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The open source Vulkan driver for AMD can now run Dota 2

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A pretty good milestone has been achieved with the open source Vulkan driver for AMD that Dave Airlie has been working on with Bas Nieuwenhuizen. It can now run Dota 2.

Over a month ago I let people know about a new Vulkan driver being worked on for AMD graphics cards, and it's pleasing to see such amazing progress.

QuoteWell this morning I finally found the last bug that was causing missing rendering on Dota 2. We were missing support for a compressed texture format that dota2 used. So currently dota 2 renders, I've no great performance comparison to post yet because my CPU is 5 years old, and can barely get close to 30fps with GL or Vulkan. I think we know of a couple of places that could be bottlenecking us on the CPU side. The radv driver is currently missing hyper-z (90% done), fast color clears and DCC, which are all GPU side speedups in theory. Also running the phoronix-test-suite dota2 tests works sometimes, hangs in a thread lock sometimes, or crashes sometimes. I think we have some memory corruption somewhere that it collides with.

Dave notes it is only currently working on VI AMD GPUs, as there is an issue with Polaris they need to track down.

He also notes that The Talos Principle is mostly working, but still has some black areas so they have work to do there.

See the blog post here for the full info.

Will be great to see this continue to progress, great work!

You can find the current code here on github if interested to check it out. Article taken from
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gabsd84 26 Aug, 2016
It is amazing how fast radv is coming along but also not surprising, both Dave and Bas are very experienced with Mesa and AMD hardware as both of them have done lots of work on RadeonSI.

It will be interesting to see what AMD do going forward. If radv is feature complete in the next few months, will AMD still open source their proprietary Vulkan driver or just pile in and work on radv and drop the proprietary driver? Will be interesting to see.
Liam Dawe 26 Aug, 2016
Honestly, if they keep going and get it complete enough, I think AMD will just use this instead as it's quicker and easier for them. I mean, what else is AMD to do? Their code can't be much more than this when it's complete, since Vulkan takes a lot out of the driver and this is already open source.
lejimster 26 Aug, 2016
Yep, been very impressed with how fast they've put together the radv driver. With the uncertainty of how long it would be for AMD to open source their Vulkan driver (and the possibility they couldn't fully because of IP).. This is awesome news for those of us with AMD graphics.

Unfortunately I don't think *my* GPU is supported in the AMDGPU kernel though, so I haven't tried it out yet. Hopefully that won't be much longer.

We just need the Freesync stuff to land and I'm hoping they open source WattMan.

Last edited by lejimster on 26 August 2016 at 10:23 pm UTC
pete910 26 Aug, 2016
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Good news, The freesync stiff is in the DAL code which is likely kernel 4.9 lejimster.

Their work on the AMDGPU driver has been quite rapid given their work load. Been using it now on my 290x for a month or so without issue. Hell, mesa 12 + AMDGPU driver runs ARMA3 rather well.
mirv 26 Aug, 2016
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I'll hopefully have this compiled & tested a little tonight. Great to see things progressing so quickly!

-- edit: nope, couldn't get it running tonight. Probably my build setup. I'll have to investigate more next week.

-- edit2: compiles, runs demos, don't have dota2 to try that though and Talos Principle crashes out for me. Obviously a lot of work to do, and it won't offer the performance of amdgpu-pro just yet, but it's enough to start tinkering with Vulkan and FOSS drivers, which is really awesome.

Last edited by mirv on 31 August 2016 at 6:37 pm UTC
linux_gamer 26 Aug, 2016
Good news. But last Dota major update killed my Vulkan, but I am on nvidia prop. Now I have much higher load on my poor laptop again. :><:
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