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Graphics Open Source Linux

Mesa's Highlights Reel: An Impressive Year For Open Source 3-D Drivers 27

Michael Larabel at Phoronix has been assiduously reporting on some of the small advancements in open source 3-D graphics; in aggregate, those small advancements make for big improvements in hardware (and platform) support, as well as higher performance. Phoronix published today a year-end wrap-up highlighting some of the ways that Mesa has developed; it's quite a list. An excerpt: This time last year core Mesa and the drivers were still limited to OpenGL 3.3 compliance while in 2015 we've seen core Mesa reach up to OpenGL 4.2 support. The AMD RadeonSI and R600g drivers have raised up through OpenGL 4.1 (though R600g is limited in what supports GL4) and the Nouveau NVC0 driver is at OpenGL 4.1 as well. The Intel Mesa driver is still at OpenGL 3.3, but they are extremely close to OpenGL 4.2 and should hit that milestone in early 2016 after having been recently focusing up on OpenGL ES 3.1 support, which they did achieve this year. Besides tackling more GL4 support, Mesa this year has seen the new VirtIO GPU driver for 3D support in guest VMs, continued work on the new Raspberry Pi 3D driver (VC4), video encode/decode improvements, and other Gallium3D state tracker highlights.
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Mesa's Highlights Reel: An Impressive Year For Open Source 3-D Drivers

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  • by sanosuke001 ( 640243 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @12:09PM (#51190323)
    Without backwards compatibility, they're useless for me at work. We do GL2 and GL4 side by side (legacy vs. new development) and the open source drivers just fail at initializing because they don't support the backwards compatibility profiles. Also, with Vulkan coming out next year, it'll be a bit tough if they aren't working on that yet.
    • by maligor ( 100107 )

      Without backwards compatibility, they're useless for me at work. We do GL2 and GL4 side by side (legacy vs. new development) and the open source drivers just fail at initializing because they don't support the backwards compatibility profiles.

      Also, with Vulkan coming out next year, it'll be a bit tough if they aren't working on that yet.

      My heart bleeds for you.

      Perhaps you or your company would like to pay for the work?

      I do hope you don't use NVIDIA drivers to verify compliance however. Last time I worked with OpenGL code and Mesa/Nvidia (~4 years ago), I found out that Nvidia is so lax in enforcement that it doesn't comply with the OpenGL Specs and Mesa is so strict that the nvidiaisms were very problematic to fix.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yup, they said they will not support compatibility profiles. Linux graphics crowd has always been thin on manpower, even in the era of manufacturers supporting OSS driver development. They are barely catching up with GL standard.

  • by crabel ( 1862874 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @03:57AM (#51193921)
    I can only agree. I have and AMD card and the company dropped driver support for my card, a Radeon 4870, in 2012. The card is still able to play most games, it was a really good card when I bought it. Was really p*ssed off, when AMD dropped the support. For me, Mesa improvements were awesome. In 2012, Mesa/Gallium was a lot slower and had a lot less features. Personally, I saw the most improvements in 2014, speedwise. But 2015 wasn't bad either. When Witcher 2 was released early this year/last year(don't remember) it didn't work at all with stable Mesa drivers, but it worked with drivers from the trunk. When Civ5 BE was released, the game didn't work at all. Couple of weeks later, it worked somewhat and I just tried it, it seems to work flawlessly. Sure, there are still lots of problems, e.g. Divinity OS EE was released (finally) a few days ago. Doesn't work. It seems, the game needs an OpenGL 4.2 function which is still not implemented on Radeon. But chances are good, that it will be implemented in the next couple of weeks, it's only one of two missing extensions to become 4.2 compliant. http://mesamatrix.net/ [mesamatrix.net]
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