It was just a month ago that the open-source Avivo driver for the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) series was introduced to the public, but in this time we've seen some great progress made. This open-source R500 driver now contains RandR 1.2 support, support for a variety of R500 graphics cards, and most recently support for Shadow Framebuffer was added. The Avivo driver still isn't comparable when it comes to the features found in the fglrx driver or even the open-source Radeon driver for the R200/300/400 series, but it's a work in progress. If you are running into problems with the fglrx driver, stuck using the VESA driver for one reason or another, or just want to get rid of the binary blob and experiment with this open-source driver, we have written a guide for setting up the Avivo driver from source on Ubuntu.
It was earlier this month that version 2.1.0 of the xf86-video-intel driver was released, which among other things had introduced open-source Linux graphics support for the G33, Q33, and Q35 chipsets as well as fixing a horde of bugs and adding PCI IDs for the 945GME, 965GME, and 965GLE chips. As our last Intel graphics performance article was looking at the Q965 back in May, in this article we have enclosed some benchmarks from Intel's GMA 950 IGP using the new xf86-video-intel 2.1.0 driver.
It was on July 20, 2006 that I had issued The State of ATI Linux while ending off the ATI Redblog, which was a fifty-day experiment for using the ATI fglrx driver under Linux exclusively to see how well the driver really could compare to that of NVIDIA's binary competition. It's going on a year later and it's now time for this year's address as far as what I have seen from the driver in the past year and where I hope and believe the driver is going in the near future.
The last time we had written an article on Nouveau, the community project working on developing an open-source 3D display driver for NVIDIA hardware, was this past January after being enlightened by glxgears finally being able to run on NVIDIA's NV4x GPUs. Since then many developments have occurred with this open-source NVIDIA driver as we have covered in several news postings. In this article today we will share with you where the Nouveau project stands today from a user perspective as well as testing out the driver on a few more NVIDIA systems.
The train has gone off the tracks. In The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux, AMD's Matthew Tippett had shared with us that the AMD driver release cycle is like a train and that "...we are on the train, and to add a new carriage or update the carriage, we have to do it while the train is running, without stopping the train, or letting anything fall off." However, this morning the train (AMD's release schedule) has went off the tracks for the penguin riders. AMD has issued its first-ever hot-fix release for the Linux fglrx driver. This release corrects an aticonfig crash that removes the xorg.conf if you are using the vesa driver.
David Stevens, a Linux user and Phoronix reader, had written a letter to ATI/AMD expressing concern over their lack of providing an official free software driver. David had asked this letter be made openly available and shared with our readers. You may share your thoughts on the fglrx driver and ATI/AMD's lack of an open-source driver in the Phoronix Forums. Like this letter, Phoronix accepts quality editorials and pieces written by the community.
Hitting the web this afternoon was the AMD 8.38.6 display driver. Introduced in this driver was official Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 packaging scripts. Fixed in this driver was moving a video window between two monitors in a Big Desktop configuration no longer crashing the X.Org server and playing multiple videos when TexturedVideo is enabled no longer results in corruption.
At Phoronix we are constantly exploring the different display drivers under Linux, and while we have reviewed Sun's Check Tool and test motherboards with Solaris in addition to covering a few other areas, we have yet to perform a graphics driver comparison between Linux and Solaris. That is until today. With interest in Solaris on the rise thanks to Project Indiana, we have decided to finally offer our first quantitative graphics comparison between Linux and Solaris with the NVIDIA proprietary drivers.
It was just two weeks ago that NVIDIA had introduced the 100.14.09 display driver, but today we have another new Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD driver out from the green binary camp. The NVIDIA 100.14.11 display driver adds support for their new GeForce 7 integrated graphics, fixes console restoration problems, and improves some other areas of their Linux (as well as FreeBSD and Solaris) driver.
Last week the first open-source ATI R500 (Radeon X1000 series) driver had entered the world. This new driver (named the xf86-video-avivo) is very early into development, but a small set of developers have been working on reverse engineering this GPU class for the past couple of months. This driver does not yet contain any 3D functionality or support for features that most end-users expect. At this point, the driver just contains very basic initialization and set video mode support for a portion of the Radeon X1000 family. Even with this very basic R500 driver, we couldn't help but to explore the Avivo driver for the past few days.
We have previously looked at the NVIDIA 100.14.03 and 100.14.06 display drivers, but this afternoon we finally have our hands on the stable NVIDIA 100.14.09 driver. New in version 100.14.09 is added GeForce 8 and Quadro product support, improved notebook GPU support, improved RenderAccel support for sub-pixel anti-aliased fonts, added Xv brightness and contrast controls, improved interaction with newer kernels, and fixing an issue with nvidia-settings. The new yet-to-be-released GeForce 8 names have also tipped up in the release notes. We've seen many of these features introduced in the previous 100.14.xx builds, but they are now officially supported.
Last week we had published The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux, and to no real surprise, the feedback ranged from beliefs that it was propaganda to others being grateful that AMD finally shared some additional information with their Linux customers about the fglrx development cycle. While the article was far from being propaganda, what had outraged a number of open-source developers were AMD's comments on the R200 support or there the lack of. In this article, we have a few additional comments to share along with what some open-source developers had to say about AMD's information.
Last year when AMD announced their acquisition of ATI it led many to wonder how this would impact the quality of their Linux support and driver. Some had even speculated that AMD would be opening the code to at least a subset of their graphics drivers, and while this issue has come up again more recently, we will cover this particular topic in a different article. In this article we will be exposing what truly consists of the ATI/AMD driver development cycle and ultimately what they are really doing to improve their image in the Linux community. We have been granted unprecedented access to share with you their once unknown driver development model.
It was a year ago that AMD/ATI had delivered the fglrx 8.25.18 display driver, which corrected a bug causing issues with the Radeon X1000 512MB video cards, added new product support, and squashed a variety of other bugs. Well, today AMD delivered the 8.37.6 Linux display driver. Affecting this driver the most is support for X server version 1.3 and appended several other fixes along with a slight upgrade to the AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition. While no AIGLX support was added or no new features introduced, the upgrade should be worth the time.
Yesterday we covered the graphics hardware needed to handle Beryl and on the heels of that article we are taking a quick look at another Linux versus Windows comparison for the official ATI/AMD graphics drivers. NVIDIA's Linux and Windows drivers perform about the same and in some instances the Linux binary driver even running faster, but as we have been sharing now for many months the Linux fglrx driver is handicapped for performance. Has things since improved for ATI? Well, as you'll see in this article by using the official Linux driver from ATI/AMD you can expect your frame-rate to be cut in half compared to the most recent version of the Windows Catalyst driver.
It was exactly one month ago that NVIDIA had delivered the 100.14.03 display driver and today we are reporting on yet another new beta driver in the 100.14.xx series. This time around we have our hands on the NVIDIA 100.14.06 graphics driver, which offers improved notebook support and fixes a variety of minor bugs.
The last time we had looked at the performance of Intel's integrated graphics under Linux with their open-source driver was back in February when testing the GMA 3000 IGP using an Intel DQ965GFEKR motherboard. However, with display drivers constantly improving, we recently carried out some additional Intel Q965 graphics tests along with comparing these numbers to discrete graphics solutions from AMD/ATI and NVIDIA.
XGI Technology is still in business, but what has happened to them? We once saw hope in them for providing discrete graphics processors to take on the NVIDIA and ATI duopoly, but they have since discontinued their Volari 8 series. While they're no longer producing these desktop chips, they remain an active player in the server and embedded graphics industry -- accompanied by their open-source driver.
Since late last year the open-source Linux community has been ecstatic about the growing progress made by the Nouveau developers. Nouveau is an X.Org and FreeDesktop.org project for developing an open-source 2D/3D display driver for NVIDIA graphics cards. With NVIDIA Corporation not providing hardware specifications, this driver is being written through reverse-engineering NVIDIA's binary display driver. While the developers of Nouveau are making great strides and this driver is taking shape, the open-source ATI driver must not be forgotten.
Last month the AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition had entered the world with mixed opinions by the ATI/AMD Linux user community. In our 8.35.5 Linux driver review we had looked at the Linux version of the Catalyst Control Center quite extensively. This new control center replaced the old fireglcontrolpanel and in our opinion was a huge move for AMD. However, the negativity against the Catalyst Control Center has been by those seeking the much overdue AIGLX support. While today's 8.36.5 release doesn't contain AIGLX support, it does contain a few changes worth mentioning.
When I heard a sharp and continuous beeping sound, I had just grabbed my mug to enjoy my evening tea with the movie I was trying to watch. Without asking any questions to my computer (implicitly or explicitly), I had put down the mug and reached for the reset button on my PC. This was the third time in 45 minutes and it had never happened before. After I had upgraded to a ATI Radeon X1650XT, things started to go awry in a very annoying fashion.
When it comes to overclocking ATI Radeon graphics cards under Linux the only real option has been using rovclock. Rovclock is a Radeon overclocking utility written and developed by Sebastian Witt. This tool has been in development since 2005 but it took quite a while before the Radeon R300/R400 series was even supported. Rovclock still lacks support for the Radeon X1000 (R500) series, however, there is a new contender to the ATI Linux GPU overclocking arena and that is ATIpower. We have covered the ATIpower overclocking utility today at Phoronix.
Ch-ch-ch-changes... Not expecting to hear that with today's driver release? Well, we had not expected much improvement for the March ATI Catalyst Linux driver either until we saw the driver first hand. Today's 8.35.5 release has implemented one major change: a new Catalyst Control Center! AMD is eliminating the fireglcontrolpanel in favor of the brand new AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition. In this review we will be looking at the new 8.35.5 display driver along with taking a very close look at this much improved control area.
In less than three weeks it will have been a year since ATI Technologies had added it's Radeon X1000 family (R500) support to their Linux binary drivers. When that support was finally added it came about six months after the hardware was actually introduced to the public accompanied by the Windows Catalyst drivers. Even with this six months time that developers had to work on the Linux package, the fglrx v8.24.8 driver (the version that had introduced R500 support) resulted in ATI's flagship GPU series facing a miserable beating by NVIDIA's 7800GTX and even the GeForce 6800GT. However, a year later and what will be twelve driver releases with R500 support, how does the performance now compare? In this article we will be comparing several R500 parts to see how the performance stacks up using the latest driver.
This morning NVIDIA released a new Linux display driver. While this driver was not the Linux 100.XX.XX driver that was expected, it was a minor update to append support for the new Quadro graphics cards. In addition, GeForce 8800 series SLI is now supported.
If the X-Video movie playback bug with x86_64 Linux previously affected you, fear no more! Introducing the AMD fglrx 8.34.8 Linux display driver corrects this long-standing issue. There have also been a few bugs corrected in 8.34.8 along with official Radeon Xpress X1250 support, but other than that, this month serves as more of a maintenance release.
Since last month's general availability of Microsoft Windows Vista, NVIDIA has introduced the Forceware 100.XX series. While we have yet to see any major NVIDIA Linux developments in 2007, we have decided to take one final look at this most recent driver series. In this article, we are retesting the 1.0-9626, 1.0-9629, 1.0-9631, and 1.0-9746 Linux display drivers. We have also added the NVIDIA 1.0-9751 display driver to the mix; if you've never seen the driver we will tell you in this article where you can get it. We are also shedding the first light on what will likely become the NVIDIA 2.0-XXXX display driver for Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD.
The last time Phoronix had taken a thorough look at Intel's Linux display drivers was last October when we had shared our initial performance figures for the GMA 3000 integrated graphics processor found on the Q965 Express. Testing at that time was only about two months after Intel had launched their new open-source Linux graphics website along with support for the 965 Express Chipset. With more and more readers inquiring about Intel's open-source graphics offerings, we have decided to take another look at the GMA 3000 performance. In this article we look at the GMA 3000 Q965 once again and compare it against the ATI Radeon X300SE using the most recent open-source drivers.
Last October we had compared the performance of the open-source R300 display driver against the closed-source fglrx driver for ATI Radeon graphics cards. In that comparison a Mobility Radeon X300 was used with X.Org 7.1, but we have decided to take another look at this driver comparison under X.Org 7.2. In this last comparison, the fglrx binary blob had greatly outperformed the open-source driver. While the fglrx driver remains faster, has the performance delta between these two drivers decreased?
Since our Nouveau: A First Look article last month, new developments continue to come out of the Nouveau camp. Among the changes in the past month is glxgears now working on NVIDIA NV4x hardware, the pledge drive now being completed, and the Fedora Project announcing its intent for including Nouveau in the upcoming Fedora 7 release.
717 display drivers articles published on Phoronix.