AMD's Turks GPUs Work On Open-Source, Sort Of
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 21 April 2011 at 08:13 AM EDT. 13 Comments
Back on Tuesday, AMD officially rolled out their "Turks" graphics processors with the launch of the Radeon HD 6570 and Radeon HD 6670 graphics cards. On Wednesday the Phoronix review of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 was published under Ubuntu Linux, but using the proprietary Catalyst driver. Open-source testing wasn't done at that time due to only having the graphics card since Monday. But do these new AMD Turks GPUs work with the open-source Linux driver stack, including Gallium3D?

The short answer as to whether these new GPUs work on the open-source driver is: yes. To some surprise, when booting to the latest Linux 2.6.39 Git, Mesa 7.11-devel Git, and the latest xf86-video-ati DDX Git with this brand new graphics card, kernel mode-setting had worked and even Compiz desktop compositing. The PCI IDs for the Turks are already in there and it was working.

However, when launching OpenArena, Nexuiz, or any of the other OpenGL games with the Gallium3D driver, we quickly ran into problems. Like what happens when running the Radeon HD 6870 on the open-source driver, each OpenGL game eventually has a hard lock-up. It's been happening with the Radeon HD 6870 for quite some time and the Radeon HD 6570 shares this same problem.

So using the very latest open-source AMD Linux driver code will work for kernel mode-setting and compositing, but running any OpenGL games will eventually fail. As such, there are no open-source Radeon HD 6000 series benchmarks to deliver at this time. For now such graphics card owners will need to learn to live with the Catalyst driver exclusively (and hope that the Radeon HD 8000 series is magical).

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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