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Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned on Twitter, about a new Mesa shader compiler for AMD graphics named "ACO" and they're calling for testers.

In the longer post on Steam, it goes over a brief history about Valve sponsoring work done by open-source graphics driver engineers, with it all being "very successful". The team has grown and they decided to go in a different direction with their work.

To paraphrase and keep it short and to the point, currently the OpenGL and Vulkan AMD drivers use a shader compiler that's part of the LLVM project. It's a huge project, it's not focused on gaming and it can cause issues. So, they started working on "ACO" with a focus on good results for shader generation in games and compile speed.

It's not yet finished, but the results are impressive as shown:

That is quite an impressive decrease in compile time! They expect to be able to improved that further eventually too, as it's currently only handling "pixel and compute shader stages". Valve also included some gaming results as well. Not quite as impressive when compared to the above perhaps, but every single bit of performance they can squeeze in is great:

With more detailed performance testing info available here. Now that it's looking pretty good, being stable in many games and seeing a reduction of stuttering they're looking for wider testing and feedback. Packages for Arch Linux should be ready later today, with Valve looking into a PPA for Ubuntu too. Interested in testing? See this forum post on Steam.

You can see the full post about it on Steam and more details on the Mesa-dev mailing list entry here. The code can also be viewed on GitHub.

This comes only recently after Valve released a statement about remaining "committed to supporting Linux as a gaming platform" as well as funding work on KWin. Really great to see all this!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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81 comments
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Spyker 3 July 2019 at 6:05 pm UTC
My next card needs to be an AMD one...
Kimyrielle 3 July 2019 at 6:11 pm UTC
Same. I got my current PC shortly before AMD became a solid option for GPUs again. I hate NVidia as a company and will gladly take my business to AMD next time. Won't happen too soon I guess. I tend to keep my PCs longer and longer these days.
chancho_zombie 3 July 2019 at 6:22 pm UTC
yes!! I 'm building this on opensuse OBS.
mphuZ 3 July 2019 at 6:24 pm UTC
God damn, why? Why produce compilers or make a fork when you can invest in one?
Take a look at the benchmark results: the difference in error. And many ports were specially sharpened under RADV - this driver has advantage.

Valve would have been able to negotiate with AMD long ago and start developing AMDVLK together.
Mohandevir 3 July 2019 at 6:25 pm UTC
Had an MSI RX580 Armor 8gb for 6 months before it died on me. It was a heat generator and noisy as hell, but performances were awesome. I put the failure on MSI's bad design choices though.

Next build (around christmas), if AMD as something to offer comparable to the GTX 1660ti (performance, price and TDP), I might give another chance to AMD in another brand (Gigabyte or Sapphire).
BielFPs 3 July 2019 at 6:27 pm UTC
I wish I could test this in my notebook but I'm afraid that this could break my system, since there's no love for my RX 540 with newer versions of the kernel.

Also I bet you're a little proud of having this site quoted in their post Mr. "The Community"
Shmerl 3 July 2019 at 6:31 pm UTC
Very promising. I'll test it and will post some benchmarks. May be there should be a dedicated thread on GOL forum just for that? Or should we post them in comments here?


Last edited by Shmerl at 3 July 2019 at 6:39 pm UTC
Linas 3 July 2019 at 6:31 pm UTC
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Valve is the best thing that has ever happened to (desktop) Linux. Second only to the creation of Linux itself. All hail Lord Gaben!
Shmerl 3 July 2019 at 6:34 pm UTC
Opened a thread here to separate discussion of the announcement from the actual benchmarks: https://www.gamingonlinux.com/forum/topic/3954
Shmerl 3 July 2019 at 6:34 pm UTC
mphuZGod damn, why?

Did you read their post. They answer this question.
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