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AMD Radeon RX Hardware Acceleration


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Hi,

+1 Suffering from the issue. I recently changed my GPU from an old RX 480 to the latest and greatest RX 6900 XT and i noticed that OpenCL acceleration stopped working on Affinity Photo. I tried different versions of the application and the AMD Driver but without much luck.

I had a look at the discussion and also had a look at the code you published at github. I understand that fixing performance of the OpenCL compiler within the driver would significantly improve the situation and i would certainly support you 100% that it needs to be fixed.

However, i believe that Serif developers could make a workaround to fix the performance issue by simply moving all the overhead outside the critical path and into the initialization phase (startup) of the application (if not already doing so). Yes, i agree, the application would take a couple more seconds to load, but when the kernel is already pre-compiled at startup, and only an enqueue of the arguments and the kernel is required to do the job when requested (when the user makes something that requests the OpenCL kernel to execute), the overall user experience should be totally unaffected by this issue. Furthermore, I believe this would significantly improve the overall performance on all OpenCL capable devices.

* My suggestion assumes that the execution performance of the OpenCL kernel is unaffected by the driver issue. I am also aware that this might sound trivial when looking at the "HelloWorld" example, but it might be way more complicated, time consuming and challenging when it comes to the real application.

Nevertheless, I hope you take this feedback into consideration and i would be really happy to see the full potential of the latest Radeon GPUs within affinity again.

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On 5/7/2022 at 4:05 PM, kkoukos said:

Hi,

+1 Suffering from the issue. I recently changed my GPU from an old RX 480 to the latest and greatest RX 6900 XT and i noticed that OpenCL acceleration stopped working on Affinity Photo. I tried different versions of the application and the AMD Driver but without much luck.

I had a look at the discussion and also had a look at the code you published at github. I understand that fixing performance of the OpenCL compiler within the driver would significantly improve the situation and i would certainly support you 100% that it needs to be fixed.

However, i believe that Serif developers could make a workaround to fix the performance issue by simply moving all the overhead outside the critical path and into the initialization phase (startup) of the application (if not already doing so). Yes, i agree, the application would take a couple more seconds to load, but when the kernel is already pre-compiled at startup, and only an enqueue of the arguments and the kernel is required to do the job when requested (when the user makes something that requests the OpenCL kernel to execute), the overall user experience should be totally unaffected by this issue. Furthermore, I believe this would significantly improve the overall performance on all OpenCL capable devices.

* My suggestion assumes that the execution performance of the OpenCL kernel is unaffected by the driver issue. I am also aware that this might sound trivial when looking at the "HelloWorld" example, but it might be way more complicated, time consuming and challenging when it comes to the real application.

Nevertheless, I hope you take this feedback into consideration and i would be really happy to see the full potential of the latest Radeon GPUs within affinity again.

Make the process (wherever it executes) optional, then everyone is satisfied. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Without any further comment, please let me share my short customer journey (first hour of contact with Affinity Photo):

- Read a positive review of Affinity Photo today
- Went to the web site and saw the 50% discount and the price. Nice.
- Downloaded the test version and installed it.
- Watched the first tutorial video on https://affinity.serif.com/de/tutorials/photo/desktop/category/basics/ about the basics of the GUI. Nice.
- Watched the literally second tutorial video on the same page, which was about hardware acceleration. Seems to make a big difference according to that video.
- Found out in the application that hardware acceleration doesn't work on my machine, the program says that "a modern GPU is needed". I use a Radeon 5500 XT, which is a very common and not really old graphics card, and Windows 11. I'm thinking it's probably a driver issue and click on "more information."
- I am taken to https://affinity.help/photo/English.lproj/index.html?page=pages/Extras/hardwareAcceleration.html?title=Hardware acceleration

- It says "Affinity support for OpenCL compute acceleration [...] requires GPU support for Direct3D 12 Feature Level 12.0, meaning the GPU must feature AMD's GCN (Graphics Core Next), NVIDIA's Maxwell, or Intel HD Graphics 510 (Skylake) or a later microarchitecture." My card does easily support that (I needed to google to find that out though).

- I'm wondering what's going on, and only further googling brings me to this thread, where I learn that this is an issue that affects Affinity Photo on all newer AMD cards, has been open for more than a year, Affinity is basically only waiting for AMD, and nobody thought it necessary to mention it in the application or on the help page.

I will continue to evaluate the software of course, but I just wanted to share this experience with Affinity.

Edited by Halvar
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5 minutes ago, Mel_P said:

Affinity seem totally incompetent on this issue. 

If AMD's drivers are broken, how is that Serif's incompetence?

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3

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They are incompetent at sorting it out. I have no programming competence to say which company needs to "make the first move". Other photo-editors don't seem to have this issue - only Affinity (I can use hardware acceleration with my Lightroom and Photoshop). They need to liaise with AMD - its been a long while that the issue has been known about.

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24 minutes ago, Mel_P said:

They neey to liaise with AMD - its been a long while that the issue has been know about.

They have contacted AMD.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3

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On 5/21/2022 at 1:04 PM, Halvar said:

Without any further comment, please let me share my short customer journey (first hour of contact with Affinity Photo):

- Read a positive review of Affinity Photo today
- Went to the web site and saw the 50% discount and the price. Nice.
- Downloaded the test version and installed it.
- Watched the first tutorial video on https://affinity.serif.com/de/tutorials/photo/desktop/category/basics/ about the basics of the GUI. Nice.
- Watched the literally second tutorial video on the same page, which was about hardware acceleration. Seems to make a big difference according to that video.
- Found out in the application that hardware acceleration doesn't work on my machine, the program says that "a modern GPU is needed". I use a Radeon 5500 XT, which is a very common and not really old graphics card, and Windows 11. I'm thinking it's probably a driver issue and click on "more information."
- I am taken to https://affinity.help/photo/English.lproj/index.html?page=pages/Extras/hardwareAcceleration.html?title=Hardware acceleration

- It says "Affinity support for OpenCL compute acceleration [...] requires GPU support for Direct3D 12 Feature Level 12.0, meaning the GPU must feature AMD's GCN (Graphics Core Next), NVIDIA's Maxwell, or Intel HD Graphics 510 (Skylake) or a later microarchitecture." My card does easily support that (I needed to google to find that out though).

- I'm wondering what's going on, and only further googling brings me to this thread, where I learn that this is an issue that affects Affinity Photo on all newer AMD cards, has been open for more than a year, Affinity is basically only waiting for AMD, and nobody thought it necessary to mention it in the application or on the help page.

I will continue to evaluate the software of course, but I just wanted to share this experience with Affinity.

we need to notice here however that CGN must be CGN 2.0 and above. CGN 1.0 cards are not supported. Still I don't understand how others seem to bypass the problem. Can any developer say if something like the suggested workaround from @kkoukosmay work?

Current Workstation:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500 - MOBO: Asus B450 - RAM: 16GB DDR4 2667Mhz - GPU: AMD Radeon 7850 1GB
NVMe SSD: Crusial P3 1TB M.2 -  SSD: Samsung Evo 850 256GB  - PSU: XFX TS450 - OS: Win10

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 You guys should add clear info about that in the summary about requirements. Information below, from the product page, is unfortunately misleading.

Quote

 

  • Hardware GPU acceleration*

* Requires:

  • - Windows 10 April 2020 update (or later)
  • - Direct3D level 12.0-capable card

 

As far as I know, every Radeon released after Vega series (not mac one) that has a problem with GPU acceleration in Photo is Direct3D level 12.0 compatible. So you should point that in REQ, otherwise your description is deceptive to your customers, it does not matter who's fault it is. There is no GPU acceleration on Radeon cards since 5XXX series if I am correct. I have no idea about RadeonPro....

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8 minutes ago, slizgi said:

 You guys should add clear info about that in the summary about requirements. Information below, from the product page, is unfortunately misleading.

As far as I know, every Radeon released after Vega series (not mac one) that has a problem with GPU acceleration in Photo is Direct3D level 12.0 compatible. So you should point that in REQ, otherwise your description is deceptive to your customers, it does not matter who's fault it is. There is no GPU acceleration on Radeon cards since 5XXX series if I am correct. I have no idea about RadeonPro....

sadly I have to agree - it mislead me and I hope not more people will be unhappy with Affinity Products (which I am otherwise very happy with) because of this

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Hello again,

I understand the frustration and i hope this post will help towards solving this driver issue. For those users that somehow feel that buying Affinity Photo on an AMD setup doesn't really work out because of this driver issue (including myself), i would advise you to contact support and ask for a refund, if you purchased it no later than 2 weeks (i gave it a try and Serif promptly refunded me, so i must admit they reacted excellent on it). However, Affinity Photo is an great photo editor and i really like it's features and how it's organized, so this refund wasn't really the best possible outcome for me. I would prefer to hear that the issue is fixable; and, i will actually promptly buy it back (discount or not) when the developers confirm that there is a solution to this driver issue, in this or a future version of the software.

My academic curiosity also led me one step further, to try to reproduce the problem using the source code that @Mark Ingram posted on github. Tests run on Windows 11, using two different drivers: Adrenalin 22.5.1 and Adrenalin 22.5.2 (latest release).

The results for each driver are posted below:

Compiling kernel for device AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (OpenCL 2.0 AMD-APP (3380.6)):
Run 1: 342.111ms
Run 2: 71.863ms
Run 3: 69.1439ms
Run 4: 68.1999ms
Run 5: 71.0923ms
Run 6: 68.409ms
Run 7: 67.6458ms
Run 8: 67.3344ms
Run 9: 71.4381ms
Run 10: 67.9187ms
Average: 96.5156ms

Compiling kernel for device AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (OpenCL 2.0 AMD-APP (3417.0)):
Run 1: 350.606ms
Run 2: 63.0614ms
Run 3: 62.748ms
Run 4: 65.0131ms
Run 5: 68.3654ms
Run 6: 63.8348ms
Run 7: 63.1042ms
Run 8: 64.7047ms
Run 9: 66.8371ms
Run 10: 67.9719ms
Average: 93.6247ms

They look a bit better compared to the Radeon Pro W6800, and actually much better than the RX 5700. Do you think that these new drivers may actually be solving the issue? Are those overheads acceptable for the application to work properly?

(More information on the build setup can be provided directly to the developers if needed, omitted from this post for brevity).

All the best :)

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4 hours ago, kkoukos said:

Hello again,

I understand the frustration and i hope this post will help towards solving this driver issue. For those users that somehow feel that buying Affinity Photo on an AMD setup doesn't really work out because of this driver issue (including myself), i would advise you to contact support and ask for a refund, if you purchased it no later than 2 weeks (i gave it a try and Serif promptly refunded me, so i must admit they reacted excellent on it). However, Affinity Photo is an great photo editor and i really like it's features and how it's organized, so this refund wasn't really the best possible outcome for me. I would prefer to hear that the issue is fixable; and, i will actually promptly buy it back (discount or not) when the developers confirm that there is a solution to this driver issue, in this or a future version of the software.

My academic curiosity also led me one step further, to try to reproduce the problem using the source code that @Mark Ingram posted on github. Tests run on Windows 11, using two different drivers: Adrenalin 22.5.1 and Adrenalin 22.5.2 (latest release).

The results for each driver are posted below:

Compiling kernel for device AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (OpenCL 2.0 AMD-APP (3380.6)):
Run 1: 342.111ms
Run 2: 71.863ms
Run 3: 69.1439ms
Run 4: 68.1999ms
Run 5: 71.0923ms
Run 6: 68.409ms
Run 7: 67.6458ms
Run 8: 67.3344ms
Run 9: 71.4381ms
Run 10: 67.9187ms
Average: 96.5156ms

Compiling kernel for device AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (OpenCL 2.0 AMD-APP (3417.0)):
Run 1: 350.606ms
Run 2: 63.0614ms
Run 3: 62.748ms
Run 4: 65.0131ms
Run 5: 68.3654ms
Run 6: 63.8348ms
Run 7: 63.1042ms
Run 8: 64.7047ms
Run 9: 66.8371ms
Run 10: 67.9719ms
Average: 93.6247ms

They look a bit better compared to the Radeon Pro W6800, and actually much better than the RX 5700. Do you think that these new drivers may actually be solving the issue? Are those overheads acceptable for the application to work properly?

(More information on the build setup can be provided directly to the developers if needed, omitted from this post for brevity).

All the best :)

Again all Affinity need to do is give the users the option, with it being turned off by default. The code is (was) already there and it absolves Affinity of any slowdowns if a user turns it on. Best of both worlds.

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does anybody have an expirience with the AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series (Zen3) with graphics unit onboard - does this setup work better with Affinity? As far as I understand a the X-series is better in performance over all, especially with a dedicated GPU, but I mostly find artikles about that in regards to gaming.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/21/2022 at 6:58 AM, Mel_P said:

Affinity seem totally incompetent on this issue. 

I don't think it is due to "incompetence" from Serif. The real (and probable) is the lack or resources/research and name recognition. If Adobe representative contacted to notify AMD about such bug, I think AMD would get on finding a solution ASAP due to the enormous(!!!) professional market share that Adobe has.

As an owner of Publisher, which I use as a hobby for mainly creating collages for my personal cooking project, Serif can put "professional" at every other word for their Affinity Suite of products. As long as it lacks widespread real-professional adoption and not from hobbyists or part timers, these large GPU companies—nVIDIA and AMD—only see Serif as that "alternative/wannabe" company.

If you mention the Affinity Suite not having proper right-to-left (RTL) support for Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, and several other support for Indic (languages spoken in India and the Indian Diaspora), that is incompetence.

Us Publisher users have been begging(!!!) Serif to bring us proper support for footnotes/endnotes/etc and after all these years is silence. That is incompetence.

I digress. The saying goes—you get what you pay for.

I remain hopeful; Version 2.0 is forthcoming. This is confirmed/verified by an already existence of 2.0 Beta albeit in private testing as reported by AEC Magazine. Let's hope version 2.0 will be surprise for all of us.

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@Ronald N. Tan

I would be loath to say incompetence for the two items you mentioned and instead say lack of resources. RtL and the various south asian scripts plus CJK scripts are a massive technical challenge, plus there is probably an enormous lack of cultural knowledge. the lack of foot/end notes is another, albeit much less massive, technical challenge, I would rather it be robust than present but difficult.

The incompetence (or indifference) that shows is the inability to get parts of the interface working the way it should. There is inconsistency in tabbing between number fields in many many panels for the various studios, some don't accept it at all, some don't allow Shift + Tab to reverse. 

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.2 
Affinity Designer 2.3.1 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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Can anyone confirm if the problem exists even for Vega? It is supposed to be CGN 5th gen but I'm really confused lately on what works and whatnot with affinity openCL support.

This will judge if I'm going for a Ryzen 5 5500 or a 5600G with integrated Vega 7 GPU.

Current Workstation:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500 - MOBO: Asus B450 - RAM: 16GB DDR4 2667Mhz - GPU: AMD Radeon 7850 1GB
NVMe SSD: Crusial P3 1TB M.2 -  SSD: Samsung Evo 850 256GB  - PSU: XFX TS450 - OS: Win10

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6 minutes ago, nitro912gr said:

Can anyone confirm if the problem exists even for Vega? It is supposed to be CGN 5th gen but I'm really confused lately on what works and whatnot with affinity openCL support.

This will judge if I'm going for a Ryzen 5 5500 or a 5600G with integrated Vega 7 GPU.

I have Vega56 in one PC and on this card the GPU acceleration works. But I have no idea it would work on integrated Vega :|
 

Zrzut ekranu 2022-06-09 112558.png

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9 minutes ago, slizgi said:

I have Vega56 in one PC and on this card the GPU acceleration works. But I have no idea it would work on integrated Vega :|
 

Zrzut ekranu 2022-06-09 112558.png

then it should work, thanks, I guess I will go the extra mile to get the 5600G that in theory will be way better than the 7790.

Current Workstation:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500 - MOBO: Asus B450 - RAM: 16GB DDR4 2667Mhz - GPU: AMD Radeon 7850 1GB
NVMe SSD: Crusial P3 1TB M.2 -  SSD: Samsung Evo 850 256GB  - PSU: XFX TS450 - OS: Win10

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  • 3 weeks later...
15 hours ago, Mel_P said:

I am still waiting to have my RX6600 work with Affinity Photo - please Affinity how is progress on this matter?

I am at the 5th stage of grief with this - acceptance :D I do not believe it will happen, but to be fair, if you don't work on big files, there is not much difference.
But, if you need performance on big files, and you value time there is Adobe for you, sad but true. I'm in the same position, I bought Affinity programs to try to break out from Adobe, and I like the Photo and Designer, but performance on a 4K or 8K files in Photo (renders) are killing me, good thing is that it wasn't super expensive, so it is not a big deal after all. I am just a bit disappointed about Photo, and I will probably don't go back if there is no hardware acceleration, or anything what would improve perf with big files. Designer is awesome, for what I do in it time to time, way more intuitive than Illustrator or god forbid Inkscape.

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I can't blame only serif, maybe they just lack the resources to workaround this (I mean I can't expect them to draft people from the team that is working on the next version of the programs to fix a problem that AMD created), and since I have read the problem exist with other apps and AMD GPUs I can't help it but to think about getting a cheap nvidia (I hope for example that 1630 that is coming could be cheap and better than my current setup) instead of an AMD GPU.

Given also the relative small AMD userbase, especially in the creative side that most prefer nvidia due to cuda cores, maybe it is justified for Serif to don't spent much thinking over that problem and just hope that amd users will switch to nvidia or AMD fix their code.

Current Workstation:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500 - MOBO: Asus B450 - RAM: 16GB DDR4 2667Mhz - GPU: AMD Radeon 7850 1GB
NVMe SSD: Crusial P3 1TB M.2 -  SSD: Samsung Evo 850 256GB  - PSU: XFX TS450 - OS: Win10

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38 minutes ago, nitro912gr said:

I can't blame only serif, maybe they just lack the resources to workaround this (I mean I can't expect them to draft people from the team that is working on the next version of the programs to fix a problem that AMD created), and since I have read the problem exist with other apps and AMD GPUs I can't help it but to think about getting a cheap nvidia (I hope for example that 1630 that is coming could be cheap and better than my current setup) instead of an AMD GPU.

Given also the relative small AMD userbase, especially in the creative side that most prefer nvidia due to cuda cores, maybe it is justified for Serif to don't spent much thinking over that problem and just hope that amd users will switch to nvidia or AMD fix their code.

All of the other graphics card accelerated software I have runs just fine on AMD graphics cards.

I think you've realistically got that back-to-front to hope people will change their decisions about £500-£1200 graphics cards for a piece of £25-£50 software.

No, regardless of what AMD are doing Serif should find a workaround or a different approach like other developers.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, ziplock9000 said:

All of the other graphics card accelerated software I have runs just fine on AMD graphics cards.

I think you've realistically got that back-to-front to hope people will change their decisions about £500-£1200 graphics cards for a piece of £25-£50 software.

No, regardless of what AMD are doing Serif should find a workaround or a different approach like other developers.

 

 

as said, we AMD users are a minority especially in the creative space. We are already a small minority where AMD perform great like gaming, I can't imagine how fewer we are , and who we also work in graphics design AND use affinity suite of programs.

We speak about the minority of the minority here.

Current Workstation:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5500 - MOBO: Asus B450 - RAM: 16GB DDR4 2667Mhz - GPU: AMD Radeon 7850 1GB
NVMe SSD: Crusial P3 1TB M.2 -  SSD: Samsung Evo 850 256GB  - PSU: XFX TS450 - OS: Win10

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