Blender is weak OpenCL compatible. (2019)

Is there any work going to be done to support opensource drivers? I have a radeon rx 480 but cannot use this with blender because blender will not use opensource opencl drivers. That was the problem with 2.79b. Does 2.80 support open source opencl drivers for radeon? Is there any future for opencl?

They are working on it. They have a developer on it full time now as I understand it.


I’m guessing you are using Linux?

as for Windows, I have 4 RX 480s and 2 RX VEGA’s and have not experienced any rendering issues with OpenCL in quite some time.

And to further that, if it is not working on Linux, is that AMD’s OpenCL implementation or Blender? Again as it is functioning in Windows, and code is identical (from Blenders perspective) it looks to be more of an issue with AMD’s Linux OpenCL implementation

The guy who was hired is working on OpenCL optimizations like reduction in Kernel Compile right now. I haven’t heard much of fixing opensource opencl drivers (at least it was not on the offical documentation of what he was hired to tackle.

I am using linux. It’s the opensource drivers, not the one from AMD. I am on opensuse. I have bad problems with the AMD drivers. I would try installing the opencl AMD drivers without video drivers, but blender will not work in that way (2.79b).

AMD Radeon HD 7970 user on Antergos (ArchLinux) with open source drivers.
It’s not a problem with Blender, but it’s a driver problem! Mesa OpenCl supports the maximum OpenCl1.1 and is far from working on Blender and other software using OpenCl. Unfortunately there is not enough interest in the development of Mesa OpenCl, as AMD has released Rocm (OpenCl) which only supports newer video cards than ours.

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And furthermore, I was able to install the headless AMD drivers for compute core, and run cryptocurrency miners. But blender will not work, even though it at first will detect the compute core.


Blender supports OpenCL drivers from version 1.2 and up. The Open source Mesa drivers have a support level of 1.1. Both standards are already 8+ years old. If you use the proprietary drivers from AMD you will have OpenCL 2.0+ support.

IMO this is a driver support issue (or to put it better, the driver developers should move forward to support more accepted versions of the standard).
Here at the studio we don’t use mesa for OpenCL; for OpenGL it is fine though. And mixing the drivers (Mesa for OpenGL, AMD Pro for OpenCL) is supported.

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My card is an RX 480, and I know it’s above 1.1 That might explain why the opensource driver does not work for me. The last time I tried the proprietary drivers it would crash blender and mess up my display.

I decided to install 18.50 opencl drivers for opensuse. This time it detects the opencl without crashing or locking up the computer. It works in both 1.80 and 1.79b. Have not tried rendering anything. It seems the problem I had before was the operating system. I was running ubuntu 16.40. This was not the only problem I had with that OS. Seems the OS degrades after a time. Now I am running OpenSuse tumble weed. Never a problem with this OS.

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They run fine on Ubuntu. But on 18.04. Anyways I think you made the right choice to go with a rolling release.

FYI the Blender version distributed in the official Ubuntu Repositories doesn’t support CUDA at all and I guess it doesn’t support OpenCL either. The version from works though.

Use ppa! I suggest [Thomas Schiex]

Yeah I used that one too. Currently during 2.8 development I’m building it myself. It’s kinda disappointing, that this is still not fixed in Ubuntus repos though.

blender 2.79 buildbot used to run with ROCm >2.0 and mesa open source OpenCL drivers before the AMD developer started to change the code. Now it hangs with the multi threaded compilation of kernels, so I had to switch to AMDGPU-pro closed drivers, because he is working with those drivers. I’m watching the developer weekly reports here, he says here there are 2 phases to the OpenCL development, the first phase is pretty much features and kernel reduction time, kudos if he fixes this, and the second phase is user experience. I’m not sure if report this issue as a bug later, when he will be in the second phase or now when the code is still “inmature”