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Thread: Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidicas View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but when I look through the features that Gallium3D supports, I look across and see that even on the new hardware they only support up to OpenGL 2.1.. Which is the same OpenGL level my existing hardware has.. So why buy new hardware if I can't use the features anyway? I've already been in that situation, and don't really see much purpose to go there again..
    But I thought you dont care if your driver is open, then you have more features with newer closed drivers fglrx or windows drivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidicas View Post
    I have tons of other computers for other purposes and appropriate hardware to match what I use them for, some of which are high end PCs but I still use this laptop a lot..
    so why do you then need so hardly higher opengl layers on this laptop just use it for surving and playing movies.btw, the new zacate based systems are great but they will not help you much with your opengl-opensource-driver problems, but if you really are willingless to use this buggy unstable closed-source drivers from amd they will help you, too. I more like the open drivers so I can test as example alpha distries or pre kernels or stuff and have always a working good x stack on my side that works with it with no problems...


    UPDATE:

    btw, I did buy a few years ago on ebay a x800 card with 2 dvi outputs, and also played sometimes with matrox cards because I wanted always much digital outputs and opensource drivers and the r300 driver was long time on a better state than the r500 drivers.(or was there another name for it I meand >= x1xxx cards and they were kind of more power efficient I believe. So yes I bought mainly for open source drivers older hardware when I think even x2xxx cards where out. So but because x800 cards did not support some dx9 features with blur or something what nearly each game at this time did use I someday moved on to a newer card and because this opensource drivers gets better.

    But now I did stop try to make work all with one computer, I stop trying to get a power-saving and gaming pc in one. I think I will end at with a zacate powersaving pc with digital grafics output maybe a notebook ( lenevo x121e ) for all but gaming. and some kind of a gaming machine, important point is that on both s3 (suspend to ram) works so I can connect both of them on my 26" monitor. the notebook with only linux and the gaming machine only with linux and open drivers. So my dual-boot-system switches os with a 2 second wakeup of the sleep modi and a 1 second switch of the monitor-input
    Last edited by blackiwid; 08-09-2011 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackiwid View Post
    But I thought you dont care if your driver is open, then you have more features with newer closed drivers fglrx or windows drivers.
    True true... But if the open source drivers don't support it, then I'd think that the game makers aren't going to be using those features on Linux, as they might take all sorts of criticism for encouraging people to use the closed source drivers.. Also I'm sure they wouldn't want to lose those customers who want to use only open source drivers..


    That's interesting thinking though.. What would happen if major game companies came in and put "closed source drivers only" as a requirement to play their games. It's hard to say whether that would be popular or not within the existing Linux community. Some people in the Linux community really care about that kind of thing, while some people don't, so it's very divided..

    Quote Originally Posted by blackiwid View Post


    so why do you then need so hardly higher opengl layers on this laptop just use it for surving and playing movies.btw, the new zacate based systems are great
    The only reason I need it now, is because some software is starting to use it now.. Also I've heard that the better drivers can help with 1080p playback.


    Yea, I was looking at replacing one of my netbooks with a Zacate.. Would be great for Ubuntu 11.10
    Last edited by Sidicas; 08-09-2011 at 05:24 PM.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    In fairness, you don't have viable alternatives to the open source drivers because we are providing support for older hardware through those open source drivers. That said, it's not clear how this suddenly became a bad thing.
    I didn't mean to suggest it was bad at all.. Having open source drivers is a very great thing to have.. But when it starts getting past 5 or 6 years after the hardware has been manufactured, and the hardware is still not fully supported on a platform, then I think something is wrong.. I've heard that Hyper-Z is still not stable in open source drivers. The open source drivers are clearly not getting enough work / attention, and I hope that things will change..

    The Catalyst drivers are also very great thing to have since it supports all the features, but hardware has fallen through the gaps there, and I don't think that was a good thing as some people do run hardware for a very long time for various reasons and are still waiting for their features..

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
    +1 Although I already suggested basically the same thing 4 posts above yours. The only real solution to this problem is open source engines, Distros can package the software but eventually it will break, If instead we're running engines and dropping in content, the games will last forever so long as the engine remains up to date. On top of this if the game engine is opensource you don't have to worry about putting in the effort to making it crossplatform, because guess what? It'll do it itself.
    I think we're talking about slightly different things, sure opensourcing the engines would be great, but even with close sourced engines it would be much easier for distributions to package just the engine, without any paid for content, than an entire game. After this step is made it would be easier to opensource the engine, think about it, everytime a game engine is opensourced, be it some ID tech or a game from the first Humble Indie Bundle there are lots of people posting "yay, I can play for free game X now", not making a distinction between the engine and the actual content.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidicas View Post
    I didn't mean to suggest it was bad at all.. Having open source drivers is a very great thing to have.. But when it starts getting past 5 or 6 years after the hardware has been manufactured, and the hardware is still not fully supported on a platform, then I think something is wrong.
    Not sure I agree with your use of the word "still". The X700 was a 2004 product (the last mobility variant came out in Jan 2005 IIRC), and the Catalyst drivers supported it until Apr 2009.

    Laptops are frequently a special case because the OEMs often want customized drivers and as a consequence end up deciding that managing driver releases and updates themselves is the way to go, but AFAIK that has historically only applied to Windows drivers. Did you try the later Catalyst Linux drivers from ati.com / amd.com and run into unsolvable problems, or did you only try the OEM-supplied (Windows ?) drivers ?

    IIRC the Omega-modded drivers were Windows only, weren't they ? AFAIK we have always tried to include desktop and mobile consumer device IDs in the Linux drivers although the testing focus has always been on the FireGL/FirePro workstation products (that's where the fglrx name comes from).

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Not sure I agree with your use of the word "still". The X700 was a 2004 product (the last mobility variant came out in Jan 2005 IIRC), and the Catalyst drivers supported it until Apr 2009.

    Laptops are frequently a special case because the OEMs often want customized drivers and as a consequence end up deciding that managing driver releases and updates themselves is the way to go, but AFAIK that has historically only applied to Windows drivers. Did you try the later Catalyst Linux drivers from ati.com / amd.com and run into unsolvable problems, or did you only try the OEM-supplied (Windows ?) drivers ?
    I've always been under the impression that Mobility X700 Catalyst drivers did not exist.. Do you have a link? Everytime I go to ATI's website for this mobility chip it says to go to HP's website.. I have tried to install the desktop Catalyst drivers under Windows that support this generation of graphics chip, but the installer aborts out and tells me that I must go download the drivers from HP, but HP has always provided the same buggy driver (non-Catalyst, it's just a vanilla ATI driver)... Under Linux, HP offers no drivers.

    If there is Mobility X700 Catalyst drivers for Linux, then I've gone 5 years without knowing about it, and you're getting me all excited now..

    Edit: Even when I select "Linux" to download the drivers, it wants to send me off to HP's website.. Where there are no Linux drivers.. Any suggestions greatly appreciated..

    EDIT: HOLY SMOKES, I found it!

    http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownloa...pe=Linux%20x86
    Last edited by Sidicas; 08-09-2011 at 06:44 PM.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidicas View Post
    Yep, that looks right. You'll need one of the distro versions that was around when that driver was released, something like Ubuntu 8.10 would probably be a good bet.

    Try to do a non-destructive install if at all possible - most of the Linux driver testing was on FireGL/FirePRO discrete GPU cards at the time so can't promise it is going to work on every laptop out there - but if you can try it out without losing what you have (or if you were planning to nuke the drive and update anyways ) it might be worth a try.

    Also, it's worth reading the install instructions very carefully, including the need to run aticonfig --initial before starting X. There are two different ways to install the driver -- "native installer" or building packages -- and they don't mix very well.

    Building a package then installing via your package manager will allow your package manager to know what's going on -- the native installer puts the files in but your package manager won't know anything about it.
    Last edited by bridgman; 08-09-2011 at 07:14 PM.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Yep, that looks right. You'll need one of the distro versions that was around when that driver was released, something like Ubuntu 8.10 would probably be a good bet.
    It just so happens that I'm already running Debian Lenny (oldstable).... So yea, the Catalyst drivers installed no problem and are working great.. Thanks for the advice, I've looked for the drivers before and always came up empty handed..

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ansla View Post
    I think we're talking about slightly different things, sure opensourcing the engines would be great, but even with close sourced engines it would be much easier for distributions to package just the engine, without any paid for content, than an entire game. After this step is made it would be easier to opensource the engine, think about it, everytime a game engine is opensourced, be it some ID tech or a game from the first Humble Indie Bundle there are lots of people posting "yay, I can play for free game X now", not making a distinction between the engine and the actual content.
    Yes, our points are different but extremely similar and largely compatible things, we're both arguing for a separation of game content from the engine as the only sane solution to this though, I simply find it very preferable if they open source the game engine, doing so brings a lot of benefit to the developer along the lines of being naturally cross platform and thus more people to sell your data files to, plus of course the engines will develop faster, and better.

  10. #110
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    In case anybody is curious...

    Hardware:
    Pentium M 2.00 Ghz
    ATI Mobility X700

    Catalyst: OpenGL 2.1
    r300g: OpenGL 2.1
    r300c: OpenGL 1.4

    Phoronix Test Suite

    OpenArena 800x600
    Catalyst: 129.33 FPS
    r300g: 90.97 FPS
    r300c: 76.73 FPS



    OpenArena 1024x768
    Catalyst: 106.17 FPS
    r300g: 74.77 FPS
    r300c: 60.60 FPS


    OpenArena 1280x800
    Catalyst: 93.47 FPS
    r300g: 64.27 FPS
    r300c: 51.37 FPS


    So without a doubt, the Gallium3D drivers are better in every way than the classic drivers, but there's still plenty of room for improvement in performance on the r300g drivers..

    Also note that the GPU runs much hotter under the Catalyst drivers than running either the r300g or r300c drivers.. It's very noticable. As far as I can tell, it's clocking up properly so I really don't know what's up with the temp difference. The Catalyst drivers are also burning through battery life faster, no doubt..
    Last edited by Sidicas; 08-10-2011 at 11:43 AM.

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