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.
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.
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)
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.
AGP may be dying, but by all accounts there will still be an AGP version of HD4670. And a dual P4 machine with 2 GB of RAM doesn't just lie down and gather dust, either . (The only failings I've really noticed recently are no NX support in the CPUs and the lack of PCI-Express.)
AGP dying is a good things, AGP is a painful technology with many buggy hw and it's a source of many problems we have. PCIE is more solid. Just to state my happiness of seeing AGP dying, even though the quicker the better.
Yet open source or AMD is still not there for older cards
I am in the same position as I was two years ago. At that time I bought the gigabyte mobo which touted the strengths of the 690G (x1250) IGP yet lefdt nothing but ash in my mouth as the *nix drivers were no where near the features of it's windows driver counterparts.
Yes, AMD/ATI has made great strides in trying to obtain parity and will continue to do so. However, the world and card development has not stood still.
So back to my purchase. Why would anyone buy and IGP unless it's for an appliance, mainly an HTPC. And that is exactly why I bought it. The US is finally moving forward with digital TV, yet we are still trapped by PCI bus architecture and analog TV video cards for *nix platforms.
Which brings me to the right here and now. I see the new 780GX with full [onboard] HD video and Dolby sound. Yet, if I buy the gigabyte mobo this week, I will use even less of features than I am right now with 690G, right?
As much as I hate to do it, I will be stuck with buying an WinXP-64 OS and building an HTPC interface from either MS Multimedia console (MMC) or buying a SageTV build just to use the basic elements of this new IGP.
I know I am asking a lot from where just a few years ago I would have had nothing at all, but still, this is a company in competition for as many consumers as possible. It still boggles my mind that the company touts more and more hardware releases with just a fraction of its capabilities being available -- and exepcting the buyers to be happy with it.
You want to beat Intel? You want to bury nVidia? Then spend the money and the resources here and now and have fully compliant, full featured *nix drivers out by Christmas. If they cannot do it alone, then ask Canonical for some cash and people.
If they cannot do it alone, then ask Canonical for some cash and people.
What makes you think that Canonical has the people that can get the job done? Heck they aren't even on the radar when it comes to X development. Same with the money, why should they have to flip the bill for driver development?