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Thread: Digging Deeper Into AMD's UVD Code Drop

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty3268 View Post
    Now, i think a whole lot of people would simply flip that switch and ignore the EULA. And those that don't, would probably be pretty pissed off that they couldn't.
    Isn't that the same as saying "a lot of people would be pretty pissed that they couldn't ignore the demo EULA on a piece of software and just keep using it without paying" ?

    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.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty3268 View Post
    You conveniently left out the last 3rd. Allowing 3rd party developers to do whatever they want.
    I think that's the state today but I don't know for sure. We may be using on-chip fuses to enable different functionality sets.

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    Bah !!

  3. #73
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    Default Radeon 3650

    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.

    Thanks.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Isn't that the same as saying "a lot of people would be pretty pissed that they couldn't ignore the demo EULA on a piece of software and just keep using it without paying" ?

    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.
    Except you have paid for it, you likely paid several hundred dollars for it.

    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?

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    But it's all OK if the firmware is stored in ROM rather than RAM ?
    No, it's most definitely still a slimy business practice. In economic terms, it's a type of price discrimitation isn't it?

    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.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by benmoran View Post
    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.
    Other than giving away functionality for free that vendors charge extra for today, and losing a big pile of money in the process, what alternatives are you (I mean "everyone posting here", not just you) suggesting ?

    Quote Originally Posted by benmoran View Post
    No, it's most definitely still a slimy business practice. In economic terms, it's a type of price discrimitation isn't it?
    I would say no, because we are selling the hardware/software combination and those *are* different. If you strip both products down to the bare chips, ignore the driver and ignore fused-off features you can say that the major components are the same or similar, but you could say the same about a VW Toureg and a Porsche Cayenne in similar configurations.

    Is there something like Godwin's law for car analogies on computer forums ?
    Last edited by bridgman; 04-08-2013 at 08:37 PM.

  7. #77
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    I would like the option to use the proprietary driver.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    That's what we do... pro drivers run on pro hardware, and consumer drivers run on consumer hardware.
    I'm a little confused here? Are you still talking about firmware or talking about drivers that run on the CPU? Because the way I understand the situation is that you consider firmware to -be- hardware, and so differences in firmware is effectively differences in hardware.

    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; 04-08-2013 at 11:17 PM.

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by przemoli View Post
    Eg. in EU you can run OSX on any hardware you like even though its license forbid it.
    Hmm, maybe, but i remember there was a company out of Europe selling Hackintoshes, and Apple sued them and won.

    Maybe it was the fact they were reselling them or something, but it's not like you can just say the EU is a magic safe zone where everything is ok.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    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.
    That is a false dichotomy. Nobody objects to selling different SKUs with different functions. But what the FSF wants is that the firmware which is loaded into the device is free software.

    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.

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