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Thread: Open ATI Driver More Popular Than Catalyst

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  1. #1
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    Default Open ATI Driver More Popular Than Catalyst

    Phoronix: Open ATI Driver More Popular Than Catalyst

    On Monday we will be publishing our results from the 2009 Linux Graphics Survey, but when looking over the results there is one set of numbers in particular that jumped out (though there are a few other interesting figures too). Below is a prelude to the Phoronix survey results that will be published on Monday...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzc3NQ

  2. #2
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    This doesn't surprise me one bit.
    On one hand a broken (on multiple levels) binary-only driver called catalyst, and on the other a completely FOSS and Out-of-the-box working driver that meets most people's needs in multiple desktops, 2D and 3D acceleration and suspend and resume needs. I am somewhat surprised at the timeframe: This means that either a lot of the people that voted use older hardware (like R500 chips) or use "experimental" software like I do for my R700 chip

  3. #3
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    When you think about 9-3 driver as last legacy driver release thats clear. The difference can be only R300-R500 cards and a few with R600+ who are oss believers - the users have just no other choice.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    When you think about 9-3 driver as last legacy driver release thats clear. The difference can be only R300-R500 cards and a few with R600+ who are oss believers - the users have just no other choice.
    Ding, ding we have a winner! When distro's progress to the point that they have no option but to use it, it no longer is a matter of choice but necessity.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    When you think about 9-3 driver as last legacy driver release thats clear. The difference can be only R300-R500 cards and a few with R600+ who are oss believers - the users have just no other choice.
    I tell you what: I got 2 R600 style chips and I use the free drivers. Horray me!
    OSS believers go, go, go!
    Okay I admit that there wasn't much choice for R100-500 users but at least the free drivers support these chips nicely. And maybe people ARE even more satisfied with them. By the way most distributors will preferably use the free drivers anyway and thus it is pre-set for users. It's me personally having the choice in Gentoo which drivers to use.

    Now you can surely tell me where there is a choice for your always praised Nvidia?
    I got some of their chips and they are li-la-legacy. So no nvidia binary blob for me. Aww. nv is the driver of choice there. Oh, wait. Was there a choice anyway?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adarion View Post
    I tell you what: I got 2 R600 style chips and I use the free drivers. Horray me!
    OSS believers go, go, go!
    Okay I admit that there wasn't much choice for R100-500 users but at least the free drivers support these chips nicely. And maybe people ARE even more satisfied with them. By the way most distributors will preferably use the free drivers anyway and thus it is pre-set for users. It's me personally having the choice in Gentoo which drivers to use.

    Now you can surely tell me where there is a choice for your always praised Nvidia?
    I got some of their chips and they are li-la-legacy. So no nvidia binary blob for me. Aww. nv is the driver of choice there. Oh, wait. Was there a choice anyway?
    Horray!!!!!! Heil to the OSS Believers! go! go go! :-)

  7. #7
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    So while the Catalyst Linux driver may offer faster 3D performance, support for CrossFire, OverDrive, Big Desktop, XvBA, and many other features
    XvBA
    This is a non-feature. It's also the reason for my choosing Nvidia over ATI, even thought I recognize the superiority of the latter's hardware nowadays.

  8. #8
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    This is not really a surprise to me. The main advantages the opensource driver has over fglrx (which you didn't mention in the article) are

    * stability
    * superior 2D performance
    * tear-free video playback

    Unless you spend most of your time playing 3D games on your Linux box, the opensource driver is the better choice.

  9. #9
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    What I think is interesting, that this graph also shows, that ATi and NVidia are nearly a same percentage of usage (with a little advance for NVidia). I'm very interested in the full results on monday.

  10. #10
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    The only reason I still use the fglrx driver is power management. The radeon driver, even with all power saving options enabled, consumes 5-10W more than fglrx on my Mobility HD3650, and of coruse, temps go high and battery drains faster.

    3D performance is not relevant to me under Linux, as I use it mainly for work and movie watching. Recreational activities (eg. games) are left to another OS.

    2D performance is better on radeon, but as I mentioned before, power management is more important to me.

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