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- BETTER POWER MANAGEMENT (at least on laptop graphics cards). The only option we currently have if we buy a laptop with AMD/ATI graphics card is using it with Catalyst. Otherwise, you can expect to send you computer to the manufacturer before the guarantee expires (due to heating issues)...
How you may get heating issues with low or middle power profile?
As a former PC gamer turned Ubuntu user, I put my Llano hardware on craigslist and went with a Core i3 build, as Intel offered a superior experience all around. It truly is an odd day when Intel's graphics support exceeds that of a company that produces high-end graphics hardware.
Nothing odd about that. AMD struggles to be competitive at all with Nvidia in the discrete graphics space (they're not doing so hot now that Kepler is again the performance king, but HD5000 was a good generation) and they are absolutely obliterated on the desktop CPU front. They have to be losing lots of money, which might be why they are cheapening their graphics driver support.
Seriously though; Intel has been into the FOSS movement as a commercial supporter thereof for a decade or more. ATI tepidly stepped in with a small team of less than 10 people about 5 years ago. Intel supports ALL of their hardware on Linux with very few exceptions (e.g. when they license someone else's IP and that someone won't let them share any details in open code, like PowerlessVR Screwageneration Technologies). They invest heavily in development for the Linux kernel and userspace tools like powertop.
If you ever had any doubt about the true king of FOSS support, erase that doubt now. Intel is the hardware support king of FOSS.
I dual boot. I keep my monitors plugged into the Z77 motherboard. My Ivy Bridge 3770K plus the LucidLogix Virtu MVP chip lets me use my Radeon HD7970 for performance gaming without moving my monitor cables, on Windows. On Linux I just reboot and it uses the Ivy Bridge graphics. Performance is truly stellar (for Linux). Blows away anything anyone else has ever done with Mesa, in the entire history of Mesa. Absolutely obliterates it. r600g and nouveau don't even come remotely close.
Seriously, people should stop this 'AMD sucks now, nVidia for me!' stupidity.
AMD is pretty right to drop old crap support. Did they drop support to soon? Yes a little. Should they have dropped 4000 support, probably really not, since a lot of IGP's use those and it's not THAT old. There's probably a more technical reason for dropping r700 support.
That said, AMD is still a great supporter of OSS, even with their tight resources. nVidia does not care about open source too much and intel, well intel supports their hardware well, mostly, on some fronts, not so well on others (coreboot for example).
As for bashing the OSS drivers, my 2004 laptop, single core cpu with a r300 based card runs great. Year and a half ago it even ran blizzard based opengl games acceptably. BETTER! Then winXP could.
So keep your shorts on, see what developments bring and don't use extremly old crappy hardware
My fanless 6670 purrs happily in this box and my next card, will still be an AMD card.
Where Intel owners left if Intel HD not working fine with open drivers? Where nVidia legacy owners left bugs of legacy drivers?
Same question to you but about nVidia legacy hardware with nVidia legacy drivers.
Intel: You can still file bug reports, can't you? I don't know the specific issues of Intel HD GPUs.
You're implying something won't get supported/fixed while there are lots of bug reports, right?
NVidia: My last NVidia card has been a 6600GT I bought in ~2004. I just checked the driver support.
It's the oldest chipset supported by the non-legacy drivers. That's quite ok!
Also this should be about the chipset generation capable of running Source games (albeit not max details, ofc).
Additionally, it seems like they even fix major bugs for the legacy drivers. http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux-d...31-driver.html (Aug. 2011)
Now don't get me wrong. I'm a strong proponent of AMD open specs strategy.
I'm fine with the 60-70% performance goal. *I* can even deal being without UVD support and the PM deficiencies.
The plain desktop experience (no 3D compositor) is great.
But it's obvious that the drivers are simply not there yet wrt 3D and progress is slower than anticipated.
With the (hopefully) materialising native Source games from VALVE, I'm not sure they will be there in time.
That's why I think dropping support for still powerful r600/r700 hardware from the binary driver (as a fallback)
is simply not a good business decision.
... That I would actually say "but but but", *BUT* my ATI 3870 still powers any and all games I currently care to play. I used to game hard, but getting married and having a couple kids put the skids on that. I run a Q6600 with 8gigs ram and that 3870. Not a new system, but it actually does reasonably well. I admit I am strongly considering a new build for mid next year anyway, but them more or less killing a part of my current system is pretty annoying. I like to run fairly up to date distro's, these days Fedora. Oh well, now I have to consider even more carefully than usual what my new system will be. It should be interesting.
Word is breaking today on the Windows-focused web-sites that AMD's Catalyst driver program has fundamentally changed.
WHAT FOLLOWS ARE SPECULATIONS WITH ADDED SPIN TO DRIVE AD REVENUE.
But no, as usual, most are all too happy to go ape shit crazy, it's "gratuitous AMD bashing time", yay! Actually, thank you guys, a lots of your replies will come handy when people claim Linux isn't idiot-proof enough.
dx10 gear, guys... You know, gfx cards with that vista stigma microsoft wants to get rid of asap... win8 is coming up in case you haven't heard *hint hint*. Yes it sucks that we're pretty much stuck with gazillions of Q3A clones when looking for games, but time for a reality check here.
Then we have the "just kill fglrx" crowd making smartass comments. Double standards much? Go thow yourself off a cliff and take the nvidia wannabe salesmen with you. Or at the very least, undergo a vasectomy.
Where am I left with my 4850 HD if it's not working fine with the open drivers?
Any *buntu 12.04 clone will do. No excuses.
Even if one does not upgrade to new kernels (while there may be community patches) and recent xserver versions,
who knows if Catalyst 12.4 plays well with upcoming games/engines?
Who knows if your card will play well with upcoming games/engines? You can bet your house openGL2/dx9 are gonna be phased out right in time for the winxp/xbox 360 obituary, openGL3/dx10 was a dud.
Awww some are gonna be personnally inconvenienced in the short term Yeah well tough luck. On the computer market, we're a minority. Deal with it.
I'd say windows users are getting even more shafted. Difference is, on Linux AMD gives us the tools to fix drivers ourselves.