Linux 4.12 + Mesa 17.2-dev Yields Noticeable Advantages For Radeon Gamers On Ubuntu 17.04

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 17 May 2017. Page 1 of 5. 26 Comments

While Ubuntu 17.04 "Zesty Zapus" was just released one month ago, by upgrading the Linux kernel and Mesa you can already score measurable performance advantages if you are using AMD Radeon graphics.

For our latest Linux/Mesa Git benchmarking was the Radeon R9 Fury being tested from the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X test system. The following configurations were compared:

- Ubuntu 17.04 out-of-the-box with its Linux 4.10 kernel and Mesa 17.0.3 built against LLVM 4.0 AMDGPU.

- Ubuntu 17.04 then enabling the Padoka PPA to get the latest bleeding-edge Mesa as of 16 May, built against LLVM 5.0 SVN. The Linux 4.10 kernel remained the same.

- Sticking to Mesa 17.2-dev via Padoka and then moving to Linux 4.11 stable.

- Lastly was using Mesa 17.2-dev and then switching to Linux 4.12 Git as of 15 May for a bleeding-edge kernel experience with the latest AMDGPU DRM changes.

There is already a lot of changes to be found in Mesa 17.1, which didn't make it in Ubuntu 17.04 and isn't expected to be back-ported as a stable release update. With Mesa 17.2-dev there is even more with the RadeonSI threaded pipe context and other improvements to both RadeonSI Gallium3D and RADV Vulkan. Mesa 17.2-dev will be released as stable in August, paving the way for it to ideally be incorporated in Ubuntu 17.10 for those not wanting to build Mesa from source or rely upon third-party PPAs.

Linux 4.12 + Mesa 17.2-dev On Ubuntu 17.04

All other settings/hardware remained the same during testing. All of these OpenGL and Vulkan benchmarks were driven in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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