Current state of ati drivers
I'm on lookout for new gfx card, currently having 8600gts as temporary card since my 7900GT died on me. I got 8800GT ordered but availability on it is just awful, 2 months now and nothing. Yet HD 38*0 cards seem to be on decent supply so I've been thinking on switching back to ati. I still remember my trusty 9800 but as I don't have any windows on any computer and am using solaly Linux even for gaming I have pretty much ignored ati cards past years.
However I understand that driver performance issues are more or less fixed now in fglrx and in development radeonhd driver has peeked my interest on ati cards again. So how are fglrx drivers now or reliability side? I've read about memory leaks and other stuff but I read about problems in nvnews forums about nvidia drivers too as only those with problems whine. =) As I'm using compiz fusion with 2 flatpanels (24"+20") with 3d game running time to time I have rather heavy requirements on gfx side.
So would ati drivers work for my usage or would I get problems? Go for HD 3800 series or stick with ever delaying 8800gt order is what I'm wondering. Would like some input from you guys that know more about current state of fglrx drivers than me. =)
Dont make the mistake of thinking everything is ok in the ATI/Linux world. The drivers are FAR from usable still. They've made some headway, but for the most part your new card will be trash the minute you put that into a Linux machine. For right now NVIDIA is still the way to go, and will be worth the wait.
Originally Posted by Bluekkis
I will also venture that a G80 may be a mixed bag for the next 6 months. There is no software in existence on the Linux side (that's publicly known about...) that will be released in the next 6-12 months that will take advantage of the card's more advanced features. In other words, all the DX10 functionality that is wrapped in ARB extensions won't be getting used, so you're only using the DX9c/OGL 2.1 capabilities of the card at this point and if you're not coding yourself for that next generation you won't be using it either.
Originally Posted by lachild
In essence, you're buying an overpriced G70 when you buy a G80 right at the moment. If you're wanting to future proof your rig or seriously mess with CUDA work, you'll certainly want to try your level best to get a G80. If not, your needs may be better served with a G70 part you can get right now and saving the cash difference.
Now, if AMD can get their act straightened up here, this will all be a different story. On paper, AMD's parts are superior to NVidia's. However, their drivers currently nobble their stuff- seriously so in the Linux realm, whether you're talking about the old codebase drivers or the new ones.