ATI HD5xx0 in Linux (considering switching from nVidia)
I am considering switching my Gfx card to new radeon HD5000 brand, most probably HD5700 line. I would like to know, how far the Linux support is. What about Wine Gaming? Does HD5000 + fglrx works with wine, let say in CoD2? What about video playback? And what is the status of arising OSS drivers, which is the main reason I'm considering to put my money to ATI instead of nVidia (my traditional vendor).
Better use Win not wine for gaming with ATI. xvba+vaapi is not that good as vdpau. vdpau can usually decode h264 level 5.1 fine, xvba can't. vdpau allows mpeg2 (and mpeg4 without b frames, which is very rare) to be accellerated via the same interface. xv is much worse with fglrx than nvidia binary too, the only way to get a mostly tearfree video is to use opengl + forced vsync in amdcccle. The problem is that some (mostly commerical) apps only use xv for video. OSS driver for hd 5 you can basically forget, more than modesetting is not possible yet.
Video playback support isn't great. I am questioning this issue with wine though... I have used wine without any problems on all the ATI cards I have had. With ATI you also get OpenGL 4 support. 3D acceleration is absolutely amazing, trying out Unigine Heaven and Nexuiz. Soon we will also have support for Eyefinity as well. If you are buying a Radeon HD 57x0 video acceleration is probably the least of your problems...
What are these rendering problems you speak of?!? I haven't run into any real rendering problems since 2007 with ATI and Catalyst. I have had more rendering problems with the old Nvidia 6200 in my motherboard. BTW, I don't use XBMC, but isn't that THEIR problem, I have no problem using any programs with GLSL, such as Nexuiz. I find that the argument for a more expensive for the performance Nvidia graphics card is far less relevent today.
It depends on usage, some apps do not work correctly and ati does not care. If it does not apply for your apps you are lucky. I reported glsl problems with gl2benchmark, took about 11 month till the driver was fixed, that's not normal.
About the OS drivers: there's no acceleration for Evergreen GPUs yet. It's currently being worked on. The last estimate I heard was that OS support for 5xxx would reach parity with 4xxx support in "2 to 8 months".
I'm going to stick with nvidia for linux and ATi for windows for the time being. I'm having problems with nvidia in windows at the moment which I find strange. It's a bit of a mixed bag these days. Even though ATi have OpenGL4.0 support, I am sticking with nvidia for Linux.