X-Plane is marketed as the "most thorough, flexible, and realistic flight simulator available for personal computers" and ships not only for Windows and Macintosh platforms but also for Linux. Laminar Research produces X-Plane and while it's currently not part of our testing suite, we recently took X-Plane v9 Beta 18 for a test flight. Previously their community leader had classified using ATI Linux drivers with X-Plane as an "unusable disaster" with "insurmountable problems", but is that really the case? We explored the situation in this article.
27 January 2008 - 1 Comment
Back in June of 2005 with the ATI Linux 8.14.13 driver release was a new installer to more easily facilitate the installation of this binary graphics driver using a graphical interface for a generic setup or generating distribution-specific packages (at that time Red Hat was the only officially supported distribution). With time, this installer has evolved by gaining new features and more distributions are being supported through their --buildpkg command for generating custom driver packages. These packaging scripts are now even hosted in the open for more community interaction. With two new driver options that will be formally introduced next month in Ubuntu's packaging scripts for the Catalyst 8.02 Linux driver, the installation process of the ATI fglrx driver on Ubuntu will become several steps easier.
25 January 2008 - 10 Comments
One month and one day after the NVIDIA 169.07 display driver was released, the Santa Clara folks have released a minor driver update for Linux and Solaris. No new features have been introduced, but just a couple of bug fixes.
22 January 2008
AMD has today released the 8.01 Linux Catalyst package, which contains the fglrx 8.45 driver. New in this release are updated packaging scripts and a few fixes, which many have been hopeful for in this release. Compared to our usual Linux driver articles, this one is a bit shorter due to the KDE 4.0 release event going on at the Googleplex, which we are in the process of covering.
18 January 2008
The Nouveau crew is out with their first Nouveau Companion of the year, which details the recent progress made with this reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA display driver. Among the items talked about in this issue include PowerPC fixes, RandR 1.2 for older NVIDIA graphics cards, MMioTrace being broken with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, and a variety of other topics.
11 January 2008 - 1 Comment
In the second NDA-free documentation dump, AMD has just released programming data on the M76 and RS690 graphics processors. While the RadeonHD developers have already had these documents, this information will help the free software community in understanding the internal workings of AMD's graphics processors. In this article, we have information on this just-released data as well as what else the community can expect in the way of documentation in the near future.
4 January 2008 - 40 Comments
AMD is on the heels of releasing the next set of GPU programming documentation to aide in the development of the open-source R500/600 drivers (xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd). It's already been discussed what this NDA-free documentation release will have, but one of the questions that have repeatedly come up is if/when AMD will release information on accelerated video playback. AMD's John Bridgman has now stated what they plan to release in the video realm as well as a new requirement for their future graphics processors: being open-source friendly while avoiding DRM.
29 December 2007 - 16 Comments
Last week the RadeonHD v1.1 driver was released, which (among other changes) had introduced extended monitor detection, RS600 support, and preliminary support for the RV670-based ATI Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards. This v1.1 driver release combined with a recent git commit for adding additional TMDSA/B electrical values has led to quite a pleasant experience already with these new midrange graphics cards that have been on the market for less than two months.
27 December 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.
26 December 2007 - 8 Comments
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.
24 December 2007 - 2 Comments
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