Fake edit: additionally, nvidia does not autodetect connected monitors. You need to run nvidia-settings and create your desktop through that. Xrandr is not supported.
No such issue on amd: both fglrx and radeon autodetect and clone monitors as soon as they are plugged in. You can then use either xrandr or amdcccle to setup your desktop.
- Neither vsyncs correctly (rotated monitor)
- Both cards play 1080p video in VLC and Totem
- Neither driver supports KMS
- The few games I play work equally well on both
- fglrx breaks depth-stencil blits every few releases
- nvidia breaks multithreaded renderers every few releases
The experience is just about the same.
Radeon is slightly behind in OpenGL support and speed but it offers KMS and fewer hassles in exchange. I use it on my Arch installation, since it doesn't require maintenance (unlike the closed blobs).
Originally Posted by droidhacker
Buy the GTX 460. Full featured and full performance support rather than flaky and useless opensource drivers.
11-29-2009 08:24 AM
Added a monitor in addition to the TV. The driver is happy to co-operate with the xrandr orientation command, but only for both screens at once. This means that for your use case running "Twinview", if you need different orientations for each screen you'd need to resort to the "seperate xorg session for each" topology with all of it's drawbacks. (and perhaps the odd benefit.)
This highlights another advantage that FGLRX has over the nVidia blob. The randr per screen one as well as the Eyefinity advantage of AMD. But even when your desktop topology is set up just the way you like it, you're still left with what happens when you actually fire up that 3D application software. If it has issues with the driver in use, it matters not how your screens are laid out or how many of them there are.
In all fairness, when wanting to declare "Who's the Best" though, one must consider these benefits/disadvantages in the light of the common use cases.
When one asks, "I need fast and reliable 3D", today the best fit in my view is still nVidia. When one adds to their list of requirements, per output independent rotation or more than two screens per card, that changes things and it's likely that AMD becomes the better choice.
Until FGLRX is in better shape I still will generally take issue though with anyone suggesting AMD is the better choice for the common use cases where a premium is placed of stable 3D performance and therefore a blob being a requirement. At least for this week. But it's also better for the inquirer to be told about any caveats/issues with either vendor.
Remember. After all the fanboi flamewars die down for the night and all good internet trolls are in bed, the newbie that's been sold on an inappropriate solution just to appease someone else's brand loyalty is the one who has to actually live with the ramifications of their purchase. For this reason alone, no matter how much I want to see AMD take the "Linux Desktop Crown" for high performance 3D away from nVidia, I'll still not put my own desires before the needs of a Linux newbie who is asking for advice.
Cards driven by R300 are ahead of the closed-source drivers in features and stability and only slightly behind in raw performance. Cards driven by R600 are behind in OpenGL support and performance (which means that, ugh, Unigine Heaven doens't run?) but are in a pretty good shape otherwise.Only slightly behind? For which cards? Perhaps we're reading different benchmarks.
Intel's driver story is hugely better on Linux than on Windows. Their Windows drivers generally perform slightly better, but are significantly behind in OpenGL features and stability. Additionally, the drivers are unstable and OEMs fail to provide timely driver updates (or any updates at all, in Sony's case). I can't recall how many times I've had to support Intel users who simply had no OpenGL at all under Windows (and the same system worked fine on Linux).
I won't compare Nvidia to Nouveau, simply because Nvidia refuses to support the latter. If you go Nvidia, you can expect a good experience, as long as you don't stray from the beaten path. Try something a little more exotic and you are suddenly on your own. Even worse, you won't have a different driver to fall back to, as Nouveau doesn't yet work everywhere.
You need to weight everything carefully before you make a choice.
But if you're talking the usual two screens in native orientation or just a single screen you're in pretty good shape with nVidia. About the only caveat for common use case would be Optimus. This one's a bit of a black eye for nVidia. All AMD has to do is get their drivers properly stable and they should be able to swing the momentum their way. They'll then become the natural and default choice for Linux machines in my books if that happens.
They have the feature set, now they need to make those features dependable.
Saying xrandr 'doesn't work' under nvidia is a bit misleading. It works fine for changing desktop resolutions on the fly, which is all 90% of users will ever need it for. Also, the only problem I've ever had with ecomp (E17's compiz) was related to an option being passed on the command line in the startup script. After removing that it has worked great for quite some time now.
I'm glad to hear that ATi's drivers are coming along though. You seem happy enough with your decision to make the switch. Since it seems that nvidia is leaving the desktop motherboard chipset business I will probably be looking at building HTPCs based on either Intel or AMD integrated graphics in the not-so-distant future. Right now I would lead toward intel due to their somewhat better open source implementation, but I'd definitely like to have a viable option depending on how the pricing/performance for Llano pans out.
I was a bit disappointed when nvidia announced that they won't provide updates for the nv oss driver for fermi. Basically for live systems you need a good out of the box experience, the correct res is a basic requirement, 3d is not needed. Nouveau for example is a new driver which has much more problems - with a Geforce 3 Ti system i had to write a howto what to do to install nvidia binary in live mode because nouveau would just crash the system - ok, the used kernel was a bit old, it was the squeeze release kernel based on 2.6.32 (i think with .33 drm). The older nv code always worked on that legacy hardware...
Problems with nv binary driver are mainly vdpau + flash related with older xservers. It's logical that ati does not suffer from that issue because there is no vdpau
3d games basically work with fglrx too, just video playback is better with vdpau enabled xbmc or mplayer or via wrapper with vlc. vaapi does not really work with current xbmc git at all.