The latest Mesa 22.3 development code for Zink’s OpenGL on Vulkan implementation has reached a major milestone with the latest code refactoring: It appears that this OpenGL implementation on top of the Vulkan API with the RADV driver is starting to outperform AMD’s RadeonSI Gallium3D driver which provides native OpenGL support for Radeon GPUs.
One goal that seemed elusive when Zink started out was whether this generic OpenGL-on-Vulkan driver could outperform a high-quality, dedicated OpenGL driver. This would have dramatic consequences, especially since hardware vendors would then be able to focus solely on supporting Vulkan drivers without having to retain OpenGL support. X-Plane, and hopefully reduce the number of bugs in OpenGL drivers if more attention was paid to this generic implementation.
As of the latest code merged with Git overnight, it looks like we may be approaching that reality with Zink lead developer Mike Blumenkrantz hinting that Zink may be faster than RadeonSI. Mike Blumenkrantz is employed by Valve to work on the Zink code for Mesa.
As part of a Zinc 2022 refactor: part 3, he ended the merge request with:
total yield +15% or so for drawoverhead 7 (program varying), making zinc faster than radeonsi
no significant increase in binary size
Making the “zinc faster than radeonsi” is a tempting statement, as RadeonSI is the most mature open source OpenGL driver out there and is well optimized for AMD Radeon GCN GPUs and newer with the investment over the years by AMD, Valve, Red Hat , and the countless other contributors over the years to this core AMD OpenGL driver.
The merged code hits just under a thousand lines of code and has cleanups, using pipeline management templates for “big gears”, and other low-level improvements.
Whaaaaaat!?! I’m running some new benchmarks now…
In my Zinc vs. RadeonSI benchmarks in May, Zink ran quite close to RadeonSI and in a few rare games/settings even RadeonSI or even better than RadeonSI. Given the progress of the past three months, this weekend I’ll be launching Mesa Git benchmarks of Zink vs. RadeonSI to see what this driver situation looks like in a wide selection of OpenGL games on Linux. Stay tuned for an exciting round of benchmarks in the coming days!
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