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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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gurv 8 July 2019 at 10:35 pm UTC
tuubiWell, I bought an MSI Armor RX580 8G a few months back, and I actually avoid playing anything too GPU-heavy because of the hellish noise it makes, so I wouldn't bet on it. There's also an unhealthy, intermittent rattle coming from the bearings already. This is probably the first and the last MSI product I'll ever buy.
Weird thing is, I couldn't find a single review that had bad things to say about the heatsink back when I bought it. Now there seems to be a new version of the card/heatsink though, so maybe they made it better. Doesn't help me or Mohandevir or course.

This cooler is well-known on the AMD subreddit for being really bad.
The thing is, it's actually not awful (at least with a lower powered RX 570) if you undervolt/underclock the GPU a little AND have good case airflow.

That said my GPU experiences have been the following:
- few (used) high-end ASUS GPUs: good experience, no problems
That said their entry-level designs are a shame and absolutely terrible, and their high-end ones are overpriced. So I personally wouldn't buy an Asus GPU new.
- quite some MSI GPUs: not much real problems but always noisy.
I've decided to avoid MSI from now on.
- quite some Gigabyte GPUs: not much real problems and never noisy
I've decided to buy Gigabyte for the foreseeable future

Edit: oops forgot to add: the above is for NVidia GPUs!
Asus / MSI / Gigabyte will often reuse their NVidia cooler design as is for AMD GPUs (they don't want to invest as much R&D for AMD because sales are traditionally lower). So the cooler design can indeed end up being awful on an AMD GPU.
Sapphire/XFX don't have this problem as they only do AMD GPUs.
But Sapphire often cheapens out on component quality, I personally don't really trust them.
XFX seems meh from what I've read.
Unfortunately there's no EVGA equivalent on the red side.
That might change with the gen after Navi if AMD GPU department pulls out a Ryzen.


Last edited by gurv on 8 July 2019 at 10:43 pm UTC
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