AMD Knows Its Problems
Phoronix News: AMD Knows Its Problems
Phoronix Forum member Pinx had spotted a new entry in the AMD Customer Care Knowledge-base. This entry was created on April 2 and then was last modified on April 8. In this entry they finally (publicly) acknowledge no support for AIGLX, Beryl, Compiz, MythTV, and TV TIME by the fglrx Linux drivers. The entry can be read here. Remember, things can change and they still can add the support :)
First step is admitting you have a problem, second step is finding the solution, third creating it. Hopefully by the end of the year their drivers will be on par or better than nVidia's. The r600 sounds enticing but the crippled Linux support puts me off =\
well if the admitting the problem took so long...i don't even want to think about it :D
btw. they still haven't apparently noticed the windows-linux performance gap :/
Does AIGLX have something to do with the OpenGL driver?
Yoshi, the performance issues should be fixed with the new OpenGL driver coming later 2007.
Yes, AIGLX does have something to do with the OpenGL driver. AIGLX is Accelerated Indirect GLX. If you don't have the right hooks in things, you don't get AIGLX- you just get Indirect Rendering, which means software Mesa. AMD's drivers don't support a handful of the nifty things we've managed to do with OpenGL and DRI. I believe NVidia's drivers have tracked things better than AMD has.
Originally Posted by d2kx
As for the performance issues, I will reserve judgment on all of that- I'm not going to presume a single thing about what AMD is or isn't going to manage by end of this year on the Linux support front for GPUs.
I strongly suspect they have noticed- they're going to have to put a bunch more effort into things if they're going to be a player in the GPU based supercomputing field. Most of that is in the Linux space and not Windows- and it requires seriously performant drivers to work.
Originally Posted by yoshi314
Don't count too much on the performance problem being solved this year.
Originally Posted by d2kx
As far as Aiglx, Beryl, Compiz, MythTV, and TV TIME not working with the fglrx drivers, Beryl and Compiz work with the fglrx drivers, as long as you are using xgl instead of aiglx. Mythtv and tv time work with the fglrx drivers, I'm using that now.
AMD seems to not have a clue, they're not even able to post correct information on their website.
Honestly, I could care less about Compiz/Beryl... AMD has a more fundamental problem than these features, actually producing a driver that delivers the performance numbers. That to me matters most. It's a fundamental operation. It's basic. It's what a driver should do first and foremost.
AMD should have a bug ticket about sucking drivers. :D just kidding.
well actually AIGLX is still indirect rendering. It's accelerated indirect rendering, meaning that applications get 3d acceleration support from the X Server itself.
Originally Posted by Svartalf
One of the special things about that is that now you have 3D acceleration for networked X applications. For example when my x800 PCIe ATI card was still working (heatsink took a crap, taking the card with it) I ran "Return to Castle Wolfenstien" on my file server, tunnelling over ssh, and played the game on my desktop using indirect rendering acceleration. (AIGLX)
Keep in mind that file server has NO video card. (no onboard or discrete video card. It's completely headless)
It played quite well over gigabit ethernet and I had a around 30-60 FPS no problem, even though X was encrypted over the network. Only a couple times it would drop to about 15 fps or so.
This was full screen, at high quality, and at high resolution. 1200x1024 or something like that (don't quite remember).
Of course direct rendering is still much more efficient then AIGLX. So for games it doesn't realy matter if all you care about is performance.
For AIGLX to work the OpenGL stack being used by the drivers needs to support certain specific OpenGL extensions. Open source DRI drivers for Intel or supported ATI cards are easy since they are built from Mesa's codebase and Mesa is open source and that supports those extensions.
Specificly the extension that needs to be supported is texture_from_pixmap. Once a driver supports that then AIGLX should be easy. You can find more about it at:
It's sad because the very first card to support this stuff was probably the ATI 8700-9250 video cards using Open Source DRI drivers. ATI could of had this feature a long time ago if only they choose to work with, or at least support, the efforts of free software developers.
But obviously ATI doesn't realy care that much about Linux.
Which is normal. Nvidia only cares about Linux because the people that do high-end 3D graphics (using Quatro cards and such for high-end workstations and such) use Linux and like to spend a LOT of money.
ATI used to care a lot more (Utah-GLX era days- they handed out the RagePRO and Rage128 technical information sufficient to get the start of the DRI drivers.) and they might be caring a lot more these days- they just don't know how to move forward, I suspect, more than anything else.
Originally Posted by drag
They know that they have to have a credible OpenGL driver on our OS. They know that it's important to have it for workstation and for supercomputing (GPU computation)- because much of both are moving into the Linux space over the next couple of years. It just remains to be seen what they decide to do over the next 6-24 months about the problem they currently have. It's why I say I'm not going to suppose anything out of them, good or bad, over that timeframe. They might just decide to pour a lot of energy into things- or they might not.