Yep, that is right but: what do you intend to buy then? None of the others is any better.
Originally Posted by darkbasic
In my case I used fglrx til the free driver set was mature enough. (3300 onboard/3870 and now 5670. I actually bought that 5670 at a time where also 6xxx series and first 7xxx were available but it was fine to replace my 3870, use less power and it was better supported at that time by the free drivers. And a bit cheaper. )
Some years before I measured power uptake of my main system (directly at the wall). And with fglrx it was lowest, then Catalyst on Windows and then free drivers. It was on idle, card was a dedicated 3870. With onboard chips difference was not really much but then they have less functions.
Today, with power-profiles and "low" setting I got fairly good values on my 5670, comparable to Catalyst on XP. Still it might vary from HW to HW, either by chipset generation or even by card manufacturer (e.g. overclocked or undervolted by default).
As I was informed by John Bridgman PM is currently a lot of "works everywhere stuff". There are many things that work on a lot but not all HW so they are not activated yet (if I am allowed to quote: "works on many systems but not enough that we recommend using it" ). PM in the Radeon Feature Matrix is relatively generic, maybe it will later be split up in several sub-sections. I followed the development for a long time and it got better and better, sometimes slowly but steady. Of course it's not a matter of a few days so I got used to be patient even though I would love to have a SI series card with working UVD, OGL 4.2 and perfect power management right now.
Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!