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  • #16
    Great news, I will definitely reward AMD's open source engagement and it's new open information politic in all my buying decisions in 2008. If you manage to wipe out the last bugs in the Quadcore Systems I will replace some of our office workstations with new AMD/ATI systems.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Kano View Post
      The news is good, but maybe 1 year too late for buying current cards. Today the only hotfix for ppl with ATI problems is buying another card or lose too many features which would work fine with Win.
      It's not to late for current cards, as more details are released, less and less of the ATI graphics cards are left to trail and error information gathering, just look at how fast the Radeon HD3xxx series was added, it's already at the same level as the Radeon HD2xxx and Radeon X1xxx series... just give it time, and it will progress.

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      • #18
        I had my hands on a HD3870 for a few hours but it seemed to me Power Play was not working. I had no voltmeter but I could hear the fan was driving faster under Linux with Catalyst 7.12 than under Windows XP, both Idle on the Desktop.

        So if you want painless operation with all features working and you need it right now, the news come to late. On the other hand we will see the RadeonHD driver rise and fglrx improve. In a few month it could be a pity not to own a Radeon from a Linux users point of view.

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        • #19
          It may take a year until total (closed source) support is as good as nvidia. On the the other hand, open source support will likely pass nvidia in the next few months (as soon as 2d and really basic 3d stuff is done.) I'd like to see 2d/EXA get a bit more emphasis, as ati cards are now the only kind that have no (working support). The radeon driver's EXA is massively slow and buggy on my r500 and I'm afraid of being "caught in the gap" between older chips that have EXA working under radeon, and newer chips which will benefit from this doc release and use shaders to emulate it.

          Once 3d is working, it likely won't be to hard to patch in glucose acceleration, but I do wonder how long the 3d end will take.

          I do want to get a look at the new docs to see if they bring forward anything in my grokking range so that I can help out. The radeonhd code doesn't have any acceleration in it, and the radeon code looks like it needs work and also looks a bit "magicky" in places.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by bridgman View Post
            Going forward, particularly for 3d, "making up new documentation from a wide variety of internal sources" is probably closer to the mark. We can rely on existing docs for filling in knowledge gaps in older chips but we don't have a "Young Person's Guide to Writing Drivers for the Latest Radeon Chips" document lying around.
            After you finish that you guys should write a "How to make your own 3d Radeon Driver For Dummies" book. I predict it being a best seller.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by koolmanoncampus View Post
              After you finish that you guys should write a "How to make your own 3d Radeon Driver For Dummies" book. I predict it being a best seller.
              When they are "finished", there will be a working driver with 2D, 3D, and video playback support. I am not sure how many users at that point would then be interested in writing their "own" driver, plus even with the documentation in hand it still would be very time intensive and require much work.... and lead to fragmentation.
              Michael Larabel
              http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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              • #22
                All of this sounds very sweet, in a few months here will be no reason to buy nvidia for linux desktop.
                There is now some reason to delay some shopping, just to wait for the best AMD stuff.
                Does anyone have any estimation of how long it could take ?
                Few months can be 6 months or 2 years...

                Anyway thanks to AMD and to M. Bridgman for his insider point of view, it very nice to see a company involving with the community.
                Last edited by lucky_; 12-29-2007, 09:45 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by lucky_ View Post
                  All of this sounds very sweet, in a few months here will be no reason to buy nvidia for linux desktop.
                  There is now some reason to delay some shopping, just to wait for the best AMD stuff.
                  Does anyone have any estimation of how long it could take ?
                  Few months can be 6 months or 2 years...

                  Anyway thanks to AMD and to M. Bridgman for his insider point of view, it very nice to see a company involving with the community.
                  I was so impressed with AMD recently thanks to what I've seen here that I have invested a bit in the company. Assuming they maintain their interest in Open Source, my next board will definitely be AMD.

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                  • #24
                    I am looking forward to this dump, because it will not only effect linux but other free operating systems to get better 3d support with newer radeon video cards.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Michael View Post
                      When they are "finished", there will be a working driver with 2D, 3D, and video playback support. I am not sure how many users at that point would then be interested in writing their "own" driver, plus even with the documentation in hand it still would be very time intensive and require much work.... and lead to fragmentation.
                      Naturally... My comment was intended with a pinch of sarcasm.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by koolmanoncampus View Post
                        Naturally... My comment was intended with a pinch of sarcasm.
                        Ah, okay
                        Michael Larabel
                        http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                        • #27
                          This was something we discussed at the start of the project. The conclusion was that (a) since we didn't have all the information in one place, it would probably make more sense to write the document *after* the first driver was written, and (b) as Michael said, once we had the driver the need for the document was questionable.

                          On the other hand, documentation *could* help new developers to get started working on graphics drivers, but that would be a very different document from one which showed how to take advantage of every aspect of the chip. Right now the graphics driver world seems pretty scary to anyone not already working on drivers, and it would be good if we could do something to "lower the bar" for new people getting started.

                          My current belief is that a really small driver (smaller and less functional than radeonhd, designed only for experimentation not day-to-day use) might be a better use of time than a standalone document -- what do you think ?
                          Last edited by bridgman; 12-30-2007, 11:30 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                            This was something we discussed at the start of the project. The conclusion was that (a) since we didn't have all the information in one place, it would probably make more sense to write the document *after* the first driver was written, and (b) as Michael said, once we had the driver the need for the document was questionable.

                            On the other hand, documentation *could* help new developers to get started working on graphics drivers, but that would be a very different document from one which showed how to take advantage of every aspect of the chip. Right now the graphics driver world seems pretty scary to anyone not already working on drivers, and it would be good if we could do something to "lower the bar" for new people getting started.

                            My current belief is that a really small driver (smaller and less functional than radeonhd, designed only for experimentation not day-to-day use) might be a better use of time than a standalone document -- what do you think ?
                            Mind you, I'm not a programmer, but my take on this would be something along the lines of "what's good for the goose is prolly good for the gander, but not necessarily good for anything else"

                            I know its a cliche, however it fits in this case. You are already planning on releasing a minimal driver as an example in the next documentation drop. That should be good enough to fill the role of helping new developers get used to driver structure and general design. However a very minimal driver will absolutely not help new developers get anywhere beyond noobs. It'll gve them a taste but that is all it will be able to do.

                            In the end I believe that nothing less then a small example driver --with-- accompanying documentation will be acceptable. In this case the documentation should --not-- be a direct correlation with the driver, because the driver should be commented appropriately. Instead t should be written independently, but with the same goal as the example driver. So in the end the example driver and the documentation will be two different implementations of the same thing. This I can promise you will be far more effective then either one of these options alone. I believe they are both equally needed.

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                            • #29
                              No argument there. Only question is whether the documentation should be standalone or embedded in the code. My experience has been that really well documented code is more useful than separate doc & code, but that's just personal experience not fact.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                                My experience has been that really well documented code is more useful than separate doc & code, but that's just personal experience not fact.
                                I'd agree with that too.
                                Michael Larabel
                                http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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