Intel's Mesa On-Disk Shader Cache Maturing, Radeon Devs Not Yet Convinced
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 13 July 2016 at 08:12 AM EDT. 57 Comments
MESA --
For quite a while now Intel and Collabora developers have been working on an on-disk shader cache similar to what's offered by the NVIDIA proprietary driver for allowing GLSL shaders to be compiled and then cached on-disk, making it quicker to load the shaders in the future. It's looking like the Intel shader cache implementation may soon be ready for Git.

Timothy Arceri of Collabora has been the one most recently working on getting the shader cache all tidied up. Today marks the fourth version of these on-disk shader cache patches.

This morning Timothy sent out the V4 shader cache patches. This on-disk shader cache supports all shader stages except there is no support currently for compute programs.

Timothy explained of the results, "Enabling shader cache with the Shadow of Mordor benchmark make things noticeably smoother and helps consistently keep the min FPS at 15 on my Skylake, were as without it can be anywhere between 4-15."

While this on-disk shader cache does much of the heavy lifting in Mesa, for those wondering, it's not something that could then be enabled trivially in say the RadeonSI and NVC0 Gallium3D drivers. AMD developers currently don't appear to be too interested in an on-disk shader cache as a priority item. Marek Olšák has been working on multi-threaded shader compilation for RadeonSI and previously shared his remarks. There is some belief that the on-disk shader cache wouldn't be useful by many games of Borderlands 2, but there does appear to be some benefit for Talos Principle and Shadow of Mordor at least.
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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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