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Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

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  • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Not sure I agree with your use of the word "still". The X700 was a 2004 product (the last mobility variant came out in Jan 2005 IIRC), and the Catalyst drivers supported it until Apr 2009.

    Laptops are frequently a special case because the OEMs often want customized drivers and as a consequence end up deciding that managing driver releases and updates themselves is the way to go, but AFAIK that has historically only applied to Windows drivers. Did you try the later Catalyst Linux drivers from ati.com / amd.com and run into unsolvable problems, or did you only try the OEM-supplied (Windows ?) drivers ?
    I've always been under the impression that Mobility X700 Catalyst drivers did not exist.. Do you have a link? Everytime I go to ATI's website for this mobility chip it says to go to HP's website.. I have tried to install the desktop Catalyst drivers under Windows that support this generation of graphics chip, but the installer aborts out and tells me that I must go download the drivers from HP, but HP has always provided the same buggy driver (non-Catalyst, it's just a vanilla ATI driver)... Under Linux, HP offers no drivers.

    If there is Mobility X700 Catalyst drivers for Linux, then I've gone 5 years without knowing about it, and you're getting me all excited now..

    Edit: Even when I select "Linux" to download the drivers, it wants to send me off to HP's website.. Where there are no Linux drivers.. Any suggestions greatly appreciated..

    EDIT: HOLY SMOKES, I found it!

    http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownloa...pe=Linux%20x86
    Last edited by Sidicas; 08-09-2011, 06:44 PM.

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    • Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
      Yep, that looks right. You'll need one of the distro versions that was around when that driver was released, something like Ubuntu 8.10 would probably be a good bet.

      Try to do a non-destructive install if at all possible - most of the Linux driver testing was on FireGL/FirePRO discrete GPU cards at the time so can't promise it is going to work on every laptop out there - but if you can try it out without losing what you have (or if you were planning to nuke the drive and update anyways ) it might be worth a try.

      Also, it's worth reading the install instructions very carefully, including the need to run aticonfig --initial before starting X. There are two different ways to install the driver -- "native installer" or building packages -- and they don't mix very well.

      Building a package then installing via your package manager will allow your package manager to know what's going on -- the native installer puts the files in but your package manager won't know anything about it.
      Last edited by bridgman; 08-09-2011, 07:14 PM.

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      • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        Yep, that looks right. You'll need one of the distro versions that was around when that driver was released, something like Ubuntu 8.10 would probably be a good bet.
        It just so happens that I'm already running Debian Lenny (oldstable).... So yea, the Catalyst drivers installed no problem and are working great.. Thanks for the advice, I've looked for the drivers before and always came up empty handed..

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        • Originally posted by Ansla View Post
          I think we're talking about slightly different things, sure opensourcing the engines would be great, but even with close sourced engines it would be much easier for distributions to package just the engine, without any paid for content, than an entire game. After this step is made it would be easier to opensource the engine, think about it, everytime a game engine is opensourced, be it some ID tech or a game from the first Humble Indie Bundle there are lots of people posting "yay, I can play for free game X now", not making a distinction between the engine and the actual content.
          Yes, our points are different but extremely similar and largely compatible things, we're both arguing for a separation of game content from the engine as the only sane solution to this though, I simply find it very preferable if they open source the game engine, doing so brings a lot of benefit to the developer along the lines of being naturally cross platform and thus more people to sell your data files to, plus of course the engines will develop faster, and better.

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          • In case anybody is curious...

            Hardware:
            Pentium M 2.00 Ghz
            ATI Mobility X700

            Catalyst: OpenGL 2.1
            r300g: OpenGL 2.1
            r300c: OpenGL 1.4

            Phoronix Test Suite

            OpenArena 800x600
            Catalyst: 129.33 FPS
            r300g: 90.97 FPS
            r300c: 76.73 FPS



            OpenArena 1024x768
            Catalyst: 106.17 FPS
            r300g: 74.77 FPS
            r300c: 60.60 FPS


            OpenArena 1280x800
            Catalyst: 93.47 FPS
            r300g: 64.27 FPS
            r300c: 51.37 FPS


            So without a doubt, the Gallium3D drivers are better in every way than the classic drivers, but there's still plenty of room for improvement in performance on the r300g drivers..

            Also note that the GPU runs much hotter under the Catalyst drivers than running either the r300g or r300c drivers.. It's very noticable. As far as I can tell, it's clocking up properly so I really don't know what's up with the temp difference. The Catalyst drivers are also burning through battery life faster, no doubt..
            Last edited by Sidicas; 08-10-2011, 11:43 AM.

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            • Did you disable vsync for the open drivers? Catalyst tears by default you know

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              • Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                In case anybody is curious...
                Also note that the GPU runs much hotter under the Catalyst drivers than running either the r300g or r300c drivers.. It's very noticable. As far as I can tell, it's clocking up properly so I really don't know what's up with the temp difference. The Catalyst drivers are also burning through battery life faster, no doubt..
                Maybe the open source drivers are bad at keeping the GPU fed, so more of the functional units sit idle for longer periods.

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                • Originally posted by curaga View Post
                  Did you disable vsync for the open drivers? Catalyst tears by default you know
                  Yup.. My refresh rate is only 60Hz and all the drivers were able to go above that in FPS. Not much point in going above that, but interesting none the less.

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                  • Laptops are frequently a special case because the OEMs often want customized drivers and as a consequence end up deciding that managing driver releases and updates themselves is the way to go, but AFAIK that has historically only applied to Windows drivers.
                    I've yet to see a single case where this is actually a good thing for the consumer. Without fail, the OEM supports 1 to 2 versions of Catalyst that came out when they were selling the hardware, and then they stop all support. After a couple of years without updates, those drivers inevitably start showing their age with performance problems and bugs in newer games.

                    Presumably, the OEM's are paying AMD lots of money for this, because otherwise they are just making themselves look bad for no reason.

                    If you are brave enough to hack the drivers, you can get the standard desktop drivers running on laptops. It's just not officially supported by anyone.

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                    • .. or you run a proper OS, and the OEM can go screw itself, right?

                      But yeah, the windows AMD laptop situation sucks. I can't see either how that can be spun as a good thing.

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                      • Originally posted by curaga View Post
                        .. or you run a proper OS, and the OEM can go screw itself, right?

                        But yeah, the windows AMD laptop situation sucks. I can't see either how that can be spun as a good thing.
                        Yea, I don't get that part either.. I mean, if you buy a Desktop, then the Desktop manuf. provides AMD drivers on their website but everybody just goes to AMD's website to get them.. Try to do that with my laptop and you just get a great big wall around AMD's website which I always thought was strange. You even get the wall if you select Linux drivers from the main page for my hardware, but if you dig around you can eventually find the old Linux Catalyst drivers which I never knew ever existed until just these past few days.

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                        • Now there is solution of MP3 and H.264 "problems" for every Linux distribution. I just not understand why distribution developers not provide same solution for floating point and S3TC problems to end-users. There is report to Ubuntu Team for example: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...sa/+bug/823062

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                          • Originally posted by RussianNeuroMancer View Post
                            Now there is solution of MP3 and H.264 "problems" for every Linux distribution. I just not understand why distribution developers not provide same solution for floating point and S3TC problems to end-users. There is report to Ubuntu Team for example: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...sa/+bug/823062
                            Answer to wrong thread, sorry. Previous messsage for this thread.

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                            • One needs a standard API layer that translates to whatever software is in a distro. Use ZIP format for the package (free to use by anyone) and some kind of autorun language.

                              Linux standard base is not the answer. Stuff like Wine is, because it's a one-stop-shop for getting a plethora of (Win32) API software to run. 25 Xlib games not running on Wayland? Just port the layer.

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