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Mesa 19.3 released with huge updates for Linux open source graphics drivers

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Arriving in time before the holiday season, Mesa 19.3 has now been officially released giving all open source Linux graphics drivers some big boosts and new features.

What is Mesa? Is it a tasty biscuit? Do I have Mesa? If you have an AMD or Intel GPU then yes, you will be using Mesa (unless you changed it, 99% of distributions come with Mesa out of the box) and it's what powers your GPU enabling it to talk to OpenGL and Vulkan.

Don't be too hasty to upgrade right away though, with brand new releases there's always a few gremlins hiding ready to crash your games. The Mesa team always suggest waiting for the first point release 19.3.1 if you're concerned with stability and reliability.

If you're looking for a user-friendly list of what's new, the official 19.3 release notes are not the droids you're looking for. Thankfully, Phoronix has their usual feature overview. In this release you can expect support for the new ACO shader compiler which Valve funded, OpenGL 4.6 support for Intel GPUs, many more Vulkan extensions support added, support for newer AMD and Intel GPUs, bug fixes, performance improvements and so on.

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18 comments
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Grim_reaper 13 December 2019 at 1:01 pm UTC
This is my lucky day! I own Amd Radeon 580 so this piece of news was very welcome And remember I have all the moomins in the valley today! So I will be very rational today
NeoTheFox 13 December 2019 at 1:02 pm UTC
Woo! So far not bugs found, I already enabled ACO system-wide. I love seeing all the improvements, even with them being just 1-2% they still do add up.
DamonLinuxPL 13 December 2019 at 1:18 pm UTC
Testing every release candidate from 19.3.0 rc2 until now and no bugs on my machine. Now in my distro stable 19.3.0 is available, so updating
x_wing 13 December 2019 at 2:56 pm UTC
ACO is god send. It completely removes stuttering on SteamPlay games with heavy shader usage (e.g. GTA V). So nice to have it mainlined with Mesa now
raneon 13 December 2019 at 3:38 pm UTC
Many great new features! I will use now ACO by default for RADV, it is a huge improvement. For radeonsi I will switch to Nir and on my Intel laptop I will try Iris. It is an exciting release, there is even Zink now available for testing the OpenGL 2.1 to Vulkan translation, I hope some old games will work.
BielFPs 13 December 2019 at 3:43 pm UTC
Do we have to do something to use ACO by default? I'm using Mesa 20 but I don't know if ACO is activated
x_wing 13 December 2019 at 4:20 pm UTC
BielFPsDo we have to do something to use ACO by default? I'm using Mesa 20 but I don't know if ACO is activated

By default radv uses llvm but you can activate ACO backend by setting RADV_PERFTEST=aco env variable. If you want to globally set ACO as default backend, then you should export this variable in .bash_profile. Still, remember that ACO is still experimental so I wouldn't suggest to enable it globally.
BielFPs 13 December 2019 at 4:28 pm UTC
x_wingyou can activate ACO backend by setting RADV_PERFTEST=aco env variable.

Does it work if I put DRI_PRIME=1 RADV_PERFTEST=aco %command% in the launch option of the game?
NeoTheFox 13 December 2019 at 4:33 pm UTC
BielFPs
x_wingyou can activate ACO backend by setting RADV_PERFTEST=aco env variable.

Does it work if I put DRI_PRIME=1 RADV_PERFTEST=aco %command% in the launch option of the game?

Yes, that's exactly how you should enable it
Lolo01 13 December 2019 at 4:37 pm UTC
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BielFPs
x_wingyou can activate ACO backend by setting RADV_PERFTEST=aco env variable.

Does it work if I put DRI_PRIME=1 RADV_PERFTEST=aco %command% in the launch option of the game?

RADV_PERFTEST=aco %command% can be used as a launch option for any Steam game.

To use it in all applications with Manjaro, add RADV_PERFTEST=aco in /etc/environment


Last edited by Lolo01 on 14 December 2019 at 8:30 am UTC
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