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Will this action of discontinuing support for older hardware result in an fglrx that is much smaller, substantially more stable, and better able to cope with the kernel release cycle?
I think I can answer this: tell me what happened when AMD dropped the Radeon 8500 from the product list back in 2006? Shortly after that release Fglrx starting having feature creep. AIGLX was added. This year, Crossfire was added (for HD 4x00). Catalyst A.I. has been added.
So yes, the idea is that cutting down the driver matrix will make for a leaner, meaning, easier to maintain package.
Also, it could mean performance boosts in 3D. Currently the 3D Fglrx core, as indicated, is largely based on the architecture from the older R300 ArtX drivers. Moving to a 3D core that STARTS at Shader Model 3.0 could mean even MORE performance can be squeezed out of the RadeonHD series.
Whether or not that's actually what happens remains to be seen. For me, I'd say give AMD time to get the details worked out.
Your business and friends are not a real world indicator of the market especially when it comes to the desktop/portable space which is exactly the market for these cards. When it comes to the desktop market linux makes up for a extremely small share. You analysis of market share is akin to saying "I went to the football game and most people there were cheering for the home team therefore that home team must be the most popular team in the world".
LOL! Football analogie what a mess...
You makes Funn Yes i see the fun...
In Fakt not every PC with pre installed Windows rund on windows this pc also can run with linux without Buy a linux! !
and the marketshare by scaning the browser stats are wrong becourse my Konqueror can send "Windows 2000 with IE6.0" to the webservers...
so the market share by scanning users browsers is crap to becourse all linux PCs send "I'm windows realy true! not Linux " <---but looks like a Pingue
We aren't dropping support for your hardware, as much as saying "from this point on we will be supporting your hardware via the open source driver, which we just spent a pile of time, money and effort on...".
The problem is one of timing. Speaking as someone mainly interested in 3D support, the open-source stack isn't remotely ready to replace fglrx on the R500-series chips yet.
(Mesa's current 3D support for R300 chips is considerably less than impressive, too.)
At best, this news is like a very, very bad haircut. At worst, it's like being decapitated. In either case, you're telling us "Don't worry, it will grow back!"
About Xserver 1.6 support, is it feasibly possible to allow a third-party under NDA, like Canonical with the 8.10 driver, to work on providing at least new kernel and xorg support for the current Q2 distributions?
I think overall it is a very good move albeit bad timing for linux catalyst users with old hardware. By years end I think, that ATI owners will be in far better position(for older and newer hardware).
I was wondering if it would be any chance at all that the 9.04 driver may still work with the legacy hardware, just without 'support', or are deliberate purges or breakages about to occur, to shrink(hopefully) the 80MB driver?
It does mean that people with ye old comps, with AGP buses can't play demanding wine games at least until OGL2 and GLSL are supported - hopefully by years end in the open drivers.
For all you pathetic whiners complaining, saying your next card will be Nvidia is just no logic at all. AMD producing brilliant open drivers, and the proprietary driver to be specifically for newer hardware. Unless your a developer or the most stupid fucker in the world you don't just go and buy obselete, more expensive(cause they're old), underperforming hardware. Your loss if you buy NVidia, when this news is positive for buyers.