1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Radeon HD 4550 Not Yet Open-Source Friendly

Michael Larabel

Published on 20 October 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 1 - Comment On This Article

Last month we had looked at the ATI Radeon HD 4670 under Linux. This graphics card had worked just fine with the Catalyst Linux Suite, but when using either of the two open-source ATI drivers there were problems with the DVI connectors. While using an analog VGA connector works if you are just after mode-setting support, the R600/700 GPUs still lack 2D, 3D, and video acceleration using any non-Catalyst driver. Sapphire Technology though has sent out an ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB GPU to see whether this sub-$50 USD graphics card plays nicely with the xf86-video-ati or xf86-video-radeonhd drivers.

The ATI Radeon HD 4550 is built on a 55nm fabrication process like the other Radeon HD 4000 series graphics cards, features 80 stream processing units, a 600MHz RV710 core, and 512MB of 900MHz DDR3 memory. This graphics card also supports PCI Express 2.0, OpenGL 2.0, ATI Avivo HD / Unified Video Decoder 2, PowerPlay, and even CrossFireX. The Radeon HD 4550 is considered an entry-level graphics card and it retails for at or below $50 USD.

When it comes to using the binary driver, it will "just work" with the Radeon HD 4550. We had used Catalyst 8.9 for our initial testing and we had experienced no problems when it came to supporting this RV710 graphics card.

Like the Radeon HD 4670, both of the open-source ATI drivers will immediately fail when using the Radeon HD 4550. We were using the git code for the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd drivers as of October 14 for these tests and then added in the HD 4550 PCI ID (0x9540). Using the driver we had experienced a blank but initialized screen while with the RadeonHD driver we experienced driver errors. After emitting several driver errors from rhdAtomInterpretObjectID, rhdAtomGetDDCIndex, and rhdAtomOutputDeviceListFromObjectHeader, the attached LCD panel was not recognized using the DVI connector. Proceeding to move to the analog VGA connector with the monitor had, however, fixed things for xf86-video-ati. You still lack video, 2D, and 3D acceleration with the open-source drivers, but when using an analog connection on the RV710 you will at least get a picture.

All parties involved with the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd drivers are aware of these problems. Sadly, they have not yet received the Radeon HD 4500 series hardware or any pre-production hardware. AMD's Alex Deucher had mentioned the digital interface is now different with these newer graphics cards and to support it the drivers need to use some new AtomBIOS calls. The work for this hasn't been started yet, but Deucher describes the needed changes as being minor. When the open-source status improves, we will be sure to let you know. In the coming days we will also be delivering our review of the Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 512MB graphics card with the Catalyst driver.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
  2. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  3. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  4. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Linux Desktop Benchmarks
  2. Ubuntu 14.10 XMir System Compositor Benchmarks
  3. Btrfs RAID HDD Testing On Ubuntu Linux 14.10
  4. Ubuntu 14.10 Linux 32-bit vs. 64-bit Performance
Latest Linux News
  1. Enlightenment's EFL 1.12 Alpha Has Evas GL-DRM Engine, OpenGL ES 1.1 Support
  2. GTK+ Lands Experimental Backend For Mir Display Server
  3. Ubuntu 14.10 Officially Released
  4. Mesa 10.4 Might Re-Enable HyperZ For R600g/RadeonSI
  5. Intel GVT-g GPU Virtualization Moves Closer
  6. GTK+ 3.16 To Bring Several New Features
  7. Debian 8.0 Jessie Has Many Multimedia Improvements
  8. What Linux Benchmarks Would You Like To See Next?
  9. Open-Source, Linux Support For Corsair Link Devices Slowly Materializing
  10. Cairo-Dock 3.4 Shows A Lot Of Progress, Works Toward EGL/Wayland Support
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Linux hacker compares Solaris kernel code:
  2. Advertisements On Phoronix
  3. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  6. Ubuntu 16.04 Might Be The Distribution's Last 32-Bit Release
  7. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  8. Proof that strlcpy is un-needed