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What I tested: 1)Tera_Online = Unplayable with 4670 and 6970, with multiple D3d errors and doesn't start regardless of the driver. 2)CSS = Unplayable because hangs when you go in a closed area with graphics stack overflow. 3)Portal2 = Unplayable only with 4670 even with OpenGL renderer, many places with 5fps. 4)PCSX2 = Unplayable with Core2_Celleron_Duo@3Ghz because the cards doesn't offload the CPU enough. Actually around 7 of 13-15 games that i have play the last 2 years are unplayable and those are first rate titles.
Hm, out of that I only played Portal 2. HD 6550M on a notebook by the way. It ran almost fine on 1920x1080. Well playable, but sometimes visible stutter, that was never so bad to seriously be adversarial to playing it.
Why do windows graphics drivers manage to restart themselves when crashing but on linux it just hangs the whole graphical output until you force-reboot?
Because Microsoft decided to re-write the entire graphical backend as of Windows Vista, which was long overdue. NVIDIA and ATI accounted for like 60% of all Windows crashes on XP over its existence. These days, the only time I see driver issues (crashing the OS at least) is with beta driver versions or faulty GPU hardware (which happens enough, especially top tier ones).
Linux (hell, all OS's) need something akin to WDDM.
I usually buy a new computer very 4-5 years, a new mid-range GPU every 2 years, for the last 8 years I went with Amd/ATI - but the last 2 years were too much, the amd driver sucks too much - even on windows 7 64bit. My problem is - the mainboard has one of this notorious 32bit southbridges (sb600) reporting 64bit capabilities and i use a tv screen as monitor - and everytime I install a gpu driver they seem to have removed at least one of the fixes - the crashing because of the sb occurs with about every 2. driver release since 2009 (under 64bit linux and windows), the resetting of underscan-settings should be fixed with 12.8 again, with some driver releases i even had to attach my old dvi screen to see anyting. CCC seems to get scrambled with every 2. release, too, very funny under windows if you can't change the defaulted underscan settings. It took them about 1 year to solve the freezes with flash under win 7 64bit and linux 64bit - i guess it has to do with the crap amd south bridge. Yesterday i tried to install arch linux 64bit on my Laptop, an HP 625 with integrated radeon hd 4250 - guess what? The 12.6 legacy driver has the 2009 bug again! I'm so fed up with this company, in 2 months i'll get my new pc: intel i5-3450 and nvidia 660, this pc will see no amd hardware!