Trying Out DRM-Next For Linux 4.16 With AMDGPU On Polaris & Vega
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 22 January 2018 at 07:06 PM EST. 7 Comments
I have spent some time this weekend trying out the DRM-Next code slated for inclusion in Linux 4.16 when its merge window opens next week. The DRM-Next state of the AMDGPU driver appears to be in good shape, at least for the RX 580 and RX Vega cards used for my initial testing.

See my earlier article The DRM Graphics Driver Changes Coming For Linux 4.16 for details on the AMDGPU changes as well as those affecting Intel, Nouveau, and the other Direct Rendering Manager driver changes.

My DRM-Next testing paired with Mesa 17.4-dev on Ubuntu 17.10 has been going well for the RX 580 (both with and without DC) and with the RX Vega 56.

But the most important thing many of you are probably wondering... is the performance any different? The short answer is at least with common Vulkan and OpenGL games/benchmarks, on the RX 580 and RX Vega 56 the performance barely budged.

In some tests it looked like DRM-Next was trying to edge higher, but not in any significant way or where it would be noticeable to the end-user / Linux gamer.

More data can be found on

X-Plane 11 would start running but then crash as the only apparent regression I encountered during my AMD Polaris and Vega testing so far of this code to be included in Linux 4.16. Those on Ubuntu/Debian-based systems wanting to try out the DRM-Next code can easily do so via the Ubuntu mainline kernel PPA.
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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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