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  • #31
    radeonhd development is extremely slow.
    i don't think so.... if you look out at the commits to the driver in the first weeks you can see about 30 commits a day or more, which is a very high number for a driver. maybe you aren't very much familiar with the writing of software and with the writing of drivers. i can assure you that to write a driver is more difficult than writing a software. it takes much time to unserstand the specs, and the people who writes drivers need to have a very high knowledge of how the hw really works. then there's the testing phase, which cannot be done unless the people don't contribute, and thus the conntest utility. the dev team cannot afford to buy all the types of ati boards on market.
    anyway, i've read that the there's a team of dev working full time (ie about 40 hours a week on the driver) and this is not bad.
    as for what you've said about the promo, it can be true, since there haven't been other specs releases, but until the end of the first quarter of 2008 i won't think that amd/ati would not do what they've said. and this for a reason: the next generation integrated cpu/gpu boards would not be usable on linux without proper support. for what i've figured out amd has brought ati for this reason: create a single chip with cpu and gpu inside the same chip on the dual/quad core arch. that would mean a very high advance especially in the laptops market that now is growing more and more and in which the prices go down more and more. for example i bought a notebook less than 2 years ago at 1200 and now i could buy it at less than 300, but it is still a good notebook for what i have inside it. medium price laptops cost from 450 to 600 and come with dual cores of 1.5ghz each, 2 gb ram, 160 gb sata and 15,4'' display. this is now standard and introducing a cpu/gpu would mean a near revolution; more powersave => more battery life; gpu clock adjustable based on the load requirements, vram teoretcally limited by the system one and these are only the main things that a cpu/gpu on single chip would mean. but all this would not be possibile if ati don't releases the specs for this hw. and that will cut off their legs and make them loose all that they've set into this project.
    and last thing: remember that apple cames most with ati hw, and osx is unix based, so considering all these facts amd/ati has only interests in maintaining its word toward the linux/unix community. i also expect that with the release of project indiana ati would release driver also for that envinronment and that would finally mean that ati has nearly caught up with nvidia in the nix based environments.
    but for a final review on the matter we must wait the end of the first quarter of 2008. i expect for that date great things from ati. if they cannot give that things then you and other guys would have been right.
    and for what i know having a 8xxx serie is like having an ati board. so what's this big deal with nvidia?!

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
      and for what i know having a 8xxx serie is like having an ati board. so what's this big deal with nvidia?!
      The big deal comes from community trust. nVidia has a track record of being supportive with Linux drivers, and has for many years. Because of this, people are generally prepared to trust them to resolve problems in the drivers - the issue with 8x00 series cards will only reduce trust of nVidia if it isn't resolved for a long time, eroding that trust.

      In a related way, the fact that real nVidia staff actually engage with the linux community in some fashion - responding to threads about problems, and answering questions about issues (for example: the announcement about support for the 8800 GT being worked on as a top priority, which Phoronix ran, was made on a publically accessible forum, in response to a question from a user). This makes them look much more open and responsive than other companies, like ATi, who tend not to engage with the community directly.

      It's customer relations which govern how people deal with a company; nVidia's customer relations with the linux community has historically (and continues to, even now) blown ATi's out of the water.

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      • #33
        we end customers don't have the knowledge about AMD's strategic stance or the future of computing.

        We have to make decisions what to order for ourselves.

        This thread is simply about no reason to stay Ati/AMD. the reason is simple, we don't see a way to have a reasonable driver support from amd, however amd's words. the history of fglrx earns ati hatred for a reason, and a potential customer may want to keep that in mind.

        end customers can bet to buy ati/amd today, and hope it would be well supported in a couple of months, but that's just not a sensible decision to me.


        Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
        i don't think so.... if you look out at the commits to the driver in the first weeks you can see about 30 commits a day or more, which is a very high number for a driver. maybe you aren't very much familiar with the writing of software and with the writing of drivers. i can assure you that to write a driver is more difficult than writing a software. it takes much time to unserstand the specs, and the people who writes drivers need to have a very high knowledge of how the hw really works. then there's the testing phase, which cannot be done unless the people don't contribute, and thus the conntest utility. the dev team cannot afford to buy all the types of ati boards on market.
        anyway, i've read that the there's a team of dev working full time (ie about 40 hours a week on the driver) and this is not bad.
        as for what you've said about the promo, it can be true, since there haven't been other specs releases, but until the end of the first quarter of 2008 i won't think that amd/ati would not do what they've said. and this for a reason: the next generation integrated cpu/gpu boards would not be usable on linux without proper support. for what i've figured out amd has brought ati for this reason: create a single chip with cpu and gpu inside the same chip on the dual/quad core arch. that would mean a very high advance especially in the laptops market that now is growing more and more and in which the prices go down more and more. for example i bought a notebook less than 2 years ago at 1200€ and now i could buy it at less than 300€, but it is still a good notebook for what i have inside it. medium price laptops cost from 450 to 600€ and come with dual cores of 1.5ghz each, 2 gb ram, 160 gb sata and 15,4'' display. this is now standard and introducing a cpu/gpu would mean a near revolution; more powersave => more battery life; gpu clock adjustable based on the load requirements, vram teoretcally limited by the system one and these are only the main things that a cpu/gpu on single chip would mean. but all this would not be possibile if ati don't releases the specs for this hw. and that will cut off their legs and make them loose all that they've set into this project.
        and last thing: remember that apple cames most with ati hw, and osx is unix based, so considering all these facts amd/ati has only interests in maintaining its word toward the linux/unix community. i also expect that with the release of project indiana ati would release driver also for that envinronment and that would finally mean that ati has nearly caught up with nvidia in the nix based environments.
        but for a final review on the matter we must wait the end of the first quarter of 2008. i expect for that date great things from ati. if they cannot give that things then you and other guys would have been right.
        and for what i know having a 8xxx serie is like having an ati board. so what's this big deal with nvidia?!

        Comment


        • #34
          @givemesugarr

          MacOS is indeed Unix, BSD Unix to be precise, and FreeBSD based to be exact. HOWEVER despite this, there is a key difference: (AFAIK) Not ATI nor nVidia actually make any MacOS drivers, but rather (like in the old days) Apple gets the specifications and technical documentation (with their respective contracts and NDAs) directly from the manufacturers, and they themselves code their drivers, optimized for their platform. At least that used to be the case with Apple, and it was the reason why even when Macs and PCs shared the "same" hardware, there were no "Mac reference drivers". In fact, it was until fairly recently (since about three or four years ago) that I've actually seen a section for MacOS drivers on at least the ATi site... I thought I remember seeing them also on nVidia's site, but a current search turned out, that just like in the old days, there are indeed NO MacOS reference drivers on their site. On AMD's site, however, they do have a Mac support area, but up to the X1900 series, consistent to this... Maybe you're right and AMD does provide the drivers for these Radeons, but then again, if it were the case, how come nVidia doesn't provide drivers for the Quadro FX 4500 on their site? Plus apparently AMD only has drivers for PPC Mac products (or expansion products to be used with OpenFirmware), so at least in appearance, it does seem like Apple still codes their own drivers... Which, if you think of it, would be the same case if the community had the (full) specs for the hardware.

          By the way, I did find some ATI drivers for Mac... On Apple's MacOS X Support Drivers section

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
            and last thing: remember that apple cames most with ati hw, and osx is unix based, so considering all these facts amd/ati has only interests in maintaining its word toward the linux/unix community.
            Considering that the MacOS drivers have little directly in common with the Windows/Linux drivers, you should not expect that they're going to do anything of the sort. And so you might know, the driver framework for MacOS is at least a little different than the Linux or Windows ones.

            i also expect that with the release of project indiana ati would release driver also for that envinronment and that would finally mean that ati has nearly caught up with nvidia in the nix based environments.
            Actually, that's a baseless assumption (unfortunately) on your part. MacOS uses a different codebase. The Linux team is woefully understaffed (or else we'd have what they're offering us in a better state, now wouldn't we?)- why would they expend efforts for an OS that's even more niche right at the moment than Linux is supposed to be? (Keep in mind that they typically don't USE ATI hardware in the main Solaris hardware space.)

            but for a final review on the matter we must wait the end of the first quarter of 2008. i expect for that date great things from ati. if they cannot give that things then you and other guys would have been right.
            Heh... You MIGHT see some great stuff from them- if they can get the resources to either get the driver much more solid than it is or to get the specs in the hands of the people (it won't be usable for at least 6-12 months after that, but it would constitute "something great" from them...); otherwise, you'll see nothing. So far, they've met my current expectations of them (which is much to my dismay, actually...)- and that's not been good ones, though they do not reflect upon the developers working on it, only the management of the company.

            and for what i know having a 8xxx serie is like having an ati board. so what's this big deal with nvidia?!
            1) They've been providing STABLE drivers for Linux (unlike ATI...) for at least the last 2+ years if not longer. ATI's drivers have gotten all kinds of things wrong over time; what you see with fglrx now is relatively good (not counting the last two revs...) albeit VERY slow compared to the already lackluster Windows OpenGL performance.

            2) With the exception of the problems with the G80, that stability has also extended to relative performance- the drivers generally perform at the SAME level as the Windows drivers. ATI's drivers, not counting the last two revs (which aren't stable, mind...), have been something on the order of HALF the performance of the Windows drivers- when they did the right things when asked to render a scene.

            3) Considering that the MAIN reason to buy a G80 is geometry shaders (DX10 capabilities) and the ARB extensions to support that capability has only recently been approved, I think you will find that buying a HOT 7xxx series card (Which does work well with the current drivers and all...) is a better and actually CHEAPER bet for a person setting up a system right now.

            4) If you're AGP, ANY ATI X1xxx series card is NOT a good idea (doesn't work right, even with the older drivers, unless you go back about 4-5 months ago time-wise on driver releases...). If you're PCI-E, a X1950-XTX would be a good bet if you've got one in hand and you MIGHT get some decent mileage out of the new drivers (you certainly won't with the pre-8.41 codebase drivers...) but you're still better off with NVidia on a comparable card as the drivers largely drop on the machine without issues. The same, unfortunately, can't be said for ATI's drivers right now.


            Now, having said this...

            AMD may straighten this mess out. I can hope so- their silicon IS better in many ways when compared to NVidia's and they appear to be serious about giving us the needed information to program the drivers ourselves (though they seem to be taking a snail's pace about the release of information... ). But, with the current circumstances, I can't tell someone to go get ATI parts. It's not going to work for MOST people right now. In another couple of months, perhaps. Just not right now it won't.

            Comment


            • #36
              Amen to that, Svartalf!

              I received the news of AMD opening up the ATi specs with arms wide open and really hopeful. So did I with the new drivers, as even it only a few releases wouldn't have rushing back to ATi, they would at least mean that AMD has gotten ATi moving in the right direction (which from things I've read, they might had already been going to, but managed to get the drivers out until recently). Whatever the reasons they've got for taking so long with the new drivers, and extending the life of the old code, it doesn't matter. What matters is that they keep on going in the right direction and that they really commit to the Linux market like nVidia has done for the last ~6 years. It doesn't matter the original motivation (for nVidia was the Professional market, for ATi could very well be that Vista is at the verge of causing massive migration)

              We tend to quickly forget how many problems did nvidia had to sort out with their early drivers, and it took them a while. Alas, ATi took easily twice as long to get the drivers in a "usable" (for gaming) state, and with performance comparable to the Windows drivers.

              Now, AMD has gone Open, will that mean that the Linux community will be able to, like Apple, develop our own drivers and fully optimize such nice pieces of silicon to become Linux monsters? I certainly hope so. May that also mean that other platforms that currently offer no advantage on Linux hardware, but basic stuff will also benefit (Solaris, *BSD, ZOS, etc)? I'd like to believe they will.

              I think that AMD has realized that in order to compete with the #1 graphics provider (Intel) they have to go Open (mind that Intel has also gone open, so has VIA), and couple with their platforms powerful GPUs "that just work"... If that is the case, kudos to AMD. It would be excellent if (as I said before) the specs included FULL details to fully make use of the hardware, but that's something we'll have yet to see... I'm hopeful, though, being how VIA even opened their most precious specs for their MPEG2 decoding engine, and the drivers are now available, hopefully the same will be with ATI.

              Comment


              • #37
                The decision you make is more influenced by how much time you're willing to wait (how patient you are) really since we know that ATI/AMD are doing something now in the linux front. Binary blob, and open source.

                When you've waited years, months is a short time.

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                • #38
                  The development leads me to believe more and more about the real role of radeonhd, a cheap PR action during AMD's losing of the battle.
                  TBH, as more time passes, I'm beginnig to agree more and more with you :/

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    TBH, as more time passes, I'm beginnig to agree more and more with you :/
                    for what i know in the last years when amd released an official communication it had maintained its words. so the only thing to do for now is wait a little more.
                    for the problems with of the years that passed without linux support, i can say that i've switched to linux about 2 years ago and i hadn't any problems with making the board work. it hasn't worked well and in the best way but it worked. i used 3 pcs with ati boards, some trident/via and nvidia igp, and others ati dedicated boards from 9250 to the hd2400 and i've never had installation problems. i've not had great performance till the last two releases which a part from 2-3 issue work very well.
                    for that reason i cannot say that ati was very bad for me.
                    if they continue to progress as they did in the last months then ati would get better than nvidia in less than 2 years. if they release all the specs for the opensource drivers then they'll get the first choice in linux. but, in my opinion, it won't happen before the end of the next year.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                      for what i know in the last years when amd released an official communication it had maintained its words. so the only thing to do for now is wait a little more.
                      for the problems with of the years that passed without linux support, i can say that i've switched to linux about 2 years ago and i hadn't any problems with making the board work. it hasn't worked well and in the best way but it worked. i used 3 pcs with ati boards, some trident/via and nvidia igp, and others ati dedicated boards from 9250 to the hd2400 and i've never had installation problems. i've not had great performance till the last two releases which a part from 2-3 issue work very well.
                      for that reason i cannot say that ati was very bad for me.
                      if they continue to progress as they did in the last months then ati would get better than nvidia in less than 2 years. if they release all the specs for the opensource drivers then they'll get the first choice in linux. but, in my opinion, it won't happen before the end of the next year.
                      Indeed, for the time being all we can do is what we've always done with ATi: Wait (and hope). I too think AMD will keep their word and release full specs this time around. It was more than 6 months from initial announcement to actual first release of anything from AMD, and these specs seem to have had an impact in the development of the radeonhd driver, so I'll grant them the benefit of the doubt.

                      ATi setup has not been a problem for many for a long time now. Installation used to be a bit trickier than nVidia's, but I couldn't say it was "harder".

                      Once the community have all the specs (which might very well take up to year from now, as you say for AMD to actually get all the specs out), it's going to be quite a LONG time before we get a functional driver, and longer still for a fully functional driver. That, and the fact that the community will have to keep in sync with AMD with regards to new products. Maybe AMD has already planned the route, and the core developers already have full documentation, and AMD is only waiting for the "sanitation" of the specs for public release. That way the core developers can advance at a steady pace, and then get the aid from the rest of the community as the specs are being made available, that could dramatically reduce the time needed for a fully functional driver, but that would be mere speculation on my part (and wishful thinking).

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        My new computer (which is due soon, probably a christmas present to myself...) will have a 8800GT, although this chip isn't supported by the official nvidia drivers yet. Why you ask? Well because i tend to believe official Nvidia-announcements (and it was announced that support will come this week...) more than i believe the official ATI/AMD statements. As was said before ATI/AMD more or less wrecked their credibility during the last 3 years (that's my personal opinion keep that in mind maybe others experienced something different during that period of time...). I have to admit that it got better with the 8.42 driver but it's still FAR from being acceptable or even good. I'm glad i can finally run compiz but as the performance is well lets say decent it's more or less unusable (i think the reasons for that matter have been discussed a hundred times here so i won't mention them again...) To sum up, when somebody asks me what vid card he/she should buy (i'm the comp guru and thus quite alot of ppl ask me comp stuff...) the first thing i do is ask if they plan to use linux in the future and if they do, i tell them to go for nvidia because it's less PITA than ati (at the moment this might change in the future...).

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