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  • Fglrx or Radeonhd?

    Hi. I am a quite new user of Linux. I switched to the open source world because I like trying new things and now I am stuck. So far all my hardware have worked out of the box except the ATI graphic card (Works out of the box in Intrepid). Now i wonder if it is worth the time and effort to install the open source driver.

    As far as I understand there are three drivers to consider:

    1. Fglrx, the proprietary driver.
    2. Radeonhd, a new open source driver.
    3. Mesa, well mesa is just mesa. (Now with 3d support?)

    Right I am using Fglrx 8.11 secret beta that came with Kubuntu. I do not have any effects on because it makes scrolling very slow. My card is a Mobility FireGL V5200

    The question is: How does Radeonhd compare to FGLRX? Is it a worthy replacement?

    I use my computer as a regular user. I am happy with my working Kubuntu install. But is a switch to the RadeonHD driver will make desktop effects work and scrolling smooth, that would be great.

    Thx
    Harald

  • #2
    First step would be to find out which driver you are running now. Intrepid includes all three drivers (radeon, radeonhd, fglrx) and I'm not sure which one it installs by default. You should be able to look in the x log (via system log viewer) and find out for sure.

    The versions of radeon and radeonhd in Intrepid are both a bit old, and IIRC the radeonhd version is really old.

    re: "which is better ?", the quick answer right now is that 2d and video are better with the open drivers but 3d is better with fglrx. Only caution is that if you are using the versions included with Intrepid then radeon will probably give you more than radeonhd. If you use the latest versions of each the differences are much smaller.

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    • #3
      Intrepid (as Hardy did) uses radeon by default for those cards where it works, including yours. It's not that old, and there's a pretty recent version in the -proposed repository that might end up in -updates soon.

      The radeonhd driver (which you have to install explicitly from the universe repository) in Intrepid is outdated, to the point of being pointless to have it included. This is a shame, but it just reflects the state of the driver in Debian during the merge phase of the Intrepid development. You can find unofficial updates for instance on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/XorgOnTheEdge

      The fglrx driver can be installed or removed easily (way too easily for my taste ) - using System/Administration/Hardware Drivers.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the answers!

        I have tried both Flrgx and RadeonHD now.

        Flrgx 8.11beta, the one that comes with Intrepid
        RadeonHD 1.3.2

        Just as bridgman said, i feel that Flrgx is faster if i enable desktop effects. However, the scrolling is too slow and i have trouble with watching video with desktop effects enabled.

        Without desktop effects i notice very little difference. I still went with RadeonHD because it felt like flash 10 was faster.

        Thanks..
        Harald

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        • #5
          I use fglrx for one main reason: power management
          Other than that I would be happy with current status of radeonhd
          I have 3870

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          • #6
            I get ghosting with 3d enabled ATI

            if i play a video in say, totem, using a 3d enabled fglrx, and move the window, a screenshot of video would be left behind. i dont care too much for 3d effects, but i like its highlighting effects, and i use it for that, unfortunately fglrx leaves ghosted images behind, and radeonhd isn't 3d. anyone know how to get 3d working without ghosting ?

            someone mentioned mesa? is this doable with ubuntu intrepid? it also has 3d support?

            thank you

            i have a firegl 7200 and i really like the color and graphics quality. i would hate for me to have to swap it for something else.

            i adapted the use latest ATI open source drivers post on this forum, to intrepid by correcting the repo, and despite doing all the relevant upgrades, it still wont allow 3d support using the experimental feature of radeonhd, i believe because my card is a firegl 7200. everything is looking beautiful though here since the upgrade i'm pleased with that.
            Last edited by germlin; 12-10-2008, 06:08 PM. Reason: more info

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            • #7
              Originally posted by germlin View Post
              I adapted the use latest ATI open source drivers post on this forum, to intrepid by correcting the repo, and despite doing all the relevant upgrades
              For Intrepid, you only need the -radeonhd package from the ~tormodvolden PPA. Do not use any Hardy packages or whatever.

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              • #8
                i did not use hardy packages for tormodvolden, i used its intrepid entry, for the video servers.

                i did try out the xorg edgers intrepid ppa entry though, and updated my xorg and mesa and believe it or not, i believe things appear nicer. is it possible i am mistaken?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by germlin View Post
                  i did not use hardy packages for tormodvolden, i used its intrepid entry, for the video servers.

                  i did try out the xorg edgers intrepid ppa entry though, and updated my xorg and mesa and believe it or not, i believe things appear nicer. is it possible i am mistaken?
                  The xserver and mesa in xorg-edgers Intrepid are just slightly updated from the official versions. (Therefore you can use the video drivers in my personal PPA, even if they are always built against the official xserver and mesa.)

                  But it's certainly possible that some of these changes made a positive impact on your system. Do you have any glxgears or x11perf numbers to back it up with?

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