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AMDGPU-PRO 16.50 actually released, with FreeSync and wider GPU support

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As expected (from the leak), AMD has pushed out AMDGPU-PRO 16.50 for Linux which includes FreeSync support along with support for a wider set of cards.

Highlights of this release:
* FreeSync
* Provides support for
- AMD Radeon™ R7 M465X
- AMD Radeon™ R7 M370
- AMD Radeon™ R7 M350
* Install scripts for RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.3, CentOS 7.3, CentOS 6.8, and SLED/SLES 12 SP2
* DirectGMA for OpenGL

It's only compatible with a specific set of distributions:
- RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.3 (64-bit version)
- RedHat Enterprise Linux 6.8 (64-bit version)
- Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit version)
- CentOS 7.3 (64-bit version) will be supported after distro official release
- CentOS 6.8 (64-bit version)
- SLED/SLES 12 SP2 (64-bit version)

They say it has support for the following API's:
- OpenGL 4.5 and GLX 1.4
- OpenCL™1.2
- Vulkan™ 1.0
- VDPAU
For some reason Dota 2 with Vulkan gets a special mention, making it seem like other Vulkan titles wouldn't work, which is odd.

It is available to download right now.

No word on any performance improvements in the release notes, as most of the work tends to go into the Windows driver. The Windows driver got a big update with a bunch of new shiny stuff and we didn't really see much.

See the release notes here. The download links are available there too. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: AMD, Drivers
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15 comments
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artvandelay440 8 Dec, 2016
So as a long time Nvidia devotee on Linux, can someone explain to a relative AMD outsider- are their cards ready for no-fuss Linux gaming support? Is the driver install process as simple as Vvidia? I ask as someone looking at alternatives for my next GPU upgrade.
RussianNeuroMancer 8 Dec, 2016
AMD is aiming for out-of-the box support with open source driver, so you doesn't need to install proprietary driver (also lately it tend to be slower than open driver).
Guest 9 Dec, 2016
Quoting: liamdaweWindows driver got a big update with a bunch of new shiny stuff and we didn't really see much.

Will we ever though ? Im not sure but id imagine most of their shiny features (VSR, Radeon ReLive, LiquidVR Multi-GPU, Multi-res rendering (adaptive resolution) are opensource. Nvidia has had a habit of using opensource technology but not sharing their own and that gives them an unfair advantage. Will we ever even get a control center? Since the suggestion of releasing a control panel for the AMDGPU driver was mooted by an AMD employee on another site (I won't mention) stated that this was only a very slight possibility and did his best to douse those flames.

IDK of course, there is now free-sync and im sure the 8k support on the new driver will also happen. Still, in the end most of that stuff isn't really needed. It's like buying a sports car only to admire the radio, have a foldable roof and a slightly louder exhaust. The important part is the driving.
Xelancer 9 Dec, 2016
As an old AMD fan - I ask the question;
Is AMD ready to power my new gaming experiences on Linux?

History;
I used to be a huge fan of AMD, I swore by their K6-II and was one of the few people who had a K6-III before the Athlons came out (which I converted all my friends to using at ole LAN parties). However many years of work and a decision quite a few years ago that I would go full Linux for all my family eroded my support for my old love AMD!
I for one love the fact my next gen console -PS4 are AMD and Linux powered- but still have missed out on gaming that last few years. My wife has a 780 GTX and she shares my games with Steam Family (on Linux of course) and my old 6XX served me well for the last few years (I thought it was a 620 when I bought it but driver says 610) - plays WoW/old games well on WINE at least.

Question;
I don't have very high expectations when it comes to eye candy, just that it plays nicely like my PS4 does, but on my Steam PC games. I'm looking for the best supported AMD GPU model for the money for gaming on Ubuntu 16.04. (may get a AMD cpu/mobo too)

Any advice?


Last edited by Xelancer on 9 December 2016 at 12:47 am UTC
gabsd84 9 Dec, 2016
@Xelancer

It depends on whether you are set on using Ubuntu 16.04. If you absolutely want 16.04 and want to use the open drivers today, you may want to go for a GCN 1.1 card for the best out of the box experience. I have a R7 260X on Mint 18 (Ubuntu 16.04 based) and that runs very nicely out of the box.

If you are prepared to use a more up to date distro, then the RX470 is quite good for the money. I have one running with Korora 25 and most games run very nicely. The main things you need for the best open source driver support are:

1. Latest kernel (4.7 was the kernel were the support for the RX400 series of cards was added. Ideally you want kernel 4.8 or 4.9).
2. Latest Mesa (13.0.2 ideally, but 12.0.X will also work with the RX400 series).
3. Latest llvm (3.9.0 is the latest and is needed for higher OpenGL level support. Without it, you will only have OpenGL 4.1 instead of OpenGL 4.3).

If you are prepared to use the AMDGPU-PRO driver, then the RX470 on 16.04 should work out quite well.
MayeulC 9 Dec, 2016
@gabsd84: and you also need DC (DAL). At least if you want HDMI/DP audio.
It will be some time before it's merged, because of some fundamental issues with the code. But it paves the way for HDMI 2.0, Freesync, HDMI audio (etc?). Currently, this is the missing part of the "out of the box" experience.
dmantione 9 Dec, 2016
Quoting: artvandelay440So as a long time Nvidia devotee on Linux, can someone explain to a relative AMD outsider- are their cards ready for no-fuss Linux gaming support? Is the driver install process as simple as Vvidia? I ask as someone looking at alternatives for my next GPU upgrade.

We are getting there. With open source drivers there is no install process at all, your Linux distribution does the work for you. Just out of the box good gaming performance. Big step for Linux on the desktop!

However, we are not completely there yet:
* Some users will want DAL for 3 monitor support, Freesync, HDMI audio etc.
* Some users will want Vulkan support
* Some users will like the better performance of the properietary stack

At the moment, unless you have a supported Linux distribution, AMDGPU-PRO is the "compile your own stuff" user experience.

I am currently in the process of migrating from a HD6670 to an RX460. That it is a process rather than an event says a lot: PC's are disgustingly complex devices and you run always into something. You encounter all kinds of small issues, some not at all related to software, for example, an unpleasant surprise was that my DVI-I cables, perfectly capable of handling digital signals, don't fit into the RX460. But also the software config with my 3 monitor desktop needs DAL and therefore work. That's more than just drivers, things like installing a newer kernel, also fall into this category. So during the last weeks, I had my HD6670 inside during weekdays when I needed my computer and during the weekends tried to make the RX460 setup acceptable. Getting there, this week was the first week that I used my RX460 completely.

But it all depends on your needs. For many users the full open-source stack provides everything they need and then there is the "zero fuss" experience. If the open-source stack doesn't provide what you need, there is, unfortunately, still some fuss, but it's also smoothing.
buenaventura 9 Dec, 2016
(Response to someone wondering about whether AMD cards are any good):
It might seem silly, but I prefer using as much free and open source software as possible on my system (even though it is full of closed source games ^___^'), and thus I am quite happy with my GCN 1.1 Mullins AMD GPU (1gb VRAM). With open source drivers it manages TF2 on very low settings perfectly, most other 3d intensive games run pretty badly, but I prefer graphically more abstract games anyway, lets me use my imagination. Quadrilateral Cowboy, Duskers, Hot Tin Roof, Hearthstone, TIS-100, Caves of Qud, Odallus (via Wine), Cave Story, Icewind Dale etc etc etc all run very well.

My only complaint is that the naming conventions are eternally confusing, I can never be sure what my card corresponds to when reading system reqs for games for example.

My next laptop (in many years prob) will probably be something like Tehnoetic T500 Laptop with Libreboot and GNU/Linux-libre, the GPU is pretty crappy, but should let me play my more graphically simpler games at least.

It's an interesting inner conflict there, I am really all for the free software movement, as soon as I can I will surely join as a member of the FSF, at the same time my system is smack full of closed source games. I guess working at a publicly financed institution that has totally locked itself in closed source (MS) software for seemingly all eternity resulting in gigantic (public) costs for garbage software has made me want to keep as free as possible myself, while still enjoying games.
pete910 9 Dec, 2016
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Grabbed this already, My lad has a 390 + freesync monitor. I'll get him to see what it's like regards the FS stuff.

Nice to see they also think of non *buntu distros now :D
Xelancer 9 Dec, 2016
Thanks to everyone for some of the feedback on AMD;
these AMDGPU-PRO drivers are definitely a step in the right direction! Excited to see where it goes...

Its true was buenaventura said that the AMD naming conventions are certainly weird, but all gamers should research before you buy anyway! I have my new setup, downloading some of the bigger games in my account in anticipation of a Merry Xmas!
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