Zink Suballocator Lands In Mesa - "Over 1000%" Performance Increase For Some Games

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 17 August 2021 at 02:42 PM EDT. 9 Comments
Mesa's Zink Gallium3D code for implementing OpenGL-over-Vulkan can now run a heck of a lot faster with the newest Mesa 21.3 code.

Back in June was when the news of Zink seeing "massively improved performance" thanks to a suballocator for Zink. Zink's suballocator was based on Gallium3D auxiliary / pipebuffer code started by RadeonSI and led to significant performance improvements. It's that suballocator code that as of today has been merged into Mesa 21.3-devel.

Valve contractor Mike Blumenkrantz who has spent the past year working hard on Zink wrote in the sub-allocator commit, "performance in games like Tomb Raider has been observed to increase by over 1000%"

By going up over 1000% in extreme cases like the Tomb Raider (2013) Linux game port to OpenGL by Feral Interactive, the game is now playable. Up to now on Zink it's run around ~9 FPS but with the sub-allocator code in place Mike was able to get the game running at around 90 FPS.

This code is for Mesa 21.3 that in turn will debut as stable in Q4. We'll see what more Zink code gets published and reviewed/upstreamed in time for this next Mesa feature release. Zink overall is in very good shape these days for generic OpenGL over Vulkan but there still is a back-log of patches to be merged. That latest experimental Zink code for those interested can be found via zink-wip. I'll be firing up some new Zink benchmarks shortly.
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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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