Not really sure why it would be controversial. The last 4x00 series card released was over 3 years ago in February 2009. Anybody who was running these for OpenGL performance reasons has probably upgraded by now.
As far as driver support goes, the Open-Source driver support is pretty solid. I've been running on a Radeon 4650 GPU on the X.org driver for several months now and really haven't missed anything that would be in Catalyst. Sure, I can't really run Unigine on the driver, but, come on, again, if I was any sort of gamer, I wouldn't be using cards from 3 years ago that lacked OpenGL 4.x support.
How about some crowd funding to accelerate development of the free driver? Even I with my little reserves would chip in something.
Welp, that's unfortunate. I happen to be an owner of a HD4890 in this here PC. So this is definitely not very good news.
I would be content with the open-source drivers, with the exception of a few Wine games that seem to outright crash under the OSS drivers, while working fine on FGLRX (and they are definitely not demanding, so if the issue was fixed, I would definitely be content). There are some issues with a few emulators, too, but it's to be expected. On the video acceleration side, I never got Flash with video acceleration working on any setup, anyway, so that's not much of an issue either.
The biggest problem would probably be Unreal. It works nearly flawlessly with FGLRX now, but naturally it will be hardly playable with OSS drivers, making me dual boot for it. Then again, I need to do that to use UnrealEd either way, so perhaps that won't be that much of a problem after all...
Though if I was to upgrade, I think I'd choose NVIDIA this time. For one, I never had NVIDIA hardware for a long time, so it would be interesting for comparison. And it seems that Linux support on the NVIDIA side is better, too (although some of my friends did have problems with that, too, so it could be hit or miss).
In the end, I don't like that move and it might turn against them in the long run, but personally, even if it won't be convenient, I can live with these changes. The OSS team did a decent job, after all.
4890 was out in April 2009, so I'm not sure where you're looking for this info...
Originally Posted by Saist
As for performance - see, the thing is, at least on the Windows side, the 4890 is so powerful that it doesn't need any upgrades to play the latest games. I only have very occasional slowdown in the absolute latest games, and that is because of my CPU, not the GPU! As for gaming on Linux, well, in this case it all comes down to the drivers, and not the card itself. Upgrading to the absolute latest would probably even decrease the performance at this point...
AMD still sells the 980G chipset which was released last year (with 4250 graphics): http://www.amd.com/us/products/deskt...g-chipset.aspx
The situation with the 740G (Radeon 2100 graphics) chipset from three years ago is now repeating; no fully-featured drivers for modern Linux systems.
And due to AMD's rebranding-happy marketroids, they drop not only support for 2000/3000/4000 chipsets, but also 5100 and 500V series which are R700 based.
Even Ubuntu 12.04 will be supported for 5 years, so that means until April 2017...
Originally Posted by Fenrin
Even my 4850 still does a wonderful job, honestly.
Originally Posted by GreatEmerald
On the other hand, this might just be one of the reason to "legacify" them.
is your health status fine? because: there isn't any native openGL4.x linux game.
Originally Posted by Saist
but yes people in a madhouse also buy future products in the past to make sure they are fine in the here and now.
You hit the jackpot here. For example, I found out recently, that the traditional light bulbs managed to hit efficiency which allowed them to last for teens of thousands of hours. Guess what happened? An industrial mafia decided that production of long lasting ware is not profitable.
Originally Posted by entropy