Running The Radeon R7 260X With The Experimental AMDGPU Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 31 January 2016 at 09:00 AM EST. 10 Comments
A few days back I showed the Radeon vs. AMDGPU vs. Catalyst kernel driver potential when testing on the R9 290 "Hawaii" graphics card that has experimental and disabled-by-default support for the new AMDGPU kernel driver primarily designed for AMD GCN 1.2 GPUs and newer. Those results were interesting and showed some areas where AMDGPU came out faster than Radeon, so I decided to run experimental tests on another GCN 1.1 Sea Islands GPU that can be made to work with this kernel driver.

For some more benchmarking results to share this weekend, I did some Radeon vs. AMDGPU DRM tests from Linux 4.5-rc1 on this Radeon R7 260X Bonaire graphics card. I didn't test it on AMDGPU vs. Radeon previously since this graphics card is normally busy on a daily basis within one of the racked up systems. However, in having that chassis open this weekend, I decided to run these extra results.

This is just a comparison of AMDGPU vs. Radeon DRM on the same graphics card. Mesa 11.2-devel with LLVM 3.9 SVN via the Padoka PPA was the user-space. Getting the R7 260X to run with the AMDGPU kernel driver required enabling the off-by-default AMDGPU CIK support option, updating the Bonaire firmware, and black-listing the Radeon DRM driver from the 4.5 kernel.

While in the R9 290 comparison I also tested Catalyst to make for a fun three-way, that couldn't happen for the R7 260X. When trying to boot Catalyst on this Ubuntu 15.10 system with the R7 260X installed, there were immediately problems:

Thus it's just comparing the two open-source Direct Rendering Manager drivers. Here's a teaser of some of the results:

To see all of the AMDGPU vs. Radeon benchmark results for the R7 260X, visit this result file. See you there!
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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 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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