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How Old ATI GPUs Can Be Faster On Open Drivers

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  • #16
    Originally posted by cookiecaper View Post
    Also, the argument about insufficient marketshare is wrong. AMD has to look at this as an investment, as the only Linux users that use AMD are those that don't know any better or don't have any other option.
    This is wrong. I switched from Nvidia to AMD because of OSS drivers, as did many other people.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by The Article
      A few days ago when publishing the results of benchmarking a lot of graphics cards on their Gallium3D drivers (about a dozen graphics cards) this left a...
      (Emphasis mine)

      Looks like something was lost in editing, or it was moved and the original sentence wasn't fixed.

      Originally posted by 89c51
      What would seem like a "feasible" thing to do is, for a manufacturer, to move its driver development to G3D on all operating systems (it is portable afaik).
      That would be cool, but I'm not confident that it will ever happen, for the following reasons:
      • If they did it using their proprietary driver, they'd probably have to modify a lot of code.
      • If they used the open source driver as a base, they'd have to implement all the missing features for their up-coming cards, and maybe older ones too.
      • In addition to making the (open source) driver feature complete, they'd have (well, want) to optimize and maybe implement those features which couldn't be implemented before (for whatever reason).
      • Possibly other reasons.

      That's not to say that there aren't advantages, but it's a big hill to walk over before you see them.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
        This is wrong. I switched from Nvidia to AMD because of OSS drivers, as did many other people.
        Some of us jumped to intel ;-) I'll be back to Ati once R600g solidifies. I hope my next htpc/sever can be a fully open source bulldozer/Ati on board graphics combination.

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        • #19
          R600g coming along nicely from my perspective

          I run an AMD Althlon X4 with integrated HD4290 and Gallium3d

          Graphics: Card ATI RS880 [Radeon HD 4290] X.Org 1.9.2.901 Res: 1920x1080@60.0hz
          GLX Renderer Gallium 0.4 on AMD RS880 GLX Version 2.1 Mesa 7.11-devel Direct Rendering Yes

          I run Linux Mint 10 and activated Ubuntu ppas for kernel and xorg-edgers and updated to a 2.6.38 kernel and manually created an xorg.conf to activate the r600g driver. Nothing too difficult to achieve.

          I do not play games so that side of things has no relevance to me. Desktop effects are smooth and laggless, much better than using Mesa. Video acceleation is only via xv but it works well with hardly ever any tearing that I have noticed. I now have WebGL and it loads quickly and runs smoothly and all the demos work. With Mesa there is no WebGL on ATI (my notebook running Intel has a half working WebGL on Mesa). I tried an Nvidia card and 32bit accelerated flash and found the actual video was not that good full screen (for my system). Hardware flash is in it's infancy so i should not be too hard on it yet. On the same system running the HD4290 and gallium3d un-accelerated full screen flash is a better viewing experience, albeit with a harder working CPU.

          It might be my imagination but everything seems sharper and clearer, jpg photos seem more vivid - or maybe that is just wishful thinking.

          So now I have a system that is running open source drivers and does everything I need and can only get better and better as it develops. Add a working OpenGL 3 and I cannot see me ever using fglrx again.

          So far Gallium is rock solid with no crashes or issues. Keep up the good work and I am very thankful for the efforts of AMD to open the specs and the devs for creating the drivers. And finally, unlike fglrx, I can just update my system with new kernels without ever considering that I might break my video driver.

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          • #20
            Another thing to keep in mind is that you have to compare apples to apples. An X1950 has more memory bandwidth and shader resources than an HD2400 for example. You need to compare comparable families (e.g., an X1950 and an HD3850).

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            • #21
              Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
              This is wrong. I switched from Nvidia to AMD because of OSS drivers, as did many other people.
              I was on ATI in my Windows days, but I have stayed with it in subsequent hardware purchases because of the OSS drivers.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by MostAwesomeDude View Post
                Stop talking about S3TC. We already have done as much as we can.
                Does that mean no libtxc_dxtn support for r600g? That would be sad.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                  Does that mean no libtxc_dxtn support for r600g? That would be sad.
                  no thats mean they make the architectur ready for s3tc but they can't add the suport.

                  they just wait for free devs in free lands to write that support in an external lib.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Qaridarium View Post
                    no thats mean they make the architectur ready for s3tc but they can't add the suport.

                    they just wait for free devs in free lands to write that support in an external lib.
                    libtxc_dxtn *is* the external lib. r600c uses it. If you install libtxc_dxtn, you get S3TC support when using r600c.

                    But r600g does not support libtxc_dxtn.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                      This is wrong. I switched from Nvidia to AMD because of OSS drivers, as did many other people.
                      Sure, every generalization has its exceptions, and I thought about mentioning this one specifically given the audience but decided not to. Some people switched to AMD to promote an open-source ideology, but imo they rewarded the company too early. AMD gives docs, which are helpful, but they don't really support open-source stuff, it's nearly always broken or way behind, and their proprietary driver is too, so that leaves most AMD/ATI users in a bad spot. They dumped docs in desperation during hard times hoping to buy loyalty from open-source purists without dedicating many resources to the thing or really supporting the OSS ecosystem, and I don't think that's the right behavior to encourage or reward. We want real support or real help, not lip service.

                      While there are some purists that support AMD for its decision to release docs, my experience has been that most Linux users still push nvidia all day long for practical use, because nvidia keeps their driver in a working state and is consistently adding new, useful features and fixes. AMD's proprietary driver, which is supposedly their supported Linux product, is generally broken for several months out of the year as we await compatibility fixes for the new X server, and we don't even need to mention the instability or lacking featuresets for that to be marked an instant fail by AMD. There are the open drivers, but the open drivers have much worse performance and many fewer advanced features in general (though they also generally have some nice other features that the proprietary drivers lack, like KMS, the featureset is not geared toward utilizing a discrete GPU to its ability).

                      This has never happened to me on nvidia; as soon as a new X is stable, there is at least a public beta release, usually shortly thereafter turned stable if not stable previously, that supports the new server. nouveau may be a harder slodge than ati due to lack of docs, but at least there is well-supported and useful alternative.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MostAwesomeDude View Post
                        Nobody pays the community developers to write code that makes GPUs more efficient.
                        Where is the "Donate" button ?

                        Originally posted by Qaridarium View Post
                        they just wait for free devs in free lands to write that support in an external lib.
                        Where are they ? Where is the "Donate" button ?
                        Because, in my case (I don't know if I representative of free AMD driver usage), r600 is useless without S3TC.

                        Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                        If you install libtxc_dxtn, you get S3TC support when using r600c.
                        No. R600c/g (both) doesn't support libtxc_dxtn.
                        http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by whitecat View Post
                          No. R600c/g (both) doesn't support libtxc_dxtn.
                          http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature
                          But r300c/g does.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by 89c51 View Post
                            openhardware doesn't matter that much (at least for the end user)

                            What would seem like a "feasible" thing to do is, for a manufacturer, to move its driver development to G3D on all operating systems (it is portable afaik). But i don't thing none of the big 3 (nv, ati, intel) are going to do it (or can ) .

                            I agree, but what I say is that as Open Software pushes propietary OSs, a good openhardware would push the big 3

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                              But r300c/g does.
                              See this bugreport on FDO:
                              https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=32888

                              If you want you can play around with R600_ENABLE_S3TC. As I describe you might be lucky and it works for the texture base levels (my tests were on a mobile R600 chip).
                              If you're not so lucky (I also did the tests on a R700 card) then you might trigger GPU resets. I presume some alignment is still wrong, which probably also depends on whether we're dealing with R600 or R700 architecture. Alex also told me that some formats need tiling, not sure if that's the case here. Still reading the docs

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                              • #30
                                LiquidAcid, dude. Is it described how to upload compressed textures on GPU in R600+ docs from AMD?

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