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Linux 4.5 officially released, with powerplay support under amdgpu

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The highly anticipated update to the Linux Kernel has officially arrived, and the hard working kernel developers have been busy.

For a complete list of whats new, the first changelog Google offered me was courtesy of kernel newbies (http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_4.5).

Of course the update that is most interesting to us, is the addition of experimental support for Powerplay in the amdgpu driver. Powerplay is the brand name for the power management technologies found in AMD CPUs and APUs, which requires the dreaded and deprecated Catalyst driver to work properly.

A lot of performance issues with the amdgpu driver prior to this update are due to the GPU starting in low power/performance mode. So if you are using the open source drivers and have a newer GCN 1.2+ graphics card (GPUs Tonga and Fiji, APUs Carrizo and Stoney), then you might want to consider upgrading.

If you are going to upgrade your kernel then you will need to manually enable the powerplay support, as it is switched off by default at the moment:

QuotePowerplay support is not enabled by default for all kind of hardware supported in this release due to stability concerns; in these cases the use of Powerplay can be forced with the "amdgpu.powerplay=1" kernel option.


Personally I am going to wait for the next iteration of my distro, Fedora 24 will be making an appearance soon with Linux 4.5. Canonical are also back porting code from 4.5 into 4.4, which will ship with Ubuntu 16.04 to give the best experience to AMD users who will now be using the open source drivers, since it was announced they could not support fglrx anymore.

Hopefully we will start seeing similar compatibility for older chipsets in the coming months as amdgpu progresses further.


Sources:
http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_4.5
http://news.softpedia.com/news/linux-kernel-4-5-officially-released-adds-high-performance-to-the-amdgpu-driver-501689.shtml
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The comments on this article are closed.
mattsturgeon 15 March 2016 at 1:09 am UTC
4.5 also has a lot of fixes for the xpad driver, including a fix for a really annoying crash in a lot of games that was related to controller vibration (or sometimes LEDs)
TheRiddick 15 March 2016 at 2:04 am UTC
it does support hawaii cards also by enabling cik support in kernel. however I don't know how effective that part is atm. the 390s are the most unloved cards by AMD for some reason....
madmachinations 15 March 2016 at 2:08 am UTC
mattsturgeon4.5 also has a lot of fixes for the xpad driver, including a fix for a really annoying crash in a lot of games that was related to controller vibration (or sometimes LEDs)

Oh sweet ^^ I wonder if it will work better with ps3 controllers. My laptop did not like it at all, and poking about on Google suggested it to be a kernel problem.
liamdawe 15 March 2016 at 7:50 am UTC
mattsturgeon4.5 also has a lot of fixes for the xpad driver, including a fix for a really annoying crash in a lot of games that was related to controller vibration (or sometimes LEDs)

I did wonder when that was going to finally be put in.
mao_dze_dun 15 March 2016 at 8:47 am UTC
Wish they'd enable support for 1.1 as well (it is technically there, albeit experimental). It's their most used architecture, after all. I still maintain, AMD will half-ass it's way for a couple of more years till they deprecate the GCN 1.0 and 1.1 and just support the newer generations, but hey - maybe they'll prove me wrong.
kuro 15 March 2016 at 12:06 pm UTC
I hope they will support the GEN 1.1 and loser. I have a kaveri APU and Äthers schuold get support too.

Written from Ubuntu Phone, and greetings from germany.


Last edited by kuro at 15 March 2016 at 12:06 pm UTC
lordheavy 15 March 2016 at 6:19 pm UTC
powerplay is enabled by default if, of course, support is built
mattsturgeon 21 March 2016 at 3:49 am UTC
TheBoss
mattsturgeon4.5 also has a lot of fixes for the xpad driver, including a fix for a really annoying crash in a lot of games that was related to controller vibration (or sometimes LEDs)

I did wonder when that was going to finally be put in.

Just noticed it also introduced a new xpad bug...

Two steps forward and one step back!
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