As if faster shader compilation wasn’t good enough, there’s another exciting update to look forward to with Mesa 23.1: shader cache size being reduced by up to 60%.
See the merge request for more details. This MR reworks the Vulkan pipeline cache for RADV, and as a result, this supposedly means smaller shader cache sizes for your games. Certainly a welcome change, particularly for those on Steam Deck with sparse storage and limited time available for keeping the device online for downloading shader updates.
Pierre-Loup Griffais confirmed to PCGamer that not all games may necessarily get 60% space savings, due to “the size of transcoded video depots” not being changed at all.
I have a hunch this Mesa 23.1 update will come to Deck users with the upcoming SteamOS 3.5 update, which will also have a much-needed kernel upgrade and a feature to disable SMT. If I were to take a guess, this update will arrive sometime mid-May to early summer. The reduced shader cache size should also benefit Linux desktop users who are using RADV.