A Look At The AMDGPU+RADV Gaming Performance Boost With Linux 4.20
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 26 November 2018 at 03:34 PM EST. 8 Comments
RADEON --
With the interest coming about today from a RADV tweak after bisecting the Linux 4.20 kernel speed-up for this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver with the AMDGPU DRM driver, here are some benchmarks from Linux 4.16 through 4.20 looking at the performance on Polaris and Vega graphics cards.

With the reports of RADV performance being better on Linux 4.20 and some of my basic tests in the past of 4.20 Git also trending higher, I decided to run a concentrated set of benchmarks today of Linux 4.16/4.17/4.18/4.19/4.20 with Mesa 19.0-devel from the Padoka PPA on Ubuntu 18.10.


Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards were used for testing. The only components being swapped out were the GPUs and the kernel versions for this multi-way comparison.

Before getting to the results, you may notice that this large comparison is all on a single page... That's how all featured articles appear for Phoronix Premium members: multi-page articles are shown on a single page and completely ad-free. If you would like those benefits and more, consider getting in on our holiday special that will expire tonight. Your support allows for these interesting benchmarks to continue.

With Batman: Arkham Origins being under DXVK + Steam Play plus being benchmark friendly, that was tested for some DXVK exposure. But jiving with reports, the Linux 4.20 performance isn't improved from this AMDGPU DRM change about allocating vRAM as a power of two. Interestingly on the RX Vega card was better performance on 4.16~4.17 before seeing a drop with Linux 4.18.



Rise of the Tomb Raider with Vulkan is significantly faster on RX Vega 64 with Linux 4.20 but was largely unchanged with the RX 580.

Talos Principle on the RX Vega 64 also benefited heavily from the Linux 4.20 kernel.


The new Total War: Warhammer II Linux port also benefited on the RX Vega 64 from Linux 4.20.

The synthetic VKMark Vulkan benchmark was faster on both tested graphics cards with Linux 4.20.

Particularly for the Vega GPU, the AMDGPU improvements in Linux 4.20 are quite promising -- that's in addition to many other new features/improvements in Linux 4.20 making for another exciting kernel update. And as one last reminder if you enjoyed all these results as a single page article, make use of our Cyber Monday deal today to go premium so all your featured articles will appear as a single, ad-free page moving ahead with more exciting Linux benchmarks for December and certainly much more in 2019.
About The Author
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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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