AMD's New Open-Source "AMDGPU" Linux Driver Supports The R9 285 Tonga

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 13 October 2014 at 03:07 PM EDT. 51 Comments
Last week we wrote about AMD's new unified open-source / Catalyst Linux graphics driver strategy and now today we know a bit more information... The AMDGPU kernel driver isn't starting off with the Radeon Rx 300 series but rather the already out Radeon R9 285 "Tonga" graphics card will be the first GPU to use the new driver.

The Radeon R9 285 "Tonga" graphics card is the first GCN 1.2 GPU and was launched last month. Right now I happen to be working on a Linux review of the R9 285 with Catalyst. It turns out though that there isn't open-source driver support for the R9 285 in the current open-source Radeon driver. Rather, AMD is using this GCN 1.2 GPU as the starting point for the new AMDGPU Linux driver stack.

Sadly the new AMDGPU code isn't expected to start appearing until later this fall so early Linux users of the Radeon R9 285 are left using the binary-only Catalyst driver until this new driver appears and then some time after that when it's finally mainlined in the Linux kernel.

AMD's Alex Deucher confirmed the R9 285 AMDGPU information via this forum post. "Tonga (R9 285) is supported in the new amdgpu driver, not radeon." The Radeon R9 285 Tonga PRO currently has a $250 USD price tag. Stay tuned for my Linux review of the R9 285 this week.
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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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