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AMD Dropping R300-R500 Support In Catalyst Driver

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  • #31
    Ok, so:
    - with all the architecture changes showing up, proprietary drivers have a tough time ahead, and unless AMD spent big time engineering on these old cards ...
    - this will create more demand for the open source driver, which will recieve more testing and attention (Gallium has R300-R500 support under development right now)
    - in concrete terms, you still get about 6 more months with the closed source driver, assuming you update your distro often
    - radeonhd is a failed effort from day one (started behind closed doors by Novell; what a great plan ...), so would it be possible to stop mentioning it ?

    But useless whining is good, this is the Internet, yah

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    • #32
      It's funny. In a way they are stopping the support of something that wasn't quite supported in the first place. That stupid driver was always half-chewed, half something else and now they are throwing it up on us. That's right, that diriver was always a vomit.

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      • #33
        It isn't made very clear.

        Will the last drivers with R300-R500 support X.Org 1.6?

        If no:
        - That sux

        If yes:
        - That sux too, (although less)
        - What if the last drivers has a problem which will essentially stop X.Org 1.6 from working? - No more support, means that we won't ever get it working.

        So, I would like to find out the following: (Michael?)
        Will the last drivers support X.Org 1.6?
        If so, is there a chance of at least one more driver to fix any significant X.Org 1.6 compatibility bugs that may arise?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by grigi View Post
          So, I would like to find out the following: (Michael?)
          Will the last drivers support X.Org 1.6?
          If so, is there a chance of at least one more driver to fix any significant X.Org 1.6 compatibility bugs that may arise?
          AMD doesn't know the answer to it at this time. There's a chance the X Server 1.6 support may be back-ported, but I would not hold my breath. Don't count on any more legacy driver releases to "clean up" the support.
          Michael Larabel
          http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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          • #35
            Thanks for the answer. It seems to call for a "wait and see" policy...
            You will at least post it as as news item when it is confirmed either way?

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            • #36
              Originally posted by grigi View Post
              Thanks for the answer. It seems to call for a "wait and see" policy...
              You will at least post it as as news item when it is confirmed either way?
              Sure thing.
              Michael Larabel
              http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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              • #37
                This has no real consequence on Windows since new Catalyst drivers didn't add anything new to X1000 cards and below. Quite the contrary; people were still running 7.x versions on those cards because those worked best (faster, more stable). I did too on my old X1950XT. Catalyst 7.11 was faster than anything newer and rock stable.

                On Linux, however, this screws people. The Linux driver is bugged like hell and people were always waiting for new Catalyst releases to fix them, contrary to Windows where nothing really new was added and everything was working 100% in old drivers.

                But, this has no consequence to AMD. Even if Linux people go NVidia now, AMD isn't affected much by it. They don't make money out of Linux people. Why should they consider us if there's no monetary gain for them in doing so? To sell 1 or 2 cards to Linux people while they sell 100 to Windows ones?

                That's how it is. We don't have to like it, but that's the situation.

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                • #38
                  In my point of view ATI can't manage to fix essential bugs with R300/R400/R500 so they drooped support for older Hardware.
                  Their developers are saying:
                  We aren't able to write good graphic driver and we should additional support something that we haven't ever properly supported? Let us make life easier and drop support for this Hardware, the buyers of R300/R400/R500 will understand it for sure.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by NSLW View Post
                    the buyers of R300/R400/R500 will understand it for sure.
                    Nope. It's more I like I wrote above: "who cares about the buyers of those since there's no income there."

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Jon4u!SvenJonsson View Post
                      The current opensource driver (xf-86-video-ati and the mesa stack) is nowhere near fglrx in terms of stability and features (at least for me). 3D using the opensource drivers (eg for playing older games like doom3 or nwn) results in lockups or graphical corruption. Features like powerplay are not supported. Using the opensource-driver on my x700 results in white-screen on modeswitch / vt-switch. Using the opensource-driver on my x700 and my x800 with kde-4.2 results in lockups when desktop-effects are enabled.

                      I know that this is not amd's fault, and i also know that the opensource-developers work hard to improve the situation, but current situation is not good for owners of r400 based cards. There are too few opensource-developers working on the drivers, and the current focus seems to be more on bringing new features to the driver, then fixing bugs, resulting in an total loss of stability. The modeswitch for example worked great around xf-video-ati-6.8.0, but now with everyone switching to kms i frequently get a white-screen on my laptop. 3D worked somewhat (at least i could play nwn) until mesa-7.0, but now even starting glxgears results in an hardlock on my x800.
                      Jon, most of the current open source work is going into exactly the areas you mentioned, and the "new features" you're talking about are aimed primarily at those two areas -- kernel modesetting to provide a generic solution for system-specific VT-switch and suspend/resume issues, and rewriting the bottom end of the 3D stack to deal with ongoing performance and stability issues.

                      Gallium3D work for your GPUs has moved into Mesa master (rather than being a branch-off-a-branch, and I expect power management work will resume once some of the other projects rewriting the kernel driver settle down a bit. Bottom line, however, is that the level of activity on the open source drivers is higher than it has ever been before.

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                      • #41
                        It still seems progress is slow though. Do the devs working on then do so exclusively, or is it just one of the projects they're working on?

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                        • #42
                          here's what I wrote on MepisLovers about this

                          March will be the last month that the R300 architecture, launched back in 2003 with the Radeon 9700, will be supported under AMD's Fglrx releases. As of the April Catalyst 9.4 set, all of AMD's OpenGL 2.0 cards will be removed from support, on both the Windows and Linux drivers. (so no, this isn't AMD picking on Linux, Windows is losing support too). These are all graphics cards from the Radeon 9500 - 9800 series, x300-x800 series, and x1x00 series.

                          Phoronix goes over how the news affects upcoming distributions : http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13559

                          The bad news is that AMD has no plans to update the final 9.3 driver to work against future X.org servers, a practice Nvidia carries out on the 71.86.xx, 96.43.xx, and 173.14.xx driver sets.

                          The good news is that improvements alread in development for the X.org Mesa drivers will probably bring the 3D support for R300-R500 GPU's in within 10% or so of the existing Fglrx driver, and 2D support is in many cases, faster on the existing Open-Sourced Drivers.

                          The other good news is that the decrease in product support will mean fewer regressions, and should simplify driver development for the RadeonHD series.


                          ***

                          Okay... my take. I'm not really sure what to think. I'm a little uncomfortable... okay, a lot uncomfortable with the UAE taking an interest in AMD. If this change in support hadn't occured so shortly after the board of directors changed up, I'd be a little bit more willing to just pass it on as standard obselence.

                          Phoronix also makes mention that the hours had been cut on RadeonHD developers. However, what isn't mentioned is whether or not these shorter hours are by the request of AMD to Novell, or by Novell directly. What some people have also noted is that the X.org ATi driver has seen faster development than the RadeonHD driver, mostly due to Novell's approach being based on a complete reverse-engineering of the hardware and registers, rather than by using AMD tools such as AtomBIOS. Last year though, the RadeonHD developers pretty much gave in and started to use AtomBIOS : http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...atombios&num=1

                          Only time will tell if the new AMD after the split off of the Foundry, and the loss of Hector Ruiz to the new Foundry Company, will continue to support Open-Source... I'm just hoping that some of the moves over the past couple of weeks are just knee-jerk reactions by Novell and not indicative of a change in AMD...

                          otherwise, Intel's Larrabee.. and yes, this is ME saying this... Intel's Larrabee suddenly just a heck of a lot more attractive.

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                          • #43
                            @saist: RadeonHD also uses atom bios now for some cards

                            Honestly i assumed fglrx was not targeted at individual users but at corporations that need fast OpenGL support for workstation use.

                            Those corporations don't download the newest distro every six months. They use a stable old release. And when they purchase new hardware, they'd like that to get all of the attention. It's better ROI for AMD's driver budget in a lot of ways.

                            I've always been much happier with the quality of the open source drivers. Of course the performance isnt as high, but if that's the concern you can profile the problem and fix it yourself. It's not like you're being left in the cold like the NVIDIA users were when 96 stopped working with the latest xorg and 173 required SSE. At least the OSS ati drivers have more mature 3d.

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                            • #44
                              @saist: RadeonHD also uses atom bios now for some cards
                              I know. I said that.

                              What some people have also noted is that the X.org ATi driver has seen faster development than the RadeonHD driver, mostly due to Novell's approach being based on a complete reverse-engineering of the hardware and registers, rather than by using AMD tools such as AtomBIOS. Last year though, the RadeonHD developers pretty much gave in and started to use AtomBIOS : http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...atombios&num=1

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Saist View Post
                                I know. I said that.
                                yes you did apparently i can't read.

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