AMDGPU With PowerPlay Compared To AMD's Catalyst Linux Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 27 November 2015 at 04:30 PM EST. Page 1 of 3. 33 Comments.

With earlier today showing new OpenGL performance numbers for how the Nouveau driver with working re-clocking compared to NVIDIA's proprietary driver, here are some benchmarks to show how the AMDGPU kernel DRM driver with PowerPlay patches compare to AMD's Catalyst driver for the R9 285 (Tonga) and R9 Fury (Fiji) graphics cards.

Earlier this month AMD finally published PowerPlay patches for AMDGPU, a.k.a. power management / re-clocking support for their new GPU DRM driver that supports like the likes of Tonga and Fiji GPUs. Results I published earlier this month showed the AMDGPU DRM performance to be significantly boosted on the open-source driver since the graphics cards were no longer bound to their boot frequencies. The AMDGPU PowerPlay support makes the R9 285 and R9 Fury now competitive with the Radeon DRM supported cards.

In today's articles are the Tonga and Fiji GPU results from earlier this month now with the Catalyst results added in. Crimson wasn't used since that was done after the testing finished up and Radeon Software 15.11 didn't bring any performance gains for Linux users.

AMDGPU PowerPlay vs. Catalyst Linux

As always, the benchmarks were conducted in a fully-automated manner using the Phoronix Test Suite. There are the results from AMDGPU without the patches, AMDGPU then with the out-of-tree PowerPlay patches, and lastly the stock Ubuntu 15.10 kernel with Catalyst installed. The AMDGPU PowerPlay patches will not be merged until the Linux 4.5 kernel.

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