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The State Of Open-Source Radeon Driver Features

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  • #61
    Originally posted by artivision View Post
    The thing is, that the most important future for a GPU, is to work well on Linux and under WINE. Then comes the LIBRE thing, and then price and others.
    Yes, I agree that the most important thing for a GPU is to work well on Linux. That is why "the LIBRE thing" thing comes second for me - I do not want to be tied down to blob drivers that are mostly non-native code shoehorned to work on Linux by replacing most of the graphics stack with there own sticky-tapped together solutions. Ease of install and use under Linux are priorities, which I is why I used AMD and Intel cards.

    And I game with my AMD card. Granted, this is mostly native gaming, but I do game and game often on the free R600 Gallium3D drivers and this is with the stock drivers available on Fedora 16; not the latest git. I am looking forward to the improvements I will experience with Fedora 18 in November, but I am quite happy with the performance I have now. A little slower than I would get on the blobs, but I make up for that with ease of use and better support.

    And the WINE thing is a bit of a red herring as I remember reading in another thread awhile back that part of the reason that Nvidia cards have an advantage is that back in the day they specifically coded Nvidia specific binary hacks into WINE to optimize performance on Nvidia cards. Not sure if I can dig up the thread again, but it was mentioned.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
      And the WINE thing is a bit of a red herring as I remember reading in another thread awhile back that part of the reason that Nvidia cards have an advantage is that back in the day they specifically coded Nvidia specific binary hacks into WINE to optimize performance on Nvidia cards. Not sure if I can dig up the thread again, but it was mentioned.
      Yap, I read that too somewhere. For example when EQ2 came out, the AMD cards just wouldn't render the characters while Nvidia were fine. There was a patch in a bug report for the problem. Today I still experience those problems with some games and the open drivers.
      On the other hand I can play most games with Fedora 17 and stock open drivers + some extra packages for 32bit Mesa, S3TC etc.

      //edit: so it would be nice if people in their reviews could mention what hardware they use (I usually do on appdb)
      Last edited by disi; 09-05-2012, 04:11 AM.

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      • #63
        I don't understand readers and posters here. The Nvidia thread gets shut down because people become childish over Nvidia ending support for older cards. ATI (AMD) has been doing that for how long? ATI/AMD open source division has done very little on expanding features as the same ones (i.e. many) are at a static situation of 'TO DO' forever but no one complains?

        AMD/ATI get a free ride here and it's pretty sad. Both these companies only support Windows. That's the bottom line yet few emphasize that. It is always about one over the other or how one is better than the other - around here.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Panix View Post
          I don't understand readers and posters here. The Nvidia thread gets shut down because people become childish over Nvidia ending support for older cards. ATI (AMD) has been doing that for how long? ATI/AMD open source division has done very little on expanding features as the same ones (i.e. many) are at a static situation of 'TO DO' forever but no one complains?

          AMD/ATI get a free ride here and it's pretty sad. Both these companies only support Windows. That's the bottom line yet few emphasize that. It is always about one over the other or how one is better than the other - around here.
          You cannot compare Nvidia and AMD open source efforts:
          Nvidia -> go to prison if you write anything about the specs!
          AMD -> here are all the specs, write a driver for whatever you need we only provide software for gaming platforms like Windows (same with motherboard chipsets etc. see coreboot)

          I didn't even post in the other thread because I don't care what they support in their binary drivers.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
            And the WINE thing is a bit of a red herring as I remember reading in another thread awhile back that part of the reason that Nvidia cards have an advantage is that back in the day they specifically coded Nvidia specific binary hacks into WINE to optimize performance on Nvidia cards. Not sure if I can dig up the thread again, but it was mentioned.
            Yeah well, lots of people read something on a forum somewhere and then repeat it. Unfortunately none of them actually know what they're talking about, and it's complete BS.

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            • #66
              There always is some reason for that "complete BS", like the Wine 1.2 release notes that says:
              - Many new OpenGL extensions are now supported. These include:
              [...]
              - Various nVidia extensions to ARB vertex/fragment programs. These
              allow SM3 support with the ARB vertex/fragment program shader
              backend.
              [...]
              - ARB_half_float_vertex. This adds support for 16-bit floating
              point vertex formats on cards that don't already support
              NV_half_float. It helps Supreme Commander.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Ansla View Post
                There always is some reason for that "complete BS", like the Wine 1.2 release notes that says:
                That clearly proves it then, we added support for a couple of OpenGL extensions written by nvidia between Wine 1.0 and 1.2. We also love nvidia so much we infiltrated Mesa to sabotage the free drivers.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Panix View Post
                  I don't understand readers and posters here. The Nvidia thread gets shut down because people become childish over Nvidia ending support for older cards. ATI (AMD) has been doing that for how long? ATI/AMD open source division has done very little on expanding features as the same ones (i.e. many) are at a static situation of 'TO DO' forever but no one complains?

                  AMD/ATI get a free ride here and it's pretty sad. Both these companies only support Windows. That's the bottom line yet few emphasize that. It is always about one over the other or how one is better than the other - around here.
                  AMD driver is FGLRX
                  r600g is a community driver with open documentation provided by AMD

                  so maybe we should rename r600g to NonAMDGenericLinuxCommunityDriverThatSupportsAMDHa rdwarebecausetheygaveusdocs600g??

                  403 times already
                  a.)r600g is a linux native !!!!community!!!! driver
                  b.)AMD is not endorsing or supporting or writing or financing or [fill whatver you want] r600g in any way
                  c.)AMD just promised Documentation, skeleton code and hardware support for the docs[aka ask the hardware dudes why [fill your asm atom] is doing B instead of A ] and so far they have keep their side of deal[pm bits maybe in a grey area]
                  d.)the entire linux graphic stack have the massive amount of 10 developers[<--tops] and is already impressive they reach this state in just 2 or 3 years [the previous years were graphic stack design not drivers]
                  e.)wanna make the development faster ??
                  1.)contribute code[read todo in git]
                  2.)hire a developer or get a group of ppl and make a fund to pay some developers
                  3.)sweet talk university students into gallium for their summer time[<-- the very nerdy ones]
                  4.)provide detailed bug reports
                  5.)stop whining and GOTO 1

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Henri View Post
                    That clearly proves it then, we added support for a couple of OpenGL extensions written by nvidia between Wine 1.0 and 1.2. We also love nvidia so much we infiltrated Mesa to sabotage the free drivers.
                    Actualy, in the case of half_float it was the other way around, 1.0 used to rely on the nVidia specific extension and 1.2 added support for the official Khronos extension. And probably there was a good reason for supporting only NV_half_float and not both from the beginning, like if the Khronos one didn't exist back then, but that doesn't change the fact that wine 1.0 would give an unfair advantage to nVidia blob as opposed to drivers that only implement the ARB version (for example r600g exposes GL_ARB_half_float_vertex but not GL_NV_half_float).

                    Again, I'm not saying that you do it on purpose, but rumors start from a grain of truth.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Henri View Post
                      That clearly proves it then, we added support for a couple of OpenGL extensions written by nvidia between Wine 1.0 and 1.2. We also love nvidia so much we infiltrated Mesa to sabotage the free drivers.
                      well henri is right those are only extension and the prefix is for the inventor,
                      NV_X nvidia
                      AMD_X AMD
                      APPLE_ apple

                      so thereis nothing weird that those are in mesa but is always better to stick to ARB when possible[since those must be supported by all vendors theorically at least]

                      now is true that many times in the past you have X extension in GL and nvidia/amd didnt agree in the functionality so both ended rendering different thing or ATI/nvidia used lesser render quality codepath to produce more FPS or many other ugly hacks in windows games but that is unrelated to wine

                      ofc wine could be using 1 feature[ARB or NV] that worked perfectly fine on nvidia hw but produced garbage or different effect on ATI hardware but that is an issue of AMD and Nvidia since they have to agree or stick to the standard in how to do X or devs will end up with a salad of branching[IE vs firefox case come to mind]

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