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R500 Mesa Is Still No Match To An Old Catalyst Driver

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  • #11
    Edit:
    lsmod

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    • #12
      From a non-programmer point of view

      We were told it was almost impossible to write good drivers with no specifications. Then, 3 years ago, AMD released the specs. Thank you, AMD.
      Three years passed. More specs were released. Developers worked very hard on them. Thank you all, developers.

      But the open driver still does not break the 30fps wall.

      "with Gallium everything will boost to the stars!" we are told. Maybe. But Gallium has been around for a while, and... (i'm keeping my ears shut...)

      http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14690

      No sonic boom?

      Look, I don't blame developers, really. They did everything they could. But the lack of good gaming and video streaming on linux has been a serious issue to its spreading in the world as a desktop system which could fully replace MS-Windows. And ten years of improving step-by-step-almost-there-but-not-yet, didn't get us to the goal.

      I wonder if it still has a point to continue developing drivers which will never catch up the (older) proprietary (but what's wrong? what's still missing, beside perhaps time and money?), or would be better to forget all the "free as in freedom" ideal for a while and set a fundraiser to pay AMD programmers for improved linux support to all chipsets from R100-R800 to the future?

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      • #13
        Originally posted by Pickup View Post
        or would be better to forget all the "free as in freedom" ideal for a while and set a fundraiser to pay AMD programmers for improved linux support to all chipsets from R100-R800 to the future?
        You probably wanted to say "free as in beer", because it describes your quoted sentence (however, still not very accurately).

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        • #14
          I forget:

          I wonder if it still has a point to continue developing drivers which will never catch up the (older) proprietary (but what's wrong?
          It already caught up in some things - 2D is better, video is without tearing, suspend/resume is working, OS driver is probably more stable. 3D is much worse right now, but it should get some boost soon.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by xeros View Post
            How can ColorTiling be enabled on Lucid (Mesa 7.7)?
            In xorg.conf (provided you have one, otherwise create one), add this in the driver section:
            Option "ColorTiling" "True"

            Only 3D performance should be affected by this. I can't assure you it has been tested by the Ubuntu QA team (i.e. that it works).

            Originally posted by Pickup View Post
            Just after the tests were done but before the article was published, the gallium driver became faster than the classic one (both without ColorTiling). Note that the driver is still not ready for general use.

            Originally posted by Pickup View Post
            Look, I don't blame developers, really. They did everything they could. But the lack of good gaming and video streaming on linux has been a serious issue to its spreading in the world as a desktop system which could fully replace MS-Windows. And ten years of improving step-by-step-almost-there-but-not-yet, didn't get us to the goal.
            Some radeon developers working on 3D (like me) are not paid for it, have a full-time job elsewhere (so money is not an issue) and due to almost no spare time, these devs stop working on FOSS from time to time. So the issue is mainly a lack of manpower and I don't think you can do anything about it.

            -Marek

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            • #16
              Originally posted by Pickup View Post
              I wonder if it still has a point to continue developing drivers which will never catch up the (older) proprietary (but what's wrong? what's still missing, beside perhaps time and money?), or would be better to forget all the "free as in freedom" ideal for a while and set a fundraiser to pay AMD programmers for improved linux support to all chipsets from R100-R800 to the future?
              Fair question, but the thing to remember is that developer efforts have been divided between improving "user visible" support (using the hardware specs) and re-architecting the lower levels of the driver stack (KMS, GEM/TTM, DRI2, Gallium3D etc...), with more than half of the effort over the last 2 years going into re-architecture work.

              What you had 2 years ago was basic drivers on a relatively old architecture which was limiting both performance and functionality (eg GL support was capped at 1.x). What you have today is equally basic drivers running on a significantly improved architecture. The drivers aren't much faster than they were 2 years ago (heck, they're slower in some cases), and you could argue that the code is even less mature in some ways, but the work that *has* been done over the last couple of years was a pre-requisite to the kind of functionality and performance that users want to see.

              From an end-user perspective it looks like "gee, after 2-1/2 years they're finally at GL 2 and even that is still buggy", but what really happened was more like 2 years of rearchitecture work that didn't give you *any* visible benefits plus a big spurt of progress in the last 6 months built on the previous 2 years of behind-the-scenes work.

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              • #17
                I'm still on an X1600 Pro (RV530), so I know all about the performace thereof... I switched to the open-source driver around the same time AMD introduced the amdpcsdb.

                Which reminds me... I may be getting an HD 5570 ("R8xx"). Is the amdpcsdb still in use?

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                • #18
                  Sorry, I left out one point. A lot of the re-architecture work was hardware-independent but needed to be done separately in each of the existing drivers (essentially taking existing code and re-implementing it in a different form), and the availability of programming docs wouldn't help much there.

                  Yes, AFAIK the amdpcsdb file is still being used by fglrx.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                    From an end-user perspective it looks like "gee, after 2-1/2 years they're finally at GL 2 and even that is still buggy", but what really happened was more like 2 years of rearchitecture work that didn't give you *any* visible benefits plus a big spurt of progress in the last 6 months built on the previous 2 years of behind-the-scenes work.
                    Is there any general idea when the end-user can start seeing the sorts of improvements everyone is crying/waiting for? Is there a change faster 3d accel is coming this year? Or more likely next year? Or even after? (But before 2012 as we all know the world ends then)

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by bash View Post
                      Is there any general idea when the end-user can start seeing the sorts of improvements everyone is crying/waiting for? Is there a change faster 3d accel is coming this year? Or more likely next year? Or even after? (But before 2012 as we all know the world ends then)
                      Both Ubuntu 10.4 and Fedora 13 will have 3D on default for R100-R700.

                      Both are released within 6 months.

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