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Thread: New to the ATI/AMD blob -- Is my experience typical?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    1

    Default New to the ATI/AMD blob -- Is my experience typical?

    Sorry if this is a re-hash of 216426 other threads. I read around a bit, but did not find a lot of information discussing blob performance for Llano versus Windows driver performance. I've been 100% GNU/Linux for a few years on my good old nVidia 8800 GT, but just bought a Llano laptop.

    TLDR: Why are GNU/Linux frame rates 1/3 the Windows frame rates on my A4-3300M (AMD Llano fusion) laptop? Should I not be using the 11.8 catalyst binary blob?

    Background: I've long stuck with nVidia cards for my GNU/Linux builds, as I've had excellent driver experiences (better FPS than Windows XP with WINE in certain games, eg Source engine). I've heard that the ATI/AMD drivers have been rapidly improving in recent years, and that the open source ATI offering is now superior to the nVidia open source drivers.

    What I am doing: I recently purchased an HP laptop based on the AMD A4-3300M Llano chip. It was cheap (hooray back-to-school sales), and runs all of my games in Windows with alacrity.
    What I am concerned with at the moment is maximum GNU/Linux performance, and therefore I think (?) the binary blobs are the way to go. Phoronix seemed like they had some good results, so I was surprised to find that frame rates with WINE were unbearable, whereas the Windows frame rates were acceptable.

    Do you think this is just the usual waiting game for decent driver support? Does anyone have an older ATI/AMD card and a Windows/WINE comparison? Should I expect my drivers to stabilize to near-Windows performance purely through tweaks/optimizations, or is this a widespread problem with the ATI/AMD driver blob which may be around for a while?

    Thanks for any insights!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    321

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mashdar View Post
    Sorry if this is a re-hash of 216426 other threads. I read around a bit, but did not find a lot of information discussing blob performance for Llano versus Windows driver performance. I've been 100% GNU/Linux for a few years on my good old nVidia 8800 GT, but just bought a Llano laptop.

    TLDR: Why are GNU/Linux frame rates 1/3 the Windows frame rates on my A4-3300M (AMD Llano fusion) laptop? Should I not be using the 11.8 catalyst binary blob?

    Background: I've long stuck with nVidia cards for my GNU/Linux builds, as I've had excellent driver experiences (better FPS than Windows XP with WINE in certain games, eg Source engine). I've heard that the ATI/AMD drivers have been rapidly improving in recent years, and that the open source ATI offering is now superior to the nVidia open source drivers.

    What I am doing: I recently purchased an HP laptop based on the AMD A4-3300M Llano chip. It was cheap (hooray back-to-school sales), and runs all of my games in Windows with alacrity.
    What I am concerned with at the moment is maximum GNU/Linux performance, and therefore I think (?) the binary blobs are the way to go. Phoronix seemed like they had some good results, so I was surprised to find that frame rates with WINE were unbearable, whereas the Windows frame rates were acceptable.
    The performance actually is a little less with recently released hardware because the optimizations are mainly within the windows driver initially. This is just how things are because the primary market AMD targets are Windows users. As for wine Performance the general cause for poor ati/amd performance is due to the fact that most of the Wine programmers use Nvidia graphics hardware. the best bet for improving the linux support is to send support requests to HP, and see about having HP request that AMD to fix the various problems. with this, it's best to collect accurate data, and give examples of bugs and performance problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by mashdar View Post
    Do you think this is just the usual waiting game for decent driver support? Does anyone have an older ATI/AMD card and a Windows/WINE comparison? Should I expect my drivers to stabilize to near-Windows performance purely through tweaks/optimizations, or is this a widespread problem with the ATI/AMD driver blob which may be around for a while?

    Thanks for any insights!
    The drivers have improved greatly over the last 5 years. However for performance issues, There's a few major losses when one looks at multi-core rendering. Wine does not currently implement a few features, and that causes issues with Rendering over multiple cores. A few good example games would be Half life 2, Left 4 Dead, and left 4 dead 2. Other bugs also exist with a few extensions. One that's still present that has been known for months to years involves GLX_SGI_video_sync.

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