Radeon Vulkan Driver Benchmarks: AMDVLK 2018.4.2 vs. AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 vs. Mesa 18.2/19.0

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 25 November 2018 at 12:00 PM EST. Page 1 of 5. 38 Comments.

Released this week was AMDVLK 2018.4.2 having been released this past week as the newest open-source AMD Vulkan driver code derived from their official Vulkan driver code-base but with using the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end over their proprietary shader compiler. For your latest Vulkan benchmark viewing pleasure is a look at this newest AMDVLK release compared to AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 (the same fundamental Vulkan driver but with the closed-source shader compiler) and then the RADV Vulkan drivers in the form of Mesa 18.2 stable and the now in-development Mesa 19.0. These four AMD Radeon Vulkan driver combinations were tested on Fiji, Polaris, and Vega graphics processors.

This article is looking at the latest state of the Radeon Vulkan driver options for Linux gamers. Besides using the latest Vulkan driver releases, there is also the latest Vulkan Linux game ports tested, including the Total War: Warhammer II release that happened just days ago. The rundown on the configurations tested were:

Mesa 18.2.4 - The latest stable Mesa 18.2 release via the Pkppa and tested while using the Linux 4.19.4 kernel atop the Ubuntu 18.04 system. The Mesa 18.2.4 release was compiled against the LLVM 7.0.0 back-end.

Mesa 19.0-devel - The very latest RADV driver state as of Mesa 19.0 development while built against LLVM 8.0.0 SVN using the Padoka PPA. The Linux 4.19.4 kernel was kept the same.

AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 - The latest stable release of the Radeon Software for Linux driver package using the official AMD Vulkan driver built against its proprietary shader compiler.

AMDVLK 2018.4.2 - The latest open-source AMDVLK driver release as of this week paired with the Linux 4.19.4 kernel.

For these four Vulkan driver options, tests were done on a Radeon RX 580 (Polaris), Radeon R9 Fury (Fiji), and Radeon RX Vega 64 (Vega) graphics cards for a diverse look at the Vulkan driver performance. The one caveat was no R9 Fury tests when using Mesa 19.0 as a RadeonSI regression there was causing that GNOME desktop session to always crash with that Fiji graphics card installed while the Polaris/Vega cards didn't exhibit this issue on Mesa 19.0 Git.

AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 vs. AMDVLK 2018.4.2 vs. Mesa 19.0

A variety of Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks were carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite. If you enjoy my daily Linux benchmarking, consider showing your support this holiday season. Besides helping our operations, premium access also allows ad-free viewing and multi-page articles on a single page. Let's look at the current AMD Vulkan Linux performance.

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