AMDGPU+RADV Linux Gaming On GCN 1.0/1.1, 25-Way Warhammer II GPU Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 24 November 2018. Page 1 of 3. 16 Comments

With Feral Interactive's modern Linux game ports that rely upon the Vulkan graphics API for rendering, the company usually lists the Radeon R9 285 as the minimum requirement. That's generally because the R9 285 "Tonga" is the first graphics card officially supported by the AMDGPU kernel driver, which is necessary for RADV Vulkan driver support, but with non-default options it's possible to get AMDGPU+RADV working on GCN 1.0 Southern Islands and GCN 1.1 Sea Islands graphics cards. Here are some benchmarks of that experimental GCN 1.0/1.1 Vulkan support using Feral's newest Linux game port, Total War: Warhammer II, in a 25-way AMD/NVIDIA graphics card comparison for Linux gaming.

Feral usually lists the GCN 1.2 (R9 285) and newer as the requirement due to that out-of-the-box/default support, but high-end GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics cards can usually work with these game ports if you switch from the Radeon DRM driver to AMDGPU DRM in order for the RADV Mesa Vulkan driver to work. GCN 1.0/1.1 support has matured more for the AMDGPU DRM driver, but AMD still isn't yet ready to switch the default Direct Rendering Manager driver for these cards especially with some functionality around multimedia/video still missing. But switching over to the AMDGPU driver on these cards can be as easy on modern kernels/distributions as using the "radeon.si_support=0 radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1 amdgpu.cik_support=1" kernel module parameters. Once that's done, the RADV Vulkan driver will generally "just work" with these older AMD GCN graphics processors.

The GCN 1.0/1.1 RADV support was playing just fine with the brand new Total War: Warhammer II Linux game port... Well, performance may be a different story depending upon your graphics card. I ran some benchmarks from this setup using the Linux 4.19.2 kernel and Mesa 19.0-devel via the Padoka PPA. The GCN 1.0/1.1 hardware I tested with AMDGPU+RADV for this new Linux game release was the Radeon HD 7950, R9 270X, R9 285, R9 290, and R7 370. Plus testing some older Kepler/Maxwell. Building off my earlier Warhammer II Linux gaming benchmarks, here's a 25-way graphics card comparison at 1080p and 1440p resolutions.

- GTX 680
- GTX 760
- GTX 780 Ti
- GTX 950
- GTX 960
- GTX 970
- GTX 980
- GTX 980 Ti
- GTX 1060
- GTX 1070
- GTX 1070 Ti
- GTX 1080
- GTX 1080 Ti
- RTX 2070
- RTX 2080 Ti
- HD 7950
- R9 270X
- R9 285
- R9 290
- R7 370
- RX 560
- RX 580
- R9 Fury
- RX Vega 56
- RX Vega 64

All of these benchmarks were carried out via the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. Since the game's Linux release earlier this week has already been more than 32 hours clocked in of benchmarking this game.

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