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AMD Radeon HD 4250 880G On Linux

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  • #11
    If the AMD proprietary drivers are approaching feature parity with MS platforms, that sounds like good news for that set of Linux/Xorg users.

    I admit not having followed the very latest goings-on since I'm not personally comfortable depending on manufacturers for closed-source drivers, although comparing feature sets and performance between Linux and MS platforms may be interesting.

    OSS driver support however is what interests me and I'm glad that gains are being made and more older and some recent cards/chipsets have become quite usable under cutting egde settings. Throwing docs out there has certainly helped, but AFAIK Intel's OSS support remains well ahead (although not flawless by any means). The fast-moving graphics tech isn't ideal for purely volunteer-based development without significant input from the manufacturers (and their full-time team who have early access and advantage of grokking the whole ball of hair better).

    I do find the following statement quite disheartening.

    "The open source drivers are not supposed to replace fglrx, they are supposed to make it easy for distros to offer a great experience when installing..."

    If that is AMD's official approach I'm afraid they're missing the actual point of OSS.

    That said it'd be interesting to see reviews comparing OSS graphics support (performance, features, power mgmnt etc.) by both Intel (G3x/G4x/HD) and AMD (IGPs and 4xxx/5xxx/? cards) with the straitjacketed Catalyst driver also thrown in.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by misGnomer View Post
      Throwing docs out there has certainly helped, but AFAIK Intel's OSS support remains well ahead (although not flawless by any means).
      That doesn't seem necessarily the case: r300-r700 have actively developed Gallium drivers with several community contributors (as well as the classic drivers), while the Intel Gallium drivers appear completely dormant, and the classic driver seems to have no contributors outside Intel.

      Also, nVidia/ATI cards are generally 10-50 times faster than Intel integrated cards, so it's kind of pointless to support 3D graphics on the Intel cards.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by misGnomer View Post
        I do find the following statement quite disheartening.

        "The open source drivers are not supposed to replace fglrx, they are supposed to make it easy for distros to offer a great experience when installing..."

        If that is AMD's official approach I'm afraid they're missing the actual point of OSS.
        Back when I could edit posts I used to write more nuanced responses. Now posting anything more than "your distro sucks, mine is great" is a big pain in the butt.

        I expect that the open drivers will become the driver of choice for a significant segment of the Linux consumer market, but as long as there are users expecting complete feature & performance parity between Linux and other OSes there is also going to be a requirement for a proprietary driver that uses code sharing with other OSes to deliver a high degree of performance and functionality into a market which could not otherwise support the cost of writing and maintaining such a driver.

        For the last few years the Xorg community has been putting a big chunk of their efforts into a major re-architecture of the open source driver stack (KMS, GEM/TTM, DRI2, Gallium3D etc..). This had two consequences -- one obvious (fewer devs available to work on other stuff) and one non-obvious (some things just didn't make sense to implement because the work would have to be mostly thrown away before completion as a result of the architecture changes). Power management was one of the non-obvious victims - implementing anything other than the most basic "don't melt my GPU" code before the move to KMS was completed would have been an almost total waste of resources.

        Now that the re-architecture work is largely completed I think you will see relatively faster progress on features & performance of the open source stack, probably closer to what you were hoping for in the first place.

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        • #14
          Fair enough. I'll go with the known (OSS) supportable hardware and steer away from the frustratingly mouthwatering Fusion news but will be open to give AMD a try when that day comes. And bridgman, I'm a number not a consumer dammit!

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          • #15
            The 890GX numbers are really strange. Reminds me of the 785G that was actually faster than the 790GX.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
              Other than video decode acceleration, what features do you think are missing from the proprietary drivers ?
              #1 missing feature is the lack of support for new x server releases. Which means the driver won't even run on 90% of desktop users distros when Ubuntu doesn't ship the latest one.

              #2 is video acceleration.

              #3 may not be something you can really control, but better WINE support would be nice - you can't really stretch the legs on one of the newer cards on linux without falling back to a windows game. Maybe it just comes down to studying the various hacks they made for nvidia and implementing the same stuff in your drivers. Or you could just hire a WINE developer.

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              • #17
                OK, thanks. It's actually nice to see "running on more distros" as #1.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by devius View Post
                  The 890GX numbers are really strange. Reminds me of the 785G that was actually faster than the 790GX.
                  It isn't surprising at all that the 785G would be faster than the 790GX.... after all the 785G is actually an RS880 (practically identical to the 880G chipset), including integrated radeon 4200.

                  Here's the relevant phoronix news article relating to it:
                  http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item&px=NzQyOQ

                  i.e., it was GOING to be the 880G, but was called 785G as a result of some kind of problem, which was fixed for the RS880P (880G) and D (890GX), which probably differ in clock rate alone.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                    #1 missing feature is the lack of support for new x server releases. Which means the driver won't even run on 90% of desktop users distros when Ubuntu doesn't ship the latest one.

                    #2 is video acceleration.

                    #3 may not be something you can really control, but better WINE support would be nice - you can't really stretch the legs on one of the newer cards on linux without falling back to a windows game. Maybe it just comes down to studying the various hacks they made for nvidia and implementing the same stuff in your drivers. Or you could just hire a WINE developer.
                    #1: That is the WHOLE IDEA. You don't want everyone running the blob at this crucial time when the open driver needs proper testing/bug_reports/fixing. Ubuntu is the ideal distro to support with the blob driver since it has the majority of the technologically unsophisticated users and doesn't tend to contribute much upstream relative to other major bleeding edge distros. (note: don't anyone be offended by this, I am ***NOT*** speaking in absolutes).

                    In other words, you want to use the blob, you use either an older distro or stick to Ubuntu. If you feel like pushing open source ahead, participate in Fedora.

                    #2: Would definitely be nice. There are a few people in a few places very interested in this, and we will likely end up, sooner or later, with a very general GPU-assist infrastructure built on Gallium3D. It won't be offering *full* decode, but will give you that final boost needed to bring the VAST VAST VAST majority of machines not quite sufficient into being able to handle HD videos. It also has much more long-term utility than a "magic box" solution since it very easily lends itself to adding in support for additional encodings, such as VP8, which you aren't going to see added to current-generation UVD. Maybe the next, but that will be along with a new chip.

                    #3: You aren't seriously complaining that windoze games don't work on linux, are you? Note: If you are really worried about video games, then you are a member of a FRINGE USER GROUP. Seriously, you can get a wii for $200, and it'll handle video games much better.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                      #1: That is the WHOLE IDEA. You don't want everyone running the blob at this crucial time when the open driver needs proper testing/bug_reports/fixing. Ubuntu is the ideal distro to support with the blob driver since it has the majority of the technologically unsophisticated users and doesn't tend to contribute much upstream relative to other major bleeding edge distros. (note: don't anyone be offended by this, I am ***NOT*** speaking in absolutes).

                      In other words, you want to use the blob, you use either an older distro or stick to Ubuntu. If you feel like pushing open source ahead, participate in Fedora.

                      #2: Would definitely be nice. There are a few people in a few places very interested in this, and we will likely end up, sooner or later, with a very general GPU-assist infrastructure built on Gallium3D. It won't be offering *full* decode, but will give you that final boost needed to bring the VAST VAST VAST majority of machines not quite sufficient into being able to handle HD videos. It also has much more long-term utility than a "magic box" solution since it very easily lends itself to adding in support for additional encodings, such as VP8, which you aren't going to see added to current-generation UVD. Maybe the next, but that will be along with a new chip.

                      #3: You aren't seriously complaining that windoze games don't work on linux, are you? Note: If you are really worried about video games, then you are a member of a FRINGE USER GROUP. Seriously, you can get a wii for $200, and it'll handle video games much better.
                      Sorry if i wasn't clear. I'm a fairly happy user of the OSS drivers, I only wish they would be faster and support more of the hardware's capabilities. But what i wrote above is what would need to happen for me to seriously consider switching back to fglrx. Without #1, it would be impossible. #2 and #3 are the only things i can think that would tempt me.

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