AMD Seems to Be Stepping Up RX 480 Support on Linux

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 09:37 PM |
Tagged: amd, linux, graphics drivers, rx 480, Polaris

Linux support from AMD seems to be improving, as it has been on Windows. We'll be combining two separate, tiny stories into one, so bear with us. The first is from Fudzilla, and it states that AMD has AMDGPU-PRO 16.30 drivers for the RX 480 out on day one. It's nice to see that their Radeon driver initiative applies to Linux, too.

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That brings us to the second story, this one from Phoronix. One Windows, the Crimson 16.7.1 drivers will include a fix for the RX 480 power issues (which we will obviously test of course). Michael Larabel was apparently talking with AMD's Linux team, and it seems likely that this update will roll into the Linux driver as well. They "are still investigating", of course, but it is apparently on their radar.

Source: Phoronix

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July 6, 2016 | 09:44 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Good to hear both those positive pieces of news. Thanks Scott.

July 6, 2016 | 10:15 PM - Posted by StephanS

Are those the linux drivers that SteamOS system uses ?

At this stage, AMD is so far behind in driver design (optimizations), it might be beneficial to have the windows driver 100% open source.

This might create interesting forks... specially around shader caching and customization.

July 6, 2016 | 10:16 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

AMDGPU-PRO are rolled into SteamOS Beta apparently.

July 6, 2016 | 11:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So I expect there will be some RX 480/RX 470 beased Steam machines the will be reviewed with maybe Bristol Ridge based CPUs/APUs at first then Zen CPU/Polaris GPU based systems later this year and some Zen based APU systems in 2017. It's the more affordable AMD solution that will make for the lower priced Steam Machines, instead of the higher cost Nvidia/Intel variants.

Valve should consider making its own AMD based Steam Machine gaming PCs if the OEMs do not quickly come forward with some all AMD based Steam Machine designs of their own. Valve should put the OEM's on notice with a definite timeline for its own Steam Machine hardware that uses AMD's more affordable gaming CPUs/APUs and GPUs, if the OEMs continue to push only Intel/Nvidia high cost options.

We can all do without the windows 10/DX12 lock-in and the Intel/Nvidia sky high pricing! So it's time to get with some more affordable AMD/Linux OS/Vulkan API gaming systems.

July 7, 2016 | 01:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh this man speaks my language. The dream of AMD/Linux/Vulkan gaming. I don't personally want to give Intel, Microsoft or Nvidia my money for many many reasons each. If AMD really nails linux support they'll take over the linux community fast. That will translate into steam machines as well, which indeed would help both Valve and AMD, since expensive steam machines don't make a lot of sense just yet(hence low sales) and would probably best be marketed currently with good bluray support and netflix, amazon, etc. and games as a plus. I think steam machines will have to grow from the bottom end of the market up, depending on lower-spec games until the big AAA titles are there consistently enough. And AMD still has fantastic price/perf for lower end, closing on high and then midrange, as i understand it, soon enough. people just won't spend upper hundreds on a not-so-featured htpc that plays indie games, very few AAAs, and some very poorly performing ports.

As an aside, I think for steam machines to have sold better at higher prices they would have needed what sells consoles and microsoft windows: exclusives on day one.

July 7, 2016 | 01:33 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah, but will they make it so that the games on Steam that currently list compatibility with Nvidia hardware and proprietary driver only for the Linux version could be run on AMD cards as well?
I would like a Freesync monitor over a G-sync one, but I'd also like to be able to play my Medieval 2 Total War.

July 7, 2016 | 07:08 AM - Posted by Nev (not verified)

2016: the year of AMD desktop linux

July 7, 2016 | 10:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Steam OS is not exactly designed for Desktop Usage, but that will not stop some from using Steam OS with any desktop environment(DE)/Linux desktop applications! Steam OS is just another Debian based distro, although Steam OS is a minimal Debian based Build tuned for gaming efficiency. There is nothing stopping Steam OS from running any of the DEs and software that is available to run on any of the many Debian Based Linux OS distros. Dual booting Steam OS with another Linux based distro is an option, or a user could opt for a Xen/KVM Linux kernel based hypervisor arrangement and run more than one Linux/other OS at the same time. It all depends on the amount of processor power the PC has to run multiple OSs.

There will never be a Year of Desktop Linux, there will only be a year when Linux obtains enough market share on the desktop that Windows will not matter, and that includes plenty of Retail Linux OS based PC/Laptop SKUs. I hope that the Linux OS based Laptop OEM's are listening!

July 7, 2016 | 07:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's even better than that.
The purely open source radeonsi also had day one support AND performance that was, overall, comparable to the PRO userspace.

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