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AMD 8.41.7 Display Driver Released -- The Holy Crap Edition!
The Radeon 9500 to 9700 Pro softmod by adding ChipID 0x4E44 to xorg.conf. It was able to boost my fps considerably on my 9500s with this trick. Not that this is something I don't suspect AMD to support, but those extra 4 pipelines are there and in my cards work, I like using them. Plus nearly every version of the Windows driver has a copy with this hack.
Funny, there have been times where even a real 9700 had a performance drop from one driver to the next. I can not verify this anymore. Of couse you can try modding the fglrx_drv.so directly - the PCIIDs are coded as ascii strings with 0x in front all uppercase.
Yes, a feature of fragment programs for render to texture or otherwise called "render targets".
I just reloaded 8.40 without FSAA and got the gears to rotate on the cube. Apparently, FSAA kills this feature and this isn't a new point for 8.41. As you can tell I almost never run my setup with FSAA.
IIRC, it didn't matter much when I had my 9500 if I had FSAA on or not, the performance was comparable. And if you want to do comparisons with Windows, for instance, you can disable AA there just to check. Texture tiling problems with FSAA enabled seems to be a common problem on some apps, and would be interesting to see if the new code base fixes them.
I know this is a rough test, but fgl_glxgears benchmarks:
Radeon 9500 8.40, no FSAA: 400 FPS
Radeon 9500 8.40, FSAA 4x: 165 FPS
Radeon 9700 Pro 8.38 FSAA 4x (either real or ChipID hack): 220 FPS.
Radeon 9500 8.41, no FSAA: 400 FPS
My favorite Linux game, Zelda64 in Mupen64 with the Rice plugin:
Radeon 9500 8.40, no FSAA: 50 FPS
Radeon 9500 8.40, FSAA 4x: 40 FPS
Radeon 9700 Pro 8.38 FSAA 4x: 55 FPS
Radeon 9500 8.41, no FSAA: 50 FPS
I haven't swapped in my real Radeon 9700 Pro to use 4.81, and the ChipID hack doesn't work, but I doubt I'll get any real performance increase.
Upon digging a little more, I have to say I'm pretty pissed about this release.
We got so many promises about how great this release would be and that the only thing we had to wait for in 8.42 was the AIGLX support...
Then we get this driver and it's a virtual trainwreck and fails on many of the promises.
It only supports the HD2000 series and seems to even break or have less support for everything else.
My card is still seen incorrectly as a PCIE card having HALF the RAM it actually does... and now glesx crashes X so that now I have even less functionality than I had before.
After all the promises of the new driver being so great... and the last few days anxiously looking forward to being able to use 3D in Linux... I get this garbage today and we're told to wait another month (or MORE!) to MAYBE get a driver that actually works for the rest of us.
We never got a straight answer on the support for the AGP X1000 series cards... I've never once seen an answer as to why my 512MB card only reports 256MB mem...
And before anyone gives me grief about buying an ATI card, I was an nVidia guy for years and bought an ATI because of the incredible performance in the 9700pro when it came out. I made the switch and at the time was using the nVidia card in my linux box and the 9700pro in my windows box and was perfectly happy. I recently upgraded to an AGP X1600Pro 512MB card and was thrilled with the increase in performance in windows... and so I decided to try out Ubuntu on my main desktop machine with this video card a few weeks ago...
First I find out that basically I'll have no usable 3D. This was upsetting... then I find out a week ago that we'll be getting a dramatically updated driver that will fix essentially all of our problems (except for AIGLX) and have dramatically better performance etc. So I'm thrilled and anxious for the release so I can FINALLY use my Linux desktop with 3D applications...