Alder Lake P", an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX "Cezanne H", and also for reference an Apple Mac Mini M1 model. All of these laptops were tested under Arch Linux (x86_64) and the Arch-based Asahi Linux (M1/M2).

AMD Ryzen 9 7900X / Ryzen 9 7950X Benchmarks Show Impressive Zen 4 Linux Performance
The review embargo just lifted for the AMD Ryzen 7000 series "Zen 4" desktop processors ahead of their retail availability this week. As such there are a few Phoronix articles today looking at these Zen 4 processors under Linux and many benchmarks whole several more follow-up articles will be coming over the weeks ahead. For the launch-day review I have the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X processors. Let's take a look at the significant performance improvements to find with the AMD Ryzen 9 7900 series under Linux.

Amazon Graviton3 vs. Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance
Earlier this week AWS announced general availability on their new Arm Neoverse-V1 based processors, Graviton3. Right after that I posted some initial Graviton3 benchmarks against prior-generation Graviton2 for showing the very sizable generational improvement with Amazon's new in-house Arm server processors. Since then I have been carrying out a more robust set of around 100 benchmarks across the original Graviton instance, Graviton2, Graviton3, and then up again Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC competing instances. Here is that much larger collection of Graviton3 performance benchmarks carried out on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

HP Dev One - A Great, Well Engineered AMD Ryzen Linux Laptop
Earlier this month marked the launch of the HP Dev One as an interesting collaboration between HP and System76 for a laptop optimized for Linux developers and running System76's Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS operating system. It's a very interesting laptop and well thought out for Linux use with an AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U SoC and integrated Radeon graphics for satisfying the preferences of many Linux developers preferring a fully open-source driver stack. Thanks to the large scale manufacturing of HP, it's also a competitively-priced Linux laptop compared to many of the Linux laptops from smaller vendors that are based on Clevo or other white box laptop designs.

AMD Makes A Compelling Case For Budget-Friendly Ryzen Dedicated Servers
While AMD EPYC processors offer phenomenal performance at the high-end for servers with up to 64 cores / 128 threads per socket, eight memory channels, and other features, not all server deployments call for such capabilities. In the lower-end dedicated web server rental space, budget web hosting, and similar personal / small office server space, AMD Ryzen processors can prove more than capable. Already some dedicated server providers are offering AMD Ryzen powered servers and more are expected to come soon -- especially with even more server-minded wares for Ryzen expected next generation. In looking at this space, we have been testing a number of AMD Ryzen processors recently compared to Intel Xeon E class competition for looking at the performance and value in the low-end dedicated server space.

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X vs. Core i9 11900K AVX-512 Performance Analysis
While initially leary of AMD Zen 4's "double pumped" approach for supporting AVX-512 using a 256-bit data path, it's proven to be very efficient for performance and yield great results without negative clock impairments or wreaking havoc on the power consumption. Back in September I delivered a detailed AVX-512 performance analysis on the Ryzen 9 7950X while in this article is a detailed benchmark look at the Core i9 11900K against the Ryzen 7 7700X. The Core i9 11900K being the currently last Intel desktop CPU officially supporting AVX-512 while the Ryzen 7 7700X was used for matching the core/thread count of that Rocket Lake processor for this AVX-512 on/off comparison.

AMD Zen 4 AVX-512 Performance Analysis On The Ryzen 9 7950X
While much of AMD's briefings for the Ryzen 7000 desktop series were focused on gaming and other consumer workloads, one of the most exciting aspects for me with the Ryzen 7000 series is AMD now supporting AVX-512. But rather going for a 512-bit FPU data path and the possibility of reduced clock frequencies and power/thermal concerns, they employed a 256-bit "double pumping" strategy. When getting the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X in the lab, exploring the AMD Zen 4 AVX-512 performance was one of the areas I was most excited to evaluate. From the benchmarks about to be shown, AMD's initial AVX-512 implementation is promising and has me all the more excited for finding it on AMD EPYC "Genoa" processors.

AMD EPYC 7773X "Milan-X" Benchmarks Show Very Strong HPC Performance Upgrade
While Milan-X was announced back in November, today is the day of the Milan-X embargo lift for reviewing these new processors and sharing more about these high-end server processors focused on delivering even greater performance for high performance computing (HPC) workloads. In this review is a look at the performance of the AMD EPYC 7773X series against other AMD EPYC parts and the Intel Xeon Scalable competition under Linux.

AMD Rembrandt: Windows 11 vs. Ubuntu Linux Performance
Yesterday I delivered my initial arsenal of AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U Linux benchmarks against various other AMD Ryzen and Intel Core notebooks. That ongoing Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U is happening from a Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 3 AMD notebook and this new "Rembrandt" device continues looking good under Linux. But prior to installing Linux, I did run some benchmarks of Lenovo's Windows 11 Pro on there for seeing how the Linux vs. Windows performance is looking for this Zen 3+ SoC.

Windows vs. Linux Benchmarks For AMD Ryzen Server Performance
As a follow-up to last week's article looking at how AMD is making an interesting case for budget-friendly Ryzen dedicated servers and not only in Europe but throughout the world more hosting providers are offering cost-conscious AMD Ryzen powered dedicated server options, here is a look at how various Linux distributions run on an ASRock Rack based AMD Ryzen server up against Microsoft Windows.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X Linux Performance
At the end of September when the review embargo lifted I looked at the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X and 7950X for our launch-day Linux testing and that was then followed by the Ryzen 7 7700X Linux review. Since then I received the fourth and final Ryzen 7000 series desktop processor currently available: the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X. The Ryzen 5 7600X is currently AMD's most affordable Zen 4 processor at $299 USD and provides six cores / 12 threads and a boost clock up to 5.3GHz.

Intel Core i9 12900K vs. AMD Ryzen 9 5950X On Linux 6.0
Ahead of Intel Raptor Lake and AMD Zen 4, it's a lot of fresh CPU re-testing at Phoronix under Linux with the bleeding-edge software stack of the latest Linux kernel as well as many new/updated benchmarks, the latest motherboard BIOSes, and more. As over the past year there has been a lot of work by Intel open-source engineers around better tuning the Linux kernel for their hybrid architecture, here are some fresh side-by-side benchmarks of the Intel Core i9 12900K against the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X.

AMD AOCC 4.0 vs. GCC vs. LLVM Clang Compiler Benchmarks On Zen 4
Last week when launching the AMD EPYC 9004 "Genoa" processors, AMD released AOCC 4.0 as the newest version of their optimizing C/C++ compiler that now supports their Zen 4 micro-architecture. Last week I ran some initial AOCC 4.0 benchmarks and this LLVM/Clang downstream was looking rather favorable in relation to upstream LLVM/Clang, while since then I've been able to conduct more thorough benchmarks across a wide variety of C/C++ open-source workloads. Here is that more extensive round of AOCC 4.0 benchmarking against the open-source LLVM/Clang and AOCC compilers.

An Early Look At The Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Performance On AMD Ryzen 9 5950X + RX 6800
With Ubuntu 22.04 LTS "Jammy Jellyfish" less than one month out from release, I have begun testing it on more desktop and server platforms ahead of release. Ubuntu 22.04 LTS overall is in nice shape. On current generation platforms I am not seeing much uplift compared to Ubuntu 21.10 but for those still making use of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS series with its older compiler and other older packages, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is providing some uplift. Here is a look at Ubuntu 20.04.4 vs. 21.10 vs. 22.04 daily on an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X desktop.

AMD Radeon With Linux 6.1 + Mesa 23.0-dev vs. NVIDIA R525 Gaming Performance
With the Linux 6.1 kernel due to be released in the next week, Mesa 23.0-devel continuing to see a lot of improvements land for RADV and RadeonSI, and the NVIDIA R525 Linux driver series being available, here is a fresh look at the AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce Linux gaming performance with various graphics cards and an assortment of Linux games -- both native and via Valve's Steam Play.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X vs. Ryzen 7 5800X3D On Linux 6.0 Benchmarks
Along with the fresh look at the Intel Core i9 12900K vs. AMD Ryzen 9 5950X on Linux using the latest development kernel and other bleeding-edge software packages, today's article is a fresh look at how the Ryzen 7 5800X3D with 3D V-Cache is performing relative to the Ryzen 7 5800X.

Windows 11 vs. Ubuntu Linux Performance Is Very Close On The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
One of the leading test requests at Phoronix around my AMD Zen 4 Linux benchmarking has been some side-by-side comparisons against Microsoft Windows 11. While older, high core count AMD systems have particularly performed very well under Linux against Windows, with new hardware there is sometimes hiccups and various limitations with the at-launch support especially on the open-source Linux side. So for your viewing pleasure today are some initial AMD Ryzen 9 7950X benchmarks under Microsoft Windows 11 22H2 up against Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS and a near-final development snapshot of the upcoming Ubuntu 22.10.

AMD 4th Gen EPYC 9654 "Genoa" AVX-512 Performance Analysis
With the great AMD 4th Gen EPYC Linux performance showing significant generational uplift and dominating against the current Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake" competition, it's a combination of the twelve channels of DDR5 system memory support, up to 96 cores per socket, introduction of AVX-512, and other Zen 4 micro-architectural improvements. As follow-up testing articles to all of the Genoa data delivered thus far, over the weeks ahead I have additional benchmark results to share looking more closely at these different areas of improvement for AMD 4th Gen EPYC. In today's article is a look at the EPYC 9654 2P performance with AVX-512 on/off while also looking at the CPU power consumption impact and the affect on CPU clock frequencies and thermals.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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