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  • Questions about the OSS driver

    Hey,
    My card is an ATI Radeon HD 5670 Redwood
    I have always used the binary ATI driver but now that I want to use gnome shell with Opensuse 12.1 (does catalyst 11.11 work with shell?), I think I may have to use the open source driver. My main questions are:
    Will I be able to get decent performance on some native and Wine games I have such as Oilrush, Hereos of Newerth, Enemy Territory Quake Wars, Trine, Guild Wars (wine) ect.
    I have heard the open source driver has issues with heating and power consumption, how much truth is there to this? Would I be better off waiting for Catalyst 11.12?

  • #2
    Oilrush looks pretty advanced, I don't think it will work on the open source drivers. Of course I'm no expert on this.

    I have a Radeon HD6520G which is supposed to be Evergreen based, and I was unable to play Trine even using mesa from the xorg-edgers PPA in Ubuntu. I think some people have been able to get it to work though.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
      I have a Radeon HD6520G which is supposed to be Evergreen based, and I was unable to play Trine even using mesa from the xorg-edgers PPA in Ubuntu.
      Try This PPA http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...aphics-Drivers its has some Features enabled by default that fix many Problems.

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      • #4
        If you are using a 32 bit app on a 64 bit distro, you need to update your 32 bit 32 drivers as well. Lots of 64-bit distros ship old outdated 32-bit 3D drivers or rarely update them.

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        • #5
          All the games you listed should work. Unigine benchmarks all work (some advanced effects are missing) as does OilRush. Quake4, ET:QW, Doom3, Trine, etc. all work.

          There are no power and heat issues if you use profiles. The trick is that you need to switch power states manually, which can be a bit of a nuissance. Keeping it in low power mode is fine for most tasks, you just need to power it up to play games.

          The question is what you consider "decent performance". OSS drivers are slower than the blob. On your hardware, between 30% and 80% of the Catalyst performance. Most games (including Doom3 and games based on its engine) are playable, but not as fast as with Catalyst.

          WINE is a separate story. It has only really ever worked with Nvidia's binary drivers, although the situation seems to be improving.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
            WINE is a separate story. It has only really ever worked with Nvidia's binary drivers, although the situation seems to be improving.
            that's not the case. last year I had an ATI mobility radeon x2300 and played half life 2 through wine using the OSS drivers. low detail and 640x480 but it was very smooth and worked excellently.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sandy8925 View Post
              that's not the case. last year I had an ATI mobility radeon x2300 and played half life 2 through wine using the OSS drivers. low detail and 640x480 but it was very smooth and worked excellently.
              I second that. Wine works surprisingly well with the OSS drivers. In terms of stability and rendering it often works better than with catalyst. Even Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a game released only a few months ago, already runs with Wine and OSS drivers.

              It's just that the OSS drivers really could use some optimizations to get playable frame rates.

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              • #8
                Thanks I have some questions.
                With profiles, I've found out how to use them but when I echo low > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile , how do I make "low" permanent and not go away every boot?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by n3wu53r View Post
                  Thanks I have some questions.
                  With profiles, I've found out how to use them but when I echo low > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile , how do I make "low" permanent and not go away every boot?
                  You put that in a boot script. On most distros, editing /etc/rc.local is easiest.

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                  • #10
                    trine works

                    Actually, trine works for me. It was a problem with the libraries shipped with .the game. Works quite well and performance is pretty good too.

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