AMD 8.42 Driver Brings Fixes, AIGLX!
Now onto arguably the most sought after feature... AIGLX. It's been a long time coming, and it's here today, but there are a few words of caution. Be forewarned that there is a bug in Compiz 0.3 affecting the fglrx 8.42.3 driver and there may be a few other situations where Compiz or Compiz Fusion may not work immediately. The bug found in Compiz 0.3 and that's causing havoc with fglrx 8.42.3, has been resolved in Compiz 0.6. Next month in fglrx 8.43, AMD will be introducing a workaround for Compiz 0.3 support. If you try enabling the "desktop effects" in Fedora 7 with fglrx 8.42.3, it will fail. However, if you install Beryl or Compiz Fusion on Fedora 7 from a repository, it should work.
At Phoronix we have tested Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" quite extensively with the fglrx 8.42 series and have found it to work well with Compiz Fusion and its default effects. Whether you're using Ubuntu or another distribution, be sure to add "fglrx" to the Compiz driver white list, if needed. If you want more than pictures, in the new video area of Phoronix, there is a video of the fglrx 8.42 driver with Compiz Fusion Ubuntu 7.10. We also have two videos of the Radeon HD 2900XT with fglrx 8.42 running Enemy Territory: Quake Wars with all settings maxed (Video 1 and Video 2).
We'll have another article out shortly dedicated to using the fglrx driver with Compiz Fusion, but we will say that the experience has been very smooth and has been working great. Using a Radeon HD 2900XT has worked out great with Compiz Fusion as well, but we have run into a few small bugs where for example when alt-tabbing the windows during that effect have been white. Nevertheless, the bugs we have run into have not been show stopping aside from the compatibility issues with old versions of Compiz. If you are running an ATI Radeon X300 or another low-end Radeon graphics card with a slow single-core CPU, don't expect to get much out of AIGLX. Like NVIDIA, you do need a modestly powered graphics card and processor in order to be able to handle the advanced Compiz or Compiz Fusion effects.
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