AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Linux Gaming Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 21 January 2020. Page 2 of 7. 87 Comments

AMD sent over the Radeon RX 5600 XT review sample last week. When running Linux 5.5 Git and Mesa 20.0-devel I was delighted the card lit up right away and was working with hardware acceleration! Rejoice, good support at launch with no snags! Even better, the performance was looking good!

But then a few days ahead of launch, I was notified of a new video BIOS revision that shifts around the clocks for better performance. After getting around to flashing that vBIOS (on Windows, sadly) I then booted re-started the Linux testing using the same software stack as previously. Unfortunately, that updated vBIOS destroyed the Linux performance -- I had to check at first if I was running LLVMpipe (software rasterizer) or not as the performance was so incredibly low... Almost like no re-clocking / increasing of performance state was happening, like we've seen all routinely with Nouveau...

I alerted the AMD Linux folks but unfortunately as of writing have not received any firm resolution as of launch day. But long story short, the new vBIOS that Sapphire is recommending for consumers sadly seems to mess up the Linux performance for the worse... Hopefully just a trivial AMDGPU Linux kernel driver patch will be needed or a corrected vBIOS. But we'll see soon enough, but too bad this vBIOS had to throw a wrench into the otherwise good Linux support at launch. The one theory expressed so far is that they may need to release a new SMC firmware binary for linux-firmware.git that is compatible with the new RX 5600 XT vBIOS. At least this means no kernel patch would be needed but is one more item AMD Linux owners need to make sure they have on their system otherwise their performance will be a big problem.

So for this article I am just publishing the Linux benchmarks using the original vBIOS. Tests were off Linux 5.5 + Mesa 20.0-devel for the AMD Radeon graphics cards and the NVIDIA 440.48.02 beta on the GeForce side. The tested graphics cards included:

- GTX 970
- GTX 980 Ti
- GTX 1060
- GTX 1070
- GTX 1650
- GTX 1660
- GTX 1660 SUPER
- GTX 1660 Ti
- RTX 2060
- RTX 2060 SUPER
- RX 560
- RX 570
- RX 580
- RX 590
- RX Vega 56
- RX Vega 64
- RX 5500 XT
- RX 5600 XT
- RX 5700
- RX 5700 XT

Via the Phoronix Test Suite various OpenGL and Vulkan gaming benchmarks were carried out. The GPU power consumption and GPU core temperatures were also monitored throughout testing. Additional Radeon RX 5600 XT (and Navi in general) Linux benchmarks are coming up soon.

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