Polaris Open-Source Radeon Performance Has Evolved Much Over The Past Year

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 5 June 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 3. 29 Comments.

This month will mark one year since the release of the Radeon 400 "Polaris" graphics cards. With the one year anniversary and also celebrating the 13th birthday of Phoronix, I ran some comparison tests showing the progress of the AMDGPU+RadeonSI driver stack over the better part of the past year using a Radeon RX 470 Polaris graphics card.

The AMDGPU+RadeonSI stack has advanced greatly over the past year in performance, OpenGL compliance and features, and much more. The RADV Vulkan driver has also been taking shape nicely, but this article is just looking at the RadeonSI OpenGL performance. Originally I planned to begin the tests with Mesa 12.0 as there was Polaris support available via that branch, but that old Mesa build in turn was causing rendering issues with the Unity desktop on Ubuntu 17.04. So for my baseline tests of the driver state last year not too far after the Polaris launch was using the Linux 4.7 kernel with Mesa 13.0 built against LLVM 3.9.

AMD Polaris One Year Phoronix

For the modern tests, the same RX 470 system was used but upgrading to the Linux 4.12 Git kernel and Mesa 17.2-dev via Git as of today built against LLVM 5.0 SVN.

All of the tests were done via the Phoronix Test Suite. Additional Radeon driver comparisons in a similar manner, including with RADV, will be coming up shortly on Phoronix.

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