I just had to make a post here, since some amd devs frequent this place, to voice my disappointment of the lack of good drivers and crossfire support. Also, lackluster CPU performance.
My main computer is starting to show it's age, so once again, it's upgrade time. Now, I would really like to see AMD survive, and I would love to support them, but, how can I? I've been scouring the net for the past few weeks, catching up on all the hardware specs. While AMD is staying somewhat competitive, they fail where it most counts for me: decent linux support.
It's disheartening that I am FORCED to choose nVidia and Intel, especially when AMD has some exciting technology lined up for the future. I'd like to give my money to AMD, so maybe they can survive and get there, but it just doesn't make sense to do so.
So, here are the motherboard options:
1. Crossfire support (which is useless in linux)
2. SLI support (which will let me have a GPU for rendering AND for physics)
3. single PCIe solution (does not give desired flexibility)
CPU will obviously have to be Intel, as per price/performance. I would go AMD, but I am not sure what their future linux plans are. The 939->AM2 swapparoo doesn't encourage me either.
Here is the thing. I would SACRIFICE performance to support AMD, but they make it impossible for me to do so.
If someone would at least say, yes, we plan to support crossfire in linux, I would go that route. But all I have seen is the very short: "We do not support crossfire in linux."
You DO realize that you are GIVING away customers to nVidia. Even the much touted "There are a lot more Windows machines we have to chase dollars for" excuse ignores the fact that a great deal of linux users dual boot. These users want a solution that performs well on both platforms and influences their purchasing decisions.
I guess that's all I have to say. I just wanted to vent some frustrations.
Sorry I can't help you more, other than to point out that our message is "we do not support Crossfire in Linux today", and that one of our major initiatives over the last couple of years has been moving from a separate Linux driver code base to one where most of the code was shared across all OSes.
On the CPU side, my understanding is that AMD has worked very closely with the open source community on support for new CPU features, and if anything that commitment is growing not shrinking. We don't talk about it much because AFAIK we've been doing it for years and don't plan to change.
Well only Intel/AMD boards can use CF and Nvidia boards SLI. Informer there must have been (hacked) drivers which enabled it on every plattform. Adding an useless board vendor check is nothing but stupid - the dual gpu variants work also on every board. Best get rid of those checks and I am sure there will be more gfx cards sold (maybe not more boards).
AMD/ATi has an open source strategy, nVidia not.
AMD/ATi drivers are getting better every month, maybe not that fast as we would like to see, but big changes need much time to be done well.
so i expect in future to be better the AMD/ATi support for linux users, instead of nVidia.
When it comes to performance I really can't predict future, so everyone should guess it by himself.
What's sure is that if i was to build a new computer now, i would make 3 different choices for 3 different scopes.
-1 For poor video performance, but great support and development quality i would choose an Intel graphic solution.
-2 For great video performance, i think i would go for an AMD/ATi solution, since support is coming to become great (in comparison to new nVidia 9 series problems, too)
-3 For a computational solution (for physics simulations, and math calculus), I'm not sure what I would choose. Some months ago, nVidia was the only solution (obviously no computational physicist make heavy calculation under windows). Now with AMD Stream SDK for linux, AMD made a great move, so CUDA is no longer the only solution. Maybe CUDA will be a more relaiable solution, for a while, but in future (close future)? How knows?
Well maybe NV will create open 3d drivers as well, 2d driver are directly created by nvidia for serveral years.
Of course the oss drivers for ATI are improving nicely for new cards, the old errors still remain the same, also fglrx does not fix the modeline bug (at least not with etch) which is there for serveral years and it does not render pointsprites since new codebase. I reported those bugs here very often and nothing was fixed, so I would not say that fglrx is improving in any way.
i am giving my Lenovo T60 with ATI to my mother, and my next laptop is going to have Nvidia, just like all my desktops.
kinda got tired on waiting and praying on ATI/AMD development cycle and release process. I have had this laptop for 1 year and a half, and only was able to truly enjoy full 3d functionally for 4 months, when all my desktops with nvidia playing and delivering what i expect from them.
Actually AMD is approaching parity with NVIDIA drivers. I'd say in a year or less, that ati open-source drivers will be able to do everything "out-of-the-box" that NVDIA closed-source drivers can do. It's not quite there yet, but with r600 3d docs coming, and r500 3d support being stabilized now, they're doing pretty darn well.