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Display Drivers

ATI R500 Linux Performance

Since Linux support for the Radeon X1000 "R500" series was introduced some 17 months ago, there has been a performance imbalance. The past fglrx drivers have worked, but they've had a difficult time competing with the competition presented by NVIDIA and their Linux driver when it comes to the frame-rate performance. Though as we have been sharing in all of our articles today, the new ATI/AMD Linux driver will be made available in the coming days and it offers some striking performance improvements. In our Mobility Radeon X300 testing, the new driver allowed Doom 3 and Quake 4 to run at playable frame-rates, which simply wasn't possible with the previous 8.40.4 fglrx driver a month ago! The Radeon X800XL performance was also improved significantly, which allowed it to outperform the NVIDIA competition. Now onto the Radeon X1000 family, as you can probably suspect, there are massive performance improvements to be found with these graphics cards as well. In this article we have tested the Radeon X1300PRO, X1800XL, X1800XT, and X1950PRO with the new ATI Linux driver and have found significant performance improvements.
5 September 2007

ATI R300/400 Linux Performance

To some extent, ATI's R300 and R400 series is more popular than the R500 (and now R600) series for Linux users. The R300/400 series has a reliable open-source driver and while the performance of the X.Org Radeon driver lags behind ATI's binary driver, it's currently the fastest for offering open-source 3D performance on dedicated graphics cards. With the cards being around much longer, they are also much cheaper and have become somewhat popular for Linux desktops that can power Compiz and Beryl "eye candy" effects. However, it's just not the R500 and R600 series that receive a nice performance boost from the new ATI/AMD Linux driver, but so does the R300/400 series. Using the fglrx 8.41 driver on this older graphics hardware will allow for a sizable performance improvement compared to the older binary drivers. Much of AMD's focus is on the R500 and R600 series, as is our focus, but we've completed some benchmarks comparing the new and old fglrx drivers using an ATI Mobility Radeon X300 64MB and ATI Radeon X800XL 256MB graphics card.
5 September 2007 - 5 Comments

AMD 8.41 Display Driver Preview

While many thought this day would never come or that it was some form of propaganda, it's coming and it's coming this month. The AMD fglrx 8.41 driver features a brand new underlying code-base that has been under development for well over a year. At Phoronix we have literally spent hundreds of hours using and testing this new driver, and to say the least it is truly a new experience on the ATI Linux front. The new driver delivers massive performance improvements, Radeon HD 2000 (R600) support, and a whole lot more. This article is the first of five articles that will be published today at Phoronix as we examine the new AMD Linux driver extensively on all fronts from seeing how it can handle the flagship ATI Radeon HD 2900XT graphics card to going back to past graphics card families to show the dramatic performance improvements.
5 September 2007 - 60 Comments

Nouveau Driver Q&A

On the Phoronix Forums we have been running a Q&A with the developers of the Nouveau project. For those out of the loop or new to Linux, the Nouveau project aims to provide an open-source 2D/3D graphics driver for NVIDIA hardware. After collecting a number of questions from our readers, KoalaBR and Marcheu have answered these questions. The questions range from whether there will be open-source SLI support to asking if NVIDIA has ever contacted the Nouveau developers.
3 September 2007 - 1 Comment

The ATI R500 On Linux: Then & Now

Back in April of 2006, a proprietary driver from ATI that had supported the Radeon X1000 "R500" product family had finally greeted Linux users. This driver, v8.24.8, had supported the entire desktop and mobile Radeon X1000 lineup with 3D support and even Avivo video playback capabilities. For the six months prior, Linux users were stuck in the dark without any Linux support for the R500 series while the ATI Windows Catalyst customers had support that was continually improved. Of course, back in 2006 there was no open-source R500 driver either. Over the past 16 months with R500 support in the fglrx driver, the features have continually improved with an AMD Catalyst Control Center for Linux, support for the newer R500 graphics cards, and there are far less bugs in the driver now then there was in the past. However, these changes really have not affected the performance as it has stayed the same for the most part with minimal improvements. In this article today we are going back to test the original 8.24.8 display driver and compare it directly against the latest driver available as of today, the 8.40.4 fglrx release.
30 August 2007

X.Org 7.3 Preview

Scheduled for release tomorrow is X.Org 7.3. Among the new features for X.Org 7.3 include the Xorg server 1.4, an application for adjusting a display's backlight, updated display drivers, and support for font catalog directories. Version 1.4 of the X.Org server contains such features as RandR 1.2 support, input hot-plugging, KDrive enhancements, Solaris DTrace support, and EXA improvements. In this article today, we will briefly go over some of the changes found in X.Org 7.3 and we will follow up with some benchmarks in early September.
28 August 2007 - 5 Comments

Ubuntu's displayconfig-gtk

One of the new features to land with Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 5 is the displayconfig-gtk. This new GTK control panel is similar to NVIDIA's nvidia-settings panel and ATI's Catalyst Control Center, which allow for GUI-based modifying of your xorg.conf to control such options as the display resolution, setting up multiple display heads in either an extended mode or mirroring, and changing your graphics driver. In this article, we are taking a brief tour of this early displayconfig-gtk application.
24 August 2007 - 2 Comments

Nouveau Companion 26

Through a joint effort between Phoronix and the Nouveau project, we will now be publishing the Nouveau Companion on Phoronix to update the progress made by these developers working on an open-source display driver for NVIDIA's complete selection of hardware from the NV0x chips to the latest models in the GeForce and Quadro series. This is the 26th edition of the Nouveau Companion which provides an updated status on the Nouveau driver with the progress being made in the areas of X-Video, video overlays for the different NVIDIA GPU series, and renouveau-parse for parsing XML dumps. These developers still need help especially with the NVIDIA GeForce 8 series hardware.
22 August 2007

Open-Source ATI Driver Gets TV-Out

Thanks to recent commits in the RandR 1.2 branch for the open-source X.Org Radeon driver, it's now possible to use S-Video and composite TV output on your ATI graphics card without any patches. This is not limited to the R200 series but will also work with the R300 series and theoretically any graphics card supported by the xf86-video-ati driver. In this guide have outlined the instructions for enabling TV output support from the Radeon driver git code as well as some of the current limitations.
15 August 2007 - 44 Comments

AMD 8.40.4 Display Driver

Last month marked the introduction of Fedora 7 support with the fglrx 8.39.4 ATI/AMD driver but not much more than that was to be found aside from an undocumented XML file. This driver did also present watermark problems that led to the driver being recalled and a corrected driver being pushed out. Today the fglrx 8.40.4 driver has been released and while many had speculated the 8.40 series would mark the introduction of the new Linux driver code-base, that's not the case for 8.40.4 driver. What changes does the 8.40.4 driver hold in store for Linux users? We'll tell you today but there isn't much.
13 August 2007

612 display drivers articles published on Phoronix.
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