Radeon RX 6600 Linux Performance Rising Even Higher With Newest Open-Source Driver
Just one week ago was the public launch of the Radeon RX 6600 as the newest offering in the RDNA2 GPU line-up. While in our Radeon RX 6600 Linux review the performance was good on AMD's well regarded open-source driver stack and standing ground against the likes of the GeForce RTX 3060 with NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver, it turns out the RX 6600 Linux performance can be even better already. Here are benchmarks of the Radeon RX 6600 on Linux across six different driver configurations.
In particular, it appears that the driver state around 1 October that was used for the launch-day RX 6600 Linux review is actually less than ideal -- there appears to have been a regression around that point and with newer (as well as 21.2 stable) driver code there can be measurable gains to Linux gaming performance.
The configurations tested for this article included:
AMDGPU-PRO 21.30 - The newest 21.30 series driver build from AMD with support for the Radeon RX 6600 while installing the "PRO" driver components that are proprietary.
AMDGPU-Open 21.30 - Using the same 21.30 series packaged driver build from AMD, but using the "Open" selection that is a Mesa 21.2-devel based open-source driver package for enterprise Linux distributions.
Linux 5.14 + Mesa 21.2 - The current "stable" baseline performance for the Radeon RX 6600. Linux 5.14 and Mesa 21.2 are the current stable releases in their respective series.
Linux 5.15 + Mesa 21.2 - Sticking to the Mesa 21.2 stable series but shifting to Linux 5.15 Git for the newest kernel code with the latest AMDGPU driver functionality.
Linux 5.15 + Mesa 21.3-dev 1Oct - This is the driver configuration used for the Radeon RX 66000 Linux launch-day review for the RX 6600 and all of the other Radeon GPUs tested. This is basically the latest AMDGPU + RadeonSI/RADV development state as of 1 October when testing began for that review.
Linux 5.15 + Mesa 22.0-dev - The very latest upstream state as of 15 October when testing began for this article. There was the recent branching of Mesa 21.3 and Mesa 22.0-devel now on Git master, so the state between the two series is quite similar for the moment.
The Gigabyte Radeon RX 6600 graphics card was tested across all of these driver configurations with a mix of native and Steam Play (Proton + DXVK) Linux games for seeing the latest performance possibilities for this RDNA2 GPU, how the performance is looking for the AMD packaged driver for enterprise Linux platforms, and also the stable baseline performance.