Linux 5.16 Graphics Performance In Great Shape For AMD Ryzen APUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 9 January 2022. Page 1 of 4. 25 Comments

Back on Christmas Eve I noted how the Linux 5.16 performance was looking real good for AMD APUs as a performance improvement not widely noted to that point with significant uplift over Linux 5.15 stable. The good news is Linux 5.16 is set to debut as stable today and the benchmark results with AMD APU graphics is looking very promising after carrying out tests on additional available systems.

Last month I originally noticed that nice AMD APU graphics uplift with a Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U within a Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen2 laptop and then also carried out initial tests on a Ryzen 5 5500U. Since then I have been testing Linux 5.16 on more AMD laptops -- both Zen 2 and Zen 3 -- as well as a Zen 3 Ryzen 7 5700G desktop APU and across the board Linux 5.16 is looking very positive AMD APU graphics performance.

I haven't found any similar change in Intel graphics performance with Linux 5.16. (Given some users wrongly speculating otherwise, this nice AMD APU graphics performance boost is also not to be confused with the AMD P-State driver not coming until Linux 5.17 that has the possibility of improving power efficiency.) I also haven't noticed Linux 5.16 delivering any significant gains for AMD Radeon discrete graphics but the excitement is all on the APU graphics front. Due to being busy with plenty of other testing and the speed of most of my AMD Ryzen laptops around, I didn't carry out any bisecting to identify any individual commit in Linux 5.16 that is improving the Radeon graphics performance, but what's important for end-users is to simply know Linux 5.16.

For this latest round of testing to serve as confirmation for these gains, various laptops and a desktop were tested using Linux 5.15 stable against Linux 5.16 Git as of yesterday in its near-final form. The systems were intentionally different for ensuring a diverse look at the AMD APU graphics performance on Linux 5.16 but unfortunately limited by the hardware I have available. Tests were carried out on a Ryzen 5 5500U, Ryzen 9 5900HX, Ryzen 7 4700U, Ryzen 7 4500U, and the desktop side there was a Ryzen 7 5700G system as well as an OnLogic passively-cooled system with Ryzen 7 4800U currently being reviewed at Phoronix.

Here's a look at the great performance uplift to enjoy on AMD APUs with Linux 5.16 shipping later today. Even if not on an AMD system with integrated graphics, Linux 5.16 has many exciting features. As always, if you appreciate my daily Linux/open-source hardware news coverage and constant Linux benchmarking, consider showing your support by joining Phoronix Premium to make this testing possible especially in cases like having had to buy the Ryzen laptops and 5000 series APUs in order to provide the benchmarks such as these.


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