And on any other distro with a recent X server, I suspect. My experience with fglrx has been a non-stop nightmare and I'm desperate to be rid of it. Fglrx simply isn't an option for a main desktop machine any more. It's only redeeming feature is that its 3D stack is more complete than Mesa's.
Yeah, xf86-video-ati rulez (Radeon HD 3870)
My 5 cents, i hate ATI cards. All my experience with 4 of them was awful at least. And 1 more or less fine (IBM X31 with something integrated. forked fine with radeon. even compiz. but was to slow with compiz to use it every day).
Surprisingly on other OS (7 64) it was much worse
I have no ATI card left in use. And i'm really not sure that i'll be ready to try anytime soon (at least few years).
What really interests me, besides the strangely loyal radeonhd people, are the people using VESA. Which chipsets are they using? Surely there's something we can do to ease their pain.
Okay. Looks like you need to be put back into your place with a big helping of shut up, you don't know what your talking about. Again.Ya it was the biggest reason why we decided to buy 50 nvidia based laptops at work instead of the cheaper ATI options. We need them to be supported at least through their useful lifetime (which is about 3 years for us).
First: The driver charts show that AMD's plan is working. Their intent was to move legacy product users off to an Open-Source driver that would better suit their needs. This enables AMD to focus their paid FGLRX developers on optimizing for a small sub-set of the available cards. This enables AMD to turn around driver updates faster, and on a more regular basis, as they eliminate or minimize potential regressions. This means that those who want to keep using their ATi cards can still continue to use them, indefinitely, against any kernel changes, API changes, or library changes.
Those who whined and complained because their previous high end x800's, x1800's, and x1900's suddenly became unsupported are a non factor. Fact is, if you like to game in Linux, you'd have long upgraded your graphics card from the series AMD discontinued. End of story.
Second: AMD's not the only one to drop support for cards. Nvidia does it to. So far they've dropped support for the DX7 cards, then the DX8 cards, then the Geforce FX series. Now you might think that because Nvidia has moved these to a legacy driver it means they are still supported.
Um. No. Thing is the feature list on the X.org ATi driver is still expanding. It's getting new capabilities, better performance, and offering a better experience when just about every update. When Nvidia terminates support for a card, that's it. No open-source sponsored driver. No recognition of a non-supported open-source driver. No further bug-fixes. That's it. That's not support no matter how you try to classify it.
This means that you are dependent upon Nvidia to update their legacy drivers against any kernel changes, API changes, or library changes. So far Nvidia has kept up. But what guarantee do you have that they'll continue to do so over the next 3 years? If that was your reason for buying Nvidia over ATi for the laptops you talked about above, that's one of the most pathetic reasons I've ever heard of.
Third: Just because ATi manufactured a chip and somebody else sells it, doesn't mean ATi is still making the chip or supporting it.
Case in point: Over at Newegg you'll find that Radeon 7000 and 8500 GPU's are still on sale.
Just because a vendor sells a product that has been moved to a maintenance or retired state, does not mean, nor indicate, that the original chip supplier is still bound to support those products.
Moreover, did you realize not only has the radeon driver use go over the catalyst one, but also the total of users of open source drivers is slightly over half, with nvidia+fglrx 48.99% of the respondend who undoubtedly represent a skewed sample of the wider public (incl non-phoronix).
Nvidia (36.97) has the whole market in my opinion in sufficiently reliable drivers to run linux games, play movies, not be terribly slow compared to the closed source driver on the same hardware, all the things you need if you want a media center/gaming station.
But it looks like radeon (hd?) is on the right way to become good enough too; if you buy a fast card it will be enough.
Also Nvidia has drawback that it limits you. No KMS, no realiable or fast or flicker free switch to textmode; no vsync, tearing (you see it in the sides of windows if you shake them with the wobbly effect).
Yada yada yada,
690 series are still being produced and sold in quantity. FACT. Everything but the oldest Nvidia cards are still current with the latest releases of linux. FACT. Legacy does not mean unsupported with Nvidia, it means no longer being made. FACT. Sorry you typed so much bullshit for having NO meaningful response. FACT.