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The AMD R600 Gallium3D Driver Is Becoming Quite Fit

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  • The AMD R600 Gallium3D Driver Is Becoming Quite Fit

    Phoronix: The AMD R600 Gallium3D Driver Is Becoming Quite Fit

    One of the features of the soon-to-be-released Mesa 7.11 is a much more mature ATI/AMD Radeon "R600g" Gallium3D driver. This driver has received much work over the past six months and is becoming quite fit...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTU0MA

  • #2
    It's a shame that the article forgot to name Dave Arlie since he is *the* one working on it continuously.

    Of course, independent contributors sometimes commit patches. Especially Henri Verbeet worked quite a lot during this spring, as well as Christian Konig.

    Marek implemented all the ogl functions in not just mesa/gallium but in r600g, too.

    Unfortunately, Alex seems to only add new chips and fix some bugs, occasionally. However, I think he tends to work more on the kernel and ddx side, hence I'm definitely not saying he's lazy.

    It's a real pity that Jerome is not as active this year as he was in the previous one. He's probably working on something else or he'll just come with something big one day.

    Big kudos and thanks to all contributors! Your work is very much appreciated!

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    • #3
      Too bad power management is lagging behind, I can't switch to R600(g) on my laptop yet: even with the profile set on "low" my GPU heats up to a stunning 70 C (pushing the system temperature well beyond 40 C, too hot to work on) while Catalyst manages to keep it at a "refreshing" 55 C (with a respective system temperature of about 27 C).

      Other than that it's nice to see the driver progressing

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      • #4
        Originally posted by maleadt View Post
        Too bad power management is lagging behind, I can't switch to R600(g) on my laptop yet...
        Exactly the same situation over here...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by maleadt View Post
          Too bad power management is lagging behind, I can't switch to R600(g) on my laptop yet: even with the profile set on "low" my GPU heats up to a stunning 70 C (pushing the system temperature well beyond 40 C, too hot to work on) while Catalyst manages to keep it at a "refreshing" 55 C (with a respective system temperature of about 27 C).

          Other than that it's nice to see the driver progressing
          Full ACK! The power management in catalyst is the only reason why I use it. In regards to everything else the open driver gives a superior user experience and desktop performance (at least on my hd 4890 since it has enough power to compensate most weaknesses with regards to 3D). Unfortunately this chip produces a lot of heat when it is not fully throttled down. The "low" setting in radeon power management works great but it's still a long way to the blob.

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          • #6
            The power management is handled by kernel, nothing to do with Gallium3D.

            Originally posted by LibertyZero View Post
            The "low" setting in radeon power management works great but it's still a long way to the blob.
            Just to know, what is your GPU and MEMORY timing while in 'low' mode ? And voltage ?
            Because, in my case (RV770), 'low' mode freeze my system. I want to know if there is a real difference between 'low' and 'mid'.

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            • #7
              Well I have a HD4330 and I've been using the R600g driver on my laptop for several months now. I keep the power profile on low and the battery life is only ~10 minutes shorter than with catalyst.

              GPU temp idles around 55C, system temp around 40C, both of which are -IMHO- damn good.

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              • #8
                Yeah, it's pretty fit and fast, once you:

                *Turn off SwapbuffersWait
                *Force off DRI vsync
                *Build the driver with -march=native -O3 -flto
                *Compile own kernel with full preemption model

                Unfortunately, even then, bug 37168 keeps me on Catalyst. Every few days I try the latest git master stuff and latest kernel to see if it fixes the bug, but nope. That makes r600g unusable for me.

                I could go back to mesa 7.10.2 where the bug doesn't manifest, but then the performance is horrid, and it doesn't work with the other 3D apps I run.

                It's kinda like how wine works: app "foo" runs fine with wine x.y.z, but with wine x.y.z+1, app "bar" runs fine but "foo" is broken. So you either `make install' a different version of wine each time you want to run one of the different apps, or you just give up and say, eh, too many regressions for me, goodbye.

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                • #9
                  Also, since VDPAU is being hacked on by a non-AMD programmer on a voluntary basis I'm very curious if it actually ships in a usable state any time soon (if at all). Until then, pretty much all fullscreen youtube video will be choppy and throttle the CPU.

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                  • #10
                    The power management thing is pretty interesting. On my home desktop's HD 4770, everything ran fine on Linux. I just put in an HD 6870 (damn those things are huge, literally has millimeters to spare in my micro-atx case) and the FOSS drivers made it sound like a small freight train. I take it Northern Islands is still lagging a bit in the bare basics of hardware support.

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