I would like to keep my system running exclusively free software except for the Windows games that I run in Wine. I currently own a Radeon 7970, and it's a great card, but the open source support is terrible. The thing only gets about 1300fps in glxgears. I'm guessing that Nvidia support through Nouveau is better, but I really don't know. I'm pretty new to open source drivers. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Only very few games will run with oss drivers + wine (but not with your card). More run with a binary driver, most using nvidia binary. But compared to win most games which rely on direct 3d run very slow (opengl games run well). I would use dual boot if you are a gamer. btw. your card is so new that you can not use 3d with oss at all with your card, when you get some 3d effects it runs in software mode.
I've been gaming in Linux for a while now, and I never really have any problems(at least none that I can't resolve). I've always used the binary drivers, but I really would like to use OSS. I was asking here in the Nvidia section because I know that the 7970 has no 3d support, and probably won't until it's long outdated. I'm willing to sell it to buy a Kepler or Fermi card if it'll allow me to play any games that I may want to in Wine.
As long as you can play your games you dont need to sell your card. oss drivers lack much features needed by the games and the reclocking support for nouveau is even worse than for radeon. So you can forget gaming with advanced games.
Okay, I'm a bit confused. So, AMD > Nvidia in terms of support, but neither can really play games? I'm not looking for anything spectacular, I'd just like to play stuff like Skyrim, WoW, SCII, or any of the Steam games coming to Linux. Tear-free video playback would be nice too. So is that not a possibility with OSS?
I get tons of tearing with the 7970. That's probably due to the total lack of support for SI. It also could be due to the fact that I am using Trisquel, which doesn't include the binary blobs required for the FOSS driver to work. Would that performance of WoW that you said be for AMD or Nvidia?
Ok, so OSS is basically not an option for a 7970 right now. I'm definitely not going to sell it for a 6XXX card, as that makes no sense whatsoever. I guess I'll just go back to fglrx until the driver progresses. It's times like this I wish I was a better programmer and able to help. Thank you for your patience.