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Valve really do seem to be the champions of Linux right now. Even if you don't like Steam you cannot deny just how much they have done for our ecosystem already. The latest effort is to improve Mesa.

LunarGLunarG received funding from Valve to explore the possibility of game performance improvements using the LunarGLASS technology in the Mesa driver, specifically the potential for FPS improvements through shader runtime improvements. LunarGLASS includes the glslang frontend and the LLVM compiler component as well additional modifications to make LLVM suitable for shader compilation.

The main component developed for this effort was a translator from LunarGLASS Bottom IR to Mesa GLSL IR. This allows all Mesa backends which consume Mesa GLSL IR to potentially benefit from this technology, including i965.


You can see a .pdf full of slides with more information on it here.

They have funded LunarG to conduct test and write code for "Glassy Mesa" to improve the Mesa open source graphics project.

They mentioned tests on Left 4 Dead 2 that showed a 15%-22% improvement which for graphics performance is in my eyes a massive change and I really hope something comes out of this. Although this is only from a couple of random samples taken, so it may not indicate such a good improvement overall.

The crazy thing is this took only 10 weeks to achieve by one person. Imagine if this work kept up and all the distributions picked it up. We could really get ahead of other operating systems graphical performance, and I am sure we can all agree that would be great.

See the full post on it here. For the code geeks amongst us it's all available to check out on github.

The slides do note there is much work to be done, so it's probably still some ways away from being include into Mesa itself for distributions to pick up.

We have contacted LunarG to keep us updated on this. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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FutureSuture 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: Tony
Quoting: FutureSutureAnother reason for me to feel safe with switching to an AMD GPU soon. Thanks, Valve!
There are devs, who claims about their games, which will work only with nVidia or nVidia/Intel HD Graphics GPU accelerator.
AMD still sucks, sadly.
Which developers?
Quoting: fowllWill this only benefit open source drivers?
Since only open source drivers use Mesa, it appears so.
Quoting: FTW
Quoting: FutureSutureAnother reason for me to feel safe with switching to an AMD GPU soon. Thanks, Valve!
How does that fix AMD's crappy drivers? :/
This isn't about AMD's proprietary driver. Couldn't care less about it.
Anonymous 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: FTW
Quoting: FutureSutureAnother reason for me to feel safe with switching to an AMD GPU soon. Thanks, Valve!
How does that fix AMD's crappy drivers? :/
It doesn't we are on the Linux because we prefer open source software, and AMD leads there. I don't care how crappy their proprietary drivers they understand the power of open source.
FutureSuture 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: berarmaI think Mesa improvements are good for EVERYONE. I'd like Mesa made propietary OpenGL drivers irrelevant and that manufacturers like AMD, Nvidia and Intel just distributed Mesa drivers.
AMD and Intel are on that path, but Nvidia? ;)
Half-Shot 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: SslaxxLLVM, yet again proving itself to be a wonder tech.

A wondererous awesome piece of software my brain cannot understand :P. But it is cool.
Half-Shot 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: FutureSuture
Quoting: berarmaI think Mesa improvements are good for EVERYONE. I'd like Mesa made propietary OpenGL drivers irrelevant and that manufacturers like AMD, Nvidia and Intel just distributed Mesa drivers.
AMD and Intel are on that path, but Nvidia? ;)

Even Nvidia to an extent :P
FTW 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: Anonymous
Quoting: FTW
Quoting: FutureSutureAnother reason for me to feel safe with switching to an AMD GPU soon. Thanks, Valve!
How does that fix AMD's crappy drivers? :/
It doesn't we are on the Linux because we prefer open source software, and AMD leads there. I don't care how crappy their proprietary drivers they understand the power of open source.

So their excuse for providing crappy drivers is because you should use open source drivers? Sound like you just made that up in an attempt to defend their lack of love for Linux, also aren't open source drivers by by their community and not them? I heard they are making some progress though in terms of the propriety drivers, have they changed their mind?

For now I rather stay with Nvidia and Intel, I couldn’t care less if the driver is open source or not, I will just pick whatever has the best performance, compatibility and stability.
FutureSuture 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: FTW
Quoting: Anonymous
Quoting: FTW
Quoting: FutureSutureAnother reason for me to feel safe with switching to an AMD GPU soon. Thanks, Valve!
How does that fix AMD's crappy drivers? :/
It doesn't we are on the Linux because we prefer open source software, and AMD leads there. I don't care how crappy their proprietary drivers they understand the power of open source.
So their excuse for providing crappy drivers is because you should use open source drivers? Sound like you just made that up in an attempt to defend their lack of love for Linux, also aren't open source drivers by by their community and not them? I heard they are making some progress though in terms of the propriety drivers, have they changed their mind?

For now I rather stay with Nvidia and Intel, I couldn’t care less if the driver is open source or not, I will just pick whatever has the best performance, compatibility and stability.
Where exactly did he say that that is AMD's excuse for poor proprietary drivers? AMD employs at least 6 full time developers who work on its open source driver and who have made tremendous strides over the past year, making the open source driver close in performance to and far, far more stable than AMD's proprietary driver. The proprietary driver is improving, but the open source driver is improving faster. AMD has even detailed its plan to drop the proprietary driver and go with the open source driver (likely because the proprietary driver is such a mess), instead offering proprietary bits to use on top of the open source driver for game optimisations. When it comes to AMD, performance, compatibility and stability dictate that one should use the open source driver.
Anonymous 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: FutureSuture
Quoting: FTW
Quoting: Anonymous
Quoting: FTW
Quoting: FutureSutureAnother reason for me to feel safe with switching to an AMD GPU soon. Thanks, Valve!
How does that fix AMD's crappy drivers? :/
It doesn't we are on the Linux because we prefer open source software, and AMD leads there. I don't care how crappy their proprietary drivers they understand the power of open source.
So their excuse for providing crappy drivers is because you should use open source drivers? Sound like you just made that up in an attempt to defend their lack of love for Linux, also aren't open source drivers by by their community and not them? I heard they are making some progress though in terms of the propriety drivers, have they changed their mind?

For now I rather stay with Nvidia and Intel, I couldn’t care less if the driver is open source or not, I will just pick whatever has the best performance, compatibility and stability.
Where exactly did he say that that is AMD's excuse for poor proprietary drivers? AMD employs at least 6 full time developers who work on its open source driver and who have made tremendous strides over the past year, making the open source driver close in performance to and far, far more stable than AMD's proprietary driver. The proprietary driver is improving, but the open source driver is improving faster. AMD has even detailed its plan to drop the proprietary driver and go with the open source driver (likely because the proprietary driver is such a mess), instead offering proprietary bits to use on top of the open source driver for game optimisations. When it comes to AMD, performance, compatibility and stability dictate that one should use the open source driver.

Oh in that case that's quite awesome I have to admit. I didn't know they actually hired people to work on them, my bad. Well if they actually drop the proprietary drivers in general and use open source ones as their officials ones, that's great. One of my friends is planning on buying one of the cheaper Steam machines, which is apparently going to have an AMD card. I was worried about their drivers because SteamOS would probably use the proprietary ones by default, however if they are going fully open source then that's no longer a problem.

At the same time, I still don't really care if Nvidia (or anyone else) sticks to proprietary drivers, I just care about the result, if it works well then I'm happy.
Saleck 8 Jun, 2014
They could rename it Black Mesa while they're at it :)
omer666 8 Jun, 2014
Quoting: AnonymousAt the same time, I still don't really care if Nvidia (or anyone else) sticks to proprietary drivers, I just care about the result, if it works well then I'm happy.

Well, I am an nVidia customer, I run Arch Linux, and as such, I would REALLY want them to go open source, to the extent that I even consider going AMD in a few years if things keep on going that way. There are several open source improvements as of lately that really need vendors to clarify their position. For example, it is important for nVidia to do something about KMS and Wayland. We just CAN'T do without Wayland in the future (or MIR, whatever...). As time goes by, Flash slowly disappears, Mozilla's Shumway continues to improve towards its final state, Intel and AMD will soon work better than ever on open source only systems. We finally have the opportunity to run fully open source OS, nVidia needs to do something about this, because if they don't, I'll switch to something else. I don't expect games to be open source because they are works of art and include a part of intellectual propriety, which makes the whole thing much harder to sort out. But for a damn driver... come on ! New versions still break things badly, on GNOME desktop as well as KDE, things that could have been prevented by publishing the damn source code.
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