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  • Questions about the HD4870/HD4850

    Hello everyone.

    I am still considering replacing my 8600 GTS card with a new HD4870 or HD4850 one, mainly because of its 2d performance which I guess won't be fixed in time before the 8600 GTS is considered a legacy card and won't receive any new driver features.

    My last post gave me enough reason to postpone my decision, so maybe things have changed. Searching through the forums didn't give a clear picture, so sorry for asking those questions in a new thread:

    1. Are there still video tearing issues with the HD48x0 cards and the newest driver? If yes, are those going to be fixed at all...?!

    2. From time to time I like to play a good 3d game mostly through wine to get my head off my studies. Now I have read a lot contradictory things about possible wine <-> fglrx trouble. Could someone with a HD48x0 card please either confirm or deny that wine is working properly?

    3. AFAIK there is still no official 2.6.26 or xorg server 1.5 support. Are there "unofficial" patches that work...? Is there any chance that amd provides such support as fast as nvidia does for example?

    4. Is the 2d/3d/xv support in the radeonhd driver already usable or expected coming any time soon...? Any video tearing there...?

    Sorry for all those questions. But lately it seems like getting good hardware which works well under Linux is becoming more difficult each year. And I have learnt that it's better to clarify things before you end up with a card (8600 gts) that's just a pita. Even though I have to defend myself, the 8600 gts was an emergency buy because my old card died on me on a Saturday and I needed the PC badly for my studies.

    Ok... thanks for any informations!

    Have a nice day,
    Matthew.

  • #2
    Hello there, I think I can answer those questions, still if someone wants to correct me, they're welcome to do so:

    1-Yes it's present, running Crossfire HD4850 here and besides no crossfire support yet on Linux, video tearing is alive and pretty much kicking butts they said probably will be fixed in Catalyst 8.8, as of now, only mode that works with Compiz is X11 with no scaling.

    2- I did try everything on my current config, coudn't get Wine to work at all with current ATI Catalyst Drivers, was working before with NVIDIA, the problems are constant graphics corruption and remember that you cannot handle 3D and rotate cube at the same time, NVIDIA found a way to by-pass limitations but ATI is limited to current DRI standards so.

    3-I dunno about this one, current drivers fixed the "cannot install on ubuntu hardy heron", now they install directly without any additional steps.

    4-Not to be expected any time soon, they are working hard on R500 and R600 support, Radeon HD4850 is RV770, until R600 is finalized I don't think you will see RV770 so, I wouldn't count on that for the time being.

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    • #3
      I would like to tell you that Performance under vista is amazing in Crossfire though

      Comment


      • #4
        FYI we are planning to do 6xx and 7xx acceleration support more or less in parallel, since the programming model doesn't change much between 6xx and 7xx (even though the hardware changed a lot).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
          FYI we are planning to do 6xx and 7xx acceleration support more or less in parallel, since the programming model doesn't change much between 6xx and 7xx (even though the hardware changed a lot).
          bridgman, are you allowed to tell when support for the new xserver will come (without having to kill me afterwards)?

          (Take a look at http://ati.cchtml.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1012)

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          • #6
            Nope, but I can tell you we are working on it.

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            • #7
              lol ok! :-) But thx anyway; You gave me the info that I needed. :-)

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              • #8
                A lot of informations, thanks everyone! Even though I am more and more tending to get myself a HD4870 card, there are still some obscurities. I hope someone can shed some light on this:
                • Does the video tearing only happen while using compiz or any other compositor? Even though that would still be unfortunate but not such a huge problem by itself because I don't use any of those yet (because of my crappy card and instabilities). Or put the other way: does the video tearing always happen or is there a pattern one can easily avoid? (like not using a 3d desktop)
                • @bridgman: in some thread, you clearly stated that there are some problems with wine and fglrx. Could you please elaborate on this further? Is there an ETA for an fix or is this low priority?
                • @bridgman: you stated the plan is doing 6xx and 7xx acceleration in parallel. I haven't been following the radeonhd development very closely. Is there already some work done on this or is something expected for this year in this regard...?
                • @bridgman: even though you cannot state an ETA or anything like it but could you at least give us some clue what priority xorg 1.5 support has?
                • What OpenGL revisions are supported through fglrx and will be supported through radeonhd? Maybe any word on the upcoming 3.0 standard? (doing OpenGL programming myself, this is actually quite important)

                Thanks again. This is extremly helpful!!

                Have a nice day,
                matthew.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm new to ATI cards, but I've got a 4850 and I've seen tearing in games, so I think it's not related to the compositor.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grantek View Post
                    I'm new to ATI cards, but I've got a 4850 and I've seen tearing in games, so I think it's not related to the compositor.
                    ...and after reading around a bit more, I think I may be mistaken there - most talk I've seen is about video in compiz, so either it's related to the card and I'm right or I didn't tick the "vsync" option in my games

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RobotMarvin View Post
                      [*] Does the video tearing only happen while using compiz or any other compositor? Even though that would still be unfortunate but not such a huge problem by itself because I don't use any of those yet (because of my crappy card and instabilities). Or put the other way: does the video tearing always happen or is there a pattern one can easily avoid? (like not using a 3d desktop)
                      I think (low confidence info but worth a try) the issue is that we have a vsync option for OpenGL but not for TexturedVideo. If so, then one option would be to play back through the OpenGL path with vsync enabled. Haven't tried it myself but I think I remember seeing a post that it worked.

                      Originally posted by RobotMarvin View Post
                      [*] @bridgman: in some thread, you clearly stated that there are some problems with wine and fglrx. Could you please elaborate on this further? Is there an ETA for an fix or is this low priority?
                      Wine is kind of a non-standard OpenGL app and so it needs to work around driver implementation specifics to a greater extent than other apps. I don't think this has been done for our new driver stack yet. There are also some reported regressions with Wine in the 8.6 and 8.7 drivers -- we are trying to find out if those are actual driver bugs or just where we changed something unrelated to the OpenGL API which Wine doesn't like. I'm not the Wine expert though.

                      Originally posted by RobotMarvin View Post
                      [*] @bridgman: you stated the plan is doing 6xx and 7xx acceleration in parallel. I haven't been following the radeonhd development very closely. Is there already some work done on this or is something expected for this year in this regard...?
                      Until I have time to get the specs turned into something we can release publicly work is proceeding in an NDA depot accessible to specific devs from AMD, Novell and Red Hat. We are doing 6xx and 7xx work in parallel and most days are actually a bit further ahead on 7xx because we have better sample code to work with.

                      Originally posted by RobotMarvin View Post
                      [*] @bridgman: even though you cannot state an ETA or anything like it but could you at least give us some clue what priority xorg 1.5 support has?
                      Roughly, priority is lower than evil bugs, new GPU support and new kernel support but higher than most other things.

                      Originally posted by RobotMarvin View Post
                      [*] What OpenGL revisions are supported through fglrx and will be supported through radeonhd? Maybe any word on the upcoming 3.0 standard? (doing OpenGL programming myself, this is actually quite important)
                      I think it's 2.1-ish today although there I think there were issues reported against pointsprites, not sure if those are a 2.1 requirement. No comment on 3.0 before Siggraph, not sure what will happen after.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                        I think (low confidence info but worth a try) the issue is that we have a vsync option for OpenGL but not for TexturedVideo. If so, then one option would be to play back through the OpenGL path with vsync enabled. Haven't tried it myself but I think I remember seeing a post that it worked.
                        It works. Problem is, you're stalling mplayer decoder that way; for HD 720p video that means you'll need a strong CPU and for 1080p a Cray super computer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          ... the issue is that we have a vsync option for OpenGL but not for TexturedVideo.
                          I see. Video playback through OpenGL is still not very sophisticated and the only player I know of which pretty much works in this regard is mplayer- xine-lib (and thus all programs using it) or vlc are still rather buggy with OpenGL playback.

                          Is there any work currently on getting vsync support for textured video? Maybe some hint...? :-)

                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          ... There are also some reported regressions with Wine in the 8.6 and 8.7 drivers -- we are trying to find out if those are actual driver bugs or just where we changed something unrelated to the OpenGL API which Wine doesn't like.
                          Okay, so I shouldn't expect wine working any time soon if I get a HD4870, right? But knowing that it's been worked on is comforting.

                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          We are doing 6xx and 7xx work in parallel and most days are actually a bit further ahead on 7xx because we have better sample code to work with.
                          That sounds great. So 2d/3d accelerated support in radeonhd shouldn't be too far away actually. Hopefully sometime this year.

                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          Roughly, priority is lower than evil bugs, new GPU support and new kernel support but higher than most other things.
                          But it's coming sometime this year or if put the other way: once 1.5 is officially released, there will be support for it rather soon, right?

                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          I think it's 2.1-ish today although there I think there were issues reported against pointsprites, not sure if those are a 2.1 requirement. No comment on 3.0 before Siggraph, not sure what will happen after.
                          So fglrx is currently OpenGL 2.1 and radeonhd should be 2.1 too as that's what Mesa3d 7.x is advertising. Are there plans to move to Gallium3d once it's progressed a bit more...?

                          Thanks bridgman and everyone else for your very kind support btw!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RobotMarvin View Post
                            So fglrx is currently OpenGL 2.1 and radeonhd should be 2.1 too as that's what Mesa3d 7.x is advertising.
                            Mesa is at 2.1 with software rendering but support with hardware rendering depends on the hardware-specific code -- believe it's "just under 1.4" for the ATI/AMD GPUs so that is what you would get with both radeon and radeonhd.

                            Originally posted by RobotMarvin View Post
                            Are there plans to move to Gallium3d once it's progressed a bit more...?
                            Definitely. We just want to get basic support up with the existing Mesa code that everyone knows so we aren't fighting the GPU and the new driver framework at the same time.

                            Fighting the GPU is hard enough

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                              ... believe it's "just under 1.4" for the ATI/AMD GPUs so that is what you would get with both radeon and radeonhd.
                              Ok that's rather bad being stuck to OpenGL < 1.4 while using the open drivers because I do GL programming myself. :-( I guess there is no work in this area getting the support up to date? Or is this scheduled for the big move over to Gallium3d which would be almost equally bad because I guess Gallium3d has still a long way to go before it sees day light.

                              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                              Fighting the GPU is hard enough
                              :-)

                              I guess you jumped over two questions intentionally to not violate your "no comments on upcoming features until they're ready"-policy what I totally respect btw. But nevertheless it would really be great to know if there anyone is working on proper vsync support for textured video and if one can expect support for xorg server 1.5 at least shortly after its released?

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