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A look at modern PowerVR (MTT) drivers

Since a while now, PowerVR-based PCIe GPUs appeared under the Moore Threads branding… let’s have a quick look to see what the drivers for those look like, for both Windows and Linux.

Windows

Utterly unsuitable compared to required modern GPU feature levels. This GPU driver is freely available for download at the Moore Threads website.

I would not recommend buying this product at all for use on Windows, under any scenarios. A strongly lacking API support is the primary reason.

Supported APIs

D3D9, D3D10/11 (a not exactly very reliable implementation so far…), DXVA (and MTT specific video API)

OpenGL, Vulkan and/or D3D12 UMDs are not present.

Driver stack

WDDM 2.0 w/ some overrides, WSL vGPU not supported.

Note: This does not meet the minimum Windows 11 requirements, which impose D3D12.

Linux

This is based on an evaluation of an MTT S80 Linux driver package for x86_64 Ubuntu. Both x86_64 and arm64 driver sets are available. There doesn’t seem to be many public download links… so this is based on the last package that I could find.

I would not recommend buying this product at all for use on Linux, under any scenarios. This is due to the KMD and X11 server situation.

Supported APIs

OpenGL 3.3 (through closed-source Mesa 21.2.1 fork), Vulkan 1.2, OpenCL 3.0.

LLVM 10.0 fork used as part of the shader compiler stack.

Driver stack

GPU KMD shipped only as a binary .ko corresponding to an Ubuntu point release. Nothing more!

An X11 server copy is shipped with the driver… that’s a way of getting around X11 server ABI not being stable. Oh well…

TL;DR

Please don’t buy those parts. The software support just is not there.

Note: This was posted in Twitter/Mastodon from earlier. Thought that it could be a good idea to make a blog post out of it…

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