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Mesa now has a shader cache in Mesa-git for r600/radeonsi

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Good news for AMD GPU owners on open source drivers, as Mesa-git now has a shader cache enabled for r600 and radeonsi.

This new feature is quite essential for a lot of games and will be a welcome addition to Mesa 17.1.

Games like Shadow of Mordor, Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Hitman and others will likely benefit from this feature, as it's something proprietary drivers have had for a long time. It can help reduce loading times, reduce stuttering and so on.

It will be interesting to hear from AMD GPU owners on how this improves things for you, as I don't personally have any AMD GPUs myself to test on.

See this commit where it was enabled by Timothy Arceri. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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pete910 22 February 2017 at 11:49 pm UTC
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I think this will help with rocket league too iirc
Shmerl 23 February 2017 at 12:08 am UTC
Why can't those games take care of caching shaders on their own? It's completely possible for developers to do it to optimize things.


Last edited by Shmerl at 23 February 2017 at 12:08 am UTC
Avehicle7887 23 February 2017 at 12:13 am UTC
Great news for AMD users, hopefully it will be enabled for Intel HD too one day (unless it's there already), Sometimes I'm stuck only with a laptop.
commodore256 23 February 2017 at 1:56 am UTC
When I had my 4870 before it died and about a year after it was declared legacy, I noticed I had better performance in Wine with Oblivion on the open source drivers than on Windows.


That alone I thought was fantastic, so yay for more performance!
lejimster 23 February 2017 at 4:12 am UTC
It's about time! Much needed, hopefully it has been implemented properly. Looking forward too seeing benchmark comparisons. Not expecting fps gains, but it might help with stuttering and fps dips when compiling shaders that some titles suffer badly with.

I'll be interested to see if UE4 games benefit.
TheRiddick 23 February 2017 at 5:32 am UTC
Phoronix saw over double increase in Deus Ex frame rates on his rx470 test. Very nice indeed.


Last edited by TheRiddick at 23 February 2017 at 5:33 am UTC
STiAT 23 February 2017 at 6:44 am UTC
@Shmerl is right, game developers could have perfectly well built their own shader disk cache.

Looking at the patch, if it is really essential for many games, I really wonder why it wasn't implemented earlier. Maybe they just had too many other issues to fix, but this patch is .. pretty simple. Or maybe they assumed that games would do their caches on their own anyway (I'm sure Croteam does this "because they can" :p).
STiAT 23 February 2017 at 6:51 am UTC
TheRiddickPhoronix saw over double increase in Deus Ex frame rates on his rx470 test. Very nice indeed.

That's very likely not because of this patch, since the patch was commited after the test of Phoronix, and he ran the same Mesa-Version against two different kernels.

And DeusEx runs pretty a lot better on kernel 4.8 than on 4.9 or 4.10, so I'd bet this was a regression introduced with 4.9 getting fixed with 4.11.


Last edited by STiAT at 23 February 2017 at 6:51 am UTC
Guppy 23 February 2017 at 6:52 am UTC
STiAT@Shmerl is right, game developers could have perfectly well built their own shader disk cache.

Looking at the patch, if it is really essential for many games, I really wonder why it wasn't implemented earlier. Maybe they just had too many other issues to fix, but this patch is .. pretty simple. Or maybe they assumed that games would do their caches on their own anyway (I'm sure Croteam does this "because they can" :p).

Honestly I think it's something people don't consider because the closed source drivers already does it for them, so if they test with open source drivers and find that performance is worse they are unlikely to launch an investigation into it because the general expectation is that the opensource drivers will perform worse.
eldersnake 23 February 2017 at 7:40 am UTC
Well Deus Ex: MD certainly loads a bit quicker. And now a cache folder with about 70MB worth of stuff has been created in my /tmp/cache folder (I have the mesa cache flag set to put the cache there, not sure if its totally necessary).

Still on 4.10 in terms of kernels though so I guess performance won't yet be all that different.
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