Running The RadeonSI NIR Back-End With Mesa 19.1 Git
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 10 February 2019. Page 4 of 4. 23 Comments

Some of the synthetic OpenGL benchmarks were also helped by the NIR route.

When looking at the CPU usage between these RadeonSI configurations, overall it was nearly the same but under the default stack there were cases of higher CPU spikes than with the NIR mode.

The GPU usage for the most part was the same.

Just in select cases like BioShock Infinite were there some areas where using NIR led to lower GPU utilization while still delivering faster performance on advantage.

Arguably the most important factor though is no longer hitting any major problems like we encountered in past rounds of RadeonSI NIR testing. But as far as when the RadeonSI NIR mode will be enabled by default, that has yet to be determined but can be easily enabled via the R600_DEBUG=nir environment variable for more widespread testing.

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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 10,000 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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