With the upcoming release of Mesa 20.2 which should hopefully be in late August, it seems AMD GPU owners will get a nice boost thanks to the Valve-backed ACO shader compiler.
Introduced by Valve back in 2019, ACO was designed to replace the huge LLVM project in Mesa for AMD GPUs on Linux, with a specific focus on improving gaming performance. Yesterday, ACO was enabled by default in the Mesa 20.2 development code for the AMD RADV driver, with a note that "No more dragons have been seen, caution is still required...". There's also now a "RADV_DEBUG=llvm" environment variable you can set to force it back to LLVM for testing purposes.
What does all this mean? Keeping it simple: when Mesa 20.2 releases, Vulkan performance across many AMD GPUs on Linux with the RADV driver will see improvements. You can expect to see faster shader compilation times resulting in quicker loading and also often a frame-rate boost too.
Nice to see open source Linux GPU drivers coming along so nicely, this is a pretty exciting change if you're an AMD GPU owner.
Hat tip to Phoronix.