AMD Releases AMDGPU-PRO Beta Driver For Mining / Compute Customers
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 17 October 2017 at 09:07 PM EDT. 5 Comments
AMD --
AMD this week has quietly released an updated AMDGPU-PRO 17.40 hybrid driver targeting mining and GPGPU compute Linux customers.

The sole listed change with this AMDGPU-PRO 17.40 update is large page support for blockchain compute workloads. This is advertised as the "AMDGPU-PRO Beta Mining Driver 17.40" driver.

The release page mentions, "Introduces Large Page Support for Blockchain Compute Workloads. This driver is provided as a beta level support driver which should be considered "as is" and will not be supported with further updates, upgrades or bug fixes. This driver is not intended for graphics or gaming workloads."

While the driver has large page support, it requires also booting the kernel with e.g. "amdgpu.vm_fragment_size=9" for 2MB page support.

Those mining cryptocurrencies like Ethereum rely upon the AMDGPU-PRO driver when running on Radeon GPUs due to the newer ROCm OpenCL compute stack not yet fully working against upstream open-source components (e.g. the Linux kernel and LLVM) while the open-source Clover OpenCL stack isn't good enough for a majority of compute workloads. Hopefully in the months ahead ROCm will begin working on more upstream components.

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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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