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Thread: Open ATI Driver More Popular Than Catalyst

  1. #1
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    Default Open ATI Driver More Popular Than Catalyst

    Phoronix: Open ATI Driver More Popular Than Catalyst

    On Monday we will be publishing our results from the 2009 Linux Graphics Survey, but when looking over the results there is one set of numbers in particular that jumped out (though there are a few other interesting figures too). Below is a prelude to the Phoronix survey results that will be published on Monday...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzc3NQ

  2. #2
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    This doesn't surprise me one bit.
    On one hand a broken (on multiple levels) binary-only driver called catalyst, and on the other a completely FOSS and Out-of-the-box working driver that meets most people's needs in multiple desktops, 2D and 3D acceleration and suspend and resume needs. I am somewhat surprised at the timeframe: This means that either a lot of the people that voted use older hardware (like R500 chips) or use "experimental" software like I do for my R700 chip

  3. #3
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    When you think about 9-3 driver as last legacy driver release thats clear. The difference can be only R300-R500 cards and a few with R600+ who are oss believers - the users have just no other choice.

  4. #4
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    So while the Catalyst Linux driver may offer faster 3D performance, support for CrossFire, OverDrive, Big Desktop, XvBA, and many other features
    XvBA
    This is a non-feature. It's also the reason for my choosing Nvidia over ATI, even thought I recognize the superiority of the latter's hardware nowadays.

  5. #5
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    What I think is interesting, that this graph also shows, that ATi and NVidia are nearly a same percentage of usage (with a little advance for NVidia). I'm very interested in the full results on monday.

  6. #6
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    The only reason I still use the fglrx driver is power management. The radeon driver, even with all power saving options enabled, consumes 5-10W more than fglrx on my Mobility HD3650, and of coruse, temps go high and battery drains faster.

    3D performance is not relevant to me under Linux, as I use it mainly for work and movie watching. Recreational activities (eg. games) are left to another OS.

    2D performance is better on radeon, but as I mentioned before, power management is more important to me.

  7. #7
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    This is not really a surprise to me. The main advantages the opensource driver has over fglrx (which you didn't mention in the article) are

    * stability
    * superior 2D performance
    * tear-free video playback

    Unless you spend most of your time playing 3D games on your Linux box, the opensource driver is the better choice.

  8. #8
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    Well 2d performance is not really better, on 32 bit at least normal flash is accellerated fullscreen with fglrx. video playback using xv is certainly better with radeon (definitely NOT with radeonhd). fglrx without xvba is not that unstable too, but you really have to make a difference if thats the SINGLE choice driver for somebody or if they had a choice and used it.

  9. #9
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    Heh. I actually forgot that I voted in the survey a while back... I said in the survey that I was using Catalyst, since I was at the time. But I recently switched over to radeon from the xorg-edgers and never looked back. I wonder how many other folks switched to the open driver after answering the survey.

  10. #10
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    The graph would be a lot more readable if the text labels on the X-axis were flipped. that is, down for the text was to the right. No one makes graphs with the text flipped this way.

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