RADV vs. AMDVLK vs. Radeon Software Vulkan Driver Performance - October 2018 Linux Gaming

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 4 October 2018 at 10:58 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 38 Comments.

Given AMD's weekly updating of the public AMDVLK Vulkan driver source tree as their official open-source Vulkan Linux driver while RADV continues to be maintained as the popular open-source Radeon Vulkan driver within the Mesa source tree, here is a fresh look at how those competing drivers perform. Additionally there are the results from Radeon Software / AMDGPU-PRO using its closed-source Vulkan driver that is derived from the same sources as AMDVLK but built against AMD's proprietary shader compiler.

This round of benchmarking is a look at the fresh AMD Vulkan Linux driver performance on these three options when testing with a Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards. The same Core i7 8086K system was used the entire time (obviously) and it was running with Ubuntu 18.04 on the Linux 4.19-rc6 kernel. The Vulkan driver configurations came down to:

RADV - Built from Mesa 18.3-devel Git as of last week with the LLVM 8.0.0 SVN AMDGPU back-end, the packages available via the Padoka PPA on Ubuntu.

AMDVLK - The latest AMDVLK sources on GitHub as of 1 October for the latest look at this open-source official AMD Vulkan driver.

PRO - The latest Radeon Software 18.30 package using the "PRO" components consisting of the Vulkan driver derived from AMDVLK sources but with AMD's closed-source shader compiler... AMD is still planning to transition their entire driver stack to using the open-source AMDGPU LLVM back-end, but for now when using these "PRO" components there is still the proprietary compiler back-end for OpenGL and Vulkan.

With these three drivers and two Polaris/Vega graphics cards, a variety of the benchmark-friendly Vulkan Linux games were tested.

Vulkan Testing Oktoberfest 2018

All testing was done via the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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