Valve's ACO Shader Compiler Back-End For Radeon Vulkan Is Now In Good Shape For GCN 1.0
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 23 January 2020 at 12:55 PM EST. 20 Comments
As last minute material for Mesa 20.0 is making Valve's "ACO" AMD compiler back-end for the RADV Vulkan driver in better shape for GFX6/GCN1.0 graphics hardware.

Enabling RADV ACO, which was mainlined in Mesa 19.3, can shorten Vulkan shader compiler times and help with overall gaming performance. The results have been compelling and initially was focused on the very recent AMD Radeon graphics cards.

With time older generations of AMD GPU support has been seeing ACO enablement and now the support is being rounded out for Southern Islands / GCN 1.0 hardware. This, of course, is the oldest hardware that has RADV Vulkan driver support and is only the case when opting to use the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver rather than the default Radeon DRM kernel driver.

Merged today is the latest round of GFX6 fixes putting the ACO support in better standing and ahead of next week's Mesa 20.0 feature freeze.

Granted, an increasing number of new Linux games and Steam Play titles will have difficulty playing on the old Radeon HD 7000 series hardware but at least the ACO option with its performance benefits may make the games at least a bit more playable.
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