Linux 5.4 Is Big For AMD Radeon Users From New GPU Support To Slightly Faster Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 20 November 2019. Page 1 of 4. 29 Comments

With Linux 5.4 due to be released this coming Sunday, 24 November, one of the big "winners" of this next kernel are AMD Radeon customers. Linux 5.4 brings support for new GPUs as well as better performance for existing graphics cards. Here are some fresh benchmarks of the performance wins as a result of the LRU bulk moves functionality.

Linux 5.4 brings many exciting changes/improvements but in particular for the AMDGPU DRM driver it's particularly exciting. As outlined previously in our Linux 5.4 feature overview some of the AMD work includes:

- Support for next year's AMD Dali and Renoir APUs. Those Vega-based offerings will likely see more work ahead in the coming kernel cycles but at least the initial graphics support is in place.

- Initial support for the Arcturus GPU that is compute-only and Vega-based but with seemingly a fair number of changes compared to Vega 20.

- Initial support for Navi 12 and Navi 14 GPUs to complement the existing Navi 10 support. Though for Linux 5.4, that support is hidden behind a feature flag.

- For existing Navi 10 support there are DC/display fixes, power management changes, and other fixes in general. With the Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT I have had great success with those GPUs paired with Linux 5.4 and Mesa 19.3/20.0-devel to the point of no longer having any lock-ups at least at stock frequencies, etc.

- LRU bulk moves are enabled for faster performance. This has been sought after for helping AMD Linux gaming but can also help compute workloads too. In this article are some fresh benchmarks of Linux 5.4 compared to Linux 5.3 stable.

For those curious about the performance benefits in moving to Linux 5.4 for Radeon graphics, here are some fresh benchmarks I did using the Linux 5.3 stock kernel of Ubuntu 19.10 compared to Linux 5.4 Git as of last week. Mesa 20.0-devel was providing the latest RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers from the Oibaf PPA.

Fresh benchmarks between Linux 5.3 and 5.4 were one with the Radeon RX 590, RX 5700 XT, and Radeon VII graphics cards via the Phoronix Test Suite.

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