If obtaining the latest Mesa code and one of Alex's DRM branches, Compiz can now run ATI Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000 graphics cards in an open-source stack. Alex mentions in a blog post that the performance is currently slow, but it should be improved soon. It looks like we may see a decent level of 3D support in time for Mesa 7.6 and the round of distribution refreshes this fall. This is also just landing before AMD is expected to launch the R800 GPUs within the next couple of months, where the open-source developers will need to also begin work on supporting these GPUs. At the same time, this work will need to be ported over to the Gallium3D driver architecture.
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.