Warp3D for Southern Islands Graphics Cards

Cardiff, April 1st 2015

Following our acquisition of the joint ownership of Warp3D, to complement our ongoing work with the driver for the Evergreen RadeonHD graphics card series, we commissioned AmigaOS graphics specialist Hans de Ruiter to create a Warp3D driver for the newer Southern Islands chipsets.

At the heart of the new Southern Island Warp3D driver is the W3D_SI.library which provides 3D graphics acceleration for selected Radeon HD 7xxx and Radeon Rx series graphics cards which include the Southern Islands Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). The driver has already gone through several iterations and has been put through its paces by a core group of dedicated AmigaOS 4 beta testers.

Warp3D-SI Features:

  • Supports larger textures (up to 16384×16384 memory permitting).
  • Performance is less dependent on resolution than previous drivers, including rendering at HD resolutions.
  • Submits vertices to the GPU via vertex buffers rather than directly in the command stream (one of the bottlenecks of the old Radeon drivers).
  • Uses the RadeonHD_RM.resource for VRAM allocation, providing more efficient memory management than own system.
  • Accumulates small vertex arrays into larger buffers to provide faster performance where lots of tiny render operations are performed
  • Doesn’t lock the entire graphics system between 3D_LockHardware() / W3D_UnlockHardware(), so an application or game crash is less likely to freeze the entire system

To complement the development Hans de Ruiter has also updated MiniGL and at the time of writing version 2.20 was ready for release on Warp3D.

New updated RadeonHD drivers are also being released to coincide with the update. Registered owners can now download the new versions of 1.4 and 2.7 from AMIstore.

Warp3D RadeonHD Southern Islands Requirements:

An AmigaONE or AmigaOS 4.1 compatible computer with

  • AmigaOS 4.1 “Final Edition”
  • RadeonHD V1.4 or V2.7
  • MiniGL – version 2.20 or later

Containing one of the following RadeonHD or Radeon Rx Southern Island graphics cards

  • Radeon HD 7750-7970 series graphics card (excluding the Radeon HD 7790)
  • Radeon R7 250X/265 (excluding R7 250)
  • Radeon R9 270/270X/280/280X