Radeon Vulkan RADV Driver Continues to Improve Ray Tracing Performance for AMD GPUs
RADV’s open source Radeon Vulkan driver team continues to improve ray tracing performance for AMD GPUs.
Google’s Bas Nieuwenhuizen, co-founder of the RADV driver, gave a presentation on the ray tracing performance status of the open source Mesa Vulkan driver on day one of the X.Org Developer Conference, also known as XDC 2022. .
The presentation at XDC 2022 discussed the ray tracing process, how graphics acceleration is handled for AMD Radeon RDNA 2 graphics cards and the challenges the team faced while running, as well as a software implementation for older AMD GPUs.
The RADV driver is the first choice for AMD graphics card users using Linux. The RADV driver is continuously updated and regularly improved, affecting all aspects including performance. With Project Mesa’s RADV driver, every direct Linux distribution channel is aware of any changes, unlike AMD’s proprietary AMDVLK.
The co-founder of RADV assured that the video games compatible with ray tracing on RADV should be Control, Deathloop, Metro Exodus: Extended Edition, Quake II RTX and Resident Evil Village. RADV recently exposed the default extension for Vulkan ray-tracing ray queries. However, support for ray tracing pipelines is still inaccessible beyond the RADV_PERFTEST=rt environment variable.
Another RADV-related topic was performance versus AMDVLK ray tracing support, as well as performance of the proprietary AMDGPU-PRO driver. RADV has been shown to still be slow when using ray tracing, but the developers are working with experimental techniques to improve performance.
AMD updates the AMDVLK code as part of its official Linux updates, based on the identical source code used in the Windows and Linux proprietary Vulkan driver. A challenge in using the driver is that the LLVM AMDGPU shader compiler used on the proprietary shader still has sections missing.
Future RADV support under development will cover separate shader compilation and default activation of raytracing, indirect BHV builds to enable DirectX raytracing support (DXR 1.1), as well as other optimizations and performance improvements.
The video below is the presentation held by Bas Nieuwenhuizen, where he explains additional details about the current state of RADV ray tracing during XDC 2022. The video is the entirety of the day one conference and is over nine o’clock. If you want to skip to the Nieuwenhuizen section, it starts at 3:35:09.
News sources: Phoronix, XDC 2022 on YouTube
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