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ATI and Linux compatibility

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  • #11
    I prefer ati a lot, the hardware is better for sure, on windows side the performance / power consuption is better. But on linux side software/drivers are not as good as nvidia, I think that my needs are not the same as you, I see you as a wine guy , so its important that you consider:

    - wine has more problems.
    - no video accel.
    - and panix has said a good point too: compiz and/or 3D Desktop Effects might be a factor if you like that sort of thing.

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    • #12
      I'll be critical of both ATI and Nvidia in this post. So, pay attention.

      One other complaint or concern with ATI: you need decent drivers to obtain the advantage of the lower power and lower heat that the newer ATI cards provide. So, what good are these advantages if ATI/AMD cannot even offer the required support? You need good drivers for these cards to run optimally, just ask Nvidia. I told you I'd be criticizing them both in almost the same sentence.

      I have read of Compiz/3D (desktop effects) being an issue in both Gnome and KDE (although, it seems more prominent a problem when using KDE 4) but in my perspective, the issues seem to crop up more in machines with ATI cards. It's the wait and the inevitable problems that causes me to hesitate buying an ATI card. If the HD 4xxx card can be bought cheaply enough I'd consider that. Otherwise, I'd go with Nvidia, maybe a GT 240 if you don't game.

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      • #13
        Personally I am using three computers, all running Ubuntu 9.10 (x86_64). The computers are equipped with the following graphics cards:

        AMD HD4870 512MB
        AMD HD5770 1GB
        AMD HD3200 (integrated on motherboard)

        I use the closed source FGLRX drivers for all pc's and normal desktop usage with compiz is working fine. I do some OpenGL development (using the newest OpenGL 3.3 / 4.0 stuff) and mostly that works fine as well (I do not encounter many bugs). Native Linux OpenGL applications work fine as well (Blender 2.50 alpha, World of Goo).

        I do not use Wine and I don't watch many movies on my computers. Both are usage examples that cause many complaints on these forums, be aware (although I have the impression that the Wine situation is improving as the AMD OpenGL drivers tend to get more and more stable and most important OpenGL stuff is supported nowadays).

        Because I am an Ubuntu user I never have any problems with the latest and greatest kernels/xorg versions (mainly a problem for Fedora users who want the latest versions).

        The machines with HD5770 and HD4870 are also used in Windows for gaming (which works fine).

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        • #14
          One other complaint or concern with ATI: you need decent drivers to obtain the advantage of the lower power and lower heat that the newer ATI cards provide. So, what good are these advantages if ATI/AMD cannot even offer the required support?
          [/QUOTE]

          I think you are miss informed, opensource drivers doesn't have power manegament yet, but on fglrx power management works flawlessly you get the lower power consuption when the cpu is not in use.

          I do not use Wine and I don't watch many movies on my computers. Both are usage examples that cause many complaints on these forums, be aware.
          Wine causes more problem on ati than nvidia, is not totally ati fault, because wine 3d devs focus more on nvidia. HD Video 720p and 1080p is perfectly playable using mplayer multi-threaded, i use it a lot , no probs.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            I'll be critical of both ATI and Nvidia in this post. So, pay attention.

            One other complaint or concern with ATI: you need decent drivers to obtain the advantage of the lower power and lower heat that the newer ATI cards provide. So, what good are these advantages if ATI/AMD cannot even offer the required support?
            This makes absolutely no sense. Power management is one of the things that just works with fglrx. And if you install kernel form drm-radeon-testing you also get power management with the oss drivers.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by monraaf View Post
              This makes absolutely no sense. Power management is one of the things that just works with fglrx. And if you install kernel form drm-radeon-testing you also get power management with the oss drivers.
              Whatever.

              The FOSS driver and power management doesn't work according to what I read. I'm not sure about drm and I don't know if that's something everyone uses or just 'beta' (experimental) in which you can expect bugs again.

              ATI support in Linux is lousy and slow. Bottom line. You only have to read any forum in which ATI cards are used. It's absolute crap. The problem is support for either binary or FOSS progresses at a snail pace and ATI/AMD DO NOT DEVOTE ANY WORTHWHILE RESOURCES to it and people still sing the praises because they toss an open source driver into the mix. I don't consider that support.

              Nvidia might say, no one is getting our code but make sure it's working in Linux. I guess it depends on what issues/problems you're willing to tolerate.

              Power management is important because it (and the driver) may determine whether you card runs several degrees hotter than necessary and if you bought the card for the lower temps (newer ATI hardware), you might want power management working. If it works with the ATI driver, great, but I'm wondering how well. I have only read your post of the FOSS driver having power management so sorry if I don't share your optimism.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by Heiko View Post
                Personally I am using three computers, all running Ubuntu 9.10 (x86_64). The computers are equipped with the following graphics cards:

                AMD HD5770 1GB

                Because I am an Ubuntu user I never have any problems with the latest and greatest kernels/xorg versions (mainly a problem for Fedora users who want the latest versions).

                The machines with HD5770 and HD4870 are also used in Windows for gaming (which works fine).
                Check the Ubuntu forums. Search '5770'. Tons of posts about problems. Not being able to boot because of blank or black screens. Needing runarounds, workarounds or scripts to just use your computer. This is a distro that ATI claims support. I guess 9.10 works with 1.7 but Ubuntu has gone to the next stable release, Lucid, 10.04, and X.org has moved on, too? But, hordes of problems/issues. I guess the workarounds are working for some (booting to safe or low graphics mode and installing the fglrx driver but still...).

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Panix View Post
                  Check the Ubuntu forums. Search '5770'. Tons of posts about problems. Not being able to boot because of blank or black screens. Needing runarounds, workarounds or scripts to just use your computer. This is a distro that ATI claims support.
                  Why are you blaming ATI for this? Is it now their fault that Ubuntu decided to ship 10.04 with the broken UMS support for Evergreen cards?

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Panix View Post
                    ATI support in Linux is lousy and slow.
                    Then buy an Nvidia card and get it over with.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by monraaf View Post
                      Why are you blaming ATI for this? Is it now their fault that Ubuntu decided to ship 10.04 with the broken UMS support for Evergreen cards?
                      Given the level of support for Evergreen and FOSS drivers, I assumed he was talking about fglrx.

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