Of ATI's likely 12 or 13 driver releases this year, the release coming out today should prove to be a very memorable moment for the red. Among other changes, the Linux display drivers now support the Radeon X1000 products. Yes, that is correct; ATI Radeon X1000 owners are able to publicly attain the new drivers -- which come after months of waiting since the X1000 launch last year and the X1900 premiere earlier this year. In fact, we at Phoronix now have up our complete ATI Radeon X1800 Linux Preview. Don't let the name fool you as not only is the X1800XL benchmarked under Linux but also the X1300PRO and comparison NVIDIA cards. In addition, we share a great deal of other related information as well as several in-game screenshots and a look at Avivo TexturedVideo. A whole lot more information, however, is to come shortly at Phoronix with reviews and other X1000 examinations. The release version today is v8.24.8 and it continues to abide by ATI's monthly release schedule.
With NVIDIA continuing in their 4-month major release cycle, and ATI Linux now producing monthly updates, the fglrx are quickly approaching the quality Linux users have longed to desire. With the green drivers, their "major" releases, which were once packed with viable and worthy updates, now ship with minimal changes. Last Friday was the launch of the 1.0-8756 display drivers, and with that, NVIDIA brought fourth support for the new GeForce 7 products and other light changes -- it certainly was not what most Linux users had expected after seeing no official release since the end of December. One of the highlights in the release was the new nvidia-auto-select mode entry. What this feature boils down to is when the Xorg driver builds the mode pool for the display device; it will automatically select the optimal mode. However, ATI has been relying upon device EDID (External Display Identification Data) since the v8.16.20 release that occured back in August of last year. When using aticonfig --initial, it automatically relies upon the detected data and makes it unnecessary to manually specify the various X modes. There were a few other changes in the NVIDIA drivers but for the most part, it was relatively dull, especially for the time between releases. ATI drivers, however, seem to be getting much more plentiful with each succeeding release.
The Radeon X1000 parts supported with the v8.24.8 drivers are the Mobility X1800/X1600/X1400/X1300, and the Radeon X1900/X1800/X1600/X1300. It is, however, important to note that the Linux drivers do presently not support the TV-out function for these new GPUs but it is expected that the feature will be functional in the near future. Mirror mode is also not available on these new products. It is also important to note that as of the v8.26.x release, which is expected for June 2006, XFree86 4.1 and 4.2 will no longer be supported. Another new feature in this release is the 3D accelerated video playback on Avivo known as TexturedVideo. This option allows the 3D accelerated playback for applications that support the XV (X-Video) extension. For more on this feature, we recommend checking out our ATI X1800 Preview.
The known issues in this release include the X server failing to load when using an ATI Radeon X1000 512MB product on certain motherboards, TV-Out not being supported by the X1000 products, toggling between console mode and X server graphical mode may result in a system hang, and a system hang may also occur when attempting to resume from hibernation mode. Some of the resolved issues with v8.24.8 is the Quake 3 texture corruption on Radeon 8x00, 9000, 9100, 9200, and 9250 parts, the installer no longer inconsistently backs up and recovers existing X configuration files, and now the ATI uninstaller (fglrx-uninstaller.sh) can now be executed from any path.