AMD Tonga & Fiji Open-Source Performance Boosted By PowerPlay Patches
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 13 November 2015. Page 4 of 4. 58 Comments

It's great to finally have power management / PowerPlay support with the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver! The Radeon R9 285 Tonga graphics card is finally performing closer to where it's supposed to be running. However, the expensive Radeon R9 Fury is still hitting some issues. While the R9 Fury performance has improved a lot with PowerPlay, the real-world OpenGL game tests in this article still show its performance below that of the much cheaper R9 285. There's likely some other problem taking place that's impairing the open-source Fiji performance on Linux.

The only other disappointing part of these new PowerPlay patches is that it will still be a while before it reaches the mainline Linux kernel and works its way down into Linux distributions. For now all you can do is just compile your own kernel with these patches while waiting a few months for the Linux 4.5 kernel. It's a pity since the Radeon R9 285 is already a year old and is only now performing well with the open-source AMD Linux driver, albeit this massive delay has been due in part to AMD rolling out this new "AMDGPU" kernel driver and for future generations the turnaround time should be much quicker.

Coming up this weekend will be benchmarks showing how the R9 285 and R9 Fury now compare to other AMD GCN graphics cards using the common Radeon DRM driver. This will likely be followed by benchmarks showing how these new AMDGPU PowerPlay numbers compare to Tonga and Fiji when using the proprietary Catalyst driver on Linux.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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