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Recommendations on Radeon card for Debian desktop.

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  • #31
    Just a note -- the mesa git from yesterday locks up my computer regularly. If you're using mesa from yesterday, this could be the reason for the lockups.

    I didn't have such issues before.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
      Just a note -- the mesa git from yesterday locks up my computer regularly. If you're using mesa from yesterday, this could be the reason for the lockups.

      I didn't have such issues before.
      No software from git here. Just the latest Debian Sid/unstable. My original post has all the details.

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      • #33
        Solution: buy a Nvidia card for Debian. I have a Nvidia card and a Debian install. Works fine.

        I'm tired of ATI's refusal to support the cards. Especially, their decision not to support older cards. The responses on here from those 'who know' or work with ATI or xorg etc. have responses that show a lack of support or interest.

        None of my questions were answered and I'm boycotting ATI. I don't care if their new cards are good. They seem overpriced anyway and maybe the newer Nvidia cards will be better supported anyway. It just sucks that you can't replace a notebook graphics card.

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        • #34
          Is it possible that you damaged the card with overheating?

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Panix View Post
            Solution: buy a Nvidia card for Debian. I have a Nvidia card and a Debian install. Works fine.

            I'm tired of ATI's refusal to support the cards. Especially, their decision not to support older cards. The responses on here from those 'who know' or work with ATI or xorg etc. have responses that show a lack of support or interest.

            None of my questions were answered and I'm boycotting ATI. I don't care if their new cards are good. They seem overpriced anyway and maybe the newer Nvidia cards will be better supported anyway. It just sucks that you can't replace a notebook graphics card.
            I stated in my orignal post that I *do not* want to deal with closed drivers. I used to have an Nvidia card and although the 3D performance with their closed drivers and my 7800GTX was exceptional, there were problems and I was at the mercy of Nvidia --and Nvidia alone-- to update their drivers. Back then, it wasn't frequent at all.

            The same could be said of Nvidia: "I'm tired of ATI's refusal to support the cards. Especially, their decision not to support..." open drivers.

            Your post was off topic to my specific needs. I wrote an articulate and very specific request, and you felt the need to complain about AMD. It doesn't really help me.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by DanL View Post
              Is it possible that you damaged the card with overheating?
              Damaged the card within the first 5 minutes in an open ATX case doing nothing but playing flash videos and tooling with xscreensaver demos? I suppose anything is possible.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
                I stated in my orignal post that I *do not* want to deal with closed drivers. I used to have an Nvidia card and although the 3D performance with their closed drivers and my 7800GTX was exceptional, there were problems and I was at the mercy of Nvidia --and Nvidia alone-- to update their drivers. Back then, it wasn't frequent at all.

                The same could be said of Nvidia: "I'm tired of ATI's refusal to support the cards. Especially, their decision not to support..." open drivers.

                Your post was off topic to my specific needs. I wrote an articulate and very specific request, and you felt the need to complain about AMD. It doesn't really help me.
                It can't be said of Nvidia. That is false. They might have closed drivers and are not interested in expanding support of their open drivers but the general consensus is that they give decent support. Just look at the evidence: most posts about Nvidia are about better support than ATI's, whether it's open source or the proprietary fglrx. I haven't read any article or post about any newer Radeon card being any better than another for support.

                Even the devs in here have stated 'support for older cards' aren't important and are left to the 'Community.' Are they paid? Is there an incentive to pursue improving support and by what extent?

                When I suggested an Nvidia card I thought I was helping. I was hoping some ATI ppl would jump in and say, 'don't worry.... support is coming... ' etc. but no comments at all. 'Doesn't seem like a priority, unforunately. Some Radeon cards look good regarding specs and price but I dual boot and Linux is running most of the time.

                Not to mention, the numerous reports that the cpu runs several degrees hotter with the open source driver than the fglrx driver. I think that is relevant...well, to me it is.
                Last edited by Panix; 12-14-2009, 03:38 PM.

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                • #38
                  Nvidia makes a good binary driver -- better than ATI's. But they drop support for older chipsets too, and then you're stuck. My laptop still has screen corruption all over the place using KDE4, and it will probably never get fixed, as it's legacy.

                  For me, personally, a decent OSS driver is preferable to a really good binary blob. This is different from running one or two specialised binary applications on your free Linux system. The graphics drivers replace most of X Server, they replace a huge a chunk of the kernel, they allocate memory, talk to the hardware, the whole thing. Suddenly half of your operating system is an obfuscated binary thing that will stop being supported after 5 years. And then there are no free drivers to switch to.

                  There are quite a few Linux users who feel like this and appreciate the support that AMD is providing in terms of open source drivers.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                    Nvidia makes a good binary driver -- better than ATI's. But they drop support for older chipsets too, and then you're stuck. My laptop still has screen corruption all over the place using KDE4, and it will probably never get fixed, as it's legacy.

                    For me, personally, a decent OSS driver is preferable to a really good binary blob. This is different from running one or two specialised binary applications on your free Linux system. The graphics drivers replace most of X Server, they replace a huge a chunk of the kernel, they allocate memory, talk to the hardware, the whole thing. Suddenly half of your operating system is an obfuscated binary thing that will stop being supported after 5 years. And then there are no free drivers to switch to.

                    There are quite a few Linux users who feel like this and appreciate the support that AMD is providing in terms of open source drivers.
                    What Nvidia card do you have in your laptop?

                    Imho, it's laptops that is the biggest concern. You can't easily switch cards. You're stuck with whatever is supported. I'm tired of posting about my ATI Radeon 9000. Earlier kernels/earlier X.org versions(?) I can have 3D. But, switch to a newer kernel or recent distros and I have only found 2 distros so far that I can enable 3D. This is with an ATI mobility card and the OSS driver. How do you know your card will be supported? How do you know the OSS driver will be developed with your card in mind?

                    I do agree with you in principle and think the concept is good but the fact is, I am concerned about the resources they have to work with and the dedication. I don't want to worry about whether support will disappear or deteriorate and if this has to do with both Nvidia and ATI, I think a binary blob that has developers who are told what to do might have some advantage. Maybe the chance the support will last longer is there, I don't know.

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                    • #40
                      Panix, pretty sure I've posted this before but AFAIK what you are seeing is the result of the open source 3D driver going through a significant rewrite in preparation for moving to KMS/GEM/TTM and the testing focus has generally moved to KMS code paths.

                      Distros won't generally be moving to KMS and letting you see the benefits of this work until the spring releases, but predictably "the bugs are available to you immediately". In the short term you'll probably have best results with a distro that is shipping KMS, which today may just be Fedora 12.

                      Have you had a chance to try F12, and if so how is it working for you ?

                      most posts about Nvidia are about better support than ATI's, whether it's open source or the proprietary fglrx.
                      I don't really understand your argument here, since the open source nv driver does not include 3D support.
                      Last edited by bridgman; 12-14-2009, 07:16 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Panix View Post
                        What Nvidia card do you have in your laptop?
                        It's an FX 5350 Go, if I remember correctly.

                        And yes, the problem with a laptop is that you're stuck with it. I get corruption whenever I use XV for video playback under a composited environment

                        I understand that nVidia doesn't want to waste resources on a chipset that's more than 5 years old, but this is simply the intrinsic advantage of open source drivers.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                          It's an FX 5350 Go, if I remember correctly.

                          And yes, the problem with a laptop is that you're stuck with it. I get corruption whenever I use XV for video playback under a composited environment

                          I understand that nVidia doesn't want to waste resources on a chipset that's more than 5 years old, but this is simply the intrinsic advantage of open source drivers.
                          Well, I read of people claiming their GeForce 6100+ hardware working fine in Linux. I don't remember whether Geforce 5xxx hardware is said to work. I know it used to and I'm not sure whether it's claimed to work in newer distros/kernels or not.

                          My point is I've heard of older Nvidia hardware working compared to many complaints of older ATI hardware not being supported. I can only speak for my own ATI hardware on my laptop but I've read of many complaints about similar hardware.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                            Panix, pretty sure I've posted this before but AFAIK what you are seeing is the result of the open source 3D driver going through a significant rewrite in preparation for moving to KMS/GEM/TTM and the testing focus has generally moved to KMS code paths.

                            Distros won't generally be moving to KMS and letting you see the benefits of this work until the spring releases, but predictably "the bugs are available to you immediately". In the short term you'll probably have best results with a distro that is shipping KMS, which today may just be Fedora 12.

                            Have you had a chance to try F12, and if so how is it working for you ?

                            I don't really understand your argument here, since the open source nv driver does not include 3D support.
                            Does the KMS developments mean support/performance might improve for older ATI hardware (mainly, including the RV250?)? I found Fedora 12 to be decent with the OSS driver but Mandriva 2010 perfomance was best. I don't know why. Kernels in those seemed to be similar to those in other recent distros. Mandriva's and Fedora's latest offerings provided the best promise so what is different about KMS/Mesa (or any other relevant development) in those?

                            Btw, one off-topic question here: do you know, off-hand, what the current support is for this IGP (Radeon 2100 Graphics(740G Chipset) RS740 - Graphics core is RV410? I realize there is a thread topic for that but discussion on the support just kind of stopped with no real conclusion.

                            Is the OSS driver finally working on that? Just curious. As I said, one concern I have about ATI is you never know which side ATI will pursue, trying to improve OSS support or dedicating proprietary driver support on a given hardware. The concern I have is that the division will result in neither being any good.

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                            • #44
                              Fedora enables KMS by default, and I *think* Mandriva 2010 does as well. It's not just the kernel version that matters, it's whether kernel modesetting is enabled since that forces the rest of the graphics stack into significantly different code paths.

                              As far as I can see the big areas right now for 3xx-5xx open source are (a) finishing the transition to kernel modesetting, and (b) getting the Gallium3D driver ready for prime time. Both of those are architectural initiatives, which basically means that you won't see any real benefits until the work is finished and you start running on the new code. It sounds as if you are already having some luck with the KMS-enabled distros, which is promising.

                              The move to Gallium3D probably won't give you any immediate improvements, but the improvements that follow probably *will* be mostly on the Gallium3D code base. In the specific case of the 690, one of the things that really hurts performance with the open drivers is the fact that the software implementation of vertex shaders on the open driver stack is not as efficient as the one in the proprietary drivers, but one of the hopes for Gallium3D is that LLVM will be able to JIT-compile the shader code so that it runs much more efficiently on CPU.

                              On the r2xx side most of the work right now is on the KMS/memory manager side, making sure that is stable. I don't think there is much focus on the non-KMS paths right now, but it appears that by the next round of distro releases those paths will mostly be used for legacy support on older distros and for troubleshooting purposes only.

                              I don't quite understand your comment about "never knowing which site ATI will pursue" - the open source and fglrx efforts are separate and each have their own resources.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Panix View Post
                                Btw, one off-topic question here: do you know, off-hand, what the current support is for this IGP (Radeon 2100 Graphics(740G Chipset) RS740 - Graphics core is RV410? I realize there is a thread topic for that but discussion on the support just kind of stopped with no real conclusion.
                                The RS740 has been supported in the open source driver for ages (probably over a year).

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