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Thread: ATI R600g Gains Mip-Map, Face Culling Support

  1. #11
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    I've had to return HP printers for not working with linux.

    Samsung printers are a better bet. They tend to be REALLY CHEAP printers, but they DO include linux drivers (which are crap, but at least exist). The also do tend to work with open source drivers.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    I would still very appreciate at least ONE GPU vendor to stand beind opensource, like HP did.
    IIRC the printing (read: cartridge) department is one of the most profitable departments of HP. So I don't think there was anything ideological about that, it just makes sense to them from a business perspective to have good Linux driver support.

    ATI/AMD probably thinks otherwise and is putting almost all its eggs in the Microsoft Windows basket.

    I agree with you that I would appreciate the idea of at least one GPU vendor to be a good open source citizen. It's a shame that Intel doesn't really have a competitive GPU, OTOH if I understand correctly they do have open source H.264 decoding.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prescience500 View Post
    Maybe if the open source drivers can catch up to their proprietary drivers, AMD will change their policy and drop their proprietary drivers and just focus development on the open source drivers.
    I asked that very question to bridgeman, and I hope not to misquote him, but my recollection is that some of the technology (software/hardware) used to obtain the last extra bit of performance is proprietary, and licensed by others, so AMD can't replace those blobs. That would not be a big issue for desktop usage, but workstation users spend a ton of money on their cards, they use them professionally and they need as much performance as they can get. These folks would still need binary support for the foreseable future, and that means AMD can't leave the binary drivers behind.

    Hopefully, down the road they can build hardware free of these limitation (which is what Intel does), and therefore be able to fully switch to open source. One can only hope. In the meantime, I buy their hardware as a token of appreciation.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    I've had to return HP printers for not working with linux.
    Can you plz be more specific on your problems, cause I had zero of them and would really appreciate to know.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by glisse View Post
    Thing is printer isn't as complex as a gpu you would need one engineer (even not full time) to do CUPS backend (if it's how it's done, i am quite unfamiliar with printing system).

    For a GPU you need a bigger team, lot bigger, i am not sure how many software engineer works on the closed source driver but i think a fair guess is around several hundred. So doing GPU driver is a lot of investment, while i am sure AMD believe in open source, i don't think they have any sensible reason to devote any more money to open source GPU driver. I hope it will be different at some point in the future. I too wish we have solid open source GPU driver (like GL 4 and all cool stuff) but now we are just playing catchup, i hope to have time to devote to push forward GL3 and then GL4 support once gallium driver is more mature (good news is that we should be able to leverage lot of the work we are doing now for bringing up future GPU).
    Yes, I think you are right, when it comes to drivers only. But with hp it works and works for all models and they release fast and opensource.

    And this is exactly one of the reasons I love foss: hundreds of developers producing a work that will someday be outdated buggy mess and no one will ever be able correct it. Take unsupported cards, or dos games. How much ppl would prefer Commander Keen source? Or those game from John Romero, that nearly ruined his reputation? Or Deus Ex 1? Or XCOM:Enemy Unknown? No they are gone! Not a big deal with emulators, but they remind me of old useless bones.


    Quote Originally Posted by monraaf View Post
    IIRC the printing (read: cartridge) department is one of the most profitable departments of HP. So I don't think there was anything ideological about that, it just makes sense to them from a business perspective to have good Linux driver support.

    ATI/AMD probably thinks otherwise and is putting almost all its eggs in the Microsoft Windows basket.

    I agree with you that I would appreciate the idea of at least one GPU vendor to be a good open source citizen. It's a shame that Intel doesn't really have a competitive GPU, OTOH if I understand correctly they do have open source H.264 decoding.
    HP Ink is world-class. Awesome colors, awesome UV resistance(over 100 years). This is many times proven. In terms of price it is actually CHEAP, especially for its price. And yet there are a lot of alternative ink available, and guess what, HP is not preventing you to use it. It does not implement any chip as Epson or Canon. The chip on the catridge is solely for determining its current capacity. This is very respectable.

  6. #16
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    Also, for what it's worth, lots of HP's printer backends are closed source due to 3rd party raster engines used in some printers.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese View Post
    Yes, I think you are right, when it comes to drivers only. But with hp it works and works for all models and they release fast and opensource.
    ...
    I wonder how long brigman and the others are going to write at phoronix. For the last weeks most of the comments are like yours. Complain, complain and even more complain.

    Don't complain if...
    ... someone is developing something FOR FREE (and of course also for you) in his spare time.
    ... a company (like AMD) helps those developers with documentation and support FOR FREE (and even more with own developers)
    ... a company pays lawyers to check if its legal to publish those documentations (because there is something like lincensing - you may have heard of it)
    ... if the development isn't as fast as you would like to have it (if thats your problem get your own ass up or pay someone to do it for you)


    Cartman: [happy, for once] No, I know. You're right, Mom. I need to learn to be patient. I think I can wait three weeks for the Nintendo Wii to come out.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mendieta View Post
    I asked that very question to bridgeman, and I hope not to misquote him, but my recollection is that some of the technology (software/hardware) used to obtain the last extra bit of performance is proprietary, and licensed by others, so AMD can't replace those blobs. That would not be a big issue for desktop usage, but workstation users spend a ton of money on their cards, they use them professionally and they need as much performance as they can get. These folks would still need binary support for the foreseable future, and that means AMD can't leave the binary drivers behind.

    Hopefully, down the road they can build hardware free of these limitation (which is what Intel does), and therefore be able to fully switch to open source. One can only hope. In the meantime, I buy their hardware as a token of appreciation.
    The reality of the situation is that opening hardware and supporting open source drivers is expensive.

    For the 'linux enthusiast', that is somebody who is foolish enough (like you and me) to run Linux on their home PC is extremely low priority.

    Both ATI and Nvidia could completely and utterly abandon all support for Linux home users and basically see no impact, AT ALL, on their business lines.

    Linux home users and gaming just not important. This is something that needs to be kept in line. I know this is going to be hard for people here to understand this, but it's the reality.

    The reason that Nvidia and ATI supports Linux is because Linux is extremely popular on high-end graphical workstations. It's used heavily in movie production, scientific visualizations, 3d graphics, etc etc.

    People think that things like Final Cut and all that is important and widely used... but that is just mickey-mouse BS. It's common for people that make television commercials and that sort of thing, but for the high-end stuff linux is the popular platform. All these tools are very expensive and proprietary and often are not sold separate from the hardware.

    These people don't think twice to drop 2K on graphics hardware if they think it will make things go faster. That sort of stuff is relatively cheap when compared to the rest of their budgets and time is money.

    THAT is why Nvidia and ATI support Linux with proprietary drivers. You and I are completely secondary.

    This is a competitive environment and drivers DO make or break their competitiveness. They likelihood that they will open their drivers or prioritize open drivers is extremely small.

    The only way it's going to happen is if the open source folks are able to prove to ATI that it will provide a competitive advantage over Nvidia and a significant number of ATI's customers start prefering the open source drivers.

    That's it.

  9. #19
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    The problem with trying to replace fglrx with a fully open driver is that we are able to offer Linux users much more in the way of features and performance by sharing code across multiple OSes than we would be able to do if the Linux driver effort was limited to what the Linux client PC market could justify.

    The downside of sharing code across OSes is that most of the other OSes are proprietary and require robust DRM, so the shared driver code needs to remain proprietary as well. We are looking at opening up a few more of the Linux-specific bits (maybe some kind of X server compatibility layer similar to the kernel compatibility layer we have today) but the shared code is going to have to stay proprietary.

    The non-obvious part is that there is a "diminishing returns" effect with driver development - you have seen what a small number of skilled developers can accomplish with the open source drivers and probably think it wouldn't take that much more work to out-do the proprietary driver, but that's unfortunately not the case. Every increment in functionality or performance raises the complexity of the driver and eventually the cost of every little improvement becomes incredibly high, so you might need 50-100x the development resources to get 2x the features and 2x the performance. The key point is that a code-shared proprietary driver only has to spend that money once (or 1.3 times, or whatever) for the entire PC market rather than once for each different OS.

    I still believe that the open source drivers will get sufficiently close to fglrx features and performance that most consumer users won't care about the difference and will be very happy with the open drivers, but for some other markets (3D workstation, hardcore gaming) the difference will probably always be important.

    I don't think we will end up holding back any programming info that has much effect on overall performance. We're definitely being stingier with the documentation in the areas which we feel are more sensitive, but I expect that in the end we're going to see the open drivers be only a few percent slower (if any) as a result of information holdback.

    Nearly all of the performance delta is going to come from the fact that the open drivers are maybe 200,000 lines of clean, maintainable code while the proprietary drivers are many millions of lines of relentlessly tweaked and optimized code.

  10. #20
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    So basicaly the Radeon cards can easily be stressed to the max by the FLOSS drivers, but by means of insane optimisation it can be made much more efficient? Is that why it takes so much extra people to go to such insane lenghts just to squeze every last drop of juice out of the cards?

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