Mantle is a mid-level API specific to a single GPU architecture. It is NOT a low level API, and can not deliver the types of performance gains a low-level API can offer.
Originally Posted by Commander
XB1 uses a form of DX11 tailored to the HW/SW stack of the XB1.
The PS4 uses a form of OpenGL ES as its high level graphics API, but also sports a libgcm library for low-level HW access. For performance, using libgcm is preferred over PSGL.
So you are starting to create an ecosystem that looks like this:
Windows: Mantle, OpenGL, or DirectX
PS4: OpenGL ES (PSGL) or libgcm
NVIDIA: OpenGL or DirectX
AMD: Mantle, OpenGL, or DirectX
You are fast getting to the point where we are going to return to the days where different API's/Vendors support different feature sets. Remember the days where Glide offered the highest quality level, DirectX supported lower detail but higher resolutions, and OpenGL had the lowest resolution but advanced graphical features? We're going back to that. And that's not good for the ecosystem as a whole.
All this goes back to the failure to significantly update OpenGL back in the 2.0 days.
It's been a long time since the OGL 2.0 days.
The root of it is that developers target the consoles and couldn't care less about PC gaming.
The open driver can also fall into a state of unmaintained mode and even dropped from mainline. This has happened with other open drivers. Same pitfall, if someone qualified isn't around or willing to maintain them, then they fall off the bus. Nvidia does support their products well past the point where there are a number of people still using them. That trend has always been the case since nvidia started putting out blobs for *nix.
Originally Posted by eydee
One of my boxes has a GeForce 4 and NVidia some time ago showed me a middle finger.
Free drivers rulez!
EDIT: Nouveau lit my 1366x768 monitor with no troubles, in NVidia's prop. driver it was really a hassle to configure.
Since we're sharing anecdotes...
Originally Posted by Mat2
I too have a box with a Geforce 4. Nouveau does not work well with it, this is the bug I'm hitting: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=54587. The blob works great however. I had to install xorg-server-1.12, which is the last version supported by the now end-of-life legacy branch for Geforce 4, but other than that no problems.
i have a laptop with a a8-4500m apu in it and the catalyst drivers did work, it was annoying how slow amd responds to xorg server updates and all the extra steps i had to setup to be able to install the driver (arch linux here). i also faced 3d performance issues and glitches when running stuff in wine. its no where near as good as on windows for performance but even when I had windows 8 installed I still had glitches. i'm now running the open source drivers and so far they have been working great except 3d performance....
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
on my desktop I have ran nvidia exclusively since 2005. fx 5200, 6600gt, 6800gt, 8800gts, 470, 570, 670, and now a 770 and never had issues. they work like a champ and the performance has been pretty much on par with windows.
My impression from this is same old story from AMD. They don't support Linux, open driver or not. Even the binary blob should work since they use Windows code but it's not the first time I read that it's unpredictable in Windows - meaning, it is not sure to work. I have read of Windows users complain about driver support regarding AMD. You expect Linux drivers to be good?
So, you cannot even use the binary drivers which should at least give full functionality of the card and decent performance. Yet, it's supposedly more buggy than open drivers?
If your choice is between open and okay performance but many lacking features and often bugs vs fglrx (just a mess?) which is not reliable, then it stands to reason that people will take nvidia since they invest a bit more even though they don't offer a decent free driver (and let the community support that). It's a shame but some ppl just want their cards to work without much trouble.
Maybe I'll get an AMD card for fun/kicks some day but from reading here, it sounds like it's a headache and probably many features not working or displaying bugs.