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Thread: Switching between ATI and Nvidia drivers?

  1. #11
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    This is great info, thanks all! I have a good idea of what to expect and what I would need to do. I really have a lot of respect in particular for those who use distros like Gentoo and Arch Linux but I'm not sure it's so wise for me to switch to either of those at this time. I figure I should continue my experience in distros I usually use at the moment, Debian in particular. I currently installed Debian Testing and Lubuntu on my laptop.

    My previous desktop had Debian, Mepis, sidux, Kubuntu and Fedora installed all in respective partitions. Since, I'm soon building a new 'updated' desktop (with slightly different hardware mostly a new mobo and new video card), I can plan out a new configuration of installs and system. This includes a plan for VirtualBox so I could decide to try something like Gentoo or OpenSUSE in a virtual machine for the time being.

    I hope to be more efficient and safe with separate drives for my data so it should be easier to experiment if I so decide.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    Is that really practical, though, in all cases all the time?
    Yes.

    I don't know about you but I do like to have 2D and 3D and working in a usable fashion. If both open source drivers do this fine, okay, but I'm not sure.
    radeon is better than nouveau, thanks mainly to documentation. HOWEVER, nouveau 3D does actually work VERY well despite that.

    3D really is there -- VERY usable. 2D in open source actually EXCEEDS 2D in the blobs. BOTH of the open source drivers support linux-specific functions FAR FAR better than any of the blobs. Their features are worked on roughly in order of what is most likely to be used by linux users. The blob drivers are built for windoze users, so features that make sense to a linux user tend to be neglected.

    What is EXTREMELY IMPRACTICAL is trying to make the blobs do anything useful. Better to forget about them -- even if you AREN'T trying any weird combinations like mixing an AMD and NVIDIA card in the same machine.

    Anyway, I find this an interesting topic. I know it's way more convenient to have separate computers for these tests but for a little while, I probably won't have that option unless I can borrow/share the other computer.
    The problem with using different computers for it is that unless the rest of the hardware is identical between the two machines, you aren't necessarily comparing what you THINK you're comparing.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    Yes.


    radeon is better than nouveau, thanks mainly to documentation. HOWEVER, nouveau 3D does actually work VERY well despite that.

    3D really is there -- VERY usable. 2D in open source actually EXCEEDS 2D in the blobs. BOTH of the open source drivers support linux-specific functions FAR FAR better than any of the blobs. Their features are worked on roughly in order of what is most likely to be used by linux users. The blob drivers are built for windoze users, so features that make sense to a linux user tend to be neglected.
    3D for Evergreen? Define usable. Do you speak of the binary blob driver or open source driver? Because, I am wondering about this:

    http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...631#post146631

    Interesting to see how it will develop...

    What is EXTREMELY IMPRACTICAL is trying to make the blobs do anything useful. Better to forget about them -- even if you AREN'T trying any weird combinations like mixing an AMD and NVIDIA card in the same machine.


    The problem with using different computers for it is that unless the rest of the hardware is identical between the two machines, you aren't necessarily comparing what you THINK you're comparing.
    Well, I thought it might depend on open source driver development and how much is accomplished? It was my impression that many users do hold the position of the binary blob driver being required for certain tasks still and until there's a major change... but, I'm not about to allege that you need it, myself. I also would want to try the card out myself before jumping to conclusions but I don't know how you discount some of the complaints unless the idea is to have patience with the open source driver. If that is your philosophy, I suggest some people don't have the same patience.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    3D for Evergreen? Define usable. Do you speak of the binary blob driver or open source driver? Because, I am wondering about this:

    http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...631#post146631

    Interesting to see how it will develop...

    Well, I thought it might depend on open source driver development and how much is accomplished? It was my impression that many users do hold the position of the binary blob driver being required for certain tasks still and until there's a major change... but, I'm not about to allege that you need it, myself. I also would want to try the card out myself before jumping to conclusions but I don't know how you discount some of the complaints unless the idea is to have patience with the open source driver. If that is your philosophy, I suggest some people don't have the same patience.
    First off, you didn't say anything about evergreen... but if you don't mind waiting a few *days*, that should materialize quite quickly in gallium3d. Alternatively, go with an R700 and you have your choice of classic or gallium3d drivers working *now*.

    Second, though there may be a few fringe cases where the blob is more functional/compatible with a particular application than the open source driver, there are FAR FAR FAR more cases where the blob (doesn't matter whose blob) will fail miserably while the open source driver will operate smoothly.

  5. #15
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    Default ATI and Nvidia drivers on Arch Linux

    I thought that having both drivers on a test system would be handy and looked through many forums. In the end I installed ATI drivers, intel drivers, vesa and nouveau (for Nvidia) on an arch linux system that I have installed on a 4GB flash drive-compiz stand alone windows manager with avant window navigator panel installed. (Nvidia proprietary drivers conflict with ATI but Nouveau does not) I can't produce a sphere (when using Nouveau) when using compiz cube with reflection this way but most other 3D/composite functions I have tried work as expected. I did have to sacrifice a graphical bootup process as nouveau handles framebuffering funny too. I can plug into an ATI or Nvidia using system and everything works. I also have a windoows manager installed that does not make use of compositing so I could use vesa drivers as a fallback on incompatible systems.

    An easy way to make a portable system for use on just about any system is to use tipsy puppy linux (http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/vie...t=41785)-comes complete with working compiz out of box or lighthouse puppy (http://www.lhpup.org/) with mariner.sfs loaded for switching between different video drivers and a good choice of different window managers.

    If someone wants to try the archlinux flash drive, drop me a message and I can upload an image file that be installed to your own flash drive in 2 minutes.(This may take 2 days to upload from my end as my internet connection is slow and the image is 3.73 GB)

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    First off, you didn't say anything about evergreen... but if you don't mind waiting a few *days*, that should materialize quite quickly in gallium3d. Alternatively, go with an R700 and you have your choice of classic or gallium3d drivers working *now*.

    Second, though there may be a few fringe cases where the blob is more functional/compatible with a particular application than the open source driver, there are FAR FAR FAR more cases where the blob (doesn't matter whose blob) will fail miserably while the open source driver will operate smoothly.
    Evergreen = R600, it works out of the box on ubuntu 12.04 with FOSS drivers, the only exception being HDMI Audio, as far as I could see.
    And it's slow, of course.

  7. #17
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    For those interested you can run 2 graphic on the same system at least using Gentoo.
    These are the combination I have used:
    fgrlx, fgrlx (you need to find out which one needs to be initialized first and run your Xs in that order)
    intell,fglrx (my current setup)
    intell,radeon
    fglrx,nvidia

    As for nvidia and intell drivers it did not work.
    When I loaded intel and nvidia I got blank screen.

    I wonder if there is a way to assign specific driver to specific card to run fgrlx and radeon on the same time.

  8. #18
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    fglrx mainly replaces the libgl file. so it might work when you change the gl search path for the 2nd monitor. nvidia however replaces much more from the stack. it might not be impossible but at least you have to play with ld-libary-path overrides there. when you think of bumblebee thats one part of it you ran 2 drivers the same time and override the path to use the dedicated card.

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