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An Open-Source Radeon HD 4670? Sort Of.

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  • An Open-Source Radeon HD 4670? Sort Of.

    Phoronix: An Open-Source Radeon HD 4670? Sort Of.

    When the Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 were introduced earlier this year, it was wonderful. These latest high-end graphics cards from ATI had same-day Linux support through their Catalyst driver and the open-source ATI drivers had "just worked" with the RV770 series. The mode-setting support with the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd drivers just required adding in the PCI IDs for these new PCI Express graphics cards and then the rest of the magic was provided by AtomBIOS. However, with the introduction of the Radeon HD 4600 series, not everything is working instantly with the open-source drivers.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=12850

  • #2
    I'm looking at the budget HD4000 card, 4350. Any hints on when it'll be out, or how it'll run?

    Edit: also a typo, instead of 4670 there is 4780 mentioned

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    • #3
      Small mistake I think:

      "The xf86-video-ati driver has been using AtomBIOS since last year when they decided to add support for the R500/600 series, while it wasn't until July when they finally adopted AtomBIOS under pressure from AMD."

      Shouldn't that read "...while it wasn't until July when the RadeonHD driver finally adopted AtomBIOS..."?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by zombiepig View Post
        Small mistake I think:

        "The xf86-video-ati driver has been using AtomBIOS since last year when they decided to add support for the R500/600 series, while it wasn't until July when they finally adopted AtomBIOS under pressure from AMD."

        Shouldn't that read "...while it wasn't until July when the RadeonHD driver finally adopted AtomBIOS..."?
        RadeonHD had been using AtomBIOS from before r6xx support was added to -ati at all. We just limited our usage of AtomBIOS to what we saw as appropriate. We now are using much more of AtomBIOS for the newer chips, but still don't use all of it as some of AtomBIOSes available functions are plain useless.

        An example of that is the support for I2C. Even -ati doesn't use that functionality. And there radeonHD uses the HW i2c engines directly instead of banging io lines directly.

        With the introduction of RV770, we just needed new code for the MC subsystem, and then the lesser-AtomBIOS code magically all worked. Later on we adopted a more intrusive use of AtomBIOS for rv770.

        I have no idea what needs to happen for rv730, we have received no news from our partner about this yet.

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        • #5
          Things are slowing down aren't they?
          No real updates for either video-ati or radonhd.
          Same situation on the ati spec front. What's going on? The summer break should be over...

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          • #6
            Same situation on the ati spec front. What's going on? The summer break should be over...
            they way i see it - they are probably waiting for dri2,gem and gallium.

            most likely people are now waiting for airlied who was porting radeon driver to gem in his branch, till it gets ready. just a speculation on my side, though.

            some developers are hacking and experimenting with new technologies on their private branches.

            also, radeonhd devs are known to sit quiet for a while and then drop ~100 commits on their driver at once, once their accomplish something fairly significant.

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            • #7
              Actually yesterday was "first day back" for a lot of the developers. Between vacations, XDS, and a week-long SuSE offsite event it's been pretty quiet around here. Should start to pick up again soon.

              On the spec front, 6xx/7xx 3D is by far the most difficult phase of the project so far, both in terms of IP review and getting the drivers working on the hardware. Normally we can "release the easy stuff" and let developers start working while we finish working on the more sensitive bits, but with the 6xx/7xx we couldn't find a useful way to subdivide the information so we're working in an NDA repository for now.

              I haven't seen HD46xx boards locally yet but libv emailed this morning to say that he had seen listings for them in Germany.

              I should probably mention again that we don't expect AtomBIOS to completely hide the changes (the digital outputs on HD46xx are "more different from rv770/HD48xx" than the rv770 was from previous chips) but we do expect it to reduce the time and effort required to get new GPUs running with the open drivers.
              Last edited by bridgman; 09-16-2008, 08:19 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                ...and gallium.
                I hope you are wrong on this one!

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                • #9
                  yeah ,me too :]

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                  • #10
                    I hope you are wrong on this one!
                    Why? What's bad about integrating Gallium?

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                    • #11
                      Nothing is bad about Gallium, but it will not be ready for a looong time I think.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by izual View Post
                        Nothing is bad about Gallium, but it will not be ready for a looong time I think.
                        Something like another 6 months or so, from my gauge of things right now. It's a bit long, yes. But, if it's within that timeframe, it'll be worth the actual wait.

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                        • #13
                          Maybe there'll be an AGP HD4670 by that time!

                          Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                          Something like another 6 months or so, from my gauge of things right now.
                          I'm currently suffering with an AGP Radeon 9550 and the Mesa driver, but don't want to tax my power supply or ear drums much further with a HD3850. A low-power, passively-cooled AGP HD4670 card sounds like a very good upgrade path to me. But judging from the state of the current R300 OpenGL support, all the effort is going into the Gallium branch.

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                          • #14
                            AGP is dying, unfortunately...

                            As for R300 support, Gallium3D will benefit the R300 cards as well. As for the AGP story, you might want to consider saving up for a more modern machine. Some of the titles, etc. for gaming will chew up that machine and spit the seeds out.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
                              Something like another 6 months or so, from my gauge of things right now. It's a bit long, yes. But, if it's within that timeframe, it'll be worth the actual wait.
                              That IS a looooong time for me

                              Well I need a graphic card for an older machine, so I think about putting my 2600Pro in the older machine and buying a 4670. That's the choice between two bad (or not good...) supported cards... (from an open source driver point of view)

                              I really hope that the Catalyst 8.10 will get decent 4670 support and hopefully less bugs! (tearing, 2D performance)

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