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  • #16
    Originally posted by Kano View Post
    You gain nothing with dedicated ATI. Those use the same drivers, only a NVIDIA gfx card would be better.
    except when it isn't.

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    • #17
      You can always get a bad card or the mb/card combination is not optimal. On a standard pc you can fix that relatively easy, on a laptop you lost.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Kano View Post
        @tball

        I got serveral ATI cards from Kanotix users, like 9700, 9800, X700 (Pro) (very short lifetime), and lately a 3450 HD just to optimize my fglrx script and to test the oss drivers.

        I know how much work it is to collect patches for fglrx, some i found even myself. I do that since fglrx driver 3.2.8. I patched even the binary part of it to support Xserver 1.4 1 month before ATI provided updated drivers.

        I guess I know the quality of ATI drivers, of course I own several NVIDIA cards up to 8800 GTS 512 too to compare both.

        fglrx has much more rendering problems, completely unsupportet patches for new kernels only, bugs that are in the driver for over 1 year are completely normal. The driver is a piece of shit, i only support it because lots of Kanotix users have got ATI cards.
        Fglrx is "only" supportet for the 4 biggest distros. Nothing weird with that. If kanotix isn't supportet by AMD/ATI, don't blame AMD/ATI. Maybe there just isn't enough users for kanotix (I couldn't say how many there is). Ofcourse the distros without their support, will struggle with patches etc. But hey, I run fglrx beautiful well on Arch with kernel 2.6.30 :-)

        Maybe supporting "only" 4 distro's isn't ideal for linux, because of all the distro's out there, but thats why it is great they help developing oss drivers :-) The oss driver will, most likely work with the newest kernel / xorg combination, on every distro you try it on. As enduser an oss driver will always be the best in my opinion, because of the 'works out of the box' expirence. An oss driver will always fit better in an opensource world, with the rapid changing kernel than any binary blob.
        Last edited by tball; 07-22-2009, 06:58 AM.

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        • #19
          That has nothing to do with specific distro support. fglrx has to work with every common xorg and kernel release - especially when it is out for serveral month. When you do a little comparison to nv than then have got 190.16 beta and 3 legacy drivers with direct 2.6.31 support. 185.18.14 needs a patch which can be easyly found. The legacy drivers beginning with 96.xx series run with any xorg release. That means every since a geforce 2 mx (not gts/pro) can be fully used even with the latest distro - that is a dx7 card. fglrx only works with dx10 cards for latest distros. Of course you could say the oss support from ati is much better, thats correct, but when ati considers dx9 cards as legacy for Linux, then no update will be made, thats not the case for nv. Then you know that you can buy NEW laptops with onboard ATI which is considered as legacy then ati drivers suck even more. You must expect that support is dropped as soon as there are oss drivers for it and the next gpu generation is available, not really future proof.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Kano View Post
            That has nothing to do with specific distro support. fglrx has to work with every common xorg and kernel release - especially when it is out for serveral month. When you do a little comparison to nv than then have got 190.16 beta and 3 legacy drivers with direct 2.6.31 support. 185.18.14 needs a patch which can be easyly found. The legacy drivers beginning with 96.xx series run with any xorg release. That means every since a geforce 2 mx (not gts/pro) can be fully used even with the latest distro - that is a dx7 card. fglrx only works with dx10 cards for latest distros. Of course you could say the oss support from ati is much better, thats correct, but when ati considers dx9 cards as legacy for Linux, then no update will be made, thats not the case for nv. Then you know that you can buy NEW laptops with onboard ATI which is considered as legacy then ati drivers suck even more. You must expect that support is dropped as soon as there are oss drivers for it and the next gpu generation is available, not really future proof.
            Well they are trying to support the legacy cards through the oss driver. No the oss driver aren't finished yet, but when it is, it might end up very good. When the galium3d driver is finished for cards < r500, they will see a performanceboost.

            Don't get me wrong, I agree that nvidia is faster with new kernel and xorg support. But they have too, because, they don't have a "backup" driver as amd/ati users have.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Kano View Post
              That has nothing to do with specific distro support. fglrx has to work with every common xorg and kernel release - especially when it is out for serveral month.
              This has *everything* to do with specific distro support. Fglrx clearly states that it targets 4 specific distros - anything else is unsupported and may (but will probably not) work.

              Don't like that? The OSS drivers work everywhere. Don't think the OSS drivers can meet your needs? Start coding or pay someone to fix them.

              Can't do either? Wait. The OSS drivers are improving rapidly.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                This has *everything* to do with specific distro support. Fglrx clearly states that it targets 4 specific distros - anything else is unsupported and may (but will probably not) work.

                Don't like that? The OSS drivers work everywhere. Don't think the OSS drivers can meet your needs? Start coding or pay someone to fix them.

                Can't do either? Wait. The OSS drivers are improving rapidly.
                Couldn't agree more.

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                • #23
                  It seems you like the fglrx support model, i don't. Telling somebody that only a very small part of the Linux universe is supported and the rest has to invent own workarounds to let users use the hardware they have bought is more than a bad joke. The problems are definitely not distro specific, they are globally.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    It seems you like the fglrx support model, i don't. Telling somebody that only a very small part of the Linux universe is supported and the rest has to invent own workarounds to let users use the hardware they have bought is more than a bad joke. The problems are definitely not distro specific, they are globally.
                    I didn't say whether I like or dislike it. I simply stated the facts.

                    1. fglrx was and still is a *workstation* driver and workstation requirements are distinct from consumer requirements. Among the differences: workstations use older but more stable software; they use commercial distros; they require solid 2d and 3d support. Desktop effects, video decoding and support for rc3 of kernel n+1 are irrelevant in this market.

                    2. AMD is ramping up support for the consumer market with the OSS drivers and with fglrx. Both drivers have improved *tremendously* during the last 20 months.

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                    • #25
                      Maybe i am the only one who did not notice that improvement when i compare it to NV.

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                      • #26
                        Well. I have also seen both and more GPUs perform in my boxes. And yes, nvidia isn't that bad but then my cards are long legacy and support for newer xorg, kernels is not actually good in legacy. And then there is nv and noveau but especially latter is in a very incomplete state. Can't blame noveau team, of course.
                        Then there is VIA. Do we all agree that their stuff is fubar?
                        Okay.
                        And the ATI ones, well, when it comes to fglrx it was working for me, until 2.6.29 and .30. On Gentoo. I do believe that they give official support only for certain distributions but the driver of course works distribution independent - as long as you meed the SW requirements. But also the free drivers gave me lots of display fuckup esp. on 2.6.30 series. So it is probably a matter of the Kernel side changes that makes both drivers (or all three if you like, ati, radeonhd, fglrx) mess around. But still I see AMD-ATI working WITH the community and even though I too dislike not having a working fglrx at the moment on my recent cards with my recent kernel or not have the free driver do any 3d - all this is to come. I will be patient once more and look at the progress that IS happening. For nvidia - they may be more power hungry and I see them as a thing that will possibly not last long once it goes legacy. And yes, espacially on notebooks it's often far more complicated to exchange the GPU if neccessary.
                        So since VIA, XGI (lol, anybody ever heard of them again?) are no option and intel won't sell cards nor do they offer the performance for recent games there is only ATI and nvidia left (is matrox still alive?). And then I rather go with something that has specs and will have a feature complete free driver soon than with something where I am fully depenent on nvidia's good mood.

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                        • #27
                          @kano
                          I was about to write something back about your nv vs radeon statement. But you know what :P It's alright if you love nvidia We could do this all day long. I don't think I can convince you about AMD/ATI's oss supiority.
                          Last edited by tball; 07-22-2009, 01:01 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Well I found several issues with my X700 SE/Pro cards as long as they lived, like wrong number of pipes used in mesa or not working ddc on vga only port. Flickering problems on each xrandr execution have been there too. Now those things are fixed and my cards are dead I hope my R600 card survives as long as it takes to get it fully supported. Xv looks promiseing - i don't use fglrx long, only for testing if the driver runs and if vdrift works, gl2benchmark renders, kernel support and new pci ids.

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                            • #29
                              I find this discussion really interesting. It's too advanced for me, though, but I try to digest the main points and crucial info that helps me decide on either ATI or Nvidia when I upgrade my card.

                              You can read my posts asking about 'which card?' etc. and I am sure many readers here are bored by such posts but I have experienced the 'latest' Nvidia driver install ordeal and although I've survived it, it sounds like a 'patch for the latest ATI driver' is a another animal entirely. Doesn't sound fun. Then again, although I've been Linux for a while now, I still feel as clueless as a newbie quite often.

                              I think Kano's critique is totally valid (not that my opinion matters for anything...) and here's why. I have read here and there regarding Nvidia and ATI on the Ubuntu forum and many users have ranted on and on about ATI cards and their drivers. This is in the latest release, Jaunty. Ubuntu is 'one of the four distros' ATI expresses that they support, right? It's a later kernel and I wonder if the situation is much better on a 'latest and experimental' type distro like Fedora.

                              I really would like to support ATI and buy an ATI card like the Radeon HD 4850 or HD 4870 but I don't want to be the guinea pig or the experimenter. I don't feel confident that I'm that able or proficient to do such advanced workarounds. I have been able to install the latest Nvidia driver on my desktop in various distros (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora) but I've struggled at times, too. But, with the experience, I am comfortable with the task and having to go to another complex and frustrating process is something I'd probably rather avoid. If you have problems from just using Compiz, that sounds bad. Maybe ATI needs to re-focus and take another look at their priorities? I understand the money is with Windows but I've even read of Windows users saying the ATI support is poor. Not sure about that but I know I've read it someplace.

                              Anyway, sorry to interrupt such an interesting thread and I'm sure both sides can illustrate good points and defending their perspective.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Ant P. View Post
                                but even that was loud compared to the new one.
                                Once you have had a quiet system you'll really notice the difference. When I start one of my older boxes I'm really surprised how loud they are.

                                I'm not too worried about other drivers; if something critical doesn't work I've got a shelf full of spare PCI cards...
                                Yes, but it's of course sad when some onboard component won't work. And today's boards often don't have a lot of PCI slots. Still most things should work unless a mainboard vendor chooses to implement some extra-flavour chips of their own. Iirc Asus put some strange derviate of RTL ALC sound chips on their boards that were seen nowhere else. Took some time to get them supported by ALSA.

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