RADV's ACO Back-End Is Helping Radeon Navi Linux Gaming Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 22 November 2019 at 03:09 PM EST. Page 1 of 4. 29 Comments.

It's been almost two months since last looking at the RADV ACO performance for this shader compiler back-end alternative to the AMDGPU LLVM code. ACO is making its debut in the upcoming Mesa 19.3 release while since the last round of testing have been more optimizations and fixes as well as getting the Navi/GFX10 support in place. In this article are some fresh benchmarks of the Vulkan RADV ACO support for not only Polaris and Vega but also the Radeon RX 5700 Navi graphics cards.

With a Radeon RX 590, RX 5700, RX 5700 XT, and VII graphics cards I tested Mesa 20.0-devel Git as of this week paired with Linux 5.4 Git -- the Linux 5.4 kernel upgrade also helps gaming performance. This is our first look at the ACO performance for new Navi graphics processors plus a fresh look in general with the ever-evolving state of Mesa Git. There are also new game tests included, namely the recently ported Shadow of the Tomb Raider by Feral Interactive for seeing how that benefits from the ACO back-end.

ACO Testing November

Activating the ACO back-end on Mesa 19.3+ is as easy as using the RADV_PERFTEST=aco environment variable. At this time the ACO back-end is still only in place for the RADV Vulkan driver with the RadeonSI OpenGL driver something they may explore in the future. Via the Phoronix Test Suite a range of Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks were carried out.

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