22 Patches From AMD Further Along Mesa's Workstation Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 16 December 2022 at 06:30 AM EST. 13 Comments
Well known Mesa developer Marek Olšák has for years meticulously optimized the RadeonSI driver and before that R600g and R300g where he got his start as a student developer. Besides ensuring the AMD Radeon OpenGL performance is in great shape for Linux gaming, he's also spent much time more recently in focusing on workstation OpenGL performance and with that the common SPECViewPerf benchmark. This week he landed another set of patches providing around a 7.5% improvement for one of the SPECViewPerf tests.

AMD Mesa developers have worked out many SPECViewPerf optimizations over the past two years with RadeonSI proving itself capable for workstation workloads -- an area where traditionally AMD's longstanding proprietary OpenGL driver was deemed necessary. They've landed big optimizations and CPU overhead reductions across multiple rounds of patches.

Even as of this past March the open-source Mesa driver was already beating the proprietary driver and since then more optimizations have landed. This week's optimization work is not specific to the RadeonSI driver but rather common Mesa code. Marek worked out optimizing the Mesa VAO state management. He was focusing on simplifying the glDraw* path without state changes or with only VBO state changes. In turn these common Mesa changes are yielding around a 7.5% boost to the performance for SPECViewPerf 2020's Catia test.

A 7.5% boost for a SPECViewPerf test beyond what's already been achieved over the past few years with Mesa for OpenGL workstation performance is a nice improvement for the holidays. See this merge request for all of the details with this few hundred lines of code rework now in the Mesa 23.0 codebase.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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