Vendors have two choices -- offer a range of price/functionality options to let people choose which they want, or sell a single SKU with all functionality at a price somewhere in the middle, ie for more than the lowest price option today.
I have a Radeon HD 3650 PCI-ex video card. This UVD changes addition doesn't affect me?
Also, Radeon feature matrix states that this card should support OpenGL 3.3, but I've found on AMD website it only supports up to OpenGL 3.2. Please someone clarify this to me.
And now you're trying to switch my thought experiment from a physical button back into a piece of software, when i specifically noted up front that it was interesting to think about it purely from a hardware perspective. It's illuminating that you instantly want to try and make it a software issue again, when it comes to artificially limiting functionality. I wonder why that is, exactly. Maybe it just seems more like an IP issue than a "i bought a physical item and can't use it" issue then?
The bottom line in my eyes is that the "hardware" is the same. I understand that there are R&D and a billion other costs that need to be covered, and hardware manufacturers have long since used the practice of gimped drivers or firmware to artificially limit hardware features. AMD is not alone in this - lots of hardware manufacturers do it. But that doesn't make it right, and it doesn't mean that people in the Free software community will find it acceptible.
Is there something like Godwin's law for car analogies on computer forums ?
Last edited by bridgman; 04-08-2013 at 09:37 PM.
I would like the option to use the proprietary driver.
If the above assumption is correct then the question becomes... Is AMD correct that firmware is hardware or is firmware actually software. Then other questions obviously follow.... Does it matter? If the firmware is able to expose functionality that the driver can choose to implement or not choose to implement then does it really matter if it is considered hardware or software?
EDIT: My opinion is that firmware is kind of neither. It isnt hardware and it isnt software. Its something in the middle that allow software to interface with hardware. If AMD wants to use firmware to expose features that the OSS drivers can use then so be it. I personally don't see anything wrong with it. Without the firmware that has been made for the OSS drivers I don't thing we would have the feature set we have today. If the OSS drivers had to bang on all hardware directly we would still be struggling with modesetting.
I thought radeonhd already taught us that lesson. I think we can all remember what happened when radeon used AtomBIOS and radeonhd resisted it. Firmware is obviously the way to go.
Last edited by duby229; 04-09-2013 at 12:17 AM.
If the firmware is in ROM and drivers are free, then it is a level playing field between manufacturer and customer. If firmware is in writeable memory and one or both of them are not free, then the customer is at the manufacturer's whim.