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AMD 8.40.4 Display Driver

Michael Larabel

Published on 13 August 2007
Written by Michael Larabel
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Last month marked the introduction of Fedora 7 support with the fglrx 8.39.4 ATI/AMD driver but not much more than that was to be found aside from an undocumented XML file. This driver did also present watermark problems that led to the driver being recalled (watermark problem #2) and a corrected driver being pushed out. Today the fglrx 8.40.4 driver has been released and while many had speculated the 8.40 series would mark the introduction of the new Linux driver code-base, that's not the case for 8.40.4 driver. What changes does the 8.40.4 driver hold in store for Linux users? We'll tell you today but there isn't much.

Changes in the ATI/AMD 8.40.4 driver include the ATI signature (/etc/ati/signature, what had led to the watermark problems in 8.39.4) now being generated during the extraction stage of the install process. There is also a fix for Qt applications when DPI is specified on the Xserver command line. While nothing incredible, the 8.40.4 driver also has new TV out control options within the AMD Catalyst Control Center (it's now at version 1.3). There is also the usual variety of minor packaging script changes.

This driver does not contain support for the Linux 2.6.23-rc2 kernel and thus there is no Fedora 8 packaging scripts yet included for the Fedora 8 Test 1 release. For Linux x86_64 users, a native 64-bit edition of the AMD Catalyst Control Linux Edition is now present in the ATI installer.

With the 8.40.4 driver still being on the old ATI code-base, this driver does not support AIGLX, any performance improvements, or Radeon HD 2000 "R600" support. The 8.40.4 driver release can go down in history as another (non-exciting) maintenance release. The year is ending in just a few months, so you can be sure that there will be the new fglrx driver overhaul in the near future.

Discuss the fglrx 8.40.4 driver in the Phoronix Forums along with any speculations or hopes you may have for the new fglrx driver coming out later this year.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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