Raven Ridge Desktop APUs Come Out Tomorrow, The Likely Linux Requirements
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 11 February 2018 at 01:41 PM EST. 39 Comments
AMD --
For those that haven't been paying attention or have lost track of time, the first two Raven Ridge desktop APUs are expected to become available tomorrow with their Zen CPU cores and Vega graphics.

12 February is the launch date for the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G. The Ryzen 3 2200G is the $99 USD CPU that is quad-core without SMT, 3.5GHz base frequency and 3.7GHz turbo frequency. The 2200G has Vega 8 graphics with eight compute units and a 1.1GHz clock frequency. The Ryzen 5 2400G meanwhile is a quad-core / eight thread design with 3.6GHz base frequency, 3.9GHz turbo frequency, and Vega 11 graphics meaning 11 compute units and a 1250MHz clock speed. Both of these desktop APU parts are rated for a 65 Watt TDP.

While these are the first Ryzen 2000 series processors, they are not Zen+ 12nm CPUs like those expected to launch in the months ahead but still manufactured on a 14nm process.

Unfortunately, tomorrow we will not have Linux benchmarks to share of the Ryzen 3 2200G / Ryzen 5 2400G. While we have been having great experiences with Ryzen / Threadripper / EPYC ever since AMD got the "performance marginality problem" under control, for reasons unknown we didn't receive any review samples of these Raven Ridge desktop APUs. Quite a shame really as we've been really looking forward to Raven Ridge and these APUs have a lot of potential for Linux customers given the good open-source Radeon graphics driver stack and the Zen Linux support now in order. But a result, tomorrow when these CPUs become available through retail channels I will be buying one or both of them depending upon availability and actual pricing... So assuming they are in good supply tomorrow, by the middle of the week we should be able to begin delivering plenty of Raven Ridge Linux desktop benchmarks.

In terms of likely Linux requirements, you will need to be using at least the Linux 4.15 kernel that was released in January. Raven Ridge display support like the RX Vega GPUs is implemented only with AMDGPU DC, so it places a requirement at least of Linux 4.15 for having mainline AMDGPU DC support. By using Linux 4.15 you can also have Zen temperature monitoring support (assuming no offsets or other driver adjustments are needed for these new desktop APUs) and all around good support plus Spectre protection.

With the in-development Linux 4.16 kernel there are a number of Raven Ridge fixes, but without being able to test any actual hardware yet, I don't know if any of those fixes/changes are required good 2200G/2400G APU support. But generally speaking, the newer the kernel will yield the better AMDGPU experience. Alternatively, if on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or another enterprise Linux distribution, there will presumably be support with the AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver.

Besides needing Linux 4.15~4.16, it's also recommended to be using Mesa 18.0 or 18.1-dev Git built against LLVM 6.0/7.0 for having the best and fastest possible RadeonSI/RADV graphics support. Also using GCC 7 as the default system compiler for at least having "znver1" tuning support but the Zen tuning is even better with the upcoming GCC 8 stable release.

Long story short though, I will have much more information to share in the days ahead once getting my hands on the Ryzen 3 2200G and/or Ryzen 5 2400G for Linux testing and eventual BSD tests too. If you enjoy all my Linux hardware reviews and benchmarks, you can show your support by joining Phoronix Premium or making a PayPal tip. Stay tuned for the long-awaited Zen+Vega APU Linux benchmarks!
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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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