Radeon RADV+ACO Vulkan Performance Is In Great Shape For Mesa 20.2
With the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" recently switching its default to the ACO shader compiler back-end that is developed with the support of Valve rather than the existing AMDGPU LLVM back-end that is the official open-source AMD shader compiler solution, here are some fresh Linux gaming benchmarks of the RADV driver on the in-development Mesa 20.2 comparing the now-default RADV+ACO configuration against that of the RADV AMDGPU LLVM back-end.
Using Mesa 20.2-devel as of 7 July and Linux 5.8 Git, these fresh RADV ACO vs. AMDGPU LLVM banchmarks were carried out on the Intel Core i9 10900K system running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with these software modifications. For those curious how RADV stacks up against AMDGPU-PRO and AMDVLK, there will be some benchmarks comparing those Vulkan driver options as well later this month closer to the Mesa 20.2 branching.
The RADV ACO vs. LLVM comparison was done with a Radeon RX 5700 XT (Navi) and Radeon VII (Vega) graphics cards. Switching back to the older default of AMDGPU LLVM on Mesa 20.2+ can be done using the RADV_DEBUG=llvm environment variable. As of Mesa 20.2, ACO remains just available for RADV with not yet supporting this shader compiler on the RadeonSI OpenGL driver. As a result, just Vulkan gaming benchmarks are conducted for this article today. All benchmarks via the Phoronix Test Suite.