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Ensuring Full Performance Out Of Radeon R7 250 / AMDGPU

asked 2018-11-08 22:51:04 -0500

bhoefer gravatar image

I have a computer from 2013 that has built-in Intel graphics. I've installed an AMD Radeon R7 250 (again, circa 2013) in it. This Radeon is a "Southern Islands" Graphics Core Next (GCN) version 1 architecture. Here is the PCI info:

# lspci | grep -i vga
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Cape Verde PRO / Venus LE / Tropo PRO-L [Radeon HD 8830M / R7 250 / R7 M465X] (rev 87)

I installed Fedora 29. Thanks to other ask.fedoraproject.org posts and the Arch Linux AMDGPU wiki page, it appears to be working. However, I'm getting less performance out of it than I am out of the built-in Intel graphics:

$ glmark2 
=======================================================
    glmark2 2017.07
=======================================================
    OpenGL Information
    GL_VENDOR:     Intel Open Source Technology Center
    GL_RENDERER:   Mesa DRI Intel(R) Ivybridge Desktop 
    GL_VERSION:    3.0 Mesa 18.2.4
=======================================================
{...}
=======================================================
                                  glmark2 Score: 1043 
=======================================================


$ DRI_PRIME=1 glmark2
=======================================================
    glmark2 2017.07
=======================================================
    OpenGL Information
    GL_VENDOR:     X.Org
    GL_RENDERER:   AMD CAPE VERDE (DRM 2.50.0, 4.18.16-300.fc29.x86_64, LLVM 7.0.0)
    GL_VERSION:    4.4 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 18.2.4
=======================================================
{...}
=======================================================
                                  glmark2 Score: 738 
=======================================================

With the Radeon's overall score being 29% below the score of the Intel graphics, I believe I must have configured something wrong. The Arch Linux wiki page mentions that the Southern Islands code is "experimental", but references a Phoronix article from May 2016 to back that up. Hopefully that is not still true.

Other than making sure that I have "radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1" as kernel options and that I'm using the amdgpu kernel module, is there something else I should be doing to get the full performance out of this AMD Radeon R7 250? Below is my inxi output. (I note that it does not list a "Device-2" or a "Card-1"/"Card-2" like I've seen in the output of other examples, online.)

# inxi -Gxxx
Graphics:
  Device-1: Intel Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor Graphics 
  vendor: Dell driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:0152 
  Display: x11 server: Fedora Project X.org 1.20.3 
  driver: amdgpu,ati,modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
  resolution: 1600x900~60Hz, 1440x900~60Hz 
  OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Desktop
  v: 4.2 Mesa 18.2.4 compat-v: 3.0 direct render: Yes 

# DRI_PRIME=1 inxi -Gxxx
Graphics:
  Device-1: Intel Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor Graphics 
  vendor: Dell driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:0152 
  Display: x11 server: Fedora Project X.org 1.20.3 
  driver: amdgpu,ati,modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
  resolution: 1600x900~60Hz, 1440x900~60Hz 
  OpenGL: renderer: AMD Radeon R9 M360 (CAPE VERDE DRM 3.26.0 4.18.16-300.fc29.x86_64 LLVM 7.0.0)
  v: 4.5 Mesa 18.2.4 compat-v: 4.4 direct render: Yes
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answered 2018-11-09 02:42:51 -0500

ozeszty gravatar image

updated 2018-11-09 02:50:05 -0500

Hi, run radeontop as root to see your GPU's load.

Connect your display to AMD card, and you should see overall improvement of performance. It seems that you're currently using Intel GPU and only offloading some tasks with DRI PRIME to AMD GPU, so screen content still has to be copied from one GPU to another before ending up on the screen.

Card-1/Card-2 inxi outputs are probably from laptops with hybrid graphics cards, GPUs outputs there are connected with each other.

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Thanks for your suggestions, ozeszty. I have 2 monitors connected to this computer; 1 to the built-in Intel graphics' DE-15 output and 1 to the Radeon R7 250's SL-DVI-D output. The glmark2 test I run, when focused on the Radeon, is done on that 2nd monitor.

bhoefer gravatar imagebhoefer ( 2018-11-09 09:06:41 -0500 )edit

I installed the radeontop RPM and ran it while testing the Radeon. It shows these attributes being used above 80% (usually above 90%) while all the glmark2 tests are running:

  • Graphics pipe
  • Texture Addresser
  • Shader Export
  • Sequencer Instruction Cache
  • Shader Interpolator
  • Scan Converter
  • Depth Block
  • Color Block

The "Event Engine" attribute is at 0.00% the whole time.

These attributes vary (0% to 30%) depending on which test is being performed:

  • Vertex Grouper + Tesselator
  • Primitive Assembly
bhoefer gravatar imagebhoefer ( 2018-11-09 09:07:16 -0500 )edit

When I started radeontop, it output this warning:

amdgpu DRM driver is used, but amdgpu VRAM size reporting is not enabled
amdgpu DRM driver is used, but amdgpu VRAM usage reporting is not enabled
Failed to get VRAM usage, kernel likely too old

I will have to research that.

bhoefer gravatar imagebhoefer ( 2018-11-09 09:10:40 -0500 )edit
1

DRM 2.50.0 means that glmark2 was run on radeon instead of amdgpu DDX (DRM 3.26.0). Try again, but after restart with screen(s) attached only to AMD card. I'm getting a score of 2206 on R7 240 (Oland) with Phenom II X2 570. Your score looks more like the one of Intel's GPU with additional impact caused by sending rendered frames to the other GPU.

Look at https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/... and run xrandr --listproviders.

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2018-11-09 11:02:54 -0500 )edit

Thank you, ozeszty. I figured my radeon kernel module wasn't being used -- even though 'lsmod" listed it -- due to this output:

# lspci -vs 01:00.0 | grep -E 01:\|Kernel
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Cape Verde PRO / Venus LE / Tropo PRO-L [Radeon HD 8830M / R7 250 / R7 M465X] (rev 87) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    Kernel driver in use: amdgpu
    Kernel modules: radeon, amdgpu

So I blacklisted the radeon driver; that gave me this glmark2 line:

AMD Radeon (TM) R9 M360 (CAPE VERDE, DRM 3.26.0, 4.18.17-300.fc29.x86_64, LLVM 7.0.0)
bhoefer gravatar imagebhoefer ( 2018-11-09 15:49:02 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2018-11-08 22:51:04 -0500

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Last updated: Nov 09 '18