Sunday, December 24th 2017

AMD Releases AMDVLK - Open-Source Vulkan Driver for Linux

AMD released the AMDVLK drivers for Linux. These are the first open-source AMD Radeon graphics drivers featuring 100% support for Vulkan 1.0 graphics API. The drivers include Vulkan 1.0 compliance with support for 30 Vulkan extensions, Radeon GPU Profiler support, in-built debug and profiling tools, mid-command buffer preemption, and SR-IOV virtualization support. AMDVLK implements AMD's Platform Abstraction Library (PAL), an abstraction layer that translates much of AMD's common driver code and features across platforms. The drivers support all AMD Radeon GPUs based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture, going all the way back to the Radeon HD 7000-series. The drivers are released through AMD's GPUOpen GitHub repository.
Source: GitHub
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12 Comments on AMD Releases AMDVLK - Open-Source Vulkan Driver for Linux

#2
GoldenX
With both Nvidia and AMD having good drivers on Linux now, the only problem is porting.
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#4
Imsochobo
Aquinus said:
AMD only did this because open source support for Vulkan via RADV is actually to the point where it sometimes is faster than AMD's version of AMDGPU-Pro and these cases are not edge cases.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amdvlk-radv-amdgpupro&num=1
They did it cause they've committed to it.
AMD gambled on open source strategy and it may pay off, they have invested SERIOUS amount of effort into open source, just giving code is not that straight forward.
there is legal barriers, they may not be able to disclose things under NDA for DRM copy protection and so on and there is also intellectual property within AMD that may be in the code so there is 12-18 months effort just to go through the code for open sourcing.
Amd said two years ago they'll open source the vulkan driver but it's taken a long time.
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#5
GoldenX
They promised a FOSS Vulkan driver before RADV started, in fact, Phoronix asked why the developer of RADV decided to go for a driver that was going to be replaced, he said it was because he has a GCN card and wanted to do it, it kinda took off from there.
Both RADV and the radeonsi OpenGL component in AMDGPU are better than the AMDGPU-PRO driver, but for my GCN 1.0, only the official privative Vulkan driver is stable, so having the best of both worlds without needing AMDGPU-PRO is an epic win for me.
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#6
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
GoldenX said:
They promised a FOSS Vulkan driver before RADV started, in fact, Phoronix asked why the developer of RADV decided to go for a driver that was going to be replaced, he said it was because he has a GCN card and wanted to do it, it kinda took off from there.
Both RADV and the radeonsi OpenGL component in AMDGPU are better than the AMDGPU-PRO driver, but for my GCN 1.0, only the official privative Vulkan driver is stable, so having the best of both worlds without needing AMDGPU-PRO is an epic win for me.
It was only until recently that I was able to effectively use the open source AMDGPU driver with my 390 because experimental support required recompiling the kernel where now it only requires some kernel flags on boot. It actually works amazing well for me. I would almost go so far to say that it's better than the proprietary driver in most cases.
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#9
BorgOvermind
Yes, but it was built on DX.

Even now-days if you run UT99 on GL vs DX it will work and look significantly better.
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#10
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
BorgOvermind said:
Yes, but it was built on DX.

Even now-days if you run UT99 on GL vs DX it will work and look significantly better.
UE4 is a very different animal than UE1. I'mt not quite sure how that's even a valid comparison.
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#11
BorgOvermind
Aquinus said:
UE4 is a very different animal than UE1. I'mt not quite sure how that's even a valid comparison.
There is no comparison. The point is Vulkan can beat now DX in all aspects just like GL could in '99.
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#12
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
BorgOvermind said:
There is no comparison. The point is Vulkan can beat now DX in all aspects just like GL could in '99.
Vulkan is not a replacement for OpenGL but rather as an option when the performance or efficiency is paramount. There are plenty of applications that still use OpenGL and it works perfectly fine. There is an expectation (by Khronos,) that applications that don't require the performance or effiency Vulkan brings should still use OpenGL because it's an easier API to get going with. Vulkan is a more difficult API to implement and it forces the developer to make a lot of decisions that OpenGL makes for you and that dev time could mean the difference between shipping a product and a company failing.
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