Some of the old AMD Radeon graphics cards, which were so old that ATI developed them before joining AMD, will get a new driver update for Linux operating system. The new driver aims to run 3D applications with less effort, which should translate into extra performance that may help to get extra frames for older games.
NIR shaders will squeeze extra performance
The old cards will be having better driver support, thanks to the open-source community
The GPUs that will get the new open-source drivers are R300, R400, and R500. R300 GPUs begin with the ATI Radeon 9000 series, released in October 2003. The aforementioned card series no longer have driver support from AMD. Those GPUs will be able to request NIR shaders from the Mesa 3D graphics library’s state tracker, thanks to open-source graphics developer Emma Anholt’s efforts. It will use the NIR to TGSI path. Emma Anholt is planning the release new drivers at the same time as Mesa 22, which is scheduled for early 2022.
As a result of the new open-source graphic drivers that use NIR shaders, the graphics cards aforementioned cards should boost gaming performance and have better loading times. Of course, users should keep in mind that those cards are almost two decades old; even if they gain a performance boost, they will not get close to any of the current GPU’s performance.
To put into perspective, the top tier R300 GPU, the X1800 XT, has the raw power of approximately 80 GFlops while today’s top tier card, RTX 3090, has 35 TFlops. And that power does not include RTX and AI cores.