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AMD GPUs to get Ray Tracing turned on for Mesa 23.2

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The RADV driver in Mesa for AMD GPUs on Linux and Steam Deck is set to get Ray Tracing turned on by default for the upcoming Mesa 23.2 release.

Previously you could try it in certain titles, and there were ways to enable it manually but now you won't have to do anything as the code to turn it on has been merged. Once you upgrade to Mesa 23.2 after release (scheduled for August 2nd at the earliest) with an AMD GPU, you should find games able to use it.

This has been a long time coming, so it's really great to see Ray Tracing really getting into shape for those with an AMD GPU. It also means it will be doable on Steam Deck whenever Valve upgrade SteamOS to have the newer Mesa version, although it likely won't run too well there in many titles.

You can read more on the behind the scenes work from developer Friedrich Vock on their blog post.

What are you looking forward to trying with it?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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20 comments
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ripper81358 Jun 14, 2023
Great to see that the MESA devs are able to allow for Raytracing support. However i guess the "out of the box" support will still be limited to games that use Vulkan as the graphics API. For DirectX 12 titles running through proton one might still need to set a startup command to get Raytracing enabled. Performance is also still weak with MESA RADV when it comes to raytracing. The only game that is enjoyable with raytracing on my end is Doom eternal in 1080p. I am using an RX 6700 XT.
Arehandoro Jun 14, 2023
I have an RX 5700 (Not sure if XT), that means it does not have Ray Tracing cores, right? Would I lose a lot of performance if I were to enable it on a game? I mainly want to play Cyberpunk with it.
Liam Dawe Jun 14, 2023
Quoting: ripper81358Great to see that the MESA devs are able to allow for Raytracing support. However i guess the "out of the box" support will still be limited to games that use Vulkan as the graphics API.
Shouldn't be since it worked for Control which is DX12.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 14 June 2023 at 8:35 pm UTC
Marlock Jun 14, 2023
Quoting: ripper81358For DirectX 12 titles running through proton one might still need to set a startup command to get Raytracing enabled.
Why would Valve limit this on their end now that it "just works" if they're the ones pushing forward a lot of this upstream development effort in the first place?

Proton Experimental is usually ready around the time the upstream features land, unless the Wine/Proton bits that need to be developed are particularly complicated...

...and where DX12 is involved, this development falls in the VKD3D lib, which translates DX12 to Vulkan and iirc has been very busy with RT already (after all the features where already around to use, just hidden behind flags)

for now it's hidden behing a flag in upstream VKD3D, but Valve can patch the copy shipped with proton or pass the flag automatically
https://github.com/HansKristian-Work/vkd3d-proton/releases
QuoteVKD3D_CONFIG=dxr now enables DXR 1.1 as well. dxr11 is kept for compat
[...]
NOTE: VKD3D_CONFIG=dxr11 is required to enable DXR 1.1 for now.

and they clearly have DXR 1.1 available already, just not sure if with any missing bits


Last edited by Marlock on 14 June 2023 at 9:11 pm UTC
Marlock Jun 14, 2023
Quoting: ArehandoroI have an RX 5700 (Not sure if XT), that means it does not have Ray Tracing cores, right? Would I lose a lot of performance if I were to enable it on a game? I mainly want to play Cyberpunk with it.
if games with RT support get too heavy on your machine, you'll still be able to toggle RT off via in-game settings

and most likely the driver will get a flag to force-disable RT too, since it's such a resource hog, in case a game doesn't let you tweak it the nice way

you should test it and see what happens
ripper81358 Jun 15, 2023
Quoting: Marlock
Quoting: ArehandoroI have an RX 5700 (Not sure if XT), that means it does not have Ray Tracing cores, right? Would I lose a lot of performance if I were to enable it on a game? I mainly want to play Cyberpunk with it.
if games with RT support get too heavy on your machine, you'll still be able to toggle RT off via in-game settings

and most likely the driver will get a flag to force-disable RT too, since it's such a resource hog, in case a game doesn't let you tweak it the nice way

you should test it and see what happens

Since the RX 5000 series has no hardware support for raytracing and therefore no support for the needed Vulkan extensions raytracing will most likely be disabled on systems without compatible hardware. Cyberpunk is a very demanding game even with raytracing disabled. It is also one of the games that makes heavy use of raytracing once it is enabled. You are lucky if you can get the game running at good quality and performance without raytracing.
Shmerl Jun 15, 2023
Managed to make CP2077 work with ray tracing without hangs thanks to help from vkd3d-proton developers. It was just an unusual prefix mess up with Wine-staging at some point dropping an invalid nvapi64.dll in there that messes up CP2077 on AMD.

Performance of ray tracing is still not usable without upscaling even on 7900 XTX, but at least it's a fun experiment.


Last edited by Shmerl on 15 June 2023 at 5:12 am UTC
Arehandoro Jun 15, 2023
Quoting: ripper81358It is also one of the games that makes heavy use of raytracing once it is enabled. You are lucky if you can get the game running at good quality and performance without raytracing.

I must be very lucky indeed... I can play it at ~60FPS, more settings in high that in medium, and at 1440p since launch day... :O
FauconNoir Jun 15, 2023
Quoting: ArehandoroI have an RX 5700 (Not sure if XT), that means it does not have Ray Tracing cores, right? Would I lose a lot of performance if I were to enable it on a game? I mainly want to play Cyberpunk with it.

Actually, you can emulate ray tracing on older card. Of course, performance is bad, but you can somehow make it playable using lower resolution + FSR.

https://linuxgamingcentral.com/posts/portal-rtx-playable-on-amd/
Mangojuicedrinker Jun 15, 2023
RT is a huge fraud and marketing BS of Ngreedia, forced into existence by corporate power alone.

It's like a car manufacturer claim they can make "flying" cars now that lift up to 10 CM above ground and charging a lot more for it because they got to this "technology" sooner than competition! 10 CM above ground is as much a "flying car" as amount of "RT" today in recent games. 4090 ($1600 BTW) runs 20 fps with "real" RT (Cyberoverhyped 2077 Path Tracing).

RT is absolutely not ready and needs YEARS more to be able to enter mainstream video cards. So far majority of RT games have terrible performance even outside "RT" scenes. RT so far has destroyed game optimization because devs will assume people will just turn on DLSS/FSR not knowing what even are these (they add blur to games particularly when you move around, as opposed to native rendering) so they would not optimize as much as before.
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