AMD's Open-Source Mesa Driver Continues To Be Ruthlessly Optimized For Workstation Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 24 August 2021 at 06:05 AM EDT. 27 Comments
RADEON --
One of the areas where AMD's long-standing "PRO" OpenGL driver has generally held an advantage over RadeonSI Gallium3D has been around workstation software but that has been changing.

Over the past year there have been AMD developers working on making major optimizations for SPECViewPerf workloads, lowering the driver overhead, and other improvements for workstation OpenGL software.

On top of all the work achieved over the past year, it looks like another batch of improvements will be landing shortly and that could put it at the brink of parity with AMD's Windows/Linux closed-source OpenGL driver.

In the community discussion stemming from the recent Zink benchmarks, well known AMD open-source Mesa driver developer Marek Olšák commented, "The current gap for Snx [Siemens NX] between pro drivers and Mesa is ~2% with my private branch."

He later added that he hopes to get those remaining patches reviewed and upstreamed into Mesa RadeonSI over the next month or so. Thus by the time of Mesa 21.3 at the end of the year it's possible RadeonSI will be very competitive to Radeon Software PRO for workstation use-cases while already on the gaming front the Mesa driver stack has long reigned supreme.
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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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