Numerous models of Mali (f.e. Galaxy 10Se) using Mali-G76 (Bifrost 2nd gen) are producing VK_DEVICE_LOST error when rendering 250K triangles or more. I read about the 180mb driver limit on the Mali systems, and how that simply hands a VK_DEVICE_LOST error back to the developer, and then it is up to them to split render passes. We don't have this issue with Adreno and other Android devices. iOS also has a parameter buffer, but flushes it behind the scenes so we've never hit any issues there either.
This device lost error happens when I turn on terrain, or turn off culling on the terrain. This spike in triangle count going from 200K tris that render fine to 250k tris is when Vulkan returns VK_DEVICE_LOST and a message prior to that about "QueueSignalReleaseImageandroid failed:-4". Looking this up in the Vulkan sources indicates this is tied in with the framebuffer loss, so may be just the first part of the device loss.
So since I don't have a lot to go on, and Validation seems to crash the driver with an unknown symbol. I was able to fix a few validation errors using other non-Mali devices, but this code has mostly been working up until the high polycounts are hit.
1. Chunk up terrain into index chunks that represent spatially close triangles. These can be culled.
2. Copy out indices for each of the specific materials in new chunks (these are a subset of the indices in the original chunk). LODs work the same.
3. Draw each visible chunk with vkDrawIndexedIndirect that correspond with a given material. Disabling this optimization does not prevent the crash.
I read the Mali guide and there's not much to go on there about organizing vb or ib data. In general, iOS doesn't even recommend anything like repacking. Pete Harris had mention that Bifrost copies the entire min/maxIndex range of vertices, and Valhall copies on the visible/backfaced triangle vertices. So Vallhal gets around 50% more out of the same parameter buffer if half the triangles are backfacing.
With things moving towards mesh shaders and meshlets like in UE5, I was considering repacking/reordering/splitting up our vertex buffers so that each of the indices is an incrementing sequence mostly and the range is as tight as possible. I could even see if these are small enough, that 8-bit indices would suffice. But in step 3, we may pass say 100 of 200 index chunks to the driver that reference a single vb. I understand that within one index range (indexStart, indexCount) all verts are transformed, but if those 100 index chunks reference half the buffer, will only that half be allocated to the parameter buffer. LODs could be packed smallest to largest by appending the unique vertices to the end from the larger LODs.
> Only the latest Mali-G710 and friends support multi-draw indirect, so shipping Mali GPUs will only support single indirect draws.
I see I had been using DrawIndirect on an old Adreno part, and thought Mali had that feature. So yes, this isn't going through DrawIndirect at all on Mali just the standard vkCmdDrawIndexed. That's good I guess it should only reference the index range specified now.
A minimal repro case is just to run our retail game. On the more complex levels, it hits it right away. So one would have to play enough to unlock. I think we'll land the repack in the near future though to bypass the device lost.
I'm wondering if the perf loss I'm seeing is because before we had the same indices shared across all materials. Seems like the position pass on Mali would then transform half the data, since it's about a 2x increase making all of those verts/indices unique.
Alec said:I see I had been using DrawIndirect on an old Adreno part, and thought Mali had that feature.
We have support for DrawIndirect, but drawCount must be a maximum of 1 on all pre-Mali-G710 family hardware.