Radeon Software 18.40 vs. Mesa vs. AMDVLK Benchmarks With Radeon RX Vega

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 26 October 2018. Page 1 of 5. 12 Comments

This week marked the release of Radeon Software 18.40 as the latest release of AMD's Linux driver stack targeting workstation users. While the sole mentioned change was the addition of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 support, I decided to run some benchmarks of this latest driver compared to the other open-source Radeon Linux driver options.

Using an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card, I conducted fresh Linux gaming benchmarks of the following driver configurations:

Ubuntu 18.04 Stock - The stock Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS release with the Linux 4.15 kernel and Mesa 18.0.5.

AMDGPU-PRO 18.40 - The Radeon Software 18.40 release using the "PRO" (closed-source) OpenGL and Vulkan drivers. The OpenGL driver is exposed as OpenGL 4.6.13540... That does remain one of the few advantages to AMD's closed-source OpenGL driver is support for GL 4.6 while RadeonSI Gallium3D remains at OpenGL 4.5.

AMDGPU-Open 18.40 - The Radeon Software 18.40 release using the open-source DKMS stack and Mesa. The open-source components provided were of Mesa 18.1.0-rc4 -- sad to not yet be on Mesa 18.2 and with that a very dated 18.0 build, not even one of the point releases.

Linux 4.19 + Mesa 18.2.3 - The Linux 4.19.0 stable kernel release paired with Pkppa for providing Mesa 18.2.3 built against LLVM 7.0 SVN.

Linux 4.19 + Mesa 18.3-dev - The Linux 4.19.0 stable kernel release paired with the Padoka unstable PPA for Mesa 18.3-dev built against LLVM 8.0 SVN.

AMDVLK 20181026 - The Linux 4.19.0 stable kernel with the latest open-source AMDVLK open-source driver code and its LLPC LLVM back-end.

Radeon Software 18.40 Linux Benchmarks

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of OpenGL and Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks were carried out from this AMD Ryzen Threadripper + RX Vega 56 system.

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