"Radeon Settings" GUI Control Panel May Be Open-Sourced For AMD Linux Users
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 29 June 2016 at 08:59 AM EDT. 42 Comments
Besides the Radeon RX 480 "Polaris" performance numbers no longer being under NDA (see our 12-page Radeon RX 480 Linux review!), also being made public today are the Radeon Software improvements to Radeon Settings around WattMan, the successor to PowerPlay for overclocking/underclocking via the Radeon GUI control panel. But isn't Radeon Settings Windows-only? Yes, for now, but they are looking at the possibility of opening up Radeon Settings for Linux users.

Earlier this month I was on a conference call with AMD/RTG representatives as they were talking about this WattMan and the fine-grained controls they will be exposing to enthusiasts for manipulating the GPU voltage, engine clocks, memory clocks, fan speed, etc. WattMan is supposed to offer precise overclocking and allow modifying the GPU at each of its performance states. Not only is WattMan about delivering the highest maximum performance when gaming but also about greatest power savings when idling.

I actually was interested in listening to their talk about WattMan, until hearing this is just the OverDrive replacement within the Radeon Settings application. Radeon Settings is the successor to the Catalyst Control Center and has been offered since their re-brand of Catalyst to Radeon Software, but only under Windows. With the new AMDGPU-PRO driver stack, there is currently no bundled GUI software for fully taking advantage of all the GPU's options. Radeon Settings is written for Qt5, so it should be relatively easily cross-platform, but it hasn't been available to Linux.

While my hopes for WattMan quickly diminished, on the call when inquiring about this lack of Linux support it was brought up that they are looking to potentially open-source Radeon Software! There is nothing set in stone yet and they are still investigating, but the hope would be to open-source Radeon Software and provide potential basic Linux support so the community can drive it further.

Unfortunately, I don't have much more to share at this time, but will keep you posted when I have anything else to share. Of course, it will likely be a while until it all happens if the stars do align: only with the Linux 4.8 kernel is the AMDGPU DRM driver even getting very basic OverDrive overclocking support and much of the other tunables available via Radeon Software on Windows aren't yet exposed to user-space via the AMDGPU kernel driver.
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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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