Mesa 20.3 + Linux 5.9 Is In Great Shape Against AMDVLK, AMDGPU-PRO
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 14 September 2020. Page 1 of 9. 19 Comments

The Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" with its ACO back-end by default is now winning nearly across the board against not only AMD's AMDVLK Vulkan driver with LLVM back-end but also AMDGPU-PRO with the proprietary shader compiler back-end.

Recently I wrapped up tests on a Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX 5600 XT, Radeon RX 5700 XT, and Radeon VII graphics cards in a few different driver configurations:

Ubuntu 20.04.1 Stock - The out-of-the-box driver experience found with Ubuntu 20.04.1 on its Linux 5.4 kernel and Mesa 20.0.8 (and in turn LLVM 10.0 back-end).

Linux 5.9 + Mesa 20.3 - Upgrading the Ubuntu installation to using a Linux 5.9 Git snapshot as well as Mesa 20.3-devel. This testing was at the end of August so quite close to the state as well of the imminent Mesa 20.2. ACO back-end is used by default with Mesa RADV.

AMDVLK 2020.Q3.3 - The latest open-source AMDVLK driver as of testing time while using Linux 5.9. The official AMDVLK Ubuntu binaries were used.

AMDGPU-PRO 20.30 - Using the packaged "PRO" driver components from the Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 release with its DKMS module and packaged driver components.

All tests were performed from the usual Ryzen 9 3950X testbed with ASUS CROSHAIR VIII HERO motherboard, 16GB of RAM, 2TB Corsair Force MP600 NVMe SSD, and with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a wide range of Linux gaming tests were carried out -- both native game ports as well as Windows titles via Steam Play -- plus a few OpenGL games too.

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