AMD RDNA 3 Refresh Code Unearthed in Linux Mesa 23.3 Graphics Driver

Mesa 3D driver
(Image credit: Mesa)

A few hours ago, new Linux graphics driver code was unearthed, which appears to offer initial support for an AMD RDNA 3 Refresh. Phoronix reports that the Mesa 23.3 release includes new code for GFX11.5 support for the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver. For context, GFX11 support is enabled in the current Linux Mesa 3D graphics library to accelerate OpenGL, Vulkan, and other graphics APIs when RDNA 3 GPUs are used.

A small 0.5 increment in the GFX11 version number suggests a minor refresh for RDNA 3 graphics is on the way. The idea of a minor refresh is compounded by the fact that the GFX11.5 enablement code in the upcoming Mesa 23.3 release is "quite small and mostly about adding GFX11.5 to proceed along the existing GFX11.0 / Navi 3x driver code paths," according to the source. 

If it happens, the AMD RDNA 3 refresh shouldn't be too far over the horizon. Mesa 23.3, with the new enablement code for GFX11.5, is expected to arrive in the current quarter.

Mesa 3D code

(Image credit: Phoronix)

Talk of an AMD RDNA 3 refresh should be taken with a pinch of salt or two, as there is very little supporting evidence beyond these Mesa driver changes. Additionally, the weight of rumors says any RDNA 3 refresh considered by AMD has been canceled. Remember, AMD was very late with its Radeon RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT releases.

In an earlier Phoronix report on Mesa's GFX11.5 support, the favored explanation for the driver tweaking was to cater to the release of the Ryzen 8000 'Strix Point' series APUs. These new APUs may have tweaked integrated RDNA 3 GPUs with RDNA 3.5 architecture.

In summary, the Mesa 23.3 release for Linux looks like it adds support for some new AMD GPU or other. However, the rumor mill would steer us away from expecting new discrete Radeon RX 7050 series GPUs in favor of Ryzen 8000 APU with RDNA 3.5 support. Whatever the case, it is good to get the feeling that Linux users should be able to benefit from the freshest AMD silicon from day one.

Mark Tyson
News Editor

Mark Tyson is a news editor at Tom's Hardware. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.