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  • bingel
    replied
    I try to rephrase the question because I think the answer was a bit 'vague:

    If I don't want (for various reasons) a LTS distro and today I buy a HD5870 (but it could be any other card because this is only an example) and I use it with Cinelerra or Blender or any hypotetical game which uses intensive 3D at peak performance (making also full use of OpenGL) for, hypothetically, about 3 or 4 years, I'd be very disappointed if once deprived of the Catalyst support, and forced to move to open drivers I end up with drastically reduced performances!

    Therefore, what I have to expect for the future (2/3 years)?
    Is likely or not a scenario where I could continue to use my card without losing performance and features (especially with reference to 3D)?

    I think and hope I will cease to haunt you and this will be my latest question if I will get a full answer.

    Thanks in advance.

    Leave a comment:


  • bridgman
    replied
    Yes, but with a couple of obvious qualifiers. I don't think we had a lot of fans buying high end ATI hardware primarily for use with Linux back in 2005 and 2006. I have run across a few in the last year but probably not more than I could count on one hand.

    Most of the high end 5xx buyers were gaming on Windows even if they ran Linux the rest of the time, and nothing changed for them. Remember this was before we had even mentioned the new OpenGL driver, so 3D performance for consumer apps was a lot slower than it was today.

    Also I would hardly call it "leaving them with a useless piece of hardware" - maybe we can settle on "inconvenient" ?

    Leave a comment:


  • deanjo
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    The choise wasn't really that simple. The open source drivers were already better in everything except 3D and that covered relatively more users, so we took the open source route. That was probably the best choice for most users, but people who had recently purchased high end 5xx boards for use with Linux probably would not agree.
    Exactly, you left your fans that spent that extra cash for the "better" solution out in the cold after a very short while basically leaving them with a useless piece of hardware that they spend extra on to get that functionality.

    Leave a comment:


  • bridgman
    replied
    The choise wasn't really that simple. The open source drivers were already better in everything except 3D and that covered relatively more users, so we took the open source route. That was probably the best choice for most users, but people who had recently purchased high end 5xx boards for use with Linux probably would not agree.

    Leave a comment:


  • deanjo
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Yep, so are we (and so is Intel, I guess). We're just doing it on the open source code base rather than the proprietary drivers, which I think makes more sense over time.
    Sure it would have made sense IF the replacement solution was up to par already with their previous solution. Performance still badly lags on many of those sku's that are barely 3 years old that performed better with the blob. Until that same level is reached the blobs should have been maintained. Forcing them to stick to a older blob to get good performance and sacrificing items such as kernel upgrades which many times fixes issues with the older kernels on other supporting hardware (such as buggy SB600 southbridges, network adapters, etc) is a hard pill to swallow.

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  • bridgman
    replied
    Geez, I really miss being able to edit. The last part of the second sentence wasn't very clear at all. I was trying to make two different points and didn't cover either one very well :

    1. Right now there is a non-trivial drop in 3D performance & functionality going from the proprietary to the open source drivers, but that gap will close over time.

    2. If we did plot "support vs time" for legacy proprietary vs open source, the open source line would drop immediately and then stay relatively flat or even go up a bit, while the legacy proprietary line would not really drop at all for a while, but would angle down more sharply with the passage of time as the underlying OS deviated further from what the driver was written to support.

    Put differently, right after dropping support from the mainstream driver the legacy proprietary option seems better, but that doesn't last and after a few years it's likely that the open source drivers will make more users more happy than the legacy proprietary ones.

    Leave a comment:


  • bridgman
    replied
    Yep, so are we (and so is Intel, I guess). We're just doing it on the open source code base rather than the proprietary drivers, which I think makes more sense over time.

    We could probably plot the level of support vs age of the card for both vendors and agree on the results, and maybe even agree on the trends. Fortunately neither of us have that kind of free time

    Leave a comment:


  • deanjo
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Sure, and we supported R300 which came out in early 2002 until recently. Whoever moved products to legacy most recently is the bad guy
    And Nvidia is still supporting products build a decade ago, moved long ago to legacy and still updated for xorg/kernels but I was just using the GF6 series as an example to rebut your post of really should be using a enterprise/LTS/professional solution as these cards would realistically be the lowest of the low for multi card setups now days.

    Leave a comment:


  • bridgman
    replied
    My mistake, I do agree with your distinction. Never mind

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  • bridgman
    replied
    Sure, and we supported R300 which came out in early 2002 until recently. Whoever moved products to legacy most recently is the bad guy

    I don't understand your distinction between developer and user communities. The development community does the driver development, and so their interests are going to determine what goes into the driver. If the interests of the development community were to include multi-GPU support in the future (eg if users who are interested decide to get involved with development) then the development would happen and we would try to support the work.

    Not sure what your experience has been, but everyone I know who has purchased a multi-board system (Crossfire or SLI) has also tended to upgrade it fairly aggressively, so the cards tend to find new users (often 2 systems with a single card each) before proprietary driver support rolls off.

    Splitting into two single-card systems is not an option for a dual-GPU card, of course, although I guess it could work in a multi-head environment.

    Leave a comment:

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