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Thread: Usability of open source drivers

  1. #1
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    Default Usability of open source drivers

    What could i expect to experience from the current state of open source drivers with a Asus Radeon EAH6950 graphics card?

    I need a card which can deal with more than 2 monitors. I don't care for 3D performance (although being able to play Hammerfight or some other humble bundle games would be nice), but I do care about excessive fan noise, random crashes or other missing features.

  2. #2
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    For those requirements you should pick a passive low-to-mid end card, just saying.

  3. #3
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    I was more a matter available connectors. I couldn't find any monitor which supported DP daisy chaining. The cost doesn't bother me much.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micket View Post
    I was more a matter available connectors. I couldn't find any monitor which supported DP daisy chaining. The cost doesn't bother me much.
    Even low-end cards come with 3 usable connectors nowadays (at least on the Ati side). Obviously, check for support before you buy but don't spend a fortune on a card. My recommendation: unless you game on Windows, don't go higher than a 6770 (the higher cards are faster but the open-source drivers won't make use of the performance and they will burn through a great amount of energy).

  5. #5
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    There is a nice overview for compatibility and state of implementation: http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature
    I'm using a 5850, but it seems the support for mine and your card is almost the same.

    I just switched from the proprietary to the opensource radeon driver, which WORKS SO MUCH BETTER in terms of 2D Desktop.
    I have a flicker-free desktop at last, no tearing when watching videos.
    With the proprietary ati drivers, this was only possible with "tear-free desktop" activated, which caused a really laggy desktop.

  6. #6
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    2D is definitely a lot better on the open source drivers. I have an Asus K53TA laptop (radeon hd 6720g2 - integrated HD6520G + dedicated HD6650M). On stock Ubuntu 11.04, no acceleration but got 1024x768 screen resolution (proper resolution is 1366x768). Tried linux 3.0 kernel from xorg edgers and fails to boot. Tried compiling vanilla kernel 3.0.4 and still fails to boot. most probably because my CPU is AMD A6-3400M which has integrated graphics card. you might not face the same problems.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by julakali View Post
    There is a nice overview for compatibility and state of implementation: http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature
    I'm using a 5850, but it seems the support for mine and your card is almost the same.

    I just switched from the proprietary to the opensource radeon driver, which WORKS SO MUCH BETTER in terms of 2D Desktop.
    I have a flicker-free desktop at last, no tearing when watching videos.
    With the proprietary ati drivers, this was only possible with "tear-free desktop" activated, which caused a really laggy desktop.
    Yeah, ATI in Linux still sounds awful.

    Tearing isn't working and the problem has existed with fglrx for over 3 yrs, probably longer. I mean, AMD is said to have better support with the open drivers but the proof is shown over and over that they're a biased pro-Windows company.

    Read any review about AMD hardware. The open source drivers are said to be good at a few things but not optimized so lacking several features so you are recommended a binary driver that doesn't deliver for even watching videos.

  8. #8
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    I opted to buy a simpler passive card.

    I'm sad to hear to such negative comments about the drivers. I have had quite good experience with a really old ATI hardware using the radeon driver.

    Maybe I have been fooled by the generally positive news on gallium and driver development, but I was looking forward to try some of those features out. I was ready to accept that the 3D performance would be half, or worse, but I had been hoping that everything 2D was decent.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micket View Post
    I opted to buy a simpler passive card.

    I'm sad to hear to such negative comments about the drivers. I have had quite good experience with a really old ATI hardware using the radeon driver.

    Maybe I have been fooled by the generally positive news on gallium and driver development, but I was looking forward to try some of those features out. I was ready to accept that the 3D performance would be half, or worse, but I had been hoping that everything 2D was decent.
    well as of today my 4850x2(home) and some 4250 igp machines in my work handle everything i need flawlessly, ofc im using kernel 3.0.1 + bfs patches + and manualy compiled for low latency (btw intall the deamon preload, it really helps a lot).

    so far this is working 100% for me

    * Video is tear free using XV (i have a phenom II 955 which is way powerful enough to handle 1080p so i don't give a damn about gpu accel)
    * temperature is close to my windows partition aka win 58/62c oss radeon 60/65c using mid profile, if you ask me is good enough
    * kde 4.7.1 works like a charm (set QT to render as Raster), it just spit stuff in the screen and kwin effects are falwless so far
    * wine support is decent enough to play lineage2 hi5 or assasin creed 1 or even wow and hon
    * native games work really good aka 0AD, nexuiz, openarena, savages2 and unigine tropic/sanctuary not sure heaven demo
    * stability for me is 100% since like a year ago, i mean it 0% crashes or kernel panics
    * webgl works peachy in firefox 7 and chromium and in fact all acceleration options works fine for me including 2d canvas
    * cairo dock rulez too
    * fans are a bit loud since my 4850x2 is very loud to begin with but maybe in a newer card should be better
    * you will "miss" opencl (in the binary works but you need to have suicidal tendencies), gpu accel for video (in blob require 3 PhD in particle physics to make it work and probably you will get a lot of render errors and crashings when it works) and more advanced power mgmt in the case you care for a few degrees or a couple of watts more

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