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  • #11
    So you enjoy buying hardware and then settle for zero support from the manufacturer, ...
    No, not at all. I was not very knowledgeable about graphic cards at the time of that purchase.
    The bad support from the official business channels left a bad taste.
    It seems like corporations just don't know how to do software right.

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    • #12
      As always it comes down to resources. AMD provides full support at launch time on Linux via the proprietary driver. This is possible, considering the relative sizes of the Windows and Linux desktop market share, due to code sharing. In open source we strive for basic Linux support close to launch time as well as providing information and advice to enable further development in the open source community. Adding new features to 7 year old hardware or tiny fringe OSes, doesn't really bring in new revenue, however, the information we release and the open source driver source can be used by interested developers on smaller platforms to add or augment support.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by agd5f View Post
        As always it comes down to resources. AMD provides full support at launch time on Linux via the proprietary driver. This is possible, considering the relative sizes of the Windows and Linux desktop market share, due to code sharing. In open source we strive for basic Linux support close to launch time as well as providing information and advice to enable further development in the open source community. Adding new features to 7 year old hardware or tiny fringe OSes, doesn't really bring in new revenue, however, the information we release and the open source driver source can be used by interested developers on smaller platforms to add or augment support.
        Maybe so, but buying nvidia means you get support till your card physically breaks down, whereas going AMD means you're at the mercy of people doing volunteer work. Which would you choose?
        Also, I think you meant "AMD provides full support at launch time on Linux via the proprietary driver as long as you're not using the latest X server"

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        • #14
          Originally posted by bug77 View Post
          Maybe so, but buying nvidia means you get support till your card physically breaks down, whereas going AMD means you're at the mercy of people doing volunteer work. Which would you choose?
          Nvidia doesn't provide open source support for any non-tegra asics and they do eventually drop binary support for newer distros.

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          • #15
            Word of mouth makes a difference

            AFAIK, at least about ten of my friend at my advice go to intel or nvidia. And always until amd does your job. You guess, i have a hd 4870. Bad image around me. For three years, whenever playing hd video eats up my cpu, it will strengthen my conviction. why drop support when basic hd video playback does't work well and throw almost anything to community. Amd never believe repeat customers.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by agd5f View Post
              Nvidia doesn't provide open source support for any non-tegra asics and they do eventually drop binary support for newer distros.
              Do you really think of open source as support? Do you coordinate between AMD dropping support for hardware and open source community, ensuring there's a viable alternative at the time?
              Support is either there or it isn't. As of today, an FX5200 (a terrible card fwiw) is fully supported, whereas its counterpart, the Radeon 9000 (a much better alternative) just received HyperZ support. Of course, the Radeon 9000 has been supported in the binary drivers before, but how long has it been since support has been dropped there?

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              • #17
                Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                Do you really think of open source as support? Do you coordinate between AMD dropping support for hardware and open source community, ensuring there's a viable alternative at the time?
                Support is either there or it isn't. As of today, an FX5200 (a terrible card fwiw) is fully supported, whereas its counterpart, the Radeon 9000 (a much better alternative) just received HyperZ support. Of course, the Radeon 9000 has been supported in the binary drivers before, but how long has it been since support has been dropped there?
                Yes, I do. I work on open source graphics drivers at AMD. Not only do we write much of the code, we also support community developers by providing hardware and an interface to our internal teams. The open source drivers have had good support for r3xx-r5xx cards for years. The open source drivers work fine for the vast majority of users and they support all the latest features of the open source graphics stack. They have full modesetting and 3D support and they are open source so anyone in the community can improve them or port them to another OS. Additionally, the open source drivers still have full support for r1xx and r2xx asics. AFAIK, nvidia never supported asics that old on Linux at all. Additionally, because the source is available, the community can develop things like mesa or wine specific GL extensions to better support D3D applications, or to expose functionality on the hardware that may not map to an existing OpenGL extension. Open source drivers also work out of the box natively on new user interfaces like wayland and android.

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                • #18
                  I've noticed a r600 hyperz patch rfc. Wondering whether r600 users will get hyperz support too anytime soon?
                  http://lists.freedesktop.org/archive...er/031223.html

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by agd5f View Post
                    The open source drivers have had good support for r3xx-r5xx cards for years.
                    Without HyperZ? May I take that with a grain of salt?
                    Also, can I use a 4870 with the latest X server and the upcoming games from Steam?

                    PS I noticed you avoided answering about transitioning support from blobs to open source.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by bug77 View Post
                      Without HyperZ? May I take that with a grain of salt?
                      Also, can I use a 4870 with the latest X server and the upcoming games from Steam?

                      PS I noticed you avoided answering about transitioning support from blobs to open source.
                      re: "without HyperZ" -- yes, that is just one more step in ongoing performance optimization, not a fundamental change in what you can do with the driver. It is important, but IMO it doesn't define the line between "support" and "no support".

                      re: Steam, I think the initial focus for Steam is via the Catalyst driver, not sure what the plans are re: getting games running on the open source driver. That was probably the right decision at least until we have consistent launch-time support for new GPU generations. We're still aiming for that to start with the Sea Islands generation.

                      Re: transitioning support, the decision to move a GPU generation to legacy is made based on market-weighted requirements across all the OSes supported by the Catalyst code -- the Linux Catalyst driver basically "looses the ability to leech off the work we do for other OSes" if you want to use forum terminology.

                      When we hear about a transition coming we do look for specific things we can do on the open source side to minimize the impact (eg the initial power management work Alex pushed out when we heard about the r3xx-r5xx transition), but since Catalyst Linux exists primarily to take advantage of code sharing across multiple OSes the decisions are made at an "all OS" level not at a Linux-only level.

                      If Catalyst Linux were a Linux-only code base then the answer would obviously be "yes we would coordinate", but it would also be open source and have pretty much the functionality of the current open source stack, except for the fact that work would have started a few years earlier (which would help). The problem with that approach is that it would not have given us a suffficiently capable 3D workstation driver, which in turn would have meant that the funding for Linux graphics driver work probably would never have materialized in the first place.

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