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Mesa 18.0 released, further advancing Linux graphics drivers

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Mesa 18.0 has been officially released today after a bit of a wait, further advancing Linux graphics drivers.

As usual, if you concerned about stability, the Mesa developers do suggest waiting for the first point release 18.0.1 for any pressing issues to get fixed up. The first point release should be due in early April, with a second due later that month as well.

Since I don't actually use Mesa, being an NVIDIA user I'm not personally too clued on on just how well they're doing. From what I hear from people close to me who are on Mesa, it's come a really long way for both AMD and Intel graphics in terms of performance and compatibility with games.

Feature highlights:

  • Disk shader cache support for i965 when MESA_GLSL_CACHE_DISABLE environment variable is set to "0" or "false"
  • GL_ARB_shader_atomic_counters and GL_ARB_shader_atomic_counter_ops on r600/evergreen+
  • GL_ARB_shader_image_load_store and GL_ARB_shader_image_size on r600/evergreen+
  • GL_ARB_shader_storage_buffer_object on r600/evergreen+
  • GL_ARB_compute_shader on r600/evergreen+
  • GL_ARB_cull_distance on r600/evergreen+
  • GL_ARB_enhanced_layouts on r600/evergreen+
  • GL_ARB_bindless_texture on nvc0/kepler
  • OpenGL 4.3 on r600/evergreen with hw fp64 support
  • Support 1 binary format for GL_ARB_get_program_binary on i965. (For the 18.0 release, 0 formats continue to be supported in compatibility profiles.)
  • Cannonlake support on i965 and anv

Naturally there's a lot of bugs that have been fixed as well as a result of the advancement. You should see more games work as a result of this release on top of the performance improvements (of which there's been quite a few).

Note: Their release notes state it's 17.4.0 due to an issue with git struggling to detect the move (their words).

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Shmerl 27 March 2018 at 7:49 pm UTC
AMD usage stats on GOL slowed down a bit, but still growing because of rapidly improving Mesa. That's probably due to limited hardware availability this year. That will probably accelerate, with Vega+ / Navi.


Last edited by Shmerl at 27 March 2018 at 7:49 pm UTC
STiAT 27 March 2018 at 10:51 pm UTC
Using a AMD as my card at the moment (having a nvidia 1080 here, but using a RX460).

Still issues, but they're getting less and less. Performance and compatibility is still an issue, but not that big of a deal it was once. Even though, I still have issues with certain games (Northgard, Cossacks, Grand Ages: Medieval), it really got a lot better.

It looks like engine support of Vulkan is really starting to get grip, the vulkan drivers seem to be surprisingly great in quality, and within that, I hope we'll see some relief of this OpenGL "mess" we're in.

I almost consider OpenGL for games "legacy" now, but we'll see how many developers actually use Vulkan for their Linux ports. Engines seem to make it easier nowdays, and that only can be a good thing for us.

I seriously don't think we'll get out of the OpenGL thing any time soon. They really worked hard to get there, and I really appreciate that, but I don't think it's the future of Linux Gaming.
tonR 27 March 2018 at 11:26 pm UTC
Well, as long Mesa not break I'm fine with that. Very curious how Mesa performance on Intel onboard graphic..

QuoteOpenGL 4.3 on r600/evergreen with hw fp64 support
Wow! HD2000 series? That's pretty old graphic card. It was on my wishlist along side GeForce 8 when I was teenager. Never got it.
Ari El Uno 28 March 2018 at 1:40 am UTC
tonRWell, as long Mesa not break I'm fine with that. Very curious how Mesa performance on Intel onboard graphic..
QuoteOpenGL 4.3 on r600/evergreen with hw fp64 support
Wow! HD2000 series? That's pretty old graphic card. It was on my wishlist along side GeForce 8 when I was teenager. Never got it.

Nope.
Evergreen is Radeon HD 5000 series. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_HD_5000_Series
GustyGhost 28 March 2018 at 2:25 am UTC
tonRWell, as long Mesa not break I'm fine with that. Very curious how Mesa performance on Intel onboard graphic..

QuoteOpenGL 4.3 on r600/evergreen with hw fp64 support
Wow! HD2000 series? That's pretty old graphic card. It was on my wishlist along side GeForce 8 when I was teenager. Never got it.

The fastest cards from the HD 2000 series are going for like twenty dollars on ebay right now so you can easily fulfill that wish if you want.
14 28 March 2018 at 2:26 am UTC
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I want to go team red for both CPU and GPU the next time I do big hardware upgrades, but the AMD GPU experience on Linux isn't attractive. I look forward to that changing.

I'm pretty convinced on going AMD CPU next time though, maybe this year since I've been wanting more threads than my i5 offers.
Shmerl 28 March 2018 at 2:27 am UTC
14AMD GPU experience on Linux isn't attractive.

It's pretty smooth these days for games. And way more attractive than Nvidia integration wise.
14 28 March 2018 at 2:40 am UTC
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Shmerl
14AMD GPU experience on Linux isn't attractive.

It's pretty smooth these days for games. And way more attractive than Nvidia integration wise.
It's obvious you love Linux and open source, but it seems to me like you might be a little bit jaded. Mixing your comments in with other people (this topic and others), I'm still going to hold off until I hear about AMD GPU problems and glitches and games not launching or games crashing less often. I don't think I'm an Nvidia fanboy -- I've gone back and forth -- but I've basically had zero issues using the proprietary drivers in GNU Linux. FWIW, I have other computers in the house using older AMD cards on Linux. Can't say I can complain, but the only gaming those computers see is Minecraft and sometimes WoW.
Shmerl 28 March 2018 at 2:42 am UTC
14I'm still going to hold off until I hear about AMD GPU problems and glitches and games not launching or games crashing less often.

That you can track here for example:

* Current known issues
* Fixed issues from the above list

That should give you an idea about how less often it happens.

It's not a 100% full list, but it's pretty comprehensive, and Mesa developers monitor it and take note of these reports. They explicitly asked to make such list.

14I've basically had zero issues using the proprietary drivers in GNU Linux.
No driver is bug free. Nvidia has its share of bugs, but you won't see most of them reported. The benefit of using an open driver is that bug reports are public.


Last edited by Shmerl at 28 March 2018 at 2:50 am UTC
14 28 March 2018 at 3:15 am UTC
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Shmerl
14I'm still going to hold off until I hear about AMD GPU problems and glitches and games not launching or games crashing less often.

That you can track here for example:

* Current known issues
* Fixed issues from the above list

That should give you an idea about how less often it happens.

It's not a 100% full list, but it's pretty comprehensive, and Mesa developers monitor it and take note of these reports. They explicitly asked to make such list.

14I've basically had zero issues using the proprietary drivers in GNU Linux.
No driver is bug free. Nvidia has its share of bugs, but you won't see most of them reported. The benefit of using an open driver is that bug reports are public.
Thanks for the information.
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