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Thread: The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux

  1. #1

    Default The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux

    Last year when AMD announced their acquisition of ATI it led many to wonder how this would impact the quality of their Linux support and driver. Some had even speculated that AMD would be opening the code to at least a subset of their graphics drivers, and while this issue has come up again more recently, we will cover this particular topic in a different article. In this article we will be exposing what truly consists of the ATI/AMD driver development cycle and ultimately what they are really doing to improve their image in the Linux community. We have been granted unprecedented access to share with you their once unknown driver development model.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=10083

    Feel free to discuss in this thread

  2. #2
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    looks impressive. but only on paper.

    because the actual result is...well, you know.
    Last edited by yoshi314; 06-01-2007 at 08:54 AM.

  3. #3
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    Basically AMD is telling, we cant make drastic changes in a short while. But doesnt say whats in the pipeline. I hope they have a medium term (hopefully within this year) plan on getting Linux drivers close to windows in terms of performance.

  4. #4
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    Actually, I was hoping for some good news in this article. But no complaints and still pinning my hopes. I think im too optimistic LOL, who would get into ATI world at this time?

  5. #5
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    I am pretty astonished that releasing out such not critical information take them 5 month (i really don't see much secret in it). I now know why i will never see any of their specifications, i would be dead by the time they agree to release it

    Maybe this is just me being too skeptical.

  6. #6
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    Default executive summary

    summary:
    wow 7 slides, 5 when not counting title and disclamer. /me wonders how many it were before the IP-police got their hands on it.

    what i remember after reading the document:
    - rigid development cycle, apparently main focus is on getting a tested driver out in a timely fashion. Delaying every driver 7 weeks for the purpose of Quality assurance.
    It's a choice doubt it's the best choice with the linux world, but i'm just a student .. what do I know.
    - tiny change logs in new driver releases indicate developers focusing on major changes
    - there is a closed beta phase which includes some communities

    this statement is still true:
    "the number of actual developers working on the Linux driver is confidential"
    I believe the gossip says 3, or was that just in my head


    -----------
    Must say that there is nothing radical in these slides for me, perhaps i'm to noobish in this field
    -----------

  7. #7
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    well it looks like it takes at best 2 or 3 weeks on the development of single release. or maybe less, if the development is split between two releases every time.

    i gotta say that this is very little for small development team to make big changes into the driver. so i guess they're doing what they can, fixing what's broken and implementing something new if they can make it in the development timeframe.

    and i doubt that some developers work on new features in their spare time. that's probably a bit much for a small developer team.
    Last edited by yoshi314; 06-01-2007 at 10:01 AM.

  8. #8
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    Yawn....ATI is boring the only fun i get with ATI is all the futile attempts to try and use their product, yes their installer is terrific
    and smiles a lot but that is not what people want updated, its the driver
    they want, just make it work. Is ATI being flame'd ? will anyone want to buy products with ATI in it? I think the answer is people will be voting with their wallets and their feet.

  9. #9

    Default

    There is a very annoying statement from ATI/AMD in this article :

    While R200 product support still does exist in a driver branch after being discontinued in the fglrx 8.28 release, AMD has no plans to release an updated R200 class driver. AMD's belief behind this is the open-source community was given the needed specifications a number of years ago and the X.Org Radeon driver is reasonably well supported (except for TV-Out due to Macrovision).

    This is not quite true, and I find it actually quite unacceptable that ATI/AMD spreads such false ideas.

    The R200 specifications were given to a few selected developers under NDA something like 5 or 6 years ago, and those developers have since then stopped working on the DRI R200 drivers. So basically, the other developers (those who weren't among the chosen few 5 years ago, or those who joined the projet later on) have no acces to the R200 specifications. Hey, even the R100 specifications aren't publicly available. Even the rage128 ones aren't.

    So next time AMD/ATI pretends these technical specifications are available, please ask them for a link. Something DRI developers can download and use, not something I've never seen.

  10. #10
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    I think we all need to step back and give the joint amd/ati group a chance to prove themselves.

    Merging 2 companies from different hardware ends like this is not an easy task and it has mostly remained a transparent thing for the customers which is a good thing.

    It really doesn't matter how many people are working on the dev team with this as long as they are the right people. Even if you have 1 good dev who knows the hardware well and programming, you can have a good driver. There are many drivers in the kernel that are maintained by a single person and yet they are stable and secure.

    Dev team size means absolutely nothing.

    Look at the size of the team that works on Windows. How well does that work out?

    Fewer focused developers are far more effective for this type of thing.

    I'm thinking about buying an ATI X1950 Pro and although the 3d performance isn't quite what it is in Windows, it seems they are moving forward in a positive manner and I'm willing to take the chance.

    Sometimes you have to establish a proper procedure and plan before you can execute the plan successfully and it appears that this is what they are doing.

    I've used several ati cards in the past and still have many of them.

    AIW7500, 9200, AIW9600xt, and x700pro

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