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Thread: Radeon vs. RadeonHD Drivers In H1'08

  1. #41
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    At least we now know the real reason why there are two different open source Linux driver development efforts for ATI.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashrack View Post
    Hello!
    I am using Hardy Heron with the VESA driver.
    My needs are pretty basic for GPU. I do lots of programing, web surfing, watching divx/xvid, x264 movies,...

    So which driver would you recommend? And what would be the advantages over the VESA driver?

    Sapphire Radeon 3850 256MB
    For a 6xx family part you are only going to get acceleration from the Catalyst Linux (aka fglrx) driver today, but any of the open or closed drivers would probably work fine for you.

    The radeonhd driver seems to work well for video playback via X11 output if you set AccelMethod to ShadowFB and have a pretty fast CPU. If you don't have a fast dual-core CPU, I would go with fglrx and use the TexturedVideo Xv option. The CPU will still struggle with HD H.264 decode but at least it will have an easier time.
    Last edited by bridgman; 03-21-2008 at 01:42 PM.

  3. #43
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    I have a pretty fast cpu. More info in the sig.
    I do not want to use the FGLRX since I am still hearing bad things about FGLRX.

    What would be the improvement over VESA driver if I went to RADEON or RADEONHD and which is more stable for 2d?

  4. #44
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    The fglrx driver is working very well for many/most users now. Just install it, change your xorg.conf and add

    Option "TexturedVideo"
    and maybe
    Option "TexturedVideoSync"

    to your Device section.

    For better 2D acceleration (still experimental, but works & improves the performance for me)

    Option "Textured2D"
    Option "TexturedXrender"

    If you do not want to use the fglrx driver, I'd recommend the RadeonHD driver, built by git (because Ubuntu uses v1.1 which is three months old).

    The improvement over Vesa is that you will have all the colours (I think vesa is only 16Bit - correct me if I'm wrong) and will have 2D acceleration (you should notice that things go slowly, e.g. when moving windows).

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2kx View Post
    The fglrx driver is working very well for many/most users now. Just install it, change your xorg.conf and add

    Option "TexturedVideo"
    and maybe
    Option "TexturedVideoSync"

    to your Device section.

    For better 2D acceleration (still experimental, but works & improves the performance for me)

    Option "Textured2D"
    Option "TexturedXrender"

    If you do not want to use the fglrx driver, I'd recommend the RadeonHD driver, built by git (because Ubuntu uses v1.1 which is three months old).

    The improvement over Vesa is that you will have all the colours (I think vesa is only 16Bit - correct me if I'm wrong) and will have 2D acceleration (you should notice that things go slowly, e.g. when moving windows).
    Textured Video should be enabled by default on some cards. It is on mine (HD2900XT) and according to Bridgman in a previous post, it should also be the case for all AVIVO chips:

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    As I understand it, for pre-Avivo parts (anything up to X1050) we enable VideoOverlay by default, since that arguably offers the best combination of video quality and low CPU utilization. On the Avivo parts (X12xx and up), which have a less capable overlay processor but more shader power, we enable Textured Video by default.

    If you have a pre-Avivo GPU but are using a compositing desktop, you would probably want to enable Textured Video rather than VideoOverlay, but the installer isn't smart enough to do that for you yet.
    http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showt...t=6585&page=19

  6. #46
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    Yep. The per-chip defaulting is pretty recent so I don't know if it's right in all cases, but that's certainly where we're heading and it seems to be working properly from what I have seen.

  7. #47
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    While all this documentation is good news for linux and for you OSS driver coders I'm curious as to when the r300 chip 3D support (and hence the radeon 9700 3D support) will be up to the level of the fglrx driver.

    Would anyone who's looked at the dri source and the new documentation be able to hazard a rough, off the record, unofficial guess?

  8. #48
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  9. #49
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    As far as fglrx to radeon on r300 parts, I'm fairly sure radeon will be better for you unless you need OpenGL 2.x or raw performance. Of course if you really need either of those, the easy solution is to buy and newer card and use fglrx, with newer parts it has gotten a lot better. My experience is the open source radeon driver on r300 is that it is more stable and easier to configure/ use.

    I've always had artifacting in OpenGL apps with fglrx (I've tried up to 8.42) on my 9700 Pro and on my 9500. Also, depending on release there were watermarking (artifacts in the corner of the screen), instability in Xv apps (i.e. I couldn't use tvtime), crashing the machine on logout, inability to get compiz to work regardless of what I did, and a number of other errors.

    Radeon always worked more or less out of the bag, no artifacting, compiz works, etc. The downside is 2D performance had been slower than fglrx until recently. Now, with all the recent EXA work I think 2D is on par. 3D is around 1/2 to 1/3 speed and of course only up to OpenGL 1.3 is supported. The big annoyance here is WINE uses a lot of OpenGL 2.x features to emulate older DirectX 7&8 calls.

    Please note, I'm not bashing fglrx in general. On my X850 XT at work it runs perfectly and has since 8.38, its just (I think) AMD/ATI is not actively testing r300 parts with it.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipsugar View Post
    While all this documentation is good news for linux and for you OSS driver coders I'm curious as to when the r300 chip 3D support (and hence the radeon 9700 3D support) will be up to the level of the fglrx driver. Would anyone who's looked at the dri source and the new documentation be able to hazard a rough, off the record, unofficial guess?
    The general consensus seems to be that serious open-source 3D performance is not going to happen until both TTM and the Gallium re-architecture of the Mesa (3D) driver are in place. Best guess would be between 6 and 12 months.

    I don't think the performance will be as high as fglrx but it should be pretty good.

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