The Catalyst 8.6 driver -- which was publicly released yesterday -- is the driver that's being provided on the install CD/DVDs. Catalyst 8.6 supports the Radeon HD 4850/4870, but we just couldn't tell you about it until the embargo expired this morning. The Catalyst 8.6 Linux/Windows drivers are the same as what can be found on the CD.
The other part of this Linux move that we view as a significant milestone by AMD is the feature parity being reached between their Windows and Linux drivers. The major features lacking from the Linux driver right now are support for CrossFireX and a few other features focused towards gamers and media playback. Here's the kicker though, we can confirm today that AMD is bringing these features to the Linux platform and they will be formally introduced later this year.
AMD will be fully supporting their multi-GPU CrossFireX technology under Linux to allow for even faster graphics performance in OpenGL games and workstation environments. CrossFire was introduced back in 2005 and then CrossFireX was recently brought into the limelight as a revision now supporting up to four graphics cards with the Spider platform. In the past if you have been using Linux, only one card has been operable at a time. We will share more on this forthcoming Linux feature as its introduction nears.
CrossFire is coming to Linux as a result of AMD's Radeon HD 4800 strategy and commitment from top-to-bottom GPU family support. Coming out in the future, the R700 graphics card will be two RV770 GPUs bridged together via CrossFire.