Testing Deus Ex On Linux With RadeonSI Mesa, AMDGPU-PRO
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 3 November 2016 at 09:17 AM EDT. 93 Comments
When it was found out only NVIDIA GPUs are supported by Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on Linux many were disappointed that the Mesa drivers aren't supported. Now that the game was released a short time ago, I have some details to share about the Radeon support for this AAA game title for Linux.

RadeonSI Mesa With R9 Fury: It's damn slow! Horribly slow. This is with Ubuntu 16.04 and Padoka PPA providing LLVM SVN and Mesa 13.1-dev. So even with the latest code, it's damn slow. It's not due to lacking any GL 4.4/4.5 advertising as even if overriding the version number it's the same speed. Our friends at Gears On Gallium have shared some tweaks to make the game run faster with Mesa.

Mesa is very slow to start with since it's still lacking the on-disk shader cache, so shader compilation always bogs down the system. There are some tweaks though to Deus Ex to reduce the time needed. Using the latest Mesa Git will also help thanks to the recent allocation changes. Disabling hair rendering also can help improve performance albeit with lower quality visuals. Enabling the sisched option for the Radeon driver can also give a small performance boost. There are also issues around wrong/disappearing lighting with the game and more tweaks around that.

Long story short, very low performance with RadeonSI but there are some steps to take to boost the performance albeit with lowering the visual quality. Hopefully more Mesa optimizations and fixes to ideally come to Git in the not too distant future will make things better. There are also various improvements on the mailing list as covered routinely in Phoronix articles. So at least those on Mesa 13.0 or Git master plus LLVM 3.9+ should be able to get the game running, it's just not fast and far from ideal.

Due to the state of things, I won't be delivering any GPU Radeon comparison benchmarks today of Deus Ex on Linux as even with the R9 Fury the performance is bad. When Mesa improves, I'll run some comparison tests.

AMDGPU-PRO With R9 Fury: This is using the latest AMDGPU-PRO 16.40 release... With the driver properly installed (and other Steam games running fine), Deus Ex: Mankind Divided would just keep crashing when trying to launch the game.

NVIDIA With The 375 Driver: Things appear going well here. I'll have some NVIDIA comparison benchmarks with this game out in a little bit.

Update: Linux benchmarks here.
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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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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