RADV Vulkan Driver To Enable Vega Primitive Binning By Default - Helps Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 15 November 2018 at 06:13 AM EST. Add A Comment
The RadeonSI OpenGL driver offered Vega primitive binning support the past year followed by the RADV Vulkan driver, but it hadn't been enabled by default. Those working on the RADV driver are now planning on unconditionally enabling this Vega performance optimization for up to a few percent performance boost.

It seems the primitive binning driver support for RADV is mature enough that it can be flipped on by default and at least doesn't appear to be hurting any prominent Vulkan-powered Linux games. Samuel Pitoiset of Valve's Linux driver team sent out the patch today for flipping it on by default. On that patch message he describes this Vega feature as helping out some games by a few percent, "After doing a bunch of benchmarks, primitive binning helps some games like The Talos Principle (+5%) or Serious Sam 2017 (+3%). For other titles, either it doesn't change anything or it hurts very few (less than 1%)."

Earlier in the day there was a separate patch discussion about just per-game white-listing for this feature. Among the games tested were Dota 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, F1 2017, Dawn of War III, and Talos Principle. (Presumably that Shadow of the Tomb Raider reference is with Steam Play as there has been no announcement of a native Linux game port for that latest Tomb Raider title.)

Pitoiset did also send out a second patch that does add a nobinning option for those wanting to test current or future Vulkan Linux games without this feature to investigate the performance impact once its enabled by default. So unless there are any last minute objections or major regressions found, it's looking likely that Mesa 19.0 will ship next quarter with Vega primitive binning turned on by default in RADV.
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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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