How free is AMDGPU in regards to out-of-the-box experience?

Nicolai Hähnle nhaehnle at
Wed Jul 20 07:24:04 UTC 2016

On 20.07.2016 06:44, Edward O'Callaghan wrote:
> Hi Fred,
> On 07/20/2016 07:53 AM, auspicious at wrote:
>> Dear mailing list subscribers,
>> I hope this is the right place to ask because I was unable to find any
>> other mailing list. Currently I am using an NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti and either
>> the proprietary driver has to be used to get any 2D / 3D things to work,
>> like showing the operating system at all, or proprietary firmware has to
>> be loaded in combination with nouveau (which I have no experience with).
>> I want an out-of-the-box free software driver experience with no
>> non-free mess.
> Short and sweet story is: As far as getting asymptotically close to the
> libre optimal with high-end GPU's, realistically, amdgpu + mesa radeonsi
> is absolutely the best your going to get.
>> Will AMDGPU provide this? Do I need to mess with non-free firmware
>> stuff? What is the highest end AMD card to combine with AMDGPU? Right
>> now I am quite comfortable with Debian testing which has Linux kernel
>> 4.6 in use.
> You don't need to mess with firmware, a little bit of microcode is
> needed but that is included in linux-firmware and is part of all major
> distro's - Fedora wells very well, can't see why Debian would not work
> equality well.
>> I am looking to play modern Valve games at highest performance. Low
>> settings is usually preferred at 1280x1024. A stable 240+ FPS on games
>> like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is welcome to prepare for native
>> 240 Hz monitors that are coming out this year.
> Any GCN card should work out the box perfectly fine with 4.6+ kernel's.

For Polaris / RX480 you need 4.7. Agreed with the rest of your mail :)


> As for the exact expected fps perf, its not perfect every time but now
> focus is almost exclusively on perf so should rapidly improve. It's not
> bad, its just not perfect, but _pretty decent right now_.
> Hope this helps,
> Edward.
>> Sincerely yours,
>> Fred
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