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Thread: 10.4/fglrx in Lucid w/ ATI HD 4xxx or 5xxx

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  1. #1
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    Default 10.4/fglrx in Lucid w/ ATI HD 4xxx or 5xxx

    What's going on? What's the update? I had the impression you could use R700 cards with either FOSS or fglrx driver but does that only apply to certain situations or combinations? In other words, depends on distro, Catalyst and the related versions? I'm confused.

    I read these threads:
    http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showt...708#post120708

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...434064&page=21


    There's problems (again)?!?

    That is pretty bad. Can anyone explain the problem(s)? Hmmm....I don't buy that AMD/ATI is dedicated at providing Linux support and devoting much to this support. I read that the support is late and they're catching up. So, if you are building a house and you throw a brick in the mud, you can say you're starting support? Then you throw a few more bricks, some two-by-fours and some tools into the mud and claim you have increasing support and made great progress?!?

    I'm looking at getting an ATI card but I need to know two things:
    1) how to switch between drivers, fglrx and FOSS - sorry, I forget how. Is there a how-to of steps? It sounds like this must be done quite often as you have to test the drivers with a trial and error to see if there's improvement.

    2) "Official Support" - Ubuntu is one of the distros with official support. Are the issues/problems attributable to the newer Catalyst version and the progression in the kernel? If that is part of it, is there other variables? What is the estimated time frame for 'fixing' or solving these bugs and issues? Doesn't ATI/AMD have a timeline that they are trying to achieve? Aren't goals set? I'm just curious. I don't read of any estimations but it might help if I know I can count on something in a month from now, six months from now and so on.

    One more question is about patches. How do you know which patches to use and for what? I don't know if these end up on AMD's ATI site or not. I guess I would just post or ask here for locations of patches and for instructions to install if I have trouble. If no one minds. I hope not.

    I'm considering the HD 4850 and HD 4770 for an all-purpose, cheap card but especially for movies/video (DivX, HD) and streaming video (youtube, video seminars etc.) and stuff like Google Earth. I also would like to use other video and 3D stuff but if it gets bad, I'll boot up Windoze to accomplish tasks until I figure out a solution in Linux.

    The other thing to consider is a Nvidia card, 240 GT or GTS 250 but I really want to go with ATI if they can deliver some needed improvements.

    I'm waiting a bit longer to see if HD 5xxx series of cards obtains better support (no FOSS driver support yet?) but I might not be able to budget for one anyway....

  2. #2
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    As soon as there will be an official 10-4 release you can just run my script when no xorg.conf is present before on debian or ubuntu. Basically april is soon over If you have got another 3 months time go for medium range nv cards, buy ati ONLY when you mainly play games on win and do not intent to watch movies with video accelleration with h264 l5.1.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    What's going on? What's the update? I had the impression you could use R700 cards with either FOSS or fglrx driver but does that only apply to certain situations or combinations? In other words, depends on distro, Catalyst and the related versions? I'm confused.

    I read these threads:
    http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showt...708#post120708

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...434064&page=21


    There's problems (again)?!?

    That is pretty bad. Can anyone explain the problem(s)?
    In the first link it looks like the user had a non-standard xorg.conf - they fixed the problem by changing xorg.conf, or they could have just run aticonfig --initial -f (I think that's the right number of dashes) which would have forced a working xorg.conf.

    Not sure what happened in the second link - user didn't come back with any info, just switched back to the default open source driver. The most common problem I see with Lucid and fglrx right now is installing the 10.3 Catalyst driver rather than the one we released to Ubuntu - the one released to Ubuntu is packaged to disable KMS during install, while the older drivers are designed to run on UMS distros. If you don't turn off KMS when using a binary driver you end up with two kernel drivers fighting over the card. If the user responds back to the thread I can probably give you more info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    What's going on? What's the update? I had the impression you could use R700 cards with either FOSS or fglrx driver but does that only apply to certain situations or combinations? In other words, depends on distro, Catalyst and the related versions? I'm confused.
    I read these threads:
    http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showt...708#post120708
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...434064&page=21
    There's problems (again)?!?
    come one same same same old same old no again ans nothing new!

    if you install a ubuntu 10.04 you klick on top "system" then on 'Systemsettings' and then on 'hardware-drivers' and then on activate the driver.
    then you have the catalyst 10-4 !
    yes this driver do have known bugs!

    one of them is the XAA acceleration means buggy 3D-desktop you wait 2 second to close/maxi a windows and some other. you need to patch your xorg(the bug is in the xorg files)
    yes this information is 'old' and no one care abaut this because amd build an EXA stylish 'Direct2D' to fix that bug and brings a Radeon-like 2D speed to the FGLRX.
    you can test this option on an catalyst 10-4 but the catalyst 10-6 have this for standart!

    for you if you buy an amd card just install catalyst '10-6' (only mybe 40 days) in the future thats really not to long to wait!


    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I'm looking at getting an ATI card but I need to know two things:
    1) how to switch between drivers, fglrx and FOSS - sorry, I forget how. Is there a how-to of steps? It sounds like this must be done quite often as you have to test the drivers with a trial and error to see if there's improvement.
    you allready ask some questions and i allready answer:

    Panix:
    "Seems/sounds complicated but okay. So, it can detect and you can instruct which one you want to use?
    I don't want to spread false info (RE: my previous post) and I was just asking what to do. It is good to know in case I buy an ATI card myself. Thanks for correcting... "

    if you really install radeon (not the standard ubuntu one) you need kernel 2.6.34rc5+xorg crackpushers
    and this chance to your ubuntu can broke the fglrx!
    you can switch from radeon to fglrx and back easyly but only the standard one.
    the REAL Edgers(GIT-source) one chance xserver/xorg versions and the hole system!



    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    2) "Official Support" - Ubuntu is one of the distros with official support. Are the issues/problems attributable to the newer Catalyst version and the progression in the kernel? If that is part of it, is there other variables? What is the estimated time frame for 'fixing' or solving these bugs and issues? Doesn't ATI/AMD have a timeline that they are trying to achieve? Aren't goals set? I'm just curious. I don't read of any estimations but it might help if I know I can count on something in a month from now, six months from now and so on.
    for desktop users there is no fix-bug-deathline

    in my point of view the opensource driver is much faster exampel: in the past i have a problem with the 'letters' can't read 'the letters' on a xorg-edgers(unsupportet) moving target i send an email to brigdman 1-2 days later the problem is fixed.

    other exampel: i found a really dirty bug in an non released alpfa fglrx version i report the bug to a member of the beta team and write it into a forum 30 days later the alpfa is beta now.. same bug same problem.. 30 days later the beta is stable version now same bug same problem 30 days later the next stable same bug same problem 30 days later same bug same problem (now i get a new alpfa fix the bug)-> but the next stable same bug same problem (but alpfa is now beta works) the next stable same bug same problem and now the same alpfa/beta becomes stable bug is fixed...
    the bug is abaut 64bit amd-CPUs and the fglrx in the past fglrx mostly only test on intel-cpu hardware! that bugs does that: if you use 64bit and you have mor than 2gb of ram (my system8GB) the fglrx turns into blackscreen if you have an AMD CPU.
    my personal bugfix for that: i switch from 64bit to 32bit and hope the best for the future
    yes old storry 2008! (catalyst 2009-x fix that bug)

    in my point of view the opensource driver is much better a lot of people test the opensource driver from the 'alpfa' status and report bugs abaut xorg-edgers-GIT-source bugs! if they release a stable driver you can be 100% they have a lot beta/alpfa testers check thats all fine...
    and in the end radeon stable driver is old-scool if there is a bug there is no stable release if there is an release there is no bug.


    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    I'm waiting a bit longer to see if HD 5xxx series of cards obtains better support (no FOSS driver support yet?) but I might not be able to budget for one anyway....
    i can't unterstand the problem if you buy a 5xxx one you use cataylst 10-6 and wait for the opensource driver...

    thats simpel!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post

    one of them is the XAA acceleration means buggy 3D-desktop you wait 2 second to close/maxi a windows and some other. you need to patch your xorg(the bug is in the xorg files)
    Could you please be more specific on how to patch the xorg file ? Thx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Could you please be more specific on how to patch the xorg file ? Thx
    in my point of view its pointless wait for cataylst 10-6 !

    10-6 do not need a patched xorg.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post
    in my point of view its pointless wait for cataylst 10-6 !

    10-6 do not need a patched xorg.
    Well, I hope that official fglrx 10-4 (and ubuntu 10.4) will be much better than pre-released ones. As for now they are extremely buggy... atleast for me :
    1. with configured 2 monitors on xinerama, my system freezes if I move my mouse to the secondary monitor
    2. only on one monitor I get full screen blinking (god knows why), LCD goes black and back to orginal picture.
    3. 10-4 ignores ingame gamma settings. I can workaround it with xgamma, but that's not the point.
    4. overall performance regression in 3D games (q3/urt/ql/hon).

    This is kinda annoying, because on fglrx 10-3 @ ubuntu 9.10 everything was just fine.

  8. #8
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    Sorry to interrupt but I was wondering how many patches are needed and for which problems/issues/features. I suspect some people who already have ATI cards get annoyed at my (and others') generic questions so maybe I should shut up or buy a card already. But, I just want to know what I'm getting into if I buy a card. I like the suggestion to get a cheaper card and wait: the HD 4xxx cards will probably still have a market and then I could wait for the newer Fermi or A) just keep the card or B) upgrade to HD 5xxx if everything is progressing nicely.

    I thought it might be useful to have a chart like the x.org wiki chart except that it lists various patches and authors links to either here (where the patch code is discussed) or someone's page (for e.g., a blog). If patches are needed often, it might save some time and be helpful. Maybe make for less frustration? Just a suggestion.

    One other comment I wanted to make. A lot of 'pro-ATI' ppl saying to get ATI card for open source and how things will ultimately improve. A nice ideal is good but what about laptop owners with ATI cards? They can't just 'give up' and switch to Nvidia. If progression with drivers is slow and there's bugs, they have to live with them. I know if I had a brand new laptop with an ATI card, I would want power saving and full features working. I'm not going to wave a towel and yell, 'yay, open source.' I just want things to work. I guess if you have an extra computer, you can wait but what if your only computer has an ATI card?

    Ideals are great but if ATI/AMD truly wish to support Linux, this 'progression' needs to happen faster and more features have to be included (XvMA, hardware acceleration, power saving etc.). You can have the best hardware in the world but if the drivers don't allow you to use the card to its fullest or what you want to do, then it's all moot.

    I was wondering about fglrx in the latest Ubuntu because I would probably change my desktop system over to it when it's released. So, if it happens this timing coincides with a video card upgrade, I wanted to have some idea of what to expect if it's an ATI card.

    Some great replies/responses so far and many thanks for some valuable info! I'll keep reading with great interest and it should help make my decision easier. My current GPU is a EVGA 7950GT and it might be fine still but I haven't stressed it all really. So, I'm not sure how it'll go if I do anything else with it. It should be fine but I don't like being without a backup card. I think I have an ATI X300SE still but I loaned it to someone as their backup.

    Anyway, sorry to interupt...Carry on...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    What's going on? What's the update?

    I'm considering the HD 4850 and HD 4770 for an all-purpose, cheap card but especially for movies/video (DivX, HD) and streaming video (youtube, video seminars etc.) and stuff like Google Earth. I also would like to use other video and 3D stuff but if it gets bad, I'll boot up Windoze to accomplish tasks until I figure out a solution in Linux.

    The other thing to consider is a Nvidia card, 240 GT or GTS 250 but I really want to go with ATI if they can deliver some needed improvements.

    I'm waiting a bit longer to see if HD 5xxx series of cards obtains better support (no FOSS driver support yet?) but I might not be able to budget for one anyway....
    HD4770 is you best pick. It is better than anything in HD4xxx. It is similar to 4830, but:
    - instead of GDDR3 with 256bit bus, it uses GDDR5 with 128bit bus. GDDR5 runs twice faster as GDDR3 so you get more speed for overclock and more efficient power consumtion.

    - instead of 55nm technology, HD4770 is the only card in HD4xxx with 40nm process. It uses much less power in work and idle than HD4830 or 50.

    You can easily overclock HD4770 and achieve same speed as HD4850, but with only 90Watts power drain, instead of 120! Idle consumption is twice lower!

    Check this table out:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...4xxx.29_series
    Pay close attention to "nm" - 4770 is the only with 40nm.
    In terms of performance, it is similar to GTS250(aka 9800GTX),but uses much less Watts. And AMD supports opensource driver.

    There is not much video acceleration for AMD yet. But quad core cpus will handle any amount of H264 anyway. Or you can use intel core i3-5 cpus that have integrated VGA with opensource h264 acceleration(if I understand it right) and very sufficient for video playback. Nvidia supports h264 decode, but
    a) does not support opensource at all
    b) the gpu often goes up from sleep and starts to eat more Watts. So there is really not much difference for GTS250 to decode video or CPU to decode video in terms of power usage. Of course IGP solutions will eat practically nothing(go intel then, until AMD does video accel).

    For me, if you need windows software, it is better to use windows, because you will have less bugs, you will not need to mix windows and linux on your linux box, and you should request developers to write linux version instead of staying with windows and wine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    HD4770 is you best pick. It is better than anything in HD4xxx. It is similar to 4830, but:

    There is not much video acceleration for AMD yet. But quad core cpus will handle any amount of H264 anyway. Or you can use intel core i3-5 cpus that have integrated VGA with opensource h264 acceleration(if I understand it right) and very sufficient for video playback. Nvidia supports h264 decode, but
    a) does not support opensource at all
    b) the gpu often goes up from sleep and starts to eat more Watts. So there is really not much difference for GTS250 to decode video or CPU to decode video in terms of power usage. Of course IGP solutions will eat practically nothing(go intel then, until AMD does video accel).

    For me, if you need windows software, it is better to use windows, because you will have less bugs, you will not need to mix windows and linux on your linux box, and you should request developers to write linux version instead of staying with windows and wine.
    You make excellent points, crazycheese! Although, Kano, as usual, has a good point and reason to use Nvidia cards. I think I need to narrow the choice down more and choose a budget. I think if it's a $100 ball park, then go with HD 47700 or Nvidia GT 240.

    Kano, what do you mean If you have got another 3 months time go for medium range nv cards, buy ati ONLY when you mainly play games on win and do not intent to watch movies with video accelleration with h264 l5.1.by 'medium range nvidia' cards? Future Fermi cards?
    If you have got another 3 months time go for medium range nv cards, buy ati ONLY when you mainly play games on win and do not intent to watch movies with video accelleration with h264 l5.1.
    Q and bridgman, what you two wrote is a lot to digest so I'll have to read it again.

    Thanks for the replies, all!

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