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Guess what? Yet another disgruntled Fedora+ATI Customer

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  • Guess what? Yet another disgruntled Fedora+ATI Customer

    I'll write the conclusion first and try to explain it later: If you're a die-hard Fedora fan (as I am) and you like using 3D on Linux, stay as far away as possible from ATI latest products. Now the explanation.

    I recently purchased an HD4850 based card in response to the recent decision from AMD/ATI to open their drivers. It's a fantastic piece of hardware with a great price/performance ratio...if you're a Windows user.

    But, I'm a (proud) Fedora user and apparently, and it seems that's a bit of a sin for ATI (the Fedora part, not the proud part). Here's why:

    * The closed source drivers won't work on Xserver 1.5. The only solution for this is downgrading the Xserver (which beats the whole point of using Fedora), or install Ubuntu or another supported distro. No thanks, I support innovation (and so should ATI).

    * The free software drivers that supposedly support the chipset can only give the bare minimum of functionality (using the latest from the git repo), no 2D acceleration, no 3D acceleration. Just a glorified VESA driver.

    When Fedora 9 was released, I had my old card (an NVIDIA 8600GT), and it only took a few days for NVIDIA to release a barely working driver first, and a fully functional one a little later. That's support. But, I won't go back to NVIDIA 'cause I don't want to support the close-driver model any more.

    All I can do now is learn my lesson the hard way.

    So the moral of the story is: If you're a Fedora user, don't buy the latest products from ATI, if you don't mind closed-source drivers, buy NVIDIA.

  • #2
    As Linux-User you should know better than to buy a piece of hardware without doing any research about it. If you'd spent a minimum of effort on reading phoronix' news and what's been posted in this forum you'd have known you'd have this problems.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Zhick View Post
      As Linux-User you should know better than to buy a piece of hardware without doing any research about it. If you'd spent a minimum of effort on reading phoronix' news and what's been posted in this forum you'd have known you'd have this problems.
      You are absolutely right. I should have at least checked this forum (which is a great source of info). I usually do research a little before buying hardware for my linux boxes, but the last 4 graphic cards I bought were NVIDIA and they all worked almost out-of-the-box even in Fedora. I thought that might be the case with ATI too.

      The whole point of my post was not to b*tch about the problem, but to warn other Fedora users. Even with these problems I'll stick with ATI, for supporting the open-source driver model, and Fedora, for constantly pushing the Linux envelope.
      Last edited by m4rgin4l; 08-12-2008, 11:05 AM.

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      • #4
        I've tried FC9 and had big problems. Nothing seems to run. Evidently I needed more programs than what came on the NEARLY 4GB DVD.

        So I yum'd this and I yum'd that and then I yum/yum a few other things. Still not quire sure I got the kernel headers or where the hell FC9 puts them anyway. Couldn't seem to get kernel sources installed.

        Still can't run the ati*.run programs. Also couldn't compile the ati open drivers. Found some sort of rpm for these but it would not load due to dependency stuff. FC6 or 7 was a much more complete distribution in that it came with enough to load some standard things like video (nvidia back then) drivers. All I can think or hope is FC9 is secure. I think I"ll put freebsd over it and see how that works. In mean time...back to slackware as it, or perhaps kpackage can even use rpm packages.


        Time to upload some dinner. yum yum.
        Last edited by forum1793; 08-12-2008, 09:39 PM.

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        • #5
          I bought HD 4850 a month ago hoping that DRI-2 will finally make my Linux desktop a good default OS. Now I'm thinking about going to Vista x64. Sad, but that is life.

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          • #6
            I just compiled the latest radeonhd driver from git and it seems to work a little better than the first time I tried it (a few weeks ago). It still scrambles my text consoles and feels sluggish as hell (not as much as vesa, though) but it's definitely better.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
              So the moral of the story is: If you're a Fedora user, don't buy the latest products from ATI, if you don't mind closed-source drivers, buy NVIDIA.
              If you're after community-developed open source drivers, that should be pretty obvious - AMD hasn't even released the R700 documentation yet, so even with AtomBIOS you can't expect there to be much support for the HD4800 series with open drivers.

              Your comments on the closed-source drivers are spot-on though - I'd hope (expect, really) the next release of fglrx brings compatibility to newer kernels/Xorg 1.5.

              Once RadeonHD gets some good 3d work going, I'd expect as a customer that AMD would support it actively for new cores/cards, so that open driver support comes about the same time as a core release. The fact that they're commissioning the open driver themselves is exactly why I'm happy enough with my purchase of a currently-flaky HD4850.
              Last edited by grantek; 08-12-2008, 11:20 PM.

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              • #8
                so don't use 'unstable testbed for RHEL' Fedora but a distro that doesn't see its userbase as a laboratory basement full with guinea pigs.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by energyman View Post
                  so don't use 'unstable testbed for RHEL' Fedora but a distro that doesn't see its userbase as a laboratory basement full with guinea pigs.
                  I feel much comfortable with Fedora as of now because it ships the open source ati 6.9.0 driver. The "not for guinea pigs" Ubuntu does not have it in backports.

                  No one is forced to choose Fedora. As every distribution it has its pros and cons. In change of some risks Fedora often offers several pros...

                  And btw, should I really blame Fedora for fglrx not working with XOrg 7.4?
                  And btw, why can't you stick with Fedora 8 until a proper driver is released?

                  I mean... Linux has always been a moving ground. To me it does not make sense waking up now and saying "I want it all now!".

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                  • #10
                    yes you should blame Fedora!

                    Xorg 7.4 isn't even released. So it is there fault to include half broken non-releases and turning it users in pre-alpha testers.

                    And you can't blame AMD for not supporting software that is not even released!

                    So Fedora fucked up - again.

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