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Thread: AMD's Open-Source Radeon Driver After Four Years

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  1. #1
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    Default AMD's Open-Source Radeon Driver After Four Years

    Phoronix: AMD's Open-Source Radeon Driver After Four Years

    While the BFS scheduler is getting ready to celebrate its second birthday, in just three weeks AMD's open-source Radeon graphics driver strategy for Linux will be turning four years old. It was on the 6th of September in 2007 that I exclusively broke the news to the world on AMD's open-source strategy, which has ended up being a game-changer in the Linux world. AMD continues to support open-source hardware enablement on their latest graphics processors and recently even hired more developers to work on the code and documentation. How far have they come though in four years?

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=16311

  2. #2
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    So then are you saying that something like X1950XT would be pretty much overkill for Linux, but still it can't run some more modern stuff.

  3. #3
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    AMD needs to seriously consider abandoning the proprietary driver development altogether. They _need_ to move it to legacy support.

    The open source driver may not have the same level of performance as catalyst, but it is undeniably has far superior quality.

    I tried installing it the other day just to see if it can make starcraft2 run better for me on crossover games.

    The ATI driver broke Gnome-Shell's graphics. Reduced desktop performance. Game performance had slighly higher average FPS, but was prone to massive slowdowns in the menus and just general crapiness. Just a waste.

    ATI's customers, even the big money guys, would benefit from just moving resources to the superior potential that the Gallium driver offers.

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    Of course AMD is not going to abandon their Windows drivers.

    Catalyst for Linux = 95% cross-platform code shared with the Windows driver + 5% of Linux-specific glue code.

    It's not like that have 500 Linux hackers working on the Linux blob. It's mostly guys doing cross-platform code, which ends up in the Windows driver.

    I don't think that there would be any big difference if they dropped Catalyst development, other than losing 90% of their workstation customers who need OpenGL 3 and blob-only features.

  5. #5
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    If they dropped LINUX Catalyst development.

    Editing broken.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    Of course AMD is not going to abandon their Windows drivers.
    I didn't say they should stop developing Windows driver. I said they should drop development for the proprietary Linux driver.

    Catalyst for Linux = 95% cross-platform code shared with the Windows driver + 5% of Linux-specific glue code.
    I think if you pay close attention to what you written it may make it a bit more obvious why this approach may be very suboptimal from a Linux standpoint.

    Anyways the evidence speaks for itself. The catalyst driver is much older, has a much higher budget and workforce behind it and yet it is still one of the worst graphics drivers available for Linux.

    If it wasn't for the OSS driver I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole and modern Linux desktops would be horribly broken by default for anybody wanting to use ATI's hardware for any purpose (including professional workstations)

    It's not like that have 500 Linux hackers working on the Linux blob. It's mostly guys doing cross-platform code, which ends up in the Windows driver.
    Don't care. Doesn't matter.

    I don't think that there would be any big difference if they dropped Catalyst development, other than losing 90% of their workstation customers who need OpenGL 3 and blob-only features.
    yeah right. How competitive do you think their proprietary driver is against Nvidia's?

    (hint: They are not doing OSS driver support just to make Linux nerds happy.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    I think if you pay close attention to what you written it may make it a bit more obvious why this approach may be very suboptimal from a Linux standpoint.

    Anyways the evidence speaks for itself. The catalyst driver is much older, has a much higher budget and workforce behind it and yet it is still one of the worst graphics drivers available for Linux.
    It's my impression that AMD dropping linux fglrx support would likely lead to LESS linux support of the OSS driver - likely a complete abandonment of all Linux support - rather than more. But we'll never know for sure, because it's not going to happen.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    yeah right. How competitive do you think their proprietary driver is against Nvidia's?
    According to Bridgman, they have many professional customers with lots of workstations. Which is why they are doing the Catalyst drivers, not to make Linux nerds happy. And these customers don't care much for desktop effects, XVideo tearing and other problems Catalyst has, and run stable distro where Catalyst is tested.

    (hint: They are not doing OSS driver support just to make Linux nerds happy.)
    Actually, they are doing it for the embedded market, as far as I know, because the big customers there asked for it. I'm sure Bridgman will correct me if I'm wrong.

    Personally, I've never even tried Catalyst, that's how much I care about it. OSS driver is the only thing that I'm interested in, and the more devs working on it, the better. But it's a pipe dream that AMD will give up on 20 years of optimisations and know-how in their Catalyst driver just so they can lose their entire workstation market, and move three guys over to the OSS team.

  9. #9
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    Gnome Shell does not matter, only Unity does as U uses it. Didnt you notice that only U releases are tested? Maybe ask U if they want to switch

  10. #10
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    The cards tested came out like 2007? I got an HD4770 ~2009 after I was pissed off with Nvidia binary for 7950 GT. Then I got Nvidia (460M) again and was again not happy after testing and got myself a new NI AMD laptop card. That would mean my new card is ~2015 fully supported?

    With the kernel firmware blobs the AMD 6970M runs fine, power management is fine, desktop is not sluggish, videos play perfect. I am not sure what other people play all the time :/ I played cogs a lot and it looks perfect. OilRush does only 7-10 fps@1920x1080 (on low power profile) and there are parts of the objects not rendered (black), but this is to be expected if there is only OpenGL 2.1 support.

    As soon as they put something like Gentoo has ACCEPT_LICENSE="*" into the Mesa Makefile, I will be really happy

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