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Thread: Poor ATI support?: no writeups anywhere?

  1. #1
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    Default Poor ATI support?: no writeups anywhere?

    I have been researching laptops and I wonder if it I should just forget ATI GPU-equipped laptops at all. I cannot find any write-ups or instructions on how to isntall ATI drivers, in particular, the HD 3000 series. For e.g., Radeon Mobility 3650 or 3470.

    There are tons of Nvidia drivers instructions for Linux including additional methods, 'Nvidia way' v.s. 'Debian way.' I cannot find any instructions for installing ATI drivers and if you use the ones on the AMD/ATI website, there are not very many sources that report on what is working or not working. But, it does seem like the support is still subpar.

    Can anyone comment? I find it difficult to narrow down a line of notebooks since it seems the GPU and driver support is such an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I have been researching laptops and I wonder if it I should just forget ATI GPU-equipped laptops at all. I cannot find any write-ups or instructions on how to isntall ATI drivers, in particular, the HD 3000 series. For e.g., Radeon Mobility 3650 or 3470.

    There are tons of Nvidia drivers instructions for Linux including additional methods, 'Nvidia way' v.s. 'Debian way.' I cannot find any instructions for installing ATI drivers and if you use the ones on the AMD/ATI website, there are not very many sources that report on what is working or not working. But, it does seem like the support is still subpar.

    Can anyone comment? I find it difficult to narrow down a line of notebooks since it seems the GPU and driver support is such an issue.
    in sidux and smxi there are skript in the dist-upgrade mechanism to automatik install the fglrx!
    debian has also fglrx install files in the repo...
    search in kpackage "fglrx"

    the driver if you use ubuntu 9.04 there is the radeon and radeonHD driver allready in it...with super nice 2D performance..

    ubuntu 8.10 automatikly installs the fglrx in the hartware menue..

    and the offizial file is not so complex you need to give it a chmod "executable" and then you musst start the .run
    linke this: "./ati-driver-installer-9-1-x86.x86_64.run"
    as root in a shell... best works with "init 3" bevor. .

    witch kind of linux distro do you use ?

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    Thanks for that info! Currently, I have sidux, Debian Lenny, Fedora 10 (upgraded to 10 from ver. 9), Kubuntu 8.10 and Mepis installed.

    I have a Nvidia card in my desktop and was curious about ATI driver installations because I am shopping for a laptop and many contenders have ATI mobile GPUs.

    I was concerned because I haven't come across any 'how-to' for ATI driver installs. I thought the fglrx driver (install) was still problematic but if you or someone can confirm or comment on the current status?

    If I am reading things right, many people go back to the open source radeonhd driver?

    I wonder how the Radeon Mobile HD 3000-series applies.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I have been researching laptops and I wonder if it I should just forget ATI GPU-equipped laptops at all. I cannot find any write-ups or instructions on how to isntall ATI drivers, in particular, the HD 3000 series. For e.g., Radeon Mobility 3650 or 3470.
    Under ubuntu and openSUSE you should have an easy life installing the proprietary drivers. In ubuntu they can be installed via a GUI which comes with the distribution. For openSUSE there exists a repository provided by ATI which allows installation via yast/zypper/...

    That said, I am currently struggling with recent versions of the catalyst driver in connection with the Mobility Radeon HD 3650 chipset:
    http://phoronix.com/forums/showpost.php?p=60873

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    Thanks for that info! Currently, I have sidux, Debian Lenny, Fedora 10 (upgraded to 10 from ver. 9), Kubuntu 8.10 and Mepis installed.
    sidux works (here sidux with the catalyst 8.10)
    a frend have a 4870 works also on sidux 9.1 and 9.2
    a other frend has a 3850 works in sidux right on 8.12
    Debian5 works becourse at this time 5 are the same as sidux.
    debian 5 will released in 2 weeks!

    Fedora is not supportet by the fglrx! becourse of RedHut don't want cloused source drivers.
    Fedora supports "radeon" and "RadeonHD" driver..

    Kubuntu8.10 works best with the Catalyst.

    i don't know Mepis.. sorry..


    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I have a Nvidia card in my desktop and was curious about ATI driver installations because I am shopping for a laptop and many contenders have ATI mobile GPUs.
    for linux on a long therm of thinking amd are better than nvidia.


    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I was concerned because I haven't come across any 'how-to' for ATI driver installs. I thought the fglrx driver (install) was still problematic but if you or someone can confirm or comment on the current status?
    If I am reading things right, many people go back to the open source radeonhd driver?
    I wonder how the Radeon Mobile HD 3000-series applies.
    the Catalyst are fast in "OpenGL" Gaming and Looks nice on nativ games.

    on Wine(direktX games) Catalyst are worst but only the Wine Devs only supports nvidia in the Past. But Wine turns around becourse they like Opensource drivers to.

    my personal thinking that the 9.2 will be the first catalyst driver with all the importand stuff the linux desktops folks are needet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post
    sidux works (here sidux with the catalyst 8.10)
    a frend have a 4870 works also on sidux 9.1 and 9.2
    a other frend has a 3850 works in sidux right on 8.12
    Debian5 works becourse at this time 5 are the same as sidux.
    debian 5 will released in 2 weeks!

    Fedora is not supportet by the fglrx! becourse of RedHut don't want cloused source drivers.
    Fedora supports "radeon" and "RadeonHD" driver..

    Kubuntu8.10 works best with the Catalyst.

    i don't know Mepis.. sorry..


    for linux on a long therm of thinking amd are better than nvidia.

    the Catalyst are fast in "OpenGL" Gaming and Looks nice on nativ games.

    on Wine(direktX games) Catalyst are worst but only the Wine Devs only supports nvidia in the Past. But Wine turns around becourse they like Opensource drivers to.

    my personal thinking that the 9.2 will be the first catalyst driver with all the importand stuff the linux desktops folks are needet.
    That's interesting info but the problem with that is all of it applies to desktops. My questions were regarding mobile ATI video cards.

    My understanding is that ATI proprietary drivers don't cover most mobile ATI GPUs. In fact, the support is so POOR, the support only extends to the RV500 (X1xxx) series. So, there's almost no support at all for laptops with ATI cards.

    That's bad news for some laptops that only have ATI cards (no hybrid GPU cards) and for the owners who want to install Linux on it. If ATI was supposed to be about choice, it doesn't apply to Linux yet. It's good to have open source but that's what you're limited to with an ATI-equipped notebook. The question remains then, how is the open source driver (for mobile ATI GPU)?

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I think you're seeing an out of date menu on the web page not a lack of driver support. AFAIK everyone just downloads from the "Radeon" option, not the "Mobility Radeon" option. That said, until OEMs start pre-loading Linux or at least testing their products with Linux before locking down the SBIOS and VBIOS I expect that running Linux on any laptop is going to continue to be challenging for all vendors. There are still Windows-specific customizations going into a number of products.

    Looks like the Integrated menu is out of date too. I'll see if I can find out who maintains those pages.
    Last edited by bridgman; 02-02-2009 at 04:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I'm not 100% sure, but I think you're seeing an out of date menu on the web page not a lack of driver support. AFAIK everyone just downloads from the "Radeon" option, not the "Mobility Radeon" option. That said, until OEMs start pre-loading Linux or at least testing their products with Linux before locking down the SBIOS and VBIOS I expect that running Linux on any laptop is going to continue to be challenging for all vendors. There are still Windows-specific customizations going into a number of products.

    Looks like the Integrated menu is out of date too. I'll see if I can find out who maintains those pages.
    'Could be. I originally thought that getting 'suspend' and 'hibernate' to work was the major issues with the fglrx driver and that it would support even the most recent mobile ATI cards. I have read posts in various Linux-based forums (e.g. Ubuntu) and notebook owners were discussing using fglrx drivers with a laptop that had a Radeon mobile HD 3000 series card. But, I couldn't find any amd/ati site that listed the later RV600 series as supported.

    Edit: Oh, I believe I discovered that the other problem with the fglrx driver and using mobile Radeon HD 3xxx cards is when using hardware acceleration and having Compiz (Desktop Effects) enabled. It just doesn't work? Also, apparently, there are video issues (skipping) when Compiz (desktop effects) are enabled (turned on). These are bugs apparently so what are the chances of them being solved and/or fixed (in the near future)? Any comments on those issues or could someone clarify it for me if I'm inaccurate at all?
    Last edited by Panix; 02-02-2009 at 04:43 PM.

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    I have another question regarding this.

    So, is it correct to assume that the proprietary driver is also included in the respective repositories of most distros? You don't have to download them from the AMD/ATI site? Or?

    I assume the open source ati drivers are included in the related repository but what about the fglrx driver? Where do you get it and how do you install it? I cannot find any 'how-to' for installing the fglrx driver. The only one I found so far that has detailed instructions is in the Fedora forum.

    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=155503

    That's using rpm and yum and that's fine but what if you also use a debian-based distro/OS?

    I would then use 'apt-get' or something similar.

    Can anyone answer these questions and provide a link to a 'how-to' for fglrx driver installation? It can be Ubuntu, Debian or whatever as long as they are inter-related or applicable to one another. If it's using 'Envy' or some other package/driver installer (e.g. smxi), that is fine too but I also would like to know a 'universal' method like the Nvidia proprietary driver install (that is, I would like to know about the installation method for installing the most up-to-date binary ATI driver).

    I just want to know the various methods/options if I had an ATI card or an ATI mobile GPU (in which you have either the open source or fglrx driver as choices).

    Thanks in advance and it's appreciated.

  10. #10
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    Plenty of write-ups appear on a google search of ati wiki.
    One is here
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