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A Game Developer's Perspective On Linux Driver Quality

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  • A Game Developer's Perspective On Linux Driver Quality

    Phoronix: A Game Developer's Perspective On Linux Driver Quality

    After writing about the many problems with OpenGL, Valve's Rich Geldreich has written a new blog post about his perspective on the different major Linux drivers...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTY4ODA

  • #2
    Well, I'm not sure this AMD bashing (I'm pretty sure it is that vendor he refers to by 'B') is helpful.
    Yes, 'A' is ahead when it comes to OpenGL, but I don't think this black and white painting is any good.
    I can hardly believe this article is right by basically stating:

    A: All great.
    B: Get lost, you're doomed!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by entropy View Post
      Well, I'm not sure this AMD bashing (I'm pretty sure it is that vendor he refers to by 'B') is helpful.
      Yes, 'A' is ahead when it comes to OpenGL, but I don't think this black and white painting is any good.
      I can hardly believe this article is right by basically stating:

      A: All great.
      B: Get lost, you're doomed!
      Yes he is right ... and the article is not just about linux, B's driver is buggy as hell in windows too.
      And good luck reporting a bug to the support forums .. lol .. the only good thing they have are their tools.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think he doesn't give enough credit to the Radeon Gallium driver. Yeah, AMD is not putting nearly enough devs on it, but I'm hopeful when Steamboxes start taking off they realize having an open driver the community would port to other OSes if this ever happened again beats the shit out of having a massive black box you can't even fathom FOSSing due to patent and trademark concerns. And then maybe they will staff it up.

        Same with Intel. I didn't know their Windows driver was that bad. Isn't Mesa and Gallium meant to be portable? Why not just move development into that and have one working driver for Windows?

        I guess they can't do DirectX on Windows without it being proprietary, though. Isn't that funny? But it would make more sense to have a DX proprietary + FOSS GL driver package than having a GL / DX piece of crap that doesn't work and another foss GL one that does but is behind.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by entropy View Post
          Well, I'm not sure this AMD bashing (I'm pretty sure it is that vendor he refers to by 'B') is helpful.
          Yes, 'A' is ahead when it comes to OpenGL, but I don't think this black and white painting is any good.
          I can hardly believe this article is right by basically stating:

          A: All great.
          B: Get lost, you're doomed!
          Have you actually read the article? He gave A its share of criticism aswell.

          Comment


          • #6
            Vendor B can't update its driver without breaking something. They will send you updates or hotfixes that fix one thing but break two other things. If you single step into one of this driver's entrypoints you'll notice layers upon layers of cruft tacked on over the years by devs who are no longer at the company. Nobody remaining at vendor B understands these barnacle-like software layers enough to safely change them.

            I've occasionally seen bizarre things happen on Vendor B's driver when replaying GL call streams of shipped titles into this driver using voglreplay. The game itself will work fine, but when the GL callstream is replayed we'll see massive framebuffer corruption (that goes away if we flush the GL pipeline after every draw). My guess: this driver is probably using app profiles to just turn off entire features that are just too buggy.
            ... that must be the secret sauce.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by blackout23 View Post
              Have you actually read the article? He gave A its share of criticism aswell.
              I have to admit, reading that article more carefully, it's not black and white, indeed.

              My bad. :/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by blackout23 View Post
                Have you actually read the article? He gave A its share of criticism aswell.
                Agreed, he does his fair share of Nvidia... I mean vendor A bashing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by entropy View Post
                  I have to admit, reading that article more carefully, it's not black and white, indeed.

                  My bad. :/
                  And he definitely likes the Intel FOSS drivers the most, even more than Nvidia proprietary drivers
                  Vendor A will have to jump on the open source driver bandwagon soon in order to better compete against Vendor C's open model, whether they like it or not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also to note, he hasn't tried out A or B's open source drivers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by zanny View Post
                      I think he doesn't give enough credit to the Radeon Gallium driver.
                      Yes, but this one sentence is probably enough:

                      "At some point, the open source driver for Vendor B's GPU may be a more viable path forward then their half-functional closed source driver."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ua=42 View Post
                        Also to note, he hasn't tried out A or B's open source drivers.
                        Which is good, because we don't want him to comit suicide over A's open source driver which isn't really developed by A to be fair.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A = Nvidia
                          B= ATi/AMD
                          C = Intel

                          Pretty obvious. Nvidia uses a lot of Sillicon Graphics Inc code, hence why they won't open it. Interesting read about nvidia's OpenGL driver being broken, wouldn't have known from the consumer experience of using it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A=Nvidia
                            B=AMD
                            C=Intel

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DMJC View Post
                              Nvidia uses a lot of Sillicon Graphics Inc code, hence why they won't open it.
                              This is not an excuse or a justification for how insanely anti-FOSS the company is. AMD can't FOSS Catalyst for similar patent, trademark, and copyright reasons, so they just devoted developers to Mesa. Nothing except Nvidias own vindictiveness, awful legal department, and executive board stops them from doing the same.

                              Comment

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