Looking Ahead To AMD Ryzen Mobile On Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 26 October 2017 at 06:17 AM EDT. 34 Comments
AMD --
Following AMD on Twitter teasing new Ryzen announcements the past few days, today is expected to be the launch day for the new Ryzen Mobile hardware up to now known as "Raven Ridge".

We weren't briefed ahead of time on the Ryzen Mobile launch and are not under any NDA for today's event. We do know that it's the Ryzen Mobile 5 2500U and Ryzen Mobile 7 2700U launching today and they are what was known as the "Raven Ridge" codename up until now with these mobile parts featuring Zen CPU cores and Vega graphics.

Today's announcement also comes just days after HP accidentally slipped out their first Raven Ridge design in the form of the ENVY x360.

These new Mobile Ryzen parts are said to offer up to twice the CPU power of AMD 7th Gen APUs and 128% faster graphics performance while up to 50% less power.

Windows numbers show the new mobile Ryzen 7 chip competing with Intel's latest Core i7 8550U on the processor front. On the graphics front, however, the Raven parts are running much faster than Intel's latest UHD Graphics. Hopefully this will motivate Intel to release some 8th Gen chips with Iris Graphics...

Expectations from the Linux front are that AMD's new mobile hardware should play fine on recent Linux distributions from the CPU front, just as we've seen for the past few months with all our Zen-based processor testing from Ryzen 3 to EPYC. The area that's a bit more sticky are the onboard Vega graphics. Here you'll either need to be using the AMDGPU-PRO driver or running Linux 4.15+. Not to be confused with the upcoming 4.14 kernel in a few weeks, only with Linux 4.15 is the AMDGPU DC display code for supporting Vega graphics and also proper Raven Ridge display support and many Raven-specific fixes. The Linux 4.15 kernel won't be officially released until roughly the end of January. Of course, if going the mainline Linux / open-source route, you'll want to be using the latest Mesa+LLVM code too, if not using AMDGPU-PRO. With Linux 4.15 is also when the Zen temperature reporting is in place as tacked onto the k10temp kernel driver.

It will be interesting to see what Ryzen Mobile laptop designs come from the prominent vendors in the weeks ahead... I know there are many Phoronix readers that have been waiting for this long-awaited Zen+Vega APU. With that said, I've been saving up, so do hope to pick up a Raven Ridge laptop once finding a model from Lenovo/ASUS/Razer that's interesting and to use as my next main production system. So I will be delivering Ryzen Mobile Linux benchmarks in time as it doesn't look like any review samples are on the way, but unless you want to be using AMDGPU-PRO or -next code for pre-4.15 code, you won't want to rush out picking up a new laptop quite yet.
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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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