RADV Remains Competitive To AMD's Radeon Vulkan Windows Driver, Linux OpenGL Dominates

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 5 July 2022 at 05:50 AM EDT. 27 Comments
I'm currently working on a fresh comparison of the Windows vs. Linux performance for Intel's Alder Lake hybrid processors due to a number of readers inquiring how the OS support has evolved. In the process of carrying out those tests I also ran some fresh Windows vs. Linux tests with the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT for how the OpenGL and Vulkan driver performance stands.

While the forthcoming article is focused on the Alder Lake CPU performance, I took the opportunity to run some quick Radeon graphics tests too. Microsoft Windows 11 Pro with all available updates as of last week was running up against Ubuntu 22.04 LTS - both on its stock Linux 5.15 kernel and then upgraded to Linux 5.18 stable for an additional set of data.

The Intel Core i9 12900K at stock speeds was used for testing with the ASUS ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI motherboard, 2 x 16GB DDR5-6000 memory, 500GB WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD, and the Radeon RX 6800 XT (sadly still lacking any RX 6900 series hardware). The stock Mesa 22.0.1 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS was providing the AMD RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan driver support.

The modern open-source "RADV" Vulkan driver worked on by Red Hat, Valve, and other contributors continues to show its competitiveness to the Windows AMD Radeon Software Vulkan driver. GravityMark was used for this quick spin since it's cross-platform with both good/similar quality support on Windows and Linux, quite a demanding benchmark, and makes use of modern Vulkan extensions:

As we have seen (and shown in past articles), the RADV Vulkan driver performance is not only competitive to the Radeon Software Linux driver and AMDVLK as the official AMD open-source Vulkan driver option, but the performance can be competitive to the Windows driver too in cases of proper cross-platform software. Even Steam Play games too can be competitive but was not the focus of this quick article today.

The OpenGL performance meanwhile under Windows clearly continues to trail Linux with RadeonSI:

AMD's Windows OpenGL driver continues to lag behind the RadeonSI driver that is AMD's official open-source OpenGL Linux driver for GCN (Radeon HD 7000 series) and newer. RadeonSI far outpaces the aging proprietary AMD OpenGL driver. AMD though is rumored to be introducing a new/reworked OpenGL driver for Windows later this year... So it will be interesting to see in the months ahead more details about that Windows 22H2 driver and how it can perform against the open-source OpenGL Linux driver.

That's it for today's quick, one-page comparison... More thorough testing and with more games will be coming once that new AMD Windows driver is ready for general availability, but long story short RadeonSI continues bashing the current AMD Windows OpenGL driver and RADV continues to show its competitiveness against AMD's official Vulkan driver.
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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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