One anecdote from one guy who ran into one stupid problem years ago does not make for an interesting story. It is also not evidence that the Catalyst drivers are, today on modern hardware, junk.
fglrx only shows "Advanced Micro Devices, Inc." when it detects glxinfo, take a look at /etc/ati/atiogl.xml
<!-- glxinfo -->
Will this Catalyst hate of Michael Larabel never end? Will there be a time when he is bored of that ATI/AMD bashing?
I mean, you can find a person that hates a specific software - for every software. But, only Catalyst haters will make it on the Phoronix front page.
I, for example could hate the nvidia driver as it triggered Kwin slow downs in my notebook for years. There were many complaints in the nvnews forum and Kwin coder Martin was really annoyed of the nvidia-black-box...
The thing is: I installed Fedora_17_x64 on three friends computers. One of them has a fast RadeonHD6970 card, the others an Nvidia_Fermi version. We agreed to play together the famous MMORPG Tera_Online, on Linux-Wine-Winetricks. The one with AMD card had to go back to dual installation with Windows7, wile i try to convince him to sell the card (a card that doesn't play half the D3D games). That's not WINEs fault, the game doesn't wont the card because its crappy. I am not a fan of any company and I dislike monetary-systems, but if you want the good stuff (Linux), you there are 2 roads: 1)If you are a gamer, you buy Nvidia. 2)If you not, you buy Intel and free stuff.
In real life the only disadvantage I see between the 2 blobs is that AMD's XVBA is still practically useless and still only with the VAAPI workaround can be of any use.
I use a Radeon HD 5850 card and never had problems with Catalyst nor Gallium 3D except in the 2nd case the fan noise and not dropping down the clocks.
By the way a friend of mine owns a Sapphire HD 6970 card and doesn't seem to run on any problems with D3D games at the small n' soft OS.
For me intel is just something to laugh about in the graphics industry and design, no matter how open or good are their drivers the hardware is at least awful... Even the HD 4000 cores cannot compete at all with AMD llano APUs not to say about trinity...
Definately for me Catalyst is not junk but it has to completely reject the pre new era stuff from its lines of code!
1) Your friend lie to you. Its not just the AMD Driver, but the hardware its a 3 times crap. X1900-HD3000=fake GPGPU promise. HD4000=broken OpenCL. HD5000-HD6000=no atomic operation exposure and anything lower than assembly (nothing like C-amp will work). HD7000=driver cheats in quality, so they pretend a 3.8Tflops@32bit card can be on par with Kepler(3.2Tflops@64bit__6.4Tflops@32bit) that is 70+% stronger. And on top of that half the D3D games wont even start and some times even OpenGL games will crush. VDPAU will not wok even if a developer try to do it, the cards are not just capable. And even if it work, i don't think that will do for the advanced futures of H264.
2) Intel HD4000 is on par with a 500Gflops 400shaders card, both on Windows and Linux. The code of Linux Driver its much more cleaner than Catalyst or Nvidia. Yes they don't have some futures, but everything they have works better than closed shit, and when the time comes and they have better things like Tessellation, they will crush the others.