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Thread: Future of my support for ATI

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  1. #1
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    Default Future of my support for ATI

    I've had an X1650 for nearly a year now. I've watched update after update for windows XP and Vista. I've installed update after update for Ubuntu and basic Debian lenny. I've heard promises and more promises from ATI. I've heard there is an ATI representative reading here. Hopefully you hear this, and pass it on.

    For me It comes to this, support Linux or I'll never purchase another ATI or AMD product again.

    I think the lack of good working 3D support, including VIDEO PLAYBACK in Linux is a political move to do as much as possible to prevent Linux from flourishing more than it has, especially as a desktop operating system.

    It's no secret Microsoft is threatened by Linux from a marketing viewpoint but it makes no sense that a hardware manufacturer would drag their feet this much in providing full support for an obviously flourishing operating system like Linux. I have no doubt this is not a technical issue, it's a political issue and in not solving it you've tried to moved the issues with Microsoft to the desktop of those who want to get rid of their dependence on a single company for all their software needs. Watching this card perform in Vista compared to Ubuntu makes me ill...

    Windows is supposed to be an OPERATING system, not an EMPIRE system. It's now become an application restriction system. it's supposed to provide an environment to support those products I choose to purchase and install on MY COMPUTER HARDWARE, not limit my choices to ONLY MICROSOFT products or those products that have the "stamp of approval" from Bill Gates.

    So, ATI / AMD, by not FULLY supporting the fastest growing operating system in existence while at the same time providing outstanding support for Microsoft based products, I have to assume there is some kind of collusion between AMD and Microsoft and that means you are aware of the issues and that you've chosen to try to support the ONE SIZE FOR ALL approach to computing based on attempting to control what I do with the hardware I've purchased.

    What are you all going to do when hardware contains it's own software?
    Why do we even need to "install" a driver. Why can't the industry agree to create a common hardware video language and then embed the whole thing on a chip so we don't need software drivers at all. Why is Microsoft even involved in writing or installing code that supports a hardware video device? Why does Microsoft have anything at all to do with hardware drivers? It's sheer insanity, unless you think about the marketing implications of loosing "control" of the hardware industry.

    Seems the limiting factors in this industry are no longer technical restrictions but fear based, politically motivated, marketing driven, user manipulation and it's ME, the purchaser of the hardware that looses. And that bugs me.

    Eventually you'll have to make a choice. Hardware that is dependent on a specific operating system significantly limits the scope of it's use. At present Microsoft is the largest "application software distributor", and both XP and Vista are applications, not operating environments, but they won't be forever. The more they try to control what software I install and use, the less enticing their products become and the more their market share drops... How many times has Microsoft been sued for breach of contract or unfair business practices. Does anybody remember Netscape?

    Are they really the kind of company you want to be in league with?

    Think about it.
    -Tom
    Last edited by siggma; 07-30-2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: added a comma

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    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    I've had an X1650 for nearly a year now. I've watched update after update for windows XP and Vista. I've installed update after update for Ubuntu and basic Debian lenny. I've heard promises and more promises from ATI. I've heard there is an ATI representative reading here. Hopefully you hear this, and pass it on.
    I guess that would be me. Hi !!

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    For me It comes to this, support Linux or I'll never purchase another ATI or AMD product again.
    I think we are supporting Linux quite a bit today, aren't we ? Whose hardware would you buy instead, and why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    I think the lack of good working 3D support, including VIDEO PLAYBACK in Linux is a political move to do as much as possible to prevent Linux from flourishing more than it has, especially as a desktop operating system.
    What aspect of the 3D support are you unhappy with ? We are still shaking some issues out of the new 3D code base but I think the stack is running pretty well other than (ahem) Windows apps under Wine.

    The only other 3D issue I can think of is running 3D apps under Compiz, where NVidia has an advantage because they didn't rely on the Linux framework and instead ported relatively more of their Windows driver stack to Linux allowing them to support Redirected Direct Rendering before Intel and AMD.

    Regarding video playback, have you tried the open source drivers on your 1650 recently ? Alex put a lot of work into adding good EXA render support and Textured Video (which works nicely even under Compiz) and that is now available on both the radeonhd and radeon drivers. The only missing thing in the framework right now is a good vsync solution in the compositor but that is being worked on.

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    It's no secret Microsoft is threatened by Linux from a marketing viewpoint but it makes no sense that a hardware manufacturer would drag their feet this much in providing full support for an obviously flourishing operating system like Linux. I have no doubt this is not a technical issue, it's a political issue and in not solving it you've tried to moved the issues with Microsoft to the desktop of those who want to get rid of their dependence on a single company for all their software needs. Watching this card perform in Vista compared to Ubuntu makes me ill...
    I would say Microsoft is threatened more by Apple on the desktop than by Linux. Have you seen a 1650-class ATI GPU running on a Mac ?

    It's going to be another 6-12 months before the Linux desktop infrastructure is going to be ready to start taking on Apple and Microsoft, but there is great progress and solutions seem to be worked out for all the key parts. Again, you want to be running the open drivers to see the framework progress fastest -- while you want to run our proprietary drivers if you want to see proprietary features first. Up to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    Windows is supposed to be an OPERATING system, not an EMPIRE system. It's now become an application restriction system. it's supposed to provide an environment to support those products I choose to purchase and install on MY COMPUTER HARDWARE, not limit my choices to ONLY MICROSOFT products or those products that have the "stamp of approval" from Bill Gates.
    I think Bill would disagree with you. Windows is the foundation of a very successful empire

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    So, ATI / AMD, by not FULLY supporting the fastest growing operating system in existence while at the same time providing outstanding support for Microsoft based products, I have to assume there is some kind of collusion between AMD and Microsoft and that means you are aware of the issues and that you've chosen to try to support the ONE SIZE FOR ALL approach to computing based on attempting to control what I do with the hardware I've purchased.
    I think the fastest growing OS right now is OS/X and AFAIK we do fully support it. We also are steadily improving our Linux support. Sorry, but you have to admit you set yourself up for that one

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    What are you all going to do when hardware contains it's own software? Why do we even need to "install" a driver. Why can't the industry agree to create a common hardware video language and then embed the whole thing on a chip so we don't need software drivers at all. Why is Microsoft even involved in writing or installing code that supports a hardware video device? Why does Microsoft have anything at all to do with hardware drivers? It's sheer insanity, unless you think about the marketing implications of loosing "control" of the hardware industry.
    The short answer is that the common video languages change significantly every couple of years as it becomes possible to make more sophisticated hardware. I joined ATI about 10 years ago and graphics hardware has perhaps 2,000 times the processing power it did when I joined -- and I joined ATI because there had been such incredible advances BEFORE that relative to my first stint in graphics processors.

    That said, since you are unhappy with Microsoft and (reading between the lines) Digital Rights Management, that is something different (and a different part of the chip as well). Again, though, the advances in video processing power over the last decade are pretty significant as well, although maybe only 100:1 rather than 2,000:1.

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    Seems the limiting factors in this industry are no longer technical restrictions but fear based, politically motivated, marketing driven, user manipulation and it's ME, the purchaser of the hardware that looses. And that bugs me.
    Go work for a hardware vendor. We still have lots of technical challenges

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    Eventually you'll have to make a choice. Hardware that is dependent on a specific operating system significantly limits the scope of it's use. At present Microsoft is the largest "application software distributor", and both XP and Vista are applications, not operating environments, but they won't be forever. The more they try to control what software I install and use, the less enticing their products become and the more their market share drops... How many times has Microsoft been sued for breach of contract or unfair business practices. Does anybody remember Netscape?
    Yep. Rough numbers right now - Microsoft 90% and dropping, Apple 7% and growing fairly quickly, Linux <1% and growing fairly slowly. We think Linux can grow faster if more vendors help it along and we're trying to do just that.

    What specifically do you think we are doing wrong ?

    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    Are they really the kind of company you want to be in league with?
    As long as we offer a good range of alternative choices (MacOS, Linux, Solaris and FreeBSD today, if you include the open drivers) I have to say "yes". Microsoft have done a lot of good things for the PC market as well, although you may not agree with all of their decisions, but there are alternatives and Linux is not the only one.

    I understand that Microsoft OSes are not your choice and we are not trying to force you to use their products.
    Last edited by bridgman; 07-30-2008 at 11:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Yep. Rough numbers right now - Microsoft 90% and dropping, Apple 7% and growing fairly quickly, Linux <1% and growing fairly slowly.
    Oooh, are they numbers you're working with internally? If so, do you think they take into account things like dual-boot systems and Wine reporting it's Windows?

    Just curious

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I guess that would be me. Hi !!
    Sorry it's taken me so much time to respond. The text on this site is very tiny and the editor is even worse. I started a reply but wasn't able to finish it so here I go again.

    I think we are supporting Linux quite a bit today, aren't we ? Whose hardware would you buy instead, and why ?
    Now that's a leading reply...

    Does it matter?
    The reality is that under any linux distributions I've seen the video looks very sloppy. It flashes when it shouldn't, the control center is meaningless having no effect, and above all it WON'T PLAY watchable video, whether 3d is enabled or not. That's the primary issue. I can put up with the 3d abberations, the lack of a working window resize, and a non working control center. I can easily use the aticonfig tool for that. But video tearing in all video playback is unacceptable, especially on a card this new. The gstreamer plugins that are normally used in a web browser either play a flashing morse code of nonsense or don't work at all.


    What aspect of the 3D support are you unhappy with ? We are still shaking some issues out of the new 3D code base but I think the stack is running pretty well other than (ahem) Windows apps under Wine.
    VIDEO PLAYBACK!

    The only other 3D issue I can think of is running 3D apps under Compiz, where NVidia has an advantage because they didn't rely on the Linux framework and instead ported relatively more of their Windows driver stack to Linux allowing them to support Redirected Direct Rendering before Intel and AMD.
    I'm not really interested in why you don't write the code, it's the reality that it doesnt' work. I get the feeling you are more interested in looking good for ads than writing a good, solid, working video driver. I've seen linux under other cards and it looks very nice. No tearing, no jagged edges on 3d objects.

    Regarding video playback, have you tried the open source drivers on your 1650 recently ?
    Yes, I just downloaded and installed Sabayon in the hopes it would be working. But no deal, it looks exactly like it did last time I tried it.

    Alex put a lot of work into adding good EXA render support and Textured Video (which works nicely even under Compiz) and that is now available on both the radeonhd and radeon drivers. The only missing thing in the framework right now is a good vsync solution in the compositor but that is being worked on.
    Again, that sounds really political to me. I don't know what you consider "working nicely" but I see horrible jagged edges on ALL 3d oblects and the video playback has no hardware support. It's software only and it looks terrible. Do you sit in front of an x1650 desktop under Linux to write these replies?

    It's going to be another 6-12 months before the Linux desktop infrastructure is going to be ready to start taking on Apple and Microsoft, but there is great progress and solutions seem to be worked out for all the key parts. Again, you want to be running the open drivers to see the framework progress fastest -- while you want to run our proprietary drivers if you want to see proprietary features first. Up to you.
    Since there is no Linux "infrastructure" per-se, I get the feeling you don't understand where I'm coming from. This is not just about ATI or RADEON or RADEONHD, it's about people, society, cultures, and the future of business.


    I think Bill would disagree with you. Windows is the foundation of a very successful empire
    So you admire dishonesty, lying to the public it sells to, forcing small companies out of business, court battles, and more lies?
    Do you really think the current business environment of "take as much as you can doing as little as possible" will have no effect on business in the future?


    I understand that Microsoft OSes are not your choice and we are not trying to force you to use their products.
    Now that I just don't believe. How many people are working on Linux drivers vs Microsoft?

    Do you even know?
    would you post it here if you did?

    It comes to this:

    The future of our entire society is at stake and ATI is small part of that stake. Business is about people, when it becomes about deceiving soneone into purchasing a product just to sell the product and make $$$, it's not business anymore, it's gambling. The difference is that busienss carries risk that can be managed through experience. Gambling carries risk that cannot. It's a guarantee of failure. Look around at what's going on?

    Wny is labor worth less today than it was yesterday when experience is greater?
    Why do we have inflation?
    is it acceptable or honest to try to force one country to be like us?
    Do you have children?
    Do you want to be part of raping their future?

    -Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    The future of our entire society is at stake and ATI is small part of that stake. Business is about people, when it becomes about deceiving soneone into purchasing a product just to sell the product and make $$$, it's not business anymore, it's gambling. The difference is that busienss carries risk that can be managed through experience. Gambling carries risk that cannot. It's a guarantee of failure. Look around at what's going on?

    Wny is labor worth less today than it was yesterday when experience is greater?
    Why do we have inflation?
    is it acceptable or honest to try to force one country to be like us?
    Do you have children?
    Do you want to be part of raping their future?

    -Tom
    I knew it the war in Iraq wasn't about WMDs, or even about oil - ATi drivers set the world on fire!?

    Jokes aside, the drivers have improved - they might not be perfect yet, but I sure believe it's on the right track. The fact that an ATi-guy is watching this forum is nice indication, and the fact he takes his time to answer someone talking in the tone of your posts.. well, that's proof to me.

    If you want some to do a better job, encourage them instead of trolling about and shouting "children-future-rapers!".. just an idea!

  6. #6
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    [ This site makes it hard to tell which text was written by
    which author. Below, the lines beginning with ">" are
    quotes, but probably not all from the same person. ]

    > The text on this site is very tiny

    Some browsers allow changing the size of text.

    > and the editor is even worse.

    I compose replies in emacs and cut-and-paste text into the
    edit spot in the browser window.

    > Whose hardware would you buy instead, and why ?

    Appariently VIA Chrome has FLOSS XvMC support. When can we
    expect FLOSS XvMC support for AMD/ATI? Appariently even Xv
    isn't working correctly yet?

    > The only other 3D issue I can think of is running 3D apps

    3D apps? Have FLOSS 3D CAD apps appeared when I wasn't looking?

    > you want to run our proprietary drivers if you want to see proprietary features

    Binary-only drivers are absolutely not acceptable. Ever.

    > Why do we have inflation?

    Because the Federal Reserve WANTS inflation. I'm not sure what this has
    to do with getting chips documented and FLOSS drivers written?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieter View Post
    3D apps? Have FLOSS 3D CAD apps appeared when I wasn't looking?
    Yeah, quite a few differing CAD and professional class modelling, simulation and GIS tools. 3D isn't all about games on Linux- far, far from it.

    I have listed a few that were off the top of my head the moment you mentioned 3D FOSS CAD- and this doesn't even get into the pro tool category where they wouldn't mind having a quick way to get going without spending time fighting with the proprietary drivers.

    Oh, by the way...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dieter
    "This site makes it hard to tell which text was written by
    which author. Below, the lines beginning with ">" are
    quotes, but probably not all from the same person."
    If you're doing the quotes right, each bracketed item with the web BB 'quote=<name>' delimiter followed by the corresponding '/quote', it should come out fine. For example...

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTER
    This is a nested quote
    Quote Originally Posted by NESTED_INNER
    And this is the inside quote nested...
    it should just work nicely and if you quote me, you'll see what what I mean...
    Last edited by Svartalf; 08-26-2008 at 12:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I guess that would be me. Hi !!
    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I think we are supporting Linux quite a bit today, aren't we ? Whose hardware would you buy instead, and why ?
    ehhh, yeah.... Why dont you do a little test k?
    1. Go to computer store
    2. Buy 2 graphics cards, 1 ATi and 1 Nvidia
    --- eg HD4850 and 9800gtx about on par, n'est pas?
    3. Go home and install a new game on wine.
    --- eg. Call of Duty 4
    Prince of Persia - Warrior Within
    Team Fortress 2
    Half Life 2
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R etc.. well you catch my drift.
    4. Try play game with your new ATi and Nvidia card

    If you can play even one!!! of those on your new ATi card, then i'll remove the word "absolute" from "ATi Linux support is absolute bullshit"

    Oh and in case you're wondering, I can play all those and more with my Nvidia card, and have compiz going at the same time. An my Nvidia card is 2 years old! Crazy how a 2 year old Nvidia product runs better on Linux then the best ATi has.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    What aspect of the 3D support are you unhappy with ? We are still shaking some issues out of the new 3D code base but I think the stack is running pretty well other than (ahem) Windows apps under Wine.
    Hmm, do you guys know what "Regression" means? hmmm.
    Please dont do testing with glxgears okaaaaaiy.
    If I got a penny from ATi every time I saw a double free segfault from that shit, wow, i'd have bought ATi by now.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    The only other 3D issue I can think of is running 3D apps under Compiz, where NVidia has an advantage because they didn't rely on the Linux framework and instead ported relatively more of their Windows driver stack to Linux allowing them to support Redirected Direct Rendering before Intel and AMD.
    Crazy huh? wow even. Porting their windows driver to linux, amazing huh? Doesn't ATi have a windows driver? Might wanna try that out jimbo

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Regarding video playback, have you tried the open source drivers on your 1650 recently ? Alex put a lot of work into adding good EXA render support and Textured Video (which works nicely even under Compiz) and that is now available on both the radeonhd and radeon drivers. The only missing thing in the framework right now is a good vsync solution in the compositor but that is being worked on.
    That guy alex, god bless his heart, cos ATi will never. And yes, I for one am tracking master, and his changes are god sent for people running 4 YEAR OLD HARDWARE! I honestly should get myself a x1950 one of these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I would say Microsoft is threatened more by Apple on the desktop than by Linux. Have you seen a 1650-class ATI GPU running on a Mac ?
    wtf has that have to do with anything? Its not like a Mac user would know what a graphics card is anyways.


    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    It's going to be another 6-12 months before the Linux desktop infrastructure is going to be ready to start taking on Apple and Microsoft,
    Wow, really? Good to know, I've only been using Linux for what.. 13years? At least now I can finally put it on my desktop, because in 6-12 months it's "Desktop Infrastructure" will be ready. Thanks B, cant wait.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    but there is great progress and solutions seem to be worked out for all the key parts. Again, you want to be running the open drivers to see the framework progress fastest -- while you want to run our proprietary drivers if you want to see proprietary features first. Up to you.
    "proprietary features" hey? Whats that? CrossFire? please, just get back to writing code.


    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I think Bill would disagree with you. Windows is the foundation of a very successful empire
    A classmate of mine had a brand new S600 Mercedes, when we were in High School, you know how he got it?

    Life is twice as hard, when it's honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I think the fastest growing OS right now is OS/X and AFAIK we do fully support it.
    Nice, brave of you for saying something no one can vouch for. wine runs on OSX, so i wonder If i should try it and just flame you some more?

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    We also are steadily improving our Linux support.
    "If you believe, they put a man on the moon, man on the mooooon", do you believe B?

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    [SNIP Life story]
    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Yep. Rough numbers right now - Microsoft 90% and dropping, Apple 7% and growing fairly quickly, Linux <1% and growing fairly slowly.
    Yup, word of advice, don't quote the Inquirer.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    We think Linux can grow faster if more vendors help it along and we're trying to do just that.
    What specifically do you think we are doing wrong ?
    You know, its people like ATi that actually damages Linux, Rather have 0 support and not have Linux boot on an ATi board then see X CRASH ALL THE TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I understand that Microsoft OSes are not your choice and we are not trying to force you to use their products.
    Wake up, smell the coffee. If I make hardware that works with X software, I am forcing my customers to use X software. Simple logic, you dont need to be a rocket scientist for that one.
    But you could always argue "doh microsoft compatibility pays the bills". true, wont argue with that, if you said it, No one asked for a hands out. People who use Linux are not poor or mentally retarded. But we aren't high speed logic analysers, jtag readers or fortune tellers, we cant tell how your hardware works if you dont tell us.

    Dont mistake me for some Nvidia fanboy. I've own more ATi cards than Nvidia ones, so the pain is real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by siggma View Post
    So, ATI / AMD, by not FULLY supporting the fastest growing operating system in existence while at the same time providing outstanding support for Microsoft based products, I have to assume there is some kind of collusion between AMD and Microsoft and that means you are aware of the issues and that you've chosen to try to support the ONE SIZE FOR ALL approach to computing based on attempting to control what I do with the hardware I've purchased.
    As I said in another post, when my system died and I needed to buy a new computer, I went with an all-AMD platform (including a Radeon HD4850) solely based on the dump of technical information AMD has provided the open-source community for previous cores.

    If AMD did nothing from now on, the open-source community has enough to keep them busy for a long time developing a really good open-source driver, and that's where you get to the difference between Windows / Mac OS and Linux. With Windows/Mac, when you buy a new Radeon, you buy it so you can get more/prettier FPS in games, and that's about it. When it breaks or the vendor decides you need to pay them some more, you buy something else. You don't care if it's killing kittens underneath your case or scanning your blood for compatibility with the new Vampire Alien Overlords, and the vendor doesn't care if it really works or not as long as they get sales.

    With Linux, you're buying a great bit of hardware with processing cores and RAM and buses capable of unbelievable computing feats, the most obvious of which are more / prettier FPS in games. If it breaks, you can fix it. If it's killing kittens under your case, you can stop it. If you're making money off it, you can pay someone to fix it for you. In the end, it makes the kitten-killing Windows/Mac setup look pretty worthless, and that's something AMD has cottoned onto. With something as complex as a modern graphics card, the only way you're going to get instant value out of a new product is with great documentation and a great vendor-supplied open-source driver as a starting point for the community. Unfortunately, AMD've still got a lot of momentum with the closed-source world, and practically, they're making more money from content Windows users, so that's where sad compromises like binary blobs (with video tearing that don't run Wine) and a closed-source AtomBIOS come in.

    It's crap, I know, but since nVidia are very closed-source, you have the choice between something that will eventually be a very good fit with Linux/open source, or something that will always be pretty good at pretending, and will always be limiting what you can do with it.

    Then I have the Intel GMA chipset in my laptop, which is just awesome

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    Quote Originally Posted by grantek View Post
    ... and a closed-source AtomBIOS come in.
    I thought bridgman said that the AtomBIOS was (effectively) open source, it was written in assembler...

    I could be mistaken about that thought, and they have also provided the specs to not use it, so it's not exactly being forced on you.

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