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Thread: ATI dropping support for <R600 - wtf!?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    ...



    Go through the pages here:

    http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews....d=711&pageid=8

    NVidia is pretty much stomping on the 4870. I don't see how the 4870 outperforms NVidia. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    Think he meant the HD4870X2. The HD4870 is at a much lower price bracket and is not meant to compete with neither of nvidia's high end.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Right now if you had an older GPU from anyone including ATI you would have an easier time -- the newest GPUs from all vendors have the most problems with Linux. That is changing pretty quickly though.
    There's major documented problems with older ATI cards going back to the X1300 and beyond. After all, how was this thread started? Right. I'm fairly confident that if I had bought a GTX280 instead, I'd have good video playback and 2D performance.

    I don't remember seeing these issues reported before; tearing in Xv is a known issue (for most vendors, not just us) but you should be able to get good tear-free playback through OpenGL. If you haven't already posted details about the black lines on your windows can you start a thread or point to a bug ticket somewhere ?
    Wait, you have a bug tracker?

    In any case, the Xv tearing is an fglrx-specific issue unlike what you think. It doesn't happen with radeonhd, it doesn't happen on Intel GMA with the DRI drivers, and it doesn't happen on nV cards with either their binary blobs or the nv driver. Yes, OpenGL is what I'm using now, but it requires that the player have a properly optimized OGL backend -- you can forget about MythTV.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that fullscreen FLV playback via Adobe's Flash plugin for Firefox is unusably slow. The video is a slideshow and the controls are so unresponsive that every time I try it I have to resist the urge to tab out to a tty and kill X outright. This doesn't happen on nV cards with their binary blobs.

    -E- Another (minor) issue I just remembered: If I tab out to a tty and kill an OGL app, the screen is corrupted. It does correct itself when tabbing back to X, at least.
    Last edited by roothorick; 03-05-2009 at 12:23 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by roothorick View Post
    There's major documented problems with older ATI cards going back to the X1300 and beyond. After all, how was this thread started? Right. I'm fairly confident that if I had bought a GTX280 instead, I'd have good video playback and 2D performance.
    Understood; I was talking about the specific problems you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by roothorick View Post
    Wait, you have a bug tracker?
    It should be in the Catalyst Linux release notes, I'll check. Anyways, it's at http://ati.cchtml.com .

    Quote Originally Posted by roothorick View Post
    In any case, the Xv tearing is an fglrx-specific issue unlike what you think. It doesn't happen with radeonhd, it doesn't happen on Intel GMA with the DRI drivers, and it doesn't happen on nV cards with either their binary blobs or the nv driver.
    Yes and no. Tear-free support only went into the radeonhd driver very recently and is still a bit problematic there (check IRC or mailing list). Tearing with Xv isn't an issue with any of the older GPUs (including both Intel and AMD/ATI) which use hardware overlay for video playback, but on the more recent GPUs (or older GPUs using textured video instead of overlay) I think even the latest Intel Xv code has tearing issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by roothorick View Post
    Oh, and I forgot to mention that fullscreen FLV playback via Adobe's Flash plugin for Firefox is unusably slow. The video is a slideshow and the controls are so unresponsive that every time I try it I have to resist the urge to tab out to a tty and kill X outright. This doesn't happen on nV cards with their binary blobs.
    My guess is that it doesn't happen with the ATI open source drivers either, will check.

    Anyways, I guess the main point here is that for the GPU generations which were dropped the open source drivers are in pretty good shape already and development work on those drivers is continuing to grow, including both AMD and community resources.
    Last edited by bridgman; 03-05-2009 at 12:47 PM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by roothorick View Post
    -E- Another (minor) issue I just remembered: If I tab out to a tty and kill an OGL app, the screen is corrupted. It does correct itself when tabbing back to X, at least.
    This happens to me with fglrx too. And sometimes tabbing back to X doesn't fix the corruption.

    That's why I'm looking forward to use open source drivers for my Mobility Radeon X1600. But now I expect FOSS drivers to have PowerPlay and OpenGL 2.1+ support for R500 cards by the June.

    ATi, since now you are dropping support for R500 and older cards, feel free to open parts of fglrx that handle R500 and older cards. Now you don't have to hide that parts of fglrx code, as you don't support those chips anymore. And I'm sure that those bits of code could help FOSS driver developers a lot in making PowerPlay and OpenGL 2.1+ support for R500-based (and older) cards.

    I think that'd be a good move for you, ATi.

  5. #25

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    ATi, since now you are dropping support for R500 and older cards, feel free to open parts of fglrx that handle R500 and older cards. Now you don't have to hide that parts of fglrx code, as you don't support those chips anymore. And I'm sure that those bits of code could help FOSS driver developers a lot in making PowerPlay and OpenGL 2.1+ support for R500-based (and older) cards.

    I think that'd be a good move for you, ATi.
    They can't.

    This was one of the reason's behind funding Novell's RadeonHD.

    FGLRX contains several licensed technologies and patents that AMD doesn't own, with sources ranging from (old)SGI to IBM to (old Artx) to Intel. AMD can ONLY open up the Source Code to technology that AMD owns outright, or has created.

    Sure, it's a nice idea to just open FGLRX up, but it's just not legally possibly.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoDoENT View Post
    This happens to me with fglrx too. And sometimes tabbing back to X doesn't fix the corruption.

    That's why I'm looking forward to use open source drivers for my Mobility Radeon X1600. But now I expect FOSS drivers to have PowerPlay and OpenGL 2.1+ support for R500 cards by the June.

    ATi, since now you are dropping support for R500 and older cards, feel free to open parts of fglrx that handle R500 and older cards. Now you don't have to hide that parts of fglrx code, as you don't support those chips anymore. And I'm sure that those bits of code could help FOSS driver developers a lot in making PowerPlay and OpenGL 2.1+ support for R500-based (and older) cards.

    I think that'd be a good move for you, ATi.

    They already did. The licensed bits still have to remain closed, but that's not really ATI's fault. It's not at ATI now that you should be putting pressure at, but rather the radeonhd/radeon developers. The ball is in their court now.
    I called previously how people would complain if fglrx ever dropped support for cards again, and it seems I called it right. It's really not a surprise. The drivers meant for the Linux desktop user are radeon/radeonhd (for ATI users), so if any pressure should be applied it should be towards these pair of drivers. Fglrx is a worstation driver that just so happens to support desktop GPUs. That's ATI's main market in Linux and it will always be.

  7. #27
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    We haven't talked much about specific funding and staffing levels (and don't plan to do that in the future either), but "paying one developer" to work on open source drivers is pretty far from the truth. We funded a lot of the radeonhd work, and we currently have three in-house developers working on open source drivers (Alex, Richard, Cooper) in addition to the outside development community.
    OK, glad you corrected me, bridgman, I only knew of Alex Deucher. Still, I don't feel good about this move. The opensource support is far from being perfect in my experience (not only on R500, but also R300); powerplay is not there (although dynamic clocks does an acceptable job for me), and on both chip generations, a lot of 3D stuff doesn't work as intended (including even some xscreensaver modules, try the ant ones like antinspect) yet. While I can live with this and certainly don't want to lament about non-functional xscreensaver modules, I don't like getting only half-baked support over more than two years and then official support being dropped completely, being left with the hope that the opensource drivers will be able to do with help of the "outside development community" in due time what the proprietary driver never delivered.
    Last edited by DirtyHairy; 03-05-2009 at 01:26 PM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saist View Post
    FGLRX contains several licensed technologies and patents that AMD doesn't own, with sources ranging from (old)SGI to IBM to (old Artx) to Intel. AMD can ONLY open up the Source Code to technology that AMD owns outright, or has created.
    So let me get this straight: Some parts of the chip I have in my laptop are not made by ATi, but by someone else??? Then how could have ATi sold me a chip that was only partly their? Is it so complicated to call those respective owners and ask them nicely for the permission of opening up the code (like e.g. Intel or IBM)? AFAIK, Intel and IBM support open source...

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoDoENT View Post
    So let me get this straight: Some parts of the chip I have in my laptop are not made by ATi, but by someone else??? Then how could have ATi sold me a chip that was only partly their? Is it so complicated to call those respective owners and ask them nicely for the permission of opening up the code (like e.g. Intel or IBM)? AFAIK, Intel and IBM support open source...

    Licensing. It's not an alien concept. Everyone does it to an extent. AMD has little power over things that they are licensing. They obviously can ask whoever is licensing to them, but it's usually not that straight forward, and the answer is usually "no".

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melcar View Post
    Originally Posted by DoDoENT View Post
    So let me get this straight: Some parts of the chip I have in my laptop are not made by ATi, but by someone else??? Then how could have ATi sold me a chip that was only partly their? Is it so complicated to call those respective owners and ask them nicely for the permission of opening up the code (like e.g. Intel or IBM)? AFAIK, Intel and IBM support open source...
    Licensing. It's not an alien concept. Everyone does it to an extent. AMD has little power over things that they are licensing. They obviously can ask whoever is licensing to them, but it's usually not that straight forward, and the answer is usually "no".
    Melcar pretty much beat me to the answer. I touched on this back in my original post : http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...-for-x86-cpu/1 :: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...ainst-nvidia/1

    Intel basically owns x86 technology. Only companies with a license from Intel can make x86 chips. If you just want a taste of the fights that have occured over this, do a web search for the terms Intel x86 license

    Many of the large tech companies hold various patents for hardware design that they allow other companies to use, sometimes in exchange for cash, and sometimes in exchange for equal technologies, like the AMD / Intel cross-license agreement on x86.

    ***

    The situation can quickly deteriorate when companies that some technology for go out of business, or are merged. Tracking down who owned what technology, at what time, can be a legal heart-ache. Even when a vendor is fairly certain they HAVE licensed the technology properly, somebody else may show up with a broad patent claim, or having bought up interest in a patent portfolio : Look up patent troll


    ***

    Also, there's a difference here between hardware and software. Yes, AMD / ATi designs the chip hardware, but that doesn't mean they use internal software for it. A good case in point is the old TV-output, which has been covered several times on Phoronix during the development of TV-output into the X.org ATi driver. Check out this post by Mr. Bridgman from 2007 for example : http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showp...65&postcount=2

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