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Longtime Phoronix readers know that Michael is in contact with AMD. They know that Michael isn't lying. And they see him hyping the "new ATI Linux Driver", as he calls it, more, and more, and more in the last weeks.
i've already got two pci-e ati cards. one of which is pretty well supported by opensource driver (x300) . and one which is not (x1300). i really regret buying the latter - i don't use it anymore because of various fglrx issues that make using it a challenge. especially if u use a bleeding-edge like system like me (gentoo with lots of unstable scm-packages).
I voted too little too late. For now I'm not buying any ATI video cards. If ATI's linux support, eventually proves to be on par with Nvidia, I might change my mind then. Up untill a few months ago I was purchasing only ATI cards, but for now, I'm one of their ex-customiers.
I know we need competition (nvidia vs ati or Intel vs AMD) but, I will support the underdog only if they can provide me with what I need.
It makes no difference at all what ATI/AMD does now. They have a steady track record of failure, so just because they are saying they will change in those 'secret' ways that will be great if they ever land and work, the fact remain: drivers fail on new kernels, drivers break on new xorgs, driver roadmaps, that stupid 1 release per month no matter if things are worth releasing yet or not, all point to ongoing issues being the norm.
Is any ati driver even running on 2.6.23 for example? And will they backport support if they do get one working, or will users once again be stuck praying that the only working one works for them?
Only time will tell, anyone who buys an ati on faith that the changes will work and be solid is... well, an idealist at best.
AMD will need a minimum of 1 year (ONE) of no problems, supporting new xorgs, new kernels, before they are released, no breaks, no major failures, and, I almost forgot, a driver that actually does work.
I'm not holding my breath, if they have managed to reach these conditions by next summer, one year from now, or 1 year from when the new stuff comes out, then it might be worth taking a new look at them.
But this nonsense of not fixing things before they break and so on, that has to stop. This year's xorg failure was particularly stupid, since they even forced their biggest supporter, michael to have no support in fedora, which shows that not only is ati sloppy, but pretty darned clueless.
Here's hoping that some heads have in fact rolled in ati, and that amd has realized that if it doesn't get it's act together, everyone running linux is going to move to full native intel stuff. As it stands now, I'd be close to insane to recommend for any client considering linux machines that they run either amd or ati.