It's 2022 But AMD's Open-Source OpenGL Driver Isn't Done Being Optimized

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 5 January 2022 at 02:11 PM EST. 22 Comments
After the many years now that AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has been seeing relentless optimizations for GCN and now RDNA GPUs paired with the fact more Linux games targeting Vulkan (or going through Direct3D to Vulkan), one might think in 2022 that the OpenGL driver optimization efforts would let up... But that doesn't appear to be the case with well known AMD RadeonSI developer Marek Olšák pursuing yet more optimizations.

Over the course of 2021 were still significant RadeonSI improvements made even with this open-source Linux OpenGL driver performing similar to -- or in numerous cases exceeding -- the performance provided by AMD's proprietary cross-platform OpenGL driver. RadeonSI for years has been excellent for OpenGL gaming performance and last year even seen a lot of work optimizing on OpenGL workstation workloads. The workstation optimization focus of last year for RadeonSI was very apparent where as traditionally that was one of the strongholds for AMD's proprietary OpenGL driver.

While just a few days into 2022, it looks like this year will still be interesting on the RadeonSI front. Marek has merged some RadeonSI improvements. It's a random collection of work in preparation as "a prerequisite to other improvements I'm working on."

This prerequisite round is mostly code cleaning but there are some small potential performance improvements at play, including freeing up an extra vector general purpose register (VGPR) and other changes.

It will be interesting to see what more RadeonSI optimizations come this year especially as concurrently Zink continues improving for generic OpenGL implemented over Vulkan.
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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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