Trying Out DRM-Next With Radeon/AMDGPU Drivers Ahead Of Linux 4.4

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 21 October 2015 at 11:50 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 7 Comments.

With AMD having recently submitted their first batch of Radeon and AMDGPU changes into DRM-Next for then landing into the Linux 4.4 kernel, I decided to run some benchmarks seeing how well this new, experimental open-source AMD Linux kernel graphics driver code is working out.

If you hadn't read that earlier article about queued up AMDGPU/Radeon changes for Linux 4.4, there are some efficiency improvements to the command stream checker, the new GPU scheduler is enabled by default, there are AtomBIOS-related updates, and other fixes and clean-ups.

In my benchmarking of DRM-Next this week, unfortunately, it's not been going well. Before even talking any performance numbers, with the Radeon R9 Fury, the DisplayPort connection no longer can mode-set on a 4K display but rather reverts to 1920 x 1080. When connecting to the same GPU and monitor via HDMI, the 4K mode-setting worked, or reverting back to Linux 4.3 let the R9 Fury with DisplayPort work fine at 3840 x 2160.

Aside from DisplayPort regression, the stability of this new code is quite raw. In my benchmarking Linux 4.4 DRM-Next benchmarking, I wasn't able to get the R9 Fury or R9 285 on the AMDGPU driver to complete all of the OpenGL benchmarks as I was running into stability issues.

For today's tests are results from a Radeon HD 6870 and Radeon R9 290 to represent the Radeon DRM tests and then the R9 Fury and R9 285 for the AMDGPU coverage, but as just mentioned, there aren't all of the results on the AMDGPU side with this new code. Tests were done on Ubuntu 15.10 comparing the Linux 4.3 Git kernel to the DRM-Next kernel as found in the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel archive.

The Intel Core i7 5960X system with Ubuntu 15.10 x86_64 with Unity desktop, GCC 5.2.1, and Mesa 11.1.0-devel from the Padoka PPA (built against LLVM 3.8 SVN) was used for today's benchmarking.

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