AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

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AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby jaywalker » Apr 14th, '18, 15:30

I have just installed this new APU to get some advantage from OpenCL render acceleration in Blender, but I am now a little confused how to proceed.

The machine has a fully updated Mageia 6 which was powered by an AMD A10-5600 (or maybe 5800) until today. I used to use an Nvidia graphics card to provide CUDA acceleration, but I had to remove it to get access to the short PCIE socket for another soundcard (long story, don't ask or I may tell yo the whole thing).

The Godavari version of the A10 is a re-engineered Kaveri, and purportedly supports OpenCL 2.0. Problem is, Mageia hardware detection for XFdrake seems to think it is Kaveri and does not offer amdgpu as a possible driver.

Am I correct in thinking that I need the amdgpu driver to get OpenCL working on this APU?
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby wintpe » May 1st, '18, 15:33

has the motherboard bios been flashed recently, i wonder if the reason its being missdetected is down to the processor not being correctly identified in the bios.
its a bit of a guess as info about these on google seems quite scant
regards peter
Redhat 6 Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Sometimes my posts will sound short, or snappy, however its realy not my intention to offend, so accept my apologies in advance.
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby jaywalker » May 1st, '18, 22:00

Good call. I thought so too so. The release date was 2016-03-10 and still is on one motherboard. The other (same board, long story) is now 2017-04-14 but it has not affected the detection of the graphics hardware. However, I have done a lot more reading in the last ten days or so and I have forgotten most of it, but a few things stuck.

First off, there is no official use of the "Godavari" name insofar as hardware detection is concerned. This Kaveri, though relatively new and somewhat improved over the original Kaveri release is still simply Kaveri.

One of the key features, for me, of this newer Kaveri is the Radeon R7 GCN graphics with support for OpenCL 2.0 but the capability is only supported by AMD in their AMDGPU-PRO driver. Consequently, though I eventually ignored the driver suggested by XFdrake and installed the free amdgpu driver (and it works very well) I am unlikely ever to enjoy the improvements this APU would bring to Blender users on Windows.

The problem appears to be that the AMDGPU-PRO driver cannot use Xorg servers as recent as supplied on Mageia 6 and future releases. They may catch up, I suppose, but as my Kaveri is one of the oldest architectures supported by AMDGPU-PRO, there is every chance that AMD will do an Nvidia on us and drop support for it.

This is all very sad. Two years ago the support in Blender for OpenCL was nothing to write home about, but a lot of work has been done on it since then and I was hoping to be able to dodge the Nvidia bullet (how do you install CUDA support without trashing your AMD display setup?) but not yet, I'm afraid...

Ah well
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby wintpe » May 14th, '18, 14:57

for me at least unless your on really old crusty nvidia hardware support is fabulous
OK so i have a 1070ti, on my newest system, but i have a gtx560 on my 6 year old system, still
an incredibly good platform, that will trash that A10, an 1100T.

my next oldest is a GT250, and that is supported by the slightly older series driver , and thats about 8 years old.

Next theres the 7300GT on an AGP card, thats circa 2005 and still supported by the 304 driver.

thats 13 years old....... thats pretty good.

so unless you are on some old 2000 era hardware you should be OK with nvidia.

regards peter
Redhat 6 Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Sometimes my posts will sound short, or snappy, however its realy not my intention to offend, so accept my apologies in advance.
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby jaywalker » May 14th, '18, 20:01

wintpe wrote:so unless you are on some old 2000 era hardware you should be OK with nvidia.

regards peter


That's an interesting perspective, Peter, but have you ever tried to install Nvidia CUDA support without trashing an already existing screen driver setup from another manufacturer? Don't forget that the starting point from which I am trying to find a solution is a 2016 motherboard with a 2016 APU from AMD. Blender currently requires OpenCL of at least v2.0 - the A10 does that.

What I was hoping to do was gain some small performance boost while using Blender without going through the pain of getting the GeForce GTX 960 to supply CUDA support. I was also interested to test the claim that Blender's current level of OpenCL support puts OpenCL on a par with CUDA for the first time. Admittedly, the GTX 960 would still leave the A10 standing in a render race, but that is not the point. I am not looking for an absolute performance level target, just something better than plain ol' CPU rendering.

So in the end I bit the bullet and set about trying to replicate the success I had a couple of years ago getting the CUDA system running without the video drivers. Now I have the Nvidia card in one machine, using the AMD APU to drive its three screens, and the Creative Audigy card in the other. That is a very expensive way to work, but as the Nvidia card effectively renders the short PCIE socket useless, it was the best I could come up with using existing hardware.

On the plus side, though, I can use the box with the Nvidia card for Blender via x2go using vglrun to get it to use its amdgpu-provided screen acceleration and Nvidia CUDA support. This enables me to keep the three monitors on the sound machine and not worry about kvm switches, whilst still having a happy user experience with Blender. The only downside is that I dread kernel updates which will try to update or rebuild the Nvidia kernel module and probably do untold harm to the CUDA installation.
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby wintpe » May 15th, '18, 12:37

Im not sure why you are using a hybrid system in the first place.

are you trying to use the nvidia card purely as a hw processor.

I use cuda on my 1070Ti while using it to run the monitor.

seems to work well.

mostly i use it for nvencode, where the 2432 cores each render a frame a second on a full HD video.

thats faster that the 32 thread processor can do it, which only manages a measly 100 frames a second.

regards peter
Redhat 6 Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Sometimes my posts will sound short, or snappy, however its realy not my intention to offend, so accept my apologies in advance.
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby jaywalker » May 15th, '18, 20:35

wintpe wrote:Im not sure why you are using a hybrid system in the first place.

are you trying to use the nvidia card purely as a hw processor.


Exactly so. The monitors are a mixed bunch with at least one of them needing a vga cable connection. I have exactly the cables I need to connect all three using VGA, DVI and HDMI, all of which is handled by the A10 and the sockets provided on the motherboard. The Nvidia card may have five monitor sockets, but three of them are of a type I cannot use. The screen performance from the APU is completely satisfactory and shows no signs of stress.

wintpe wrote:I use cuda on my 1070Ti while using it to run the monitor.

seems to work well.

mostly i use it for nvencode, where the 2432 cores each render a frame a second on a full HD video.

thats faster that the 32 thread processor can do it, which only manages a measly 100 frames a second.

regards peter


That is something I may look into. My video encoding needs are quite modest. Almost exclusively transcoding mpeg2 to mp4 for archiving broadcast TV but I have developed a way of working which I find quite effective. My recording box is 86 miles away but that is not a problem, it's a feature. I spend a few hours from time to time topping and tailing the broadcast TV and removing the ads as carefully as I feel is necessary, then set half a dozen of them to transcode, possibly overnight. The remote A8 machine only has 8G RAM but I haven't run out of memory yet and doing the job at night helps to manage the generated heat - no central heating at night and it gets quite cool here - even in summer.

It may be worthwhile considering moving the GTX960 to that machine if I can integrate the nvencode functionality in my toolchain (or find another way to do the job). That machine is still on MGA5 (MythTV upgrade phobia I'm afraid) but I have more or less decided to jump it to MGA7 when that is ready. By then we should not be far from a stable and usable Blender 2.8 with its EEVEE render engine and I can move all my Blender doodling to that machine too.
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby wintpe » May 16th, '18, 16:52

you might find this useful

our ffmpeg packager added nvencode a few months ago to mga6, i did not check if he also added it to mga5, so worth a check

https://developer.nvidia.com/ffmpeg

your card is the

Maxwell (GM206)

regards peter
Redhat 6 Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Sometimes my posts will sound short, or snappy, however its realy not my intention to offend, so accept my apologies in advance.
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Re: AMD A10-7860 Godavari OpenCL support how?

Postby jaywalker » May 17th, '18, 03:50

That is very interesting information - I am tempted to dive straight in to see what use I can make of it, but I will resist until the weekend. I need to see if I can build my version of avidemux on MGA6 and then test it with the system ffmpeg library. That is a task I have been putting off for nearly a year.

I have been able to hang on to avidemux-gtk-2.5.6 since MGA3 days, but I am just using the MGA3 rpm. It could be tricky enough to rebuild it from source. If I can't manage that I will have to find an alternative tool for the clipping and encoding tasks. I have dabbled recently with Shotcut (https://www.shotcut.org) and though it is a little harder for me to use quickly, at least it is easy to make high quality mp4 output. I still need to find out how to make it produce files small enough to archive, but like I said, I have only dabbled with it.

Thanks again Peter for the nvencode tip.
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