Mesa 21.0 has released as a major update with improvements to the open-source implementation of OpenGL and Vulkan drivers for Linux systems.

Even though this is a development release and not intended for general use, there are significant improvements to talk about. If you’re hoping for stability, you might want to wait for Mesa 21.0.1 release.

The announcement does not mention any key highlights, but I’ve compiled some important changes from their release notes.

Let’s talk about the key changes for this release.

Mesa 21.0: Key Changes

The primary highlight for this release would be the support for Smart Access Memory for Zen 3 processors and RDNA 2 GPUs.

As an interesting addition, RadeonSI Gallium3D driver improvement includes a change that will give games like Counter-Strike GO that depend on OpenGL threading a major performance boost.

The support for sparse memory is a welcome change for Radeon Vulkan (RADV) drivers that should help new generation game titles that rely on Direct3D 12.

Of course, if you’re wondering, games like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will benefit from this.

In addition to the Smart Access Memory support for AMD Graphics Cards, Mesa 21.0 release also includes some performance optimizations specifically for RDNA 2 or AMD RX 6000 series Graphics Cards (even though they’re nowhere to be seen).

Also, Mesa 21.0.0 implements the OpenGL 4.6 API.

Other Improvements

This release also addresses some early support for Ray Tracing with Intel Xe discrete graphics card.

You also get driver improvements for Raspberry Pi and Broadcom systems. WSL also benefits from this release with an initial support for Direct3D 12.

For gamers, it addresses several game-specific fixes for popular titles that include Death Stranding, Nioh 2, Metal Gear Solid V, Elder Scrolls Online, World of Warcraft, Shadow of Tomb Raider, DOOM, Mafia III, and a few more.

To explore more about all the technical changes and improvements, you may refer to the official release notes.

Ankush Das

A passionate technophile who also happens to be a Computer Science graduate. You will usually see cats dancing to the beautiful tunes sung by him.