RADV Mesa Driver Now Faster Than AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan?
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 2 November 2016 at 11:49 AM EDT. 48 Comments
Earlier this week I published fresh RadeonSI OpenGL Mesa 13.1-dev vs. AMDGPU-PRO results for these two AMD OpenGL Linux drivers given last week's hybrid driver update. Here are some Radeon RX 480 results for Dota 2 with Vulkan using Mesa 13.1-dev RADV and the AMDGPU-PRO 16.40 release.

I couldn't deliver the Vulkan results in that aforelinked article due to hitting "LLVM: ERROR: Cannot select: intrinsic %llvm.amdgcn.image.store" errors. That's using the Padoka PPA with Mesa Git and LLVM 4.0 SVN. Though a bug report about the same issue seems to indicate it should have been fixed weeks ago. Anyhow, I noticed my Radeon RX 480 will work with these RADV packages just fine while the Fiji, Tonga, and other GPUs are still hitting this error with the latest Padoka packages.

So for this article are just some quick results of the Radeon RX 480 with the Dota 2 Vulkan renderer. When the packages are updated and RADV back to working on other AMDGPU hardware, I'll have that data compared to AMDGPU-PRO 16.40.

At 1280 x 1024 and 2560 x 1600, the RADV Vulkan results are much faster than AMDGPU-PRO 16.40. As opposed to RADV magically getting much faster, it looks like AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan may have regressed with 16.40 compared to 16.30, especially with these results today showing the only minor difference in those frame-rates between the tested resolutions.

But at 4K with RADV, Dota 2 would hang at the loading screen and never was able to get a successful run on this latest driver stack. RADV being faster than AMDGPU-PRO for Vulkan is different compared to my RADV Mesa benchmarks a few weeks back. The RADV 4K issue also affected my earlier tests. But given I was only able to use the latest packages on a RX 480, stay tuned for more results shortly once new packages roll-out that return to playing happy with my other graphics cards.

Update (10 November 2016): It appears the slowdowns with 16.40 may be due to running it on an unsupported (4.8) kernel. Additional tests happening now.
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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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