RADV Picks Up A Performance Boost For id Tech Vulkan-Powered Games On Linux + AMD APUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 28 April 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT. 7 Comments
RADEON --
Those running the RADV Vulkan driver on AMD APUs could soon find themselves having even better performance in select games.

Valve open-source developer Samuel Pitoiset devised a patch to not expose the GTT as device local memory, as one step towards ultimately providing better memory management on APUs. He noted in the patch, "On APUs, the memory is unified (all heaps are equally fast) and apps should count all memory heaps together. But some games like Id Tech games (Youngblood and such) don't manage memory correctly on APUs and they spill everything when one VRAM heap is full. Instead of spilling buffers, they should just allocate new buffers in the second heap but it seems like these games are confused if two memory heaps have the DEVICE_LOCAL_BIT set."

Pitoiset characterizes it as "a huge boost for Id Tech games on APUs" while seemingly not regressing any exciting Vulkan-powered Linux games.

Various id Tech games using Vulkan run on Linux thanks to Steam Play (Proton) with generally great performance. There have been various Mesa RADV driver optimizations in helping out these Windows games run on Linux better and faster while this work merged for Mesa 20.1-devel will help out those using AMD APUs.

Mesa 20.1 is shaping up to be a big feature release and should be debut as stable in roughly one month's time.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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