RADV vs. AMDGPU-PRO vs. AMDVLK Vulkan Linux Driver Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 8 May 2018. Page 1 of 9. 21 Comments

While last week I published some initial Radeon Software 18.10 vs. Mesa benchmarks there was interest by some premium supporters in seeing a three-way comparison of Mesa RADV versus AMDGPU-PRO / Radeon Software 18.10 PRO components vs. the official open-source AMDVLK driver. Here are those results using both Polaris and Vega graphics cards.

While the AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan driver is derived from the same cross-platform code-base as the AMDVLK open-source Vulkan driver, there remains one big difference. The PRO driver stack continues to use AMD's closed-source, internal shader compiler while the AMDVLK driver is using their open-source, LLVM-based compiler.

In the past AMD developers have talked of their official driver components making use of the LLVM stack when it's ready, but for now the PRO driver components are leveraging their internal closed-source compiler and it can make quite a performance difference in some tests.

The PRO Vulkan driver was tested from Radeon Software 18.10, the AMDVLK open-source driver was built from source on 7 May and paired with the Linux 4.16.6 stable kernel, and the RADV Vulkan driver tests was done from Mesa 18.2-devel built against LLVM 6.0 and using the Linux 4.16 kernel. For Radeon Software 18.10 compatibility, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was used.

The MSI Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics cards were used for this round of Vulkan testing with all of the currently-available, benchmark-friendly Linux games at a range of resolutions and quality settings using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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