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  • Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
    - it will never reach full possible speed due to absence of close-to-hardware tools and direct communication with designers.
    there is no such thing as "full possible speed", that's a poor argument which keeps popping up.

    The blobs are faster, and taken as a reference, but that doesn't mean that this is "full speed", just that they have been optimised better. They could possibly be even faster with some more optimisations, some of which are unreasonable.

    Same goes for GCC and other compilers. Using the binary blob on Linux is like compiling your whole Linux using Visual Studio because it produces more optimised code.

    80% of the blob is plenty fast. It's just that gamers get really touchy about their FPS. An Intel i7 running GCC-compiled software is much slower than when it runs ICC-compiled stuff, yet people don't bitch and whine about not getting full performance from their expensive CPU, because it doesn't impact the FPS in Vorkraft :P

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    • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
      That's a glaring exception affecting a small number of people. The vast majority of products were older than 5 years at the time when the binary drivers stopped following bleeding edge X versions and kernels (they still work just fine with older software).
      Small subset? It included every IGP solution AMD had until the 700 series.

      Becasue he cares about open source?
      Umm you were responding to me. You told me to start coding or stfu. I responded as such.

      Why code KDE when there's a perfectly good Mac OSX? Why code for vim when there's a perfectly good Visual Studio?
      I don't code KDE, I absolutely don't use vim let alone code for it either.

      There are many very good reasons for open drivers -- easier to maintain for distributions, it is LEGAL (!!!) to distribute them, they do not violate the GPL (!!!), they work with multi-screen setups properly, support kernel modesetting, work out of the box, etc.
      They don't do what I need them to do so all of that is useless to me. I'd rather take the 30 seconds to install a blob then take years to get full support for the hardware. If the open source drivers had that capability especially at time of purchase then I would have zero issues using open source. Chances are though they will never match the features and performance of the blobs. KMS is useless to me as it serves little practical use.

      These are good reasons. If you're happy with your semi-legal blob which the kernel hackers hate, the distros hate, which is basically illegal according to Linus and many others, which replaces half of your system with unknown code, then that's fine, but please to respect our wish to have a clean, open solution.
      I have no problem with other people using them but on the same hand don't condemn others who prefer functionality, performance, and getting the best value of their hardware because they don't care if it is open or not, just the end result.

      If our compiler is open, our kernel is open, our editors, desktops, browsers, servers and pretty much all other drivers are open, then why should we depend on the benevolence of one single company and their magical, closed, illegal blob?
      Well first of all, it isn't illegal. I may be the opinion of some that it should be illegal reality is that it is not. Again best bang for the buck trumps here and FOSS drivers are far from the "best bang".

      The blob makes the developers' lives difficult. All because nvidia has secret sauce. Screw them. I can live with 50% or 75% performance. I don't want the Windows graphics subsystem injected into my kernel
      How does it make their life difficult? If anything it is easier for them, just look at recent testimonies from Mozilla, KDE, Carmack for example. If anything it is the FOSS drivers that are giving them grief.

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      • Here, for example

        http://people.redhat.com/bkoz/benchmarks/

        ICC produces exexutables up to 2x faster than GCC (though the difference is usually not that big). Yet this is what all distributions are compiled with. And much of the scientific simulation software.

        Getting to 75% of the performance of the blob (like r300g) is not a problem, it's an excellent result. The gamerz can play Windows, which is what runs most of their games.

        The main issue with the open drivers is functionality (for recent hardware). Getting to OpenGL 3 and higher is a very important step. Crying about FPS is unimportant. Stable, open source drivers are important. They provide legal, out-of-the-box functionality which works well with the rest of the system. This is important.

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        • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
          Here, for example

          http://people.redhat.com/bkoz/benchmarks/

          ICC produces exexutables up to 2x faster than GCC (though the difference is usually not that big). Yet this is what all distributions are compiled with. And much of the scientific simulation software.

          Getting to 75% of the performance of the blob (like r300g) is not a problem, it's an excellent result. The gamerz can play Windows, which is what runs most of their games.

          The main issue with the open drivers is functionality (for recent hardware). Getting to OpenGL 3 and higher is a very important step. Crying about FPS is unimportant. Stable, open source drivers are important. They provide legal, out-of-the-box functionality which works well with the rest of the system. This is important.

          Yes and where performance counts for people that want it people do recompile. If this wasn't the case there would be no need for alternative compilers for linux now would there?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by deanjo View Post
            Chances are though they will never match the features and performance of the blobs. KMS is useless to me as it serves little practical use.
            They did with r300g, for the most part. And KMS is useful for stability. Nvidia used to lock up on me when switching VTs. Never happened with free drivers and KMS, because it's properly handled.

            Well first of all, it isn't illegal. I may be the opinion of some that it should be illegal reality is that it is not.
            It is the opinion of Linux Torvalds and a number of high-profile kernel developers. The fact that they aren't pursuing it, but ignoring the existence of Nvidia and their blobs doesn't change this.

            How does it make their life difficult? If anything it is easier for them, just look at recent testimonies from Mozilla, KDE, Carmack for example. If anything it is the FOSS drivers that are giving them grief.
            Kernel hackers, for example, refuse to deal with bugs involving blobs. X people and kernel people refuse to introduce blob-only functionality into their software. Many distros refuse to ship them because of unclear legal situation. Package maintainers have problems because upgrading is difficult (for example, upgrading the Nvidia drivers automatically can b0rk your system when they drop support for your chipset, happened to me).

            When there is a bug, it's impossible to trace. Lol at KDE. KDE was UNUSABLE on Nvidia for YEARS. Unusable! Because they didn't accelerate things which were important for desktop effects, but were not used in games. The only solution was waiting for Nvidia to fix it.

            RedHat loves the blobs so much that they are funding nouveau developers to reverse engineer the blob. Novell loves them so much that they were working on RadeonHD.

            What are you smoking? The blobs are foreign tissue which cause problems for developers, package maintainers, distribution, and users. Only gamers and some GPGPU guys prefer them because they absolutely need the performance.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by deanjo View Post
              Yes and where performance counts for people that want it people do recompile. If this wasn't the case there would be no need for alternative compilers for linux now would there?
              I've told you before, I don't mind you using the blob if it rocks your boat, or using Visual Studio to compile KDE for the extra diesel juice baby. Knock yourself out.

              But you're advocating abolishing free drivers and only having blobs as some sort of "solution." That's like replacing GCC with ICC because of "extra juice", "manufacturer knows best because of secrets and optimisations", "it is here now, who knows when GCC will catch up", and all that stuff.

              True, the open Radeon drivers are still missing functionality (namely, OpenGL 3+). But they are IMPROVING, and improving rapidly. This is good for Linux, good for the kernel, good for distributions, good for users. Good for everybody.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                Becasue he cares about open source?

                Why code KDE when there's a perfectly good Mac OSX? Why code for vim when there's a perfectly good Visual Studio?

                There are many very good reasons for open drivers -- easier to maintain for distributions, it is LEGAL (!!!) to distribute them, they do not violate the GPL (!!!), they work with multi-screen setups properly, support kernel modesetting, work out of the box, etc.

                These are good reasons.
                These are excellent reasons.
                (It is completely legal to distribute blobs btw, unless blob license itself prohibits it)

                But we have completely different fish under the hood.
                If we compare Adobe Audition vs Audacity, the latter has zero SMP/Threading support.
                That means, when doing any kind of work(several hours soundtrack normalisation and denoise for example) only one core works, because developers are happy with it.
                In order to change that, we need people paying developers to change their mind or pay devs with different picture on the mind.

                But I can perfectly live on with this situation.

                However, when I buy hardware I expect it to work.
                It is not coming for free (for already present featureset) in my box and it dies some day(burns, performance evolution of technology, etc).

                So, if Im to buy 200$ card, I want 200$ of performance(or featureset, as you wish).
                The rather very small group, which is not interested in this are hardware hackers/students, that buy ot for examination, experimentation etc.

                So the (excellent) reasons you mentioned are superb, but are just part of multiplicator - multiplicator itself being performance(or featureset) delivered via driver implementation.

                Performance X Your_excellent_opensource_reasons

                Say, windows user buys 30$ card which consumes 0.03$ of energy to complete task identical to linux user buying 3000$ card which consumes 30$ of energy due to bad drivers. What kind of support is this? Not to mention those (theoretical) 3000$ go into windows user driver development...

                If you claim, it is unneeded and wish for clean (but heavily broken) opensource is greater than the result of using the hardware, you deem linux an operating environiment for "hackers/students, for examination, experimentation etc." You can place large red cross on it ever making to desktop.

                Nvidia blob is nearly perfect. AMD is polishing its own and loosing in many places(notably the mentioned aging time and arch/os/kernel/gcc/glibc version coverage). Opensource AMD is deemed second class with some serious features not to be implemented.

                This is not good way to go.

                Ask yourself why do YOU care about opensource drivers? For technical specifications because you hack around?
                Or for less bugs, endless lifetime support and security - as a valuable additional multiplicator to performance(or featureset) you get from opensource drivers?

                If AMD opensource would get more devs, reach 70-80% of blob acceleration, same day(or month..) support for new hw, get videodecode accel for unencrypted streams, opencl(why not?) - that would be a usable driver every single case favorable over nvidia crappy blob.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                  They did with r300g, for the most part. And KMS is useful for stability. Nvidia used to lock up on me when switching VTs. Never happened with free drivers and KMS, because it's properly handled.
                  Well I've never had a VT lock on me either with the Nvidia blobs. And yes I really do mean never. I have on many occasions however had kernel panics trying to get RS690 systems to simply boot to the desktop with the free drivers.

                  It is the opinion of Linux Torvalds and a number of high-profile kernel developers. The fact that they aren't pursuing it, but ignoring the existence of Nvidia and their blobs doesn't change this.
                  Opinion isn't law. Two very different things.

                  Kernel hackers, for example, refuse to deal with bugs involving blobs. X people and kernel people refuse to introduce blob-only functionality into their software.
                  Never said they should deal with the bugs in a blob. The blob developers are well qualified to handle them. Nor have the blob developers ever asked the kernel developers to attempt to do so.

                  Many distros refuse to ship them because of unclear legal situation. Package maintainers have problems because upgrading is difficult (for example, upgrading the Nvidia drivers automatically can b0rk your system when they drop support for your chipset, happened to me).
                  Actually packaging a blob is pretty easy to do. DKMS also handles upgrades pretty well. The legal situation is actually very clear from the blob side of things.

                  2.1.2 Linux Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing terms of Section 2.1.1, SOFTWARE designed exclusively for use on the Linux operating system may be copied and redistributed, provided that the binary files thereof are not modified in any way (except for unzipping of compressed files).
                  It is not a legality that is preventing distros from including the drivers, it is a "morality" decision.

                  When there is a bug, it's impossible to trace.
                  For you, not for the graphic drivers developers.

                  Lol at KDE. KDE was UNUSABLE on Nvidia for YEARS. Unusable! Because they didn't accelerate things which were important for desktop effects, but were not used in games. The only solution was waiting for Nvidia to fix it.
                  Used KDE and nvidia for years. It has always been a smooth experience. Desktop effects are pretty low priority for me and I always disable them since they serve no practical purpose at all.

                  RedHat loves the blobs so much that they are funding nouveau developers to reverse engineer the blob.
                  Good for them.

                  Novell loves them so much that they were working on RadeonHD.
                  Actually AMD hired them to do so.

                  What are you smoking? The blobs are foreign tissue which cause problems for developers, package maintainers, distribution, and users.
                  Not smoking anything at all, package maintenance is no more trouble then any other package, users find installing blobs easy enough and distributions.
                  Only gamers and some GPGPU guys prefer them because they absolutely need the performance.
                  If this was true then everyone but them would run IGP's in the first place.

                  Comment


                  • Without the open source drivers, you wouldn't be seeing advances in graphics on linux. Both nvidia and amd don't care about such things with the proprietary drivers - they care about making money with them.
                    It's not really a coincidence that there's been a flurry of activity since the AMD open source drivers kicked into gear.

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                    • Come on... do you expect to run X as root forever? Without KMS you can't, I don't want to trade security for stupid blobs.
                      ## VGA ##
                      AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
                      Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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