Open-Source AMD Fusion Graphics Still Mixed
Phoronix: Open-Source AMD Fusion Graphics Still Mixed
While AMD was very fast to provide open-source Fusion graphics driver support under Linux (along with official support in their proprietary Catalyst driver), the support has not ended up working out too well for us. It has regressed since the November push. As mentioned in March, the E-350 Fusion Linux support took a dive in terms of its graphics support with some outstanding bugs. Since then, the support has improved and is now largely usable, but there are still some big issues.
Reliability + Performance are the reasons I always prefer the Nvidia binary drivers. I can rely on them working great because they are being made from the hardware manufacturer. With open source, being made by random coders responsible only to themselves, what works today could break tomorrow. That excludes AMD however.
Zacate is supposed to be an Intel Atom killer. Low price point, better than Atom performance, power consumption comparable to Atom and hardware accelerated video decoding. So very suitable for netbook like computers; that is if you're running Microsoft Windows.
But what if you want to run GNU/Linux on one of these? What sort of battery life would you get using catalyst or open source drivers? How well does it handle 720p and 1080p video content with XvBA, Xv and what about Adobe flash? And how much impact does video playback have on battery life using fglrx and open source drivers compared to Microsoft Windows?
I think these questions are much more relevant for potential buyers of a netbook with a low performance APU than what frame rate you get in game X. These things are not really meant for gaming.
Also I strongly disagree with your statement that: "The Catalyst driver though was -- and continues -- to work great for this interesting AMD APU". It's known that catalyst does not play well with gnome-shell. I don't care how much fps catalyst gives you get with game x, if the driver cannot even be used for normal desktop usage then the driver is not great. Games are not essential a desktop is.
I find it so funny (and hypocritical).
When KWin didn't work on Nvidia cards, everybody shouts "Buggy KDE!", but when gnome shell doesn't work on Catalyst, everybody shouts "Stupid ATI, can't write drivers that work!".
I have a Thinkpad Edge 13 AMD based, 1.5 athlon neo x2 and integrated ati hd mobililty 3200.
I bought this big pile of crap because of missleading articles about how everything runs great on AMD couse they are so into linux now and so open.
For my card no hardware acceleration even with official ati drivers. They tear free crap eats 70% of my Cpu when watching a simple xvid,dvdrip .avi file. Now with latest catalyst if i select opelgl for rendering my video still have tearing. Before that was the resolve to tearing. For me AMD sucked and will always suck no matter how many fanboys they win.
Intel drivers are open and if u say they are crappy than it means community doesnt do anything to impruve them. Give us the full specs and we take care of the rest is a big pile of crap too. If intel wasnt developing the VA-APi and their drivers u can be sure that community would take to doest tasks like 10 light years.
Nvidia on the other hand does or tryied to do a decent job with their drivers on linux.
What i want from my crappy AMD based laptop?. Regular normal user stuff :
1 . Watch 720p HD videos
2. No video tearing by default like nvidia has where i doest eat 70% of ur cpu to ensure tear free experience with terible lagging video and washed out colours.
3. And last not the least until they do get good support i recomend anyone going mobile to use intel chips. As i see it sandy bridge has accelerated hardware support for video , feature parity with their windows driver, and leave amd to enjoy their windows ppl not that give a crap about linux people or the linux community.
As last thing OSS drivers save the day or else my desktop would be rendered useless. I get like 8% cpu usage playing Xvid videos or bluray rips dvdrips, and like close 50% cpu usage on a 720p HD video. All those things are not posible with ati binary blob + i get the most wasted and ugly colors ever when playing a video.
Honestly i think that i have a better chance of fully featured OSS driver in 1-2 years from now than i`ll ever have to see an ATI/AMD official blob that will do the most basic stuff the a computer user needs.
I cant buy AMD crap ever again from a company than constantly fails in doing the most basic thing in computing RIVERS. My next laptop will surely be all Intel!
Hope i didnt offend anyone and i dont want to start a brand war but since now i only had AMD machines but i`m sick and tired of always lagging behind other users that use intel/nvidia combo.
I also have a ThinkPad Edge with AMD CPU. It works fine using the open source drivers, I have summarized my experience in this wiki page. Of course there is no video decode acceleration yet, but it can play H.264 1080p videos fine and tear-free using multithreaded ffmpeg/mplayer2. I have never even felt the need to install fglrx.
I have an AMD Fusion E-350 based Ideapad laptop for university, and it's working great and also does 1080p video through VA-API/XvBA if I need it.
So what you're saying is that all 3 of your major "most basic things a computer needs" are related to HD video playback? That's something that my desktop and laptop spend almost no time doing. I have an HTPC for that, and it works just fine with the AMD OSS drivers on its integrated Radeon HD 3200.
Originally Posted by adriankx
My list of basic current needs (based on myself, my wife, and my extended family):
1) Stable operation. This above all else.
2) Reliable suspend and resume
3) Non-lagged window switching
4) decent performance playing youtube quality videos (usually 480p at most)
5) OpenGL 2.x capabilities for some level of gaming
It sounds like most of your current needs revolve around playback of HD video, and probably mostly H.264/VC-1 encoded videos. If that's the case, you're probably best off with either the Nvidia binary drivers and VDPAU or Intel's VA-API library for their drivers.