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OpenCL on an HD7970 - options?
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Joined: 22 Nov 2002
Posts: 366
Location: Leamington Spa, Warks, UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:50 pm    Post subject: OpenCL on an HD7970 - options? Reply with quote


I have a couple of HD7970s that I've had knocking around since by bitcoin mining days and I'd like to put them to work training neural nets. Having recently realised that `ati-drivers` (fglrx) is no longer maintained, I'm wondering what my options are regarding OpenCL.

I need a newer kernel and I can't get ati-drivers building on that any more. Also, X wanted to update to .18 which didn't work with fglrx. General consensus appears to be to give up and try one of the newer things.

I've managed to get rid of ati-drivers and I enabled both the amdgpu and radeon modules in the kernel. Firnware for my hardware (Tahiti) isn't included in the amdgpu-ucode package, so I'm using radeon-ucode. The kernel autoloads the radeon module so I guess that's the driver it wants to use. I enabled VIDEO_CARDS="amdgpu radeonsi radeon" and it looks like X is using radeonsi.

Tahiti seems to be in some kind of limbo where it's listed as one of the architectures that's supported by amdgpu (Southern Islands) but doesn't seem to have a firmware for it.

Anyway, this radeon/radeonsi combo seems to work, an I have 3d acceleration and a working opencl provided by Mesa. So far so good. Performance seems okay, so I'm happy with the desktop environment I've got running from that perspective.

Unfortunately it seems that Mesa is only providing me with OpenCL 1.1, and for my purposes (opencl Torch) I need 1.2.

So, I'm not sure what my options are:
* Mesa - Google appears to suggest that OpenCL 1.2 with Mesa isn't going to happen (unsupported by Mesa).
* fglrx - Doesn't work, unmaintained
* radeon/radeonsi/amdgpu open source - Requires mesa (see above)
* amdgpu-pro - Not sure if my card is supported (see firmware issue above), doesn't seem to be any Gentoo support - doesn't have any information

Any ideas?
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Ant P.

Joined: 18 Apr 2009
Posts: 6638

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's been a sudden increase of OpenCL work going into Mesa recently (here's one from today). The git ebuild might do what you need sooner or later.
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