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Linux: Mesa 17.2 improves 3D performance significantly

Friday, September 8th, 2017 | Gadgets

Especially for owners of modern graphics cards from AMD, the current version 17.2 of the 3D driver for Linux Mesa brings significant improvements. But also users of Intel graphics chips may look forward to improved Vulcan 1.0.54 support. Mesa 17.2 also introduces the first extensions to the OpenGL 4.6 specifications, which were presented at the end of July 2017. Some improvements to the VC4 Mesa driver are designed to significantly improve the performance of graphics chips on Raspberry Pi.

The Radeonsi drivers for AMD graphics cards included in the current Mesa package benefit from two features: Threaded Gallium for Radeonsi and OpenGL Threaded Dispatch. The former is new and promises, according to AMD developers in some games an increase in the image rate between 10 and 20 percent. OpenGL Threaded Dispatch has already been implemented in Mesa 17.1.
In the current version, the feature is now enabled for some games, such as Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Civilization 5, and 6, as well as The Witcher 2. Which games will benefit from a Whitelist for which the AMD developers also provide feedback from users answer.
SteamVR now also on Linux
With the volcano driver Radv for AMD's graphics chips, there were numerous improvements and error corrections. This includes code that supports SteamVR on Linux. However, the developers have decided that he is not ready for Vega and remains disabled for these graphics cards. Anyway, it takes a while before the AMD developers have adapted the code for Vega cards so that it is also accepted in the Linux kernel. For Radeonsi to work with Vega and Raven Ridge cards, the compiler infrastructure LLVM is required in version 5.0.0, which has just been released.

The i965 Mesa driver for Intel chips now also works with the graphics cores in coffee-lake processors. For the graphics unit in the Cannon-Lake CPUs, there is first code, but only provides rudimentary support. The volcano driver Anv for Intel chips received extensions for version 1.0.54 of the graphics platform.
For graphics chips from Nvidia there were also minor changes, but the 3D performance with the appropriate open source drivers remains below average. The nouveau drivers of the kernel do not support the fastest mode of graphics cards from Nvidia. The manufacturer has so far only released firmware that does not allow the change to the most powerful or economical mode, and also retains the corresponding information for the Linux developers. Users need to access the proprietary driver here.


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