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S3's New OpenGL 3.0 Linux Driver Still M.I.A.

X.Org

Published on 23 December 2008 08:59 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
3 Comments

A month ago S3 announced the Chrome 500 GPU along with what we called a magical Linux driver. In the press release for this budget graphics card, S3 Graphics mentioned this product can handle Blu-Ray playback, DirectX 10.1, and OpenGL 3.0 applications on both Windows and Linux. Their previous binary Linux drivers have been less than pleasing and there isn't even an official Blu-Ray player on Linux. NVIDIA has been the only manufacturer to deliver OpenGL 3.0 support on Linux thus far.

Following that we had heard back from a press representative at S3 Graphics and in fact they are working on a new Linux driver and that by mid-December there would be a beta OpenGL 3.0 Linux driver on their web-site.

Well, it's nearing the end of December and this morning a new press release hit our inbox entitled "S3 Graphics Unleashes Full OpenGL 3.0 API Support with Beta Driver for Chrome 500 Series GPUs." Sure enough, they have a beta OpenGL 3.0 Linux driver as well as a version of CyberLink PowerDVD software that works with the Chrome 400/500 series, but it's Windows-only.

Checking out the S3 Graphics web-site there still is no driver at all for the Chrome 500 series. The Linux driver they offer for the S3 Chrome 400 series is crippled to say the least. The Chrome 400 Linux driver was updated a month ago (v14.02.01), but its OpenGL support only extends to version 1.5 (Editor's Note: on the Chrome 20 series), there is no support for CPU architectures besides Linux x86 (not even x86_64), Compiz isn't supported, and its only compatible with older Linux distributions. That's just a few of the problems.

We're now waiting back to see what S3 Graphics has to say about their Linux support.

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 .
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