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Thread: an ATI 5870 its coming. Some questions.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default an ATI 5870 its coming. Some questions.

    Hello everybody.

    I just bought a nice notebook with an ATI mobility Radeon HD 5870, that I will hopefully receive soon.

    This is my first ATI card (i got tired of the NVIDIA rebranding thing) so i'm kind of new to this world. I have some questions.

    -which driver should I use for my card? The proprietary or the open source?
    -Is there support for my card already or I'll have to wait before installing linux on my notebook?
    -What do you think about the card? Is it a good choice (I will use this notebook mainly for games on windows, but I would like to have a small working linux partition on it)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    3,801

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wont View Post
    Hello everybody.

    I just bought a nice notebook with an ATI mobility Radeon HD 5870, that I will hopefully receive soon.
    You're in for a tough start. My condolences :P

    This is my first ATI card (i got tired of the NVIDIA rebranding thing) so i'm kind of new to this world. I have some questions.

    -which driver should I use for my card? The proprietary or the open source?
    The open source driver doesn't support HD5000 series GPUs. You might have problems with the proprietary driver too. For some people it works, for some it doesn't.

    -Is there support for my card already or I'll have to wait before installing linux on my notebook?
    Latest Catalyst should work. There are some people however that report it doesn't work with their cards. If that happens to you, you're out of luck and will need to use the generic SVGA driver.

    -What do you think about the card? Is it a good choice (I will use this notebook mainly for games on windows, but I would like to have a small working linux partition on it)
    The card is a hammer for Windows. Unfortunately, it's pure suckage for Linux. This also includes older cards, not just the HD5000 series. Common problems are driver instability, lack of VSync in composited desktops (like Compiz and kwin4), Xv support is crap (tearing and wrong colors), 2D is very slow (your desktop will not seem "smooth" but will lag and be jerky), no video acceleration for MPEG-4 videos... There are more and you're about to find out
    Last edited by RealNC; 01-24-2010 at 08:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto-ish
    Posts
    7,541

    Default

    Go with the Catalyst driver for now. It wouldn't hurt to pick a distro release that the driver is known to support; Ubuntu and OpenSUSE are your best bets for consumer distros; SLE* and RHEL for enterprise distros. Ubuntu 9.04 is probably a pretty safe bet.

    There used to be an optimization in the X server code ("no backfill") which was taken out a year or so ago due to problems with another vendor's hardware, resulting in sluggish 2D performance under a compositor. There are packages containing a patched version of the X server available for most distros, which put back the "no backfill" patch and speed up 2D performance with a compositor.

    If you have switchable graphics, make sure the BIOS option for "discrete" is selected. The "switchable" or "hybrid" options are not supported under Linux (or WinXP AFAIK).

    Post back here if you have problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default ATI Catalyst 9.12 and Ubuntu 9.04

    I am running a XFX HD5870 in Ubuntu 9.04 32-bit with the ATI Catalyst 9.12 driver and Server Kernel installed. Everything is working well. Ximerama enabled across two screens for big desktop against a 27in LCD and 22in LCD. I posted below my xorg as reference.

    Dreadmonkey

    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "aticonfig Layout"
    Screen 0 "aticonfig-Screen[0]-0" 1680 0
    Screen "amdcccle-Screen[2]-1" 0 0
    EndSection

    Section "Files"
    EndSection

    Section "Module"
    EndSection

    Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "Xinerama" "on"
    EndSection

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Configured Monitor"
    EndSection

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "aticonfig-Monitor[0]-0"
    Option "VendorName" "ATI Proprietary Driver"
    Option "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor"
    Option "DPMS" "true"
    EndSection

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "0-DFP3"
    Option "VendorName" "ATI Proprietary Driver"
    Option "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor"
    Option "DPMS" "true"
    Option "PreferredMode" "1680x1050"
    Option "TargetRefresh" "60"
    Option "Position" "0 0"
    Option "Rotate" "normal"
    Option "Disable" "false"
    EndSection

    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "0-DFP4"
    Option "VendorName" "ATI Proprietary Driver"
    Option "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor"
    Option "DPMS" "true"
    Option "PreferredMode" "2048x1152"
    Option "TargetRefresh" "60"
    Option "Position" "0 0"
    Option "Rotate" "normal"
    Option "Disable" "false"
    EndSection

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Configured Video Device"
    EndSection

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "aticonfig-Device[0]-0"
    Driver "fglrx"
    Option "Monitor-DFP4" "0-DFP4"
    BusID "PCI:2:0:0"
    EndSection

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "amdcccle-Device[2]-1"
    Driver "fglrx"
    Option "Monitor-DFP3" "0-DFP3"
    BusID "PCI:2:0:0"
    Screen 1
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    Device "Configured Video Device"
    Monitor "Configured Monitor"
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "aticonfig-Screen[0]-0"
    Device "aticonfig-Device[0]-0"
    Monitor "aticonfig-Monitor[0]-0"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 24
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "amdcccle-Screen[2]-1"
    Device "amdcccle-Device[2]-1"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 24
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

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