AMD’s Radeon Vulkan Drivers Add Support for Ray Tracing on Older GCN GPUs

kac77

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AMD’s Radeon Vulkan Drivers Add Support for Ray Tracing on Older GCN GPUs
--Hardware Times

AMD’s older Radeon GPUs based on the GCN architecture now support ray-tracing, at least when using the open-source Vulkan API. You will now be able to utilize ray-tracing in GPUs going back as far as GFX6 or GCN 1.0 which was released 10 years back with the Radeon HD 7000 series.
 

Lakados

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It's probably going to run like absolute shit in any game that you manage it enable it on.

It also technically worked on my GTX 1080 but is basically useless besides "Hey, it works. And I have 10 fps."
They had it “working” a long while back, remember the Crytek raytracing demo Neon Noir. It was getting single digit FPS’s there and it was detracting from AMD’s newer cards so they quietly disabled it shortly there after.

The only place I can see this useful is maybe in Blender 3.1 for rendering raytracing elements.
There may be others, but they aren’t coming to mind.
 

GotNoRice

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You will now be able to utilize ray-tracing in GPUs going back as far as GFX6 or GCN 1.0 which was released 10 years back with the Radeon HD 7000 series.

That would be a neat trick considering that driver support for the 7000 series was abandoned last year. I know because I still use a Radeon 7770 in my HTPC and the last driver released for it was the Adrenalin 21.5.2 drivers dated June 21st 2021. They don't even have a Windows 11 driver for these cards (although the Windows 10 64-bit driver works fine). There are quite a few cards newer than the 7000 series that got cut also.

https://www.amd.com/en/support/kb/faq/gpu-630
AMD said:
No additional driver releases are planned to support these graphics products.

Of course, I'd love to be wrong and have them release a new driver for this old workhorse. But, I doubt it.
 
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Axman

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People can talk shit but supporting older architectures is always a good thing. Raytracing will make its way into undemanding games now that it's an emerging standard.

Even 2D games with 3D lights and shadows would look amazing with thoughtful use of ray-tracing.

But what this really should do is point out that AMD is actively working on supporting older hardware, which with other tech like RSR and FSR and their future counterparts, means that things like APU gaming will be a real thing. They're pushing entry-level graphics out, with the clear intent of replacing it with integrated graphics that don't compromise on features, going forward and with existing parts.
 

UnknownSouljer

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It's probably going to run like absolute shit in any game that you manage it enable it on.
I think the most relevant portion of the article is this:

"In the GravityMark benchmark, LBVH boosted the performance from just 13 FPS to a whopping 250 FPS. However, this is a cherry-picked example, and don’t expect the same kind of gains elsewhere."

The long and the short is: there is a difference between simply enabling RT and repurposing compute units to make it work. Also according to the article, GCN has always been "raytracing capable" but it wasn't worth enabling because of worthless real-time performance (as you note). That implies AMD thinks this is worthwhile to enable due to better performance. However, like all things, grains of salt, and etc etc.
It also technically worked on my GTX 1080 but is basically useless besides "Hey, it works. And I have 10 fps."
This is still the most relevant question, even with all of the above info. However, it also theoretically could increase the speed of RT on Navi 2/3 cards by also using their compute units.
 

Red Falcon

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People can talk shit but supporting older architectures is always a good thing. Raytracing will make its way into undemanding games now that it's an emerging standard.

Even 2D games with 3D lights and shadows would look amazing with thoughtful use of ray-tracing.

But what this really should do is point out that AMD is actively working on supporting older hardware, which with other tech like RSR and FSR and their future counterparts, means that things like APU gaming will be a real thing. They're pushing entry-level graphics out, with the clear intent of replacing it with integrated graphics that don't compromise on features, going forward and with existing parts.
Exactly, and it may also enable the technology further on previous-gen consoles as well.
Supporting older hardware will only help with the way things are going these days on obtaining new hardware.
 
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Axman

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Exactly, and it may also enable the technology further on previous-gen consoles as well.

I hadn't even thought about consoles. If console fans find out that their outgoing-model consoles play games faster or prettier because AMD helped develop them, then console makers would be compelled by their own customers to stick with AMD silicon.

Consoles with fine wine, that's a Hell of a thought.
 

DukenukemX

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That would be a neat trick considering that driver support for the 7000 series was abandoned last year. I know because I still use a Radeon 7700 in my HTPC and the last driver released for it was the Adrenalin 21.5.2 drivers dated June 21st 2021. They don't even have a Windows 11 driver for these cards (although the Windows 10 64-bit driver works fine). There are quite a few cards newer than the 7000 series that got cut also.

https://www.amd.com/en/support/kb/faq/gpu-630


Of course, I'd love to be wrong and have them release a new driver for this old workhorse. But, I doubt it.
This is probably for Linux open source drivers where the 7000 series is still supported. Though to get Vulkan working on GCN 1.0 cards is a bit tricky but I've done it. I even wrote a guide on how to enable it on the Linux Mint forum. It's a bit old so it may not work.
 

learners permit

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Good to see some real software work coming outta team red. Apparently they can finally afford to hire some quality software engineers. I feel like the money I've spent on their hardware isn't just padding a crap CEO's bonuses.👍
 

ManofGod

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Well sure, except now I no longer have any GCN GPU's to speak of, anymore. :D
 

the snake

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i will try the new drivers if they work on windows 7, any idea if they would ?

all i can find is legacy drivers now ??
 

NightReaver

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If you were a fan of ray tracing, you would welcome it running on older cards. But in reality, you're only a fan of Nvidia coming here to bad mouth the competition.
Exactly. I still don't care about ray tracing but eh, could be interesting to tinker with. Better yet, it's totally free. That's something everyone can get behind.
 

Dvater

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I played Control on my 1080Ti with RT on...at 720p...frame rate was decent enough though and the graphics are quite good.

Something like a 7970 even I see getting destroyed.
 

kirbyrj

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You will have to show me where I bad mouthed the competition.

I don't see it.

You make it seem like your innocuous post here is independent of your posting history.

But let me break your sarcastic comment down for you anyway...

"AMD Fans" - the fact that you call the people posting in this thread "fans" implying an emotional attachment instead of just an installed user base. Thus the postings here have nothing little to do with technology and more to do with the emotional attachment to AMD.

"All about raytracing" - this is hardly the case and a complete overstatement. Most of the postings here have to do with potential console implementation, desire for linux implementation, and the fact that there is support for older hardware.

"Now" - the implication drawn from your previous posting history that your Nvidia counterparts have always cared about ray tracing ever since leather jacket man almost doubled the price of the 2080Ti over the 1080Ti with practically zero software support at launch and at best minimal support over the lifecycle of the card, but suddenly AMD fans are just now jumping on the bandwagon. Clearly AMD has had ray tracing in some form or another for over a year. Current gen consoles implement it. Your sarcasm is a year outdated.
 

GoodBoy

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Lol...

AMD Fans exist. You can define them however you like. As far as "emotional attachment" goes, there are thousands of posts just on [H] that support the statement that you say I am implying. Implied or not, the reality doesn't jive with your statement.

"All about Raytracing" - Thread speaks for itself. You might want to re-read the thread from the beginning. Or just read the thread title.

"Now" - AMD has had raytracing in some form for over a year. Where did I mention AMD's timetable? I mentioned AMD's FANS and their comments regarding raytracing, not AMD's plans or timetables. You also completely ignore history where AMD fans have stated for years, that "I don't care about Raytracing" - "Raytracing is a gimmick", among others.

My point was spot-on. Deal with it.
 

Nobu

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Lol...

AMD Fans exist. You can define them however you like. As far as "emotional attachment" goes, there are thousands of posts just on [H] that support the statement that you say I am implying. Implied or not, the reality doesn't jive with your statement.

"All about Raytracing" - Thread speaks for itself. You might want to re-read the thread from the beginning. Or just read the thread title.

"Now" - AMD has had raytracing in some form for over a year. Where did I mention AMD's timetable? I mentioned AMD's FANS and their comments regarding raytracing, not AMD's plans or timetables. You also completely ignore history where AMD fans have stated for years, that "I don't care about Raytracing" - "Raytracing is a gimmick", among others.

My point was spot-on. Deal with it.
Meh, I've always thought ray-tracing was a great idea, the bee's knees even. But I'm not going to get bent out of shape if it doesn't work on my hardware. I can still have fun without it.

Get off my lawn! Stop liking what I don't like!
 

kac77

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Anything that increases the features of a GPU is inherently a good thing especially if the chips are old as people hang on to gpus for quite some time.

As for ray tracing, it's nice to have but not a deal breaker for me as we are still a long way off from it becoming ubiquitous but the support is going to be nice for those games that secretly have it turned on by default.
 

reaper12

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Exactly, and it may also enable the technology further on previous-gen consoles as well.
Supporting older hardware will only help with the way things are going these days on obtaining new hardware.

I hadn't even thought about consoles. If console fans find out that their outgoing-model consoles play games faster or prettier because AMD helped develop them, then console makers would be compelled by their own customers to stick with AMD silicon.

Consoles with fine wine, that's a Hell of a thought.

I would love to have some of what you guys are smoking.

Ray Tracing at the this point in time needs dedicated hardware to even get close to playable performance. And that's on the latest and most powerful hardware. Yes, even AMD's RDNA 2 has dedicated hardware, one Ray Tracing unit in each compute unit. And even with that dedicated hardware AMD's RDNA 2's Ray Tracing solution is still a generation behind.

Current consoles struggle with even the most basic implementation of Ray Tracing and you think AMD/Microsoft/Sony are going to go to the effort of enabling it in older consoles? LOL You guys are funny.

Besides, this has nothing to do with AMD. It's a misleading title. It's for open source linux drivers. And this happened ages ago. Sometime last year. Here

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=RADV-Mesa-21.3-Older-RT

They have since updated the drivers to support even older GPUs, and that's what the article in the Opening post is about. The previous open source linux driver that was working with some older GPUs has been expanded to work with more GPUs.
 

Red Falcon

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I would love to have some of what you guys are smoking.

Ray Tracing at the this point in time needs dedicated hardware to even get close to playable performance. And that's on the latest and most powerful hardware. Yes, even AMD's RDNA 2 has dedicated hardware, one Ray Tracing unit in each compute unit. And even with that dedicated hardware AMD's RDNA 2's Ray Tracing solution is still a generation behind.

Current consoles struggle with even the most basic implementation of Ray Tracing and you think AMD/Microsoft/Sony are going to go to the effort of enabling it in older consoles? LOL You guys are funny.

Besides, this has nothing to do with AMD. It's a misleading title. It's for open source linux drivers. And this happened ages ago. Sometime last year. Here

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=RADV-Mesa-21.3-Older-RT

They have since updated the drivers to support even older GPUs, and that's what the article in the Opening post is about. The previous open source linux driver that was working with some older GPUs has been expanded to work with more GPUs.
First sentence in the article:
AMD’s older Radeon GPUs based on the GCN architecture now support ray-tracing, at least when using the open-source Vulkan API.
I have no idea how I missed that, wow, thanks for pointing it out.
 

DukenukemX

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i will try the new drivers if they work on windows 7, any idea if they would ?

all i can find is legacy drivers now ??
Good chance that these added features are done to match the new Vulkan spec. Considering the source is from Phoronix a Linux website, it's a good chance that AMD isn't directly involved here. MESA the graphics driver stack used in Linux has many Vulkan drivers and the most popular community made driver is called RADV. RADV can add any feature they want including Ray-Tracing support. This is mainly a Linux added feature as you won't see any new drivers for any old 7000 series based GCN card on Windows.

I found the article that they didn't directly source. Looks like I guessed right. So yea you won't be getting this feature unless you use Linux. Legacy drivers from AMD is enough of a clue to dump Windows for Linux. Linux has so many benefits for AMD users compared to Windows anyway.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=RADV-LBVH-GFX6-And-Newer

"Mesa developer Rhys Perry this week merged some minor ray-tracing optimizations for RADV while notably now allows LBVH for building acceleration structures going back to GFX6 hardware. GFX6 is GCN 1.0 hardware that can be used with RADV when switching from the Radeon DRM to AMDGPU kernel driver. So now LBVH can be used for all GCN and RDNA GPUs with RADV to improve the ray-tracing performance at least for cases like GravityMark, but on the older Radeon hardware lacking RT cores still don't expect much out of the performance. "
 
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