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Thread: total ATI driver confusion

  1. #1
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    Default total ATI driver confusion

    I have build a new pc. AMD phenom II X4 3.2 with an asus mobo, and a HD5750.

    The pc is dual boot SUSE 11.3 and win7 pro.

    Win 7 because I like to play games, Like the new Aliens vs Predator.
    ( DirectX 11 )

    I have been looking around the web, and on a dutch linux forum.

    I am totally confused, on how many ATI drivers there are ?
    ( and which should I pick ? )

    Currently I have installed the catalist drivers 10.9 ? , but I am not that happy about them.

    With firefox the screen sometimes shows a black box, and although its for a short while, its annoying.
    But even worse, when I use ctrl alt F7 to switch to the command line, the screen is distorted so bad, I cant even read it.

    From this site and others, I know there are still problems with the catalist drivers on Linux.

    So I looked around for opensource drivers, because from what I understand, they have far less issues.

    But then I got confused.

    The different ? drivers I have found.

    radon, radon HD, mesa, galium, r600 r800 ?

    I want to play games on Linux too, like nexeus, so what is the best driver ?

    Or should I stay with the closed source drivers, and try to solve the issues I have ?

  2. #2
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    Default

    The proprietary drivers are developed internally and released as a single package. Open source drivers, on the other hand, are developed in public repositories with one repository (and driver) for each of the four main components. You need an appropriate version of each component to get a working driver stack. Normally your distros will take care of packaging an appropriate set of open source driver components::

    1. X driver - xorg/driver/xf86-video-ati aka "radeon"

    2. kernel driver aka drm - in the Linux kernel tree

    3. kernel usermode library aka libdrm - mesa/drm

    4. 3D driver - mesa/mesa

    Your card belongs to the evergreen family, which people like to call r800 even though we don't call it r800 ourselves

    For the X and kernel drivers a single driver covers all radeon products from rv100 to Evergreen. The 3D driver has 4 different versions depending on the GPU generation - radeon (r100 family), r200 (r200 family), r300 (r300-r500 families) and r600 (r600-evergreen families).

    There are also "classic" and "gallium" implementations of the 3D drivers but I suggest you ignore that distinction for now.

    What should you do ? Basically there are two options :

    - experiment with some settings to get rid of the black boxes on Firefox etc.. (look for "force XAA")

    - uninstall the fglrx driver and start building the right versions of open source drivers for your hardware (normally they would ship in the distro but evergreen support in the open source drivers is fairly recent).

    There are "xorg-edgers" packages available for Ubuntu/Debian distros which give you the very latest open source driver components in an easy-to-use form but I don't know if there is an equivalent offered for SuSE.

    I would start by forcing XAA with the fglrx driver and see how that works for you.

  3. #3
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    On openSUSE you should use following additional repositories:

    http://download.opensuse.org/reposit...openSUSE_11.3/
    http://download.opensuse.org/reposit...openSUSE_11.3/

    Packages:
    Kernel
    drm-radeon-kmp-{flavor}
    libdrm
    Mesa
    xorg-x11-driver-video

    That are latest drivers (experimental, daily updated, dri and gallium).

    Note:
    Keep always one working kernel flavor because kernels from Kernel:HEAD are sometimes broken.

  4. #4
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    Thank you very much, I think I have seen the light

    I will try as you suggested, and of course report back.

  5. #5
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    Since you game on Win7, I suggest using the open source driver on Linux. It is enough for running native games like Nexuiz, and considerably better in 2D according to people.

    Your best bet is to install the latest versions of the following components available for your distribution (use experimental repositories if they are available):

    - kernel
    - libdrm
    - mesa
    - radeon driver

    Uninstall fglrx before doing this, and remove your xorg.conf. It should simply work.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    Since you game on Win7, I suggest using the open source driver on Linux. It is enough for running native games like Nexuiz, and considerably better in 2D according to people.

    Your best bet is to install the latest versions of the following components available for your distribution (use experimental repositories if they are available):

    - kernel
    - libdrm
    - mesa
    - radeon driver

    Uninstall fglrx before doing this, and remove your xorg.conf. It should simply work.
    I do not game on windows by choice though, and when I have a job again, I am gonna try cross over games and or that other one, which slips my mind at the moment.

    I have tried wine, but failed to get Aliens vs Predator 2 running on wine. It does not make me happy but as a gamer its almost impossible to not use windows.

    I was very disapointed that steam is not coming to Linux.
    I already knew which game I would order, Doom 3

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gps4l View Post
    I was very disapointed that steam is not coming to Linux.
    I already knew which game I would order, Doom 3
    Doom 3 has a native linux installer: you don't need steam.

  8. #8
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    You should be aware that running Windows games through WINE is a hack which sometimes works and sometimes not, and is historically closely tied to the Nvidia drivers.

    Free drivers typically work rather poorly with WINE, and their performance is not comparable to the binary drivers.

    That said, native games mostly work fine with free drivers. I've recently finished Doom3 on my HD 4550, and I'm working through RoE now.

  9. #9
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    Gps4l there is a leaked 10.10 catalyst driver here: http://www.ati-forum.de/allgemein/do...%C3%BCr-linux/

  10. #10
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    If you have two monitors, don't use Fglrx (proprietary driver) if you value your sanity.

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