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I would have liked to be that enthusiast but this won't happen.
To get a proper 3D support on r6xx/r7xx, you'll need the 2.6.32 (assuming the ATI devs would be in time to merge it to it next month).
Ubuntu should use the 2.6.31 when release, so, there will be no 3D support for r6xx/r7xx cards on Ubuntu 9.10.
That being said, I would like to tell that advanced users should use rolling distro so as more users could contribute to bug reporting.
I am pretty sure that Bridgman said that R800 would be much more open source friendly to develop for, as the Digital Restrictions Management was separated from the acceleration in the chip.
At least AMD came to the conclusion, that their time and money were better spend on fewer specs and more demo code.
And who knows. Maybe AMD can reuse the R800 Windows Catalyst code (that have to be written no matter what), and use it for the open source drivers?
I think he wasn't sure if that applies to R8xx or R9xx. R8xx is R6xx architecture still so shouldn't be a big problem I think.
As for the distributions, I don't know if Ubuntu will backport it (possible, I think it depends more on Mesa 7.6 release for them), but Fedora 12 will have it for sure, I mean they're using Mesa 7.6-git in Fedora 11-updates already
I don't think the next generation is soon enough to have any differences in DRM vs graphics coupling - the development pipe is 3-4 years long and the top level design is locked down pretty early in the process. I wouldn't be expecting anything in that regard.
Reusing code from Catalyst probably isn't an option since the internal designs are so different. We did try at the start of the project, but the changes required were big and it turned out to be a lot more work than writing the drivers from scratch.
On the other hand, writing the open source drivers for the next generation GPUs while the Catalyst work is still relatively fresh in everyones mind is bound to help. That was one of the reasons we ended up getting the acceleration code running on 7xx first (remeber the "first triangle" back in August last year) and then working out the 6xx-7xx differences to get the code working on 6xx as well.
But why you do not buy complete AMD notebook. CPU,GPU and chipset
amd notebook cpus suck bigtime
they still only sell 65nm k8 cpus which eat your battery in no time while beeing hot and beeing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay slower than intel cpus...
i've been hoping, that amd would finally release 45nm k10 based cpus but it doesnt seem that way and since im going to buy my notebook in about a month i cant wait for amd..
second problem is, that for some reason ( i kinda think intel is to blame) no manufacturer sells highquality amd based notebooks... amd notebooks are always the crappy sort...
shiny display... everything is bending and the notebook looks like crap...
so im going to most likely buy and intel based notebook with an hd4570 which gives nice 3d performance but doesnt eat too much batterylife...
I think the idea is to have a simple way to test the new code without risking your current installation.
I remember the Fedora 11 Beta had a live image for nouveau KMS for one of their test days. Maybe they'll do something like that with R600 3D for the Fedora 12 Beta, or maybe it'll just get enabled in Rawhide.