Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post
its only the discrepancy between what is and what could be
Not really. It's sad that AMD doesn't have more money to spend on managing the Catalyst drivers, they could probably hire one or two more people to work full-time on porting the legacy-branch Catalyst drivers to new kernel/Xorg versions. But since 2006-2007 AMD have been paying the open source team (including all the lawyers and non-coding staff) to set up an infrastructure to support cards that are considered legacy. They could have spent that same money on keeping fglrx closed and supported multiple branches for multiple generations of cards, which is exactly what nvidia does, but they chose a different option.

AMD hoped the free drivers would eventually reach 80% of the performance of fglrx, that's the only real failure because the performance isn't there. Bridgman has said the free driver development will happen faster with future generations of cards, and it'll have to get quicker if AMD don't have the resources to maintain fglrx for longer than 3 for an older generation of cards.

I don't know what I'd buy if I had to buy a new linux desktop system now, free drivers are important to me but so is performance, so I think it'd be a toss-up between an integrated Intel system or a discrete AMD system with a mid-range Radeon card. I still don't think I need the performance of the closed-source nvidia options but their support by Wine games is always tempting.