December 26, 2007 -- At the end of our ATI Year in Review for 2006, we had stated, "next year will be a very interesting time for ATI/AMD Linux users." Looking back upon that statement, it has certainly turned out to be true, but perhaps an understatement for all of the AMD Linux work that has actually went on this year. The Catalyst Control Center was finally ported to Linux; there is now AIGLX support for use with Compiz, and the most substantial improvement being a brand new code-base for their proprietary Linux driver. Aside from their binary driver, they have developed a strong interest in better enabling the open-source community through releasing GPU documentation to the public (without NDAs!) and collaborating with Novell on the development of the RadeonHD driver. It has been one hell of a year for AMD, and in this article, we are going to look back at their twelve major driver releases from the year as well as re-benchmark all of these different versions.
December 24, 2007 -- In 2005 we started our annual AYiR (A Year in Review) articles for looking at the progress of the proprietary ATI and NVIDIA Linux display drivers over time.
Now in our third year of doing this, it's time to see how NVIDIA's binary driver has panned out over the past year. NVIDIA had introduced GeForce 8 support this year as well as a few other features, but nothing major like in past years, and how has the OpenGL performance changed? With benchmarks in hand, we have the scoop for you today.
December 22, 2007 -- To end off the year, the developers behind the open-source 2D/3D NVIDIA driver known as Nouveau have an update on their recent progress. This issue of the Nouveau Companion covers the RandR 1.2 improvements, GPU overclocking possibilities through Nouveau, and a Gallium3D driver for NVIDIA NV4x and NV5x hardware. However, before jumping out of your seat with joy, this Gallium3D driver has much work ahead. Google Earth and Quake 3 are running with the Gallium3D Nouveau driver, but it's not rendering correctly as you can see from the screenshots. Nevertheless, this is a great open-source achievement.
December 21, 2007 -- Yesterday the NVIDIA proprietary driver was updated as well as the ATI proprietary driver and the open-source Radeon driver. Continuing in this holiday excitement, the Novell developers have released the RadeonHD 1.1.0 driver just moments ago. This open-source R500/600 driver contains a few new features and fixes since the RadeonHD 1.0.0 release last month.
December 20, 2007 -- It's that time of the month again where we get to share with you all of the details on the latest ATI/AMD Linux driver release. This month, the ATI Catalyst 7.12 Linux driver (formally, what is known as fglrx 8.44) brings a host of new changes, mostly in the form of bug fixes. In total, there are just under a dozen noteworthy bug fixes in this release -- including addressing 3D acceleration issues on AGP graphics cards and the well-known OpenGL memory leak that was introduced with the new driver code-base. In addition, the FireGL graphics cards are now supported on this new driver code-base.
December 20, 2007 -- Just in time for the holidays, NVIDIA has released a new Linux display driver, which is a stable version of their previous 169.04 beta last month. In addition, the new NVIDIA 169.07 Linux driver has a few changes, while most of the release highlights were already found in the 169.04 release. We are preparing additional Linux tests with this new driver, but for right now we have the details on this proprietary display driver.
December 13, 2007 -- One of the special abilities of ATI's R600 GPU family is the integrated 5.1 surround sound audio support through HDMI. Many Radeon HD 2000 and HD 3800 series graphics cards also ship with a DVI to HDMI dongle, so that one can experience the full video playback capabilities of these discrete graphics cards. But what level of HDMI support can Linux users expect when using these latest ATI graphics cards? We have done some testing internally and have the initial ATI Linux HDMI video and audio results to report in this article.
December 06, 2007 -- Earlier this week we published benchmarks of the XRender extension using NVIDIA's latest beta Linux driver, which had a substantial performance boost thanks to Render improvements with this latest driver. One of the questions that have since come up is how ATI/AMD's binary Linux driver compares when using this X extension. Well, right now, it lags behind NVIDIA, but a Phoronix Forums member has discovered a hidden ATI Linux option that should yield XRender performance gains.
December 03, 2007 -- Towards the middle of last month, NVIDIA had released the 169.04 Beta Linux Driver. The change-log was quite lengthy and what we had discovered while benchmarking the GeForce 8 series was that there were improvements to be found in this release and it was far more than a simple version bump. One of the reported changes for this driver release was "improved RENDER performance", and out of requests from readers and interest by the Linux desktop community at large, we have conducted XRender benchmarks using render_bench and have the NVIDIA results available today.
November 29, 2007 -- It was just a week ago that the RadeonHD v0.0.4 driver was released, but today it has been replaced by v1.0! RadeonHD 1.0.0 was just pushed out to the public, and while it's still lacking 3D support and isn't bug-free, it's matured quite a bit over the past two and a half months that it's been available to the public.