How The AMD Polaris Open-Source Driver Performance Has Evolved Since Launch
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 30 October 2016 at 03:00 PM EDT. 23 Comments
If you've been wondering how the AMDGPU+RadeonSI open-source driver stack has evolved since the hardware publicly launched, I ran some fresh benchmarks this weekend comparing my current driver numbers to that of my original Radeon RX 470 Linux review.

What we have to look at this Sunday is the open-source driver stack from early August on the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 470 OC with Linux 4.8 and Mesa 12.1-dev compared to the state today with Mesa 13.1-dev + LLVM 4.0 SVN Git and Linux 4.8.4 stable (since only recently the Linux 4.9 AMDGPU fallout has been getting cleaned up).

Various OpenGL benchmarks were compared to the original numbers on the same Xeon E3-1280 v5 Skylake system with MSI C236A WORKSTATION motherboard, and 16GB of RAM. Besides the performance, back in August this open-source driver stack only supported OpenGL 4.3 while now it has all GL 4.4/4.5 extensions although it doesn't formally advertise the new versions yet pending conformance. There's also been the mainlining of the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver too that works on the RX 470.

There's been some nice performance improvements to RadeonSI/Mesa over just the past 2~3 months!

Less noticeable in some tests though.

Tesseract performance has even improved.

BioShock Infinite saw some significant optimizations recently.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive seems to have slightly regressed.

If you find these tests interesting and would like to see more unique Linux/open-source benchmarks on Phoronix, consider joining Phoronix Premium or making a tip this weekend.
Related News
About The Author
Author picture

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

Popular News This Week