Just to be clear here, Alex spent a lot of time in the last year or so working on KMS support for older GPUs, going back as far as the R100/RN50 generation. We felt this was an essential part of enabling the general transition from user modesetting to kernel modesetting, which in turn is a pre-requisite for many of the other cool things that users want to see.
The transition from AGP to PCIE started near the end of the R3xx generation and continued through the R4xx generation, so working on AGP was kind of unavoidable.
I'm having a tough time reconciling the conflicting views of "AMD is evil for dropping support for older GPUs from fglrx" and "AMD is misguided for having its devs work on older chips in the open source drivers", though...
I don' think there's anything evil about dropping support for legacy hardware. It makes perfect sense business-wise to me. I imagine it also helps keeping the code more clean, and refactoring code a lot easier.
Originally Posted by bridgman
Having AMD employees spending a considerable amount of time working on legacy support in the oss drivers makes as much sense to me as having them work on legacy support in fglrx. None.
Wow, I thought you would have been flamed to extreme crispiness by now
So where are all the people that cried and moaned and proclaimed the end of the world when AMD dropped support for all their "legacy" cards from fglrx?
Personally I applaud the fact that older hardware and specs. are still being worked at with the open source drivers. If I want new and shinny I use fglrx, and if I want broad support in order to get as much as I can from my older and no longer supported video cards I go radeon.
Pretty simple. People with old cards are going to bitch and moan when AMD doesn't work hard enough on supporting those old cards. People with new cards are going to bitch and moan when AMD spends time working on the old cards instead of the new ones. People with NVIDIA cards are going to whine about the community members working on Radeon drivers instead of the Nouveau drivers. People with Intel GPUs are just going to cry a lot about Intel's worthless graphics hardware.
Me? I'm going to whine on how you're all wasting time on desktop GPU drivers when what I want is working PowerVR drivers. I want OSS 3D on a BeagleBoard, dammit!
Self-reflection criteria, applied to computer hardware.
@Bridgman: I notice a lot more humor in your posts recently. What happened? Are those posted off-work or something?
Meh, I think it's either to be happy with the nVidia binary drivers or buy something AMD if they really care about open source. But of course if you go AMD then you kinda expect your card to be more than a 1990s dumb framebuffer.
Originally Posted by elanthis
Don't get me wrong, I love my HD5850 gaming performance in Windows. But whenever I boot up Linux with open source drivers it's not much to look at. Yeah I realize that the whole OSS initiative is only 2.5 years old and "only" half a year since Evergreen was released, but it's not much value in buying a new card to use with OSS. OSS right now seems to work best with some older cards... which in my case are all nVidia so doesn't help me one bit.
I thought a while I'd managed to figure some of this stuff out myself and chip in but I'm suffering from way too many C++isms and using a good toolkit on top of that. Going to the metal of GPU programming in C was hard.
I've just tried the latest kernel and the whole thing still sucks with the older r700 too.
Originally Posted by Kjella
This is just taking forever. The open driver sucks, fglrx sucks, so what's the user supposed to do?