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  • #16
    Originally posted by Derpinator View Post
    What is the current state of the binary blob on linux?
    Better than the usual trolls make it sound.

    Originally posted by Derpinator View Post
    I'm thinking of doing a 3x24" Eyefinity setup in the following months and my questions are: Is it stable? Tear-free? Bug-free?
    Yes if you follow instructions, yes if you enable the aptly name "Without tearing" function, and what kind of software is certified 100% bug-free?

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    • #17
      I have no experience with Eyefinity but I do have some experience with the binary blob, and it is not nearly as bad as some would have made out. My greatest complaints are that it suffers from the innate problems that all blobs suffer from, namely the inconvenience of having to maintain it separately from your system packages and the fact that it is proprietary. The tearing bogey at least in my experience is overstated; my machine did have some desktop tearing, though only desktop tearing as video playback and games were not affected. The other three setups I have tried with varying cards had no such issues. The anti-tearing feature had no effect on my desktop though, but turning on Compiz did, though I would rather live with the tearing. Using a version of the Nvida blob with SuperGamer and my internal graphics also resulted in some tearing. Curiously enough, I had no tearing with Catalyst and SuperGamer.

      The fact that when you killed the X server with CRTL-ALT-BACKSPACE you could no longer play 3D games again until a restart was also a little annoying on Catalyst, but hardly crippling. All of my desktop Catalyst experiences are with Fedora 14.

      On my current setup I just use the R600 classic Mesa drivers with my Radeon HD 4670 with Fedora 13 and dual head configured in Zaphod mode. Power management is adequate for me (getting temperatures in the 40 degrees in Catalyst on SuperGamer and 50 degrees in R600g from Fedora 15 Live CD as 13 can not probe temperature) and it almost fully supports my gaming, which I engage in frequently. Once Fedora 16 is released I will install that on my 2 TB drive and use the R600 Gallium 3D drivers, which should support all of my gaming requirements. In general, the free drivers are easier to maintain for me and offer a much better desktop experience.

      I am sorry if this information is not very helpful for you Derpinator, but it was more directed as a response to some of the others in the thread.
      Last edited by Hamish Wilson; 10-28-2011, 06:11 PM. Reason: small typo

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
        I am sorry if this information is not very helpful for you Derpinator, but it was more directed as a response to some of the others in the thread.
        It was very helpful, thank you.

        I guess I'll have to buy the damn card and see how it goes!

        Regarding stability, my X server has crashed only once in the last 2 years of using Nvidia's binary driver. There are no leaks either, my workstation has been up for 4 months and everything is looking good. This is the kind of stability I'll want with my future eyefinity setup.

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        • #19
          Fedora 15 + fglrx

          All I can say is that my experience with the AMD driver hasn't been horrible. My biggest compliant is the bad 2D acceleration and the fact that things start slowing down when you are running multiple GPU accelerated applications.

          I'm running two 5770s in Crossfire on two monitors.

          Besides what the others have mentioned on the pros/cons, I don't have much to add.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            Considering the reports of 'crappy AMD/ATI binary blob release sucks again' posts and the same sort of discussion in other linux distro forums seems to indicate either waste of funds or incompetence or indifference or maybe all three, if AMD spends more on Linux! It's been the same story in consecutive years!
            i do have trouble with the catalyst to but this time not on work only on removing the driver. thats a big different.

            in the past you do have the trouble on working with the driver. now they spend even more money and yes you can life with that cloused source driver.

            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            OSS drivers is good in terms of ideals and values but there are still limitations and only basic functionality for newer cards, anyway. If people care about power management, I think it's still lagging behind in support. At least, that's last I read or my impression.
            they work on it to improve the driver in the future.
            for example the r300-r500 is feature complete and there is a good chance for the r600 to be in the same status in the future.

            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            I think if I got an AMD/ATI card, it would be used and relatively cheap. I am not confident in the support.
            amd cards are always cheaper than nvidia cards.
            maybe you think you buy it cheap in the reality amd just sell it cheap.

            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            Also, the fact they don't support BSD and
            in fact they support the BSD people because the BSD people can use the linux opensource driver as a reverence opensource driver.

            this means they can write there own opensource driver based on this informations.

            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            can't get more support with WINE developers seems to indicate something at least.
            i report many amd wine bugs and "crossover" fix it because why? because amd pay for it. they fix bugs in arma2 although it is usually not supportet.
            AMD also pay for bugfixing oblivion graphik bugs in wine.
            in fact! amd support wine.

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            • #21
              I have three systems here, two have AMD cards in them (a 4870 and a 5870,both cards using open source drivers) the third system has an Nvidia GTX 560 in it using the closed src drivers. I have not used FGLRX for some time but the only real problem I had with it was slow 2D. This on a Samsung 305T (2560x1600) using the 5870 was, lets say, pathetic. I find the open source driver just works, I just installed the packages and away it went on both systems (I use Debian, one has stable the other testing). The 2D performance is out standing being lightning fast. I do some 3D development work and while on the AMD cards this is not real fast it is certainly adequate. There being no real value in a FPS rate being higher than the monitor is capable of displaying,
              Interestingly FGLRX did not pick up the Samsung monitor when I tried it, I ended up having to put it in the config. That would have been around a year ago.
              These days the Samsung is on the NVidia. To be even handed I have no complaints with nvidia both 2D and 3D giving no problems.

              Blacksmith

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              • #22
                Originally posted by devguy View Post
                I can speak about Eyefinity on Linux. With the open drivers in 11.10 Ubuntu, I actually have all three displays working properly (with the Cayman 69xx), and I can rearrange them as I like with the Ubuntu display manager without rebooting each time with Unity 3d. However, the fan/power management with the OSS drivers sucks (really noisy), and there's no OpenGL 3.2+ support.

                With the FGLRX drivers, I have quite the headache getting them working. First off, there's no support for Unity 3d with Eyefinity and catalyst. I have to use Unity2d or it will be a wonky experience (or just knock me back to log-in screen). If I disable compositing engine, and turn on the tear-free option, then I don't get any tearing like most other people claim to.

                As for setting up Eyefinity with the CCC, it is a royal pain. Using either 11.8 from the repos, or 11.9 from AMD, CCC almost always crashes when I make a monitor change if I don't load it from the terminal with "sudo amdcccle" - WTF? If I launch it from the terminal, then it usually doesn't crash, but moving monitors around in the display config manager is a weird thing. Do not attempt to rearrange them as you would like to, as it will screw something up in your Xorg.conf. Here's how I can manipulate them: click on the down arrow on a monitor, and go to multi-display with multi-monitor with monitors: X & X(something like that), and just click it. When you do that, it will probably rearrange the ordering of the monitors it shows. Just click that over and over changing which monitor you do it from, until eventually you have it configured the way you want. -Geez.

                And for some reason, when I try and make a XBMC go full screen, it doesn't use the eyefinity resolution, and instead just changes my config to clone across three screens. But I can just use the windowed version and drag it across multiple monitors (that sucks). Also, no options for bezel correction like in Windows.

                Hi, XBMC dont have support for multi display, you can try XVBA API to get the eyefinity support. And as far as i know bezel is not supported for Linux, it is only designed for Windows OS.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by shrey View Post
                  Hi, XBMC dont have support for multi display, you can try XVBA API to get the eyefinity support. And as far as i know bezel is not supported for Linux, it is only designed for Windows OS.
                  As implied by shrey, a lot of applications are naive about the way they deal with multiple displays (in any configuration). For example, flash only understands the first viewport in RANDR. I haven't tested xbmc, but you'll probably find quirks and issues. Even unity/compiz has a problem after starting up with a texture that is only 1920 pixels wide. This is unlikely to be a driver problem, but more a naive implementation.

                  My current setup is 2xDP+1xDVI Dell 24" 1920x1200 displays in a portrait/landscape/portrait configuration. I have it configured as one screen with a virtual resolution of 4960x1920. I then use xrandr via a script to set the up the displays directly as part of the login.

                  Regards,

                  Matthew

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by mtippett View Post
                    As implied by shrey, a lot of applications are naive about the way they deal with multiple displays (in any configuration).
                    This is the reason why I use Zaphod Mode for my dual head setup. It is not without issues but it is the closest thing I can get to having the second screen stay out of the way when not in use. I do not have to worry about all of my games needing to be windowed, or notifications appearing on the wrong screen, or icons moving about. I had to have a specific hard-coded setup anyway as I am treating my DVI monitor as primary, so having a specific set xorg.conf is not that big a deal for me.

                    I am not suggesting this as a solution to devguy's problem, just commenting.

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                    • #25
                      I recently had a 6670 (from a computer i built for some1) and first i did a testing tour with it on my computer running Debian Testing. I use an onboard nvidia 8200 with the closed drivers btw and it works rather well (except lately flash is tearing and no way to fix it ).
                      For the record i dont use any screen compositing although i started compiz for testing purposes with this card. Also i use Xfce 4.8.
                      So:
                      I uninstaled the nvidia driver, installed the catalyst 11.9 (at that time that was the latest) and the vaapi driver from the repos (debian testing has quite good fast updates), restarted X and it was working.
                      Hardware - Asus M3N78-VM mobo (MCP78 chipset), AMD Athlon II x2 250 @3.0 GHz CPU, 4 GB DDR2@800 MHz RAM.
                      OS; Debian Testing 32-bit, kernel 3.0 (with pae enabled), Xfce 4.8.

                      Results (i used this card for 2 days):
                      EVERYTHING was working. This includes suspend/resume.

                      Playback:
                      Even HD decoding was working in VLC (to the extent permitted by vaapi which isnt that good as nvidias vdpau, but still it had a very visible impact on CPU).
                      Flash was more fluid than on nvidia and vsync was constantly on.

                      Games:
                      Wine: I fired up LOTRO and maxed out all settings. It worked perfectly.
                      Native games - i play ocassionally ioquqke based games (Urban Terror, Smokin Guns) - they all worked, only i had to untick the catalyst's optimisations option to get rid of mouse lag (nothing else seemed to be impacted). FPS was constantly capped at 75 because of vsync.
                      I also tried Regnum Online which was painfully slow on my onboard nvidia. It worked very well at high settings only some very faint almost invisible shadow-related glitches here and there.
                      Compiz - i did not test this much, but it did was a bit choppier than on nvidia (i have the atlantis plugin and stuff). Note that i prefer to have vsync on. Anyway, it felt stable.

                      Conclusion - i was very satisfied as i compared this card and drivers to the "venerable" nvidia drivers which work very well and stable.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Panix View Post
                        Still crap if you read any discussion of recent ATI cards and recent Catalyst drivers.

                        Read this:
                        http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...-HD-6770/page2

                        And recent posts show bugs and regressions. I was considering an old card to test but there's constant bugs and AMD refuses even basic support for their cards. The worthlessness of compositing/compiz and desktop effects coupled with any time of video use when using these drivers just shows this. Also, if you use the open source drivers, you have no power management and have a major reduction in features and basic use.

                        AMD doesn't support Linux. Even their Windows drivers are sketchy but at least they feel forced to work on things...

                        It's a shame...

                        I noticed no one replied to my post requesting more tests to supplement the typical benchmarks. I'm surprised... it would be interesting to have additional tests (testing for tearing, lagging, video play etc.).
                        Its not the drivers fault the entire graphics stack in Linux is a disaster of biblical proportions. Be happy you get a functional driver at all.

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                        • #27
                          Regarding stability, my X server has crashed only once in the last 2 years of using Nvidia's binary driver. There are no leaks either, my workstation has been up for 4 months and everything is looking good. This is the kind of stability I'll want with my future eyefinity setup.
                          My workstation has been up for months without problems in an Eyefinity setup with an HD 5770 and Scientific Linux 6.
                          Watching this thread and the very mixed results and impressions about the catalyst drivers I suspect that the choice of distro affects your experience alot.

                          I myself only runs EL distros (CentOS, Scientific Linux and RHEL) and in 2 years time I have only seen problems with one release. No mouse bug or reports of other bugs has affected me.
                          So if using one of the distros above you will have a rock solid workstation.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Fluggo View Post
                            My workstation has been up for months without problems in an Eyefinity setup with an HD 5770 and Scientific Linux 6.
                            Watching this thread and the very mixed results and impressions about the catalyst drivers I suspect that the choice of distro affects your experience alot.

                            I myself only runs EL distros (CentOS, Scientific Linux and RHEL) and in 2 years time I have only seen problems with one release. No mouse bug or reports of other bugs has affected me.
                            So if using one of the distros above you will have a rock solid workstation.
                            Debian seems solid too on newer cards. Most part of the complaints seems to relate to compositing/Unity. I dont use compositing and i had no issues on Debian Wheezy/Xfce (or Gnome, for that matter - i tested a hd 3000 once and i had gnome back then and had no stability issues).

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                            • #29
                              I really love those tests, especially of Flash, thats no gfx driver test, thats pure cpu speed as you can not enable accelleration even if you want with current Flash - only up to 10.3 this was possible, never ones only for vdpau (using override).

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                              • #30
                                almost no issues here with latest catalyst and ubuntu 10.04 with compositing enabled, no tearing, games play nicely, no crashes. I sometimes am experiencing a bug with flash, if I fullscreen a flash movie 3-4 times at some point my wokspace freezes completely, have to hit a shortcut to swith wokspace, kill firefox and everything is fine again. very strange. No experience with eyefinity.

                                Also, I had a really bad experience with nvidia. Laptop completely freezing randomly with compiz enabled, bad tearing on video playback, performance in games radically affected by compositing being enabled/disabled, low resolution games not scaled properly.
                                Last edited by vervelover; 11-12-2011, 06:11 AM.

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