Valve’s Steam Deck has attracted the attention of many gamers since its release. As a new generation of handheld entertainment systems, it is equipped with Arch Linux SteamOS. Valve and AMD are still making the last effort to build a new driver for the CPU to improve the performance of the Ryzen processor on the Linux platform.
According to TomsHardware, AMD’s developer Ray Huang shared the details of the driver at the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC2021) last Friday. This driver is due to Valve’s discovery that there is a problem with the ACPI CPUFreq driver used on all Intel and AMD processors running Linux operating systems, which may cause performance problems during the running of the game. Valve hopes that the customized SoC adopted by Steam Deck, Zen 2 architecture CPU, and Linux-based SteamOS can solve this problem.
Valve contacted AMD on this matter, and AMD found more problems related to the old ACPI driver, which would affect the performance of the Ryzen processor in the Linux operating system. Since this driver has been around for a long time and was built by Intel many years ago, AMD solved these problems with the new CPPC driver. In preliminary tests conducted with Ryzen 7 PRO 5750G, AMD found that it can increase the performance per watt of Zen 3 architecture processors by 10%-25%. In TBench and Speedometer 2.0, the power efficiency is increased by 10.6%. In the Gitsource benchmark test, the efficiency increased by 26.6%. In the game test, running “Horizon Zero Dawn” and locking the frame rate at 60FPS, the new driver can greatly reduce the idle core frequency to only 400 MHz, while the old ACPI driver can only drop to 3.8 GHz.
At present, the CPPC driver is still in the development stage, and there is no official release time yet. AMD hopes that the new driver will have a more stable performance in the Linux kernel, and let the CPPC driver enter the official Linux kernel, which is very good news for Linux gamers.