Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah....
Originally Posted by Med_
Can someone wake me up when this bug is finally squashed? I haven't been able to use Linux normally since march 2008 and I need my gfx card for my work, so I can't just uninstall the drivers.
I'll be using the damned XP partition until then...
If you use Debian or Ubuntu use my script (you get a backup of your xorg.conf as xorg.conf.1st you could use to overwrite the new one if you tweaked it).
My script allows the use of -v option to select any driver. So you can switch back and forth thru all driver versions. There are some shortcuts like -v1 for 71.xx, -v2 for 96.xx, -v3 for 173.xx too.
Originally Posted by Kano
Thanks a lot! I will look into it once I find some spare time.
Not really. Catalyst is ok-ish nowadays. It lags behind in general desktop (esp. with compiz) and some hardware configurations suffer from annoying bugs (mainly affecting chips with AGP bridges, IGPs and very old / very new GPUs), but 3D support is on par with Windows. In my experience, if an OpenGL program runs on Ati/Windows, it will run on Ati/Linux without issues (this was not the case a year or two ago).
Originally Posted by whaevr
However, the place where Ati *really* shines is open-source support. The open drivers are easily better than Nvidia's (and even Intel's) for general desktop usage. I have a 9600, a X800, a X1950 and a 4850. The three first cards work out of the box with excellent performance, 2D / video support and features (KMS anyone?) 3D support is currently lacking (no GLSL or FBOs), but this is going to change with the new Gallium3D implementation.
Intel, in comparison, completely sucks performance-wise: anything older than the 4500 IGP is unbearable in Firefox especially with image-heavy pages (hopefully this will get better once UXA becomes stable). Nvidia's open drivers are not ready for the general public.
Granted, Nvidia's binary blobs are better than Ati's. However, they are far from bug-free: compiz window decorations become corrupt after some time (this bug first appeared around drivers ver. 100 and was still present at 177, last time I checked). General slowness with G80+ (my "Quadro NVS 135M" equipped laptop is nigh unusable with Gnome and completely unusable with KDE).
Things are not as one-sided as you claim.
Are you really sure you installed the drivers correctly? In case of problems you can disable Composite extension (-c option to my script in case you could use it). I have got 3 pcs running with NV 8800 GTS 512, NV 8600 GT and NV 6800 GS and see no problems. Also you are not forced to use the 180.xx series - you can use the 173.xx series too (-v3 for the script).
The corruption issue appears when using compiz on a 6800M or a 7600GS. I've tested all three drivers that come with Ubuntu 8.10 (177, 173 and 130-something) and it is there. The bug appears to be harmless (the titlebar gets slightly messed up whenever a window loses focus, only to fix itself when it gains focus), but it's a little awkward as the PCs belong to my father and brother, respectively.
The slowness issue with the 135M (8400-derived) is more serious - I've had to go back to Vista on this laptop. The 135M is a slow chip, even on Vista, but at least it works as long as you turn off the compositor. On Linux, it's simply unbearable.
I've tried several drivers (173, 177 and several betas up to 180.22) and I've played with the "glyph cache" and "initial pixmap placement" options (which did help a little). The drivers seem to be installed correctly (direct rendering, GL2.1) and Gnome is usable without compositing, but the experience is far from good (drag a large window and it lags behind the mouse pointer!) Attach a second monitor and it gets downright painful.
In any case, I've given up. My Ati desktop is the main development machine, now, and the laptop is there to ensure the application runs on Nvidia (things flow better this way too, as Ati's GLSL compiler is way pickier). My only regret is that the laptop has a better monitor (1680x1050, matte, PVA panel), otherwise this setup works perfectly.
Last edited by BlackStar; 02-12-2009 at 08:00 AM.
I would not say that using those Ubuntu release drivers is a good choice - the driver were old from the beginning. Use the new ones, my script should work fine with Ubuntu. Newer 180.xx drivers should not need nvidia-settings hacks. But for KDE4 the U 8.10 Xserver is a really bad choice, in that case jump to 9.04.
NVIDIA fixes issues with their drivers one by one. The latest release (180.29) fixes 2D performance issues some people had with the GeForce 8200/8300 IGPs, and most notably it fixes fullscreen Flash playback. I'm surprised no-one mentionned that.