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Thread: A big(ger) dilemma...

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armin View Post
    ...
    At the graphics side I would also choose AMD/ATI. Again I still like the company :-) and they really put effort and money to the open source support.
    Now to the driver support: I'm quite satisfied with the driver (fglrx) support. This driver used to be really bad (2006), but it is actually now in a good state and works fine and is damn fast for all the OpenGL stuff I use it (there is no drawback compared to the Nvidia Quadro in my working PC).
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman
    Just curious, why does your intention of doing some OpenCL work force you to NVidia ? The Catalyst drivers support OpenCL on Windows and Linux (see Stream SDK) today.

    It's only OpenCL on the open source driver stack where you'll probably need to wait for a while...
    Hi guys, I don't want an OpenCL OS driver, but just a working OpenGL/OpenCL driver.
    And yes, my plans will be to play maybe at HoN and/or SC2 when it comes out with wine.
    Has anyone have ever had a good experience with wine and AMD/ATi?

    Btw the Phenom config could allow me to save approx 200 GBP on top of all :-P

    Cheers,

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    Hi guys, I don't want an OpenCL OS driver, but just a working OpenGL/OpenCL driver.
    And yes, my plans will be to play maybe at HoN and/or SC2 when it comes out with wine.
    Has anyone have ever had a good experience with wine and AMD/ATi?

    Btw the Phenom config could allow me to save approx 200 GBP on top of all :-P

    Cheers,
    Btw, I just read this http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=13... Is this true?
    Actually I'm a bit disappointed that AMD just supports Linux for corporates.
    I'm gonna email them and ask. If their answer will be no, we support only Linux for corporates, my answer will be to buy nVidia... I'd like to buy AMD, but not even asking for perfect drivers as nVidia, but at least acknowledge support for end users.
    If this isn't happening, my money won't go for AMD videocard.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    Btw, I just read this http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=13... Is this true?
    Actually I'm a bit disappointed that AMD just supports Linux for corporates.
    I'm gonna email them and ask. If their answer will be no, we support only Linux for corporates, my answer will be to buy nVidia... I'd like to buy AMD, but not even asking for perfect drivers as nVidia, but at least acknowledge support for end users.
    If this isn't happening, my money won't go for AMD videocard.
    If you don't need Eyefinity and you want to do Linux gaming, I'd seriously consider only nVidia at this stage. Some people mention that they're kind of happy with fglrx at the moment but when pressed they often mention that there are caveats with its use so the nVidia blob still seems to reign supreme for now.

    If you really want to support AMD, buy the nVidia card to provide a good user experience that wont have you hating AMD because their drivers have issues, and just make a cash donation to AMD as well.

  4. #24
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    @Emanem

    It does not matter if you buy 1 card from NV or ATI, the revenues are primaryly created by Win users - or OEMs which sell systems with Win preinstalled (if you install Linux on em later or not, it counts for Win). Therefore it is impossible that you can vote by buying one card or the other. Just buy what suits best for you NOW. I really hate when some users base their decision on future oss assuptions which will not become true in the normal lifetime of the card - in 2-3 ys a gamer replaces it anyway.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    Btw, I just read this http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=13... Is this true?
    Actually I'm a bit disappointed that AMD just supports Linux for corporates.
    I'm gonna email them and ask. If their answer will be no, we support only Linux for corporates, my answer will be to buy nVidia... I'd like to buy AMD, but not even asking for perfect drivers as nVidia, but at least acknowledge support for end users.
    If this isn't happening, my money won't go for AMD videocard.
    That was a wierd thread. I think it started when the original poster was told that the driver software was provided "as is" under the licensing terms, which is common terminology used by all vendors AFAIK. The original poster interpreted that as a slight against Linux and Linux users, when in fact the same terminology is used for Windows drivers as well.

    Part of the confusion comes from the fact that "support" can mean many things - offer drivers which "support" ie work with an OS, provide direct end user "support" to users of that OS, make a legal *commitment* to provide end-user "support" (service level agreement, service contract), make a legal commitment that your system *will* work no matter what it contains. Some of these we do, others we don't, similar to other vendors.

    The original thread was a bit inflammatory so other people jumped in to try to provide some background, but I'm not sure that background helped in this case. The fglrx driver grew out of the original FireGL Linux driver, what started as Linux-only code aimed specifically at 3D workstation markets (which tend to be corporate but are not exclusively corporate) then over the years evolved to make more use of common code (common across all OSes) and include features aimed more at consumer users (eg improved video support, support for composited desktops, support for more consumer-oriented distros etc..).

    It's probably fair to say that the fglrx driver still has a ways to go in terms of certain consumer use cases, particularly certain HTPC applications. You can either look at that in isolation and think "ooh horrible ATI/AMD" or you can look at the progression over the last couple of years and think "damn that's a lot of improvement, wish it was faster but everyone always does".

    In the meantime we have also been improving support for open source driver development, by providing documentation, direct developer support and AMD devs contributing directly to the open source driver code. The open source drivers have been much more focused on consumer use cases, so many of the users whose needs are not met by fglrx find that the open source drivers do meet their needs.

    Not sure whether you are talking about "corporate" in terms of end user application (eg "the workstation business") or in terms of supporting OEM customers who want to preload Linux on their systems and promote the spread of Linux by making it available off-the-shelf. We do think that is an important contributor to the growth of Linux and do focus some resources on working with those OEMs to make their experiences successful.

    Not sure if this helps. Could you maybe ask the question with some less ambiguous words ? Both "corporate" and "support" have too many potential meanings on their own.

  6. #26
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    Question

    Thanks for answers.
    What videocard I'd like to buy?
    First of all let me say, I think I'll buy a system between 1200~1400 GBP (4 cores, think AMD or even i7, 8~12 GB RAM) and so I'd like to have a videocard which will allow me to do the following:
    1) use my system (I think I'll install fresh Ubuntu 10.04 x86-64)
    2) let me play games as HoN
    3) let me play games as SC2 (via wine)
    4) let me develop in OpenCL
    I won't install windows, because of a moral matter. I would like to support AMD by rather buying their products because I really love their policy in matter of Open Source. But in 2 weeks time, when I'll order my PC (maybe is better to call it workstation?) I would really love to have your opinion about (1), (2), (3) and (4).
    During these years I've always had nVidia GPUs and, despite their closed source drivers, I've been always able to do (1), (2), (3) (I played WoW for + years) and (4) (old school GPGPU via OpenGL... a bit more painful then OpenCL ) without any glitch.
    In this thread I read mixed opinions about AMD cards (ie. HD 5770), so here's where all my uncertainty is.

    Cheers,

    Ps. I'm buying a customized pc, without windows. 1 less MSFT customer here!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    Thanks for answers.
    What videocard I'd like to buy?
    First of all let me say, I think I'll buy a system between 1200~1400 GBP (4 cores, think AMD or even i7, 8~12 GB RAM) and so I'd like to have a videocard which will allow me to do the following:
    1) use my system (I think I'll install fresh Ubuntu 10.04 x86-64)
    2) let me play games as HoN
    3) let me play games as SC2 (via wine)
    4) let me develop in OpenCL
    I won't install windows, because of a moral matter. I would like to support AMD by rather buying their products because I really love their policy in matter of Open Source. But in 2 weeks time, when I'll order my PC (maybe is better to call it workstation?) I would really love to have your opinion about (1), (2), (3) and (4).
    During these years I've always had nVidia GPUs and, despite their closed source drivers, I've been always able to do (1), (2), (3) (I played WoW for + years) and (4) (old school GPGPU via OpenGL... a bit more painful then OpenCL ) without any glitch.
    In this thread I read mixed opinions about AMD cards (ie. HD 5770), so here's where all my uncertainty is.

    Cheers,

    Ps. I'm buying a customized pc, without windows. 1 less MSFT customer here!
    Well I do basically the same in my everyday as you with my hd4650.

    1. HoN runs beatiful
    2. The oss drivers works with 3d out of the box on ubuntu 10.04. The restricted hardware manager installs fglrx without problems though (which I am using now).
    3. I use opencl every day. So far I haven't encountered any issues with my amd stream SDK.

    I haven't tried SC2 through wine though. Running fglrx currently, but I hope to switch to the oss drivers some day. They have VERY fast 2d acceleration.

    But I wont yell "BUY AMD/ATI!", because it might have some issues with wine still. I don't know why, because all native games runs very fine on my system.

    Actually when switching from the 10.3 driver to the 10.4 beta I got an ~20% performance improvement in opencl :-) I don't know if thats due to Ubuntu 10.4's xserver or the driver.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    3) let me play games as SC2 (via wine)
    If you're going to get an AMD card make sure that before you get it you get confirmation that SC2 via wine works properly with the actual model card you're going to buy with the actual distro you're going to use.

    Remember, many have bought cards in the hope that full support for their use cases would be forthcoming in a timely manner only to be disappointed with having to wait far, far longer than they really wanted to. It's all well and good for people to demonstrate support for some of the things you want to run, but until you get confirmation on all the things you want to do you may find yourself having to forgo some of the things you were looking forward to doing with your new system.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    ... I'd like to buy AMD, but not even asking for perfect drivers as nVidia, but at least acknowledge support for end users.
    If this isn't happening, my money won't go for AMD videocard.
    Nvidia and perfect drivers ... that's a joke? Actually today I ran in a kernel panic at my workstation pc with a "Nvidia Quadro FX 380" (that's the professional version of a GeForce 9500 GT)! Don't know yet what this is about, but yeah that's definitely NOT perfect.
    Ohh and actually Paraview (a 3D data visualization application) doesn't work at all: "Segmentation fault"
    Also this problem is not yet solved at my workstation, I switched to my laptop with an "ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650" where Paraview works perfect (with fglrx)!

    This whole Linux GFX driver thing isn't that simple ...

    Cheers, I have to check on this stupid kernel panic now.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armin View Post
    Nvidia and perfect drivers ... that's a joke?
    People should be very weary of anyone trying to make out that any graphics solution on Linux is perfect. There simply isn't one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Armin View Post
    Actually today I ran in a kernel panic at my workstation pc with a "Nvidia Quadro FX 380" (that's the professional version of a GeForce 9500 GT)! Don't know yet what this is about, but yeah that's definitely NOT perfect.
    It would be interesting to hear what the cause of the problem is when (if) it's solved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Armin View Post
    Ohh and actually Paraview (a 3D data visualization application) doesn't work at all: "Segmentation fault"
    Also this problem is not yet solved at my workstation, I switched to my laptop with an "ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650" where Paraview works perfect (with fglrx)!
    It's certainly interesting to hear of things that do work with fglrx but that don't with nVidia blob.

    But, and it's a very big but, which solution is superior to the other for the use cases that a particular individual has?

    So far the evidence seems to clearly be pointing towards nVidia for the usual desktop stuff. ATI cards are superior to the nVidia ones in my view, at least at the moment (even including GTX470 and 480 for the most part) but unless there is solid driver support for the things you personally want to do then the hardware might as well not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by Armin View Post
    This whole Linux GFX driver thing isn't that simple ...

    Cheers, I have to check on this stupid kernel panic now.
    Actually, for the usual home use stuff I'd say it probably is pretty simple at the moment. Unless you need Eyefinity, buy nVidia. Of course if you can put of your purchase for a while (maybe a long while ) then fglrx might be good enough with more development.

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