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AMD Catalyst 7.12 Linux Driver -- The Baby's In Surgery

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  • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    When we asked users which new features were most important, AIGLX was apparently a clear #1, which surprised me a bit at the time.
    I'm surprised that you were surprised. So what did you expect the users to vote for at that time? I use and like compiz on my Nvidia machine: once you have deactivated the things you don't need and activated those you want, it becomes far more than just an eye candy - it really helps me keeping an overview over all my open applications and windows. There was a time when the things that are now broken for me (xv, suspend/hibernate, 1680x1050(!)) were more or less working. 3D was not that fast as it is now, but enough for my visualisation needs. I don't know how many here want to be able to play 3D games, but with the few games currently running under Linux, I would guess the hardcore gamers are still using Windows.

    Honestly, would I have known that so many things get broken in the process of giving us AIGLX support that is still basically unusable because of all the flickering in 3D and video applications, I would have shouted for something else. But then, I probably would not have belived that the problems I've seen during the last year were possible at all.

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    • Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
      Lucky you. I've not been QUITE as lucky. Which R500 do you have? An X1950XTX? It's going to bash just about any G70 part out there because it's the baddest, highest performing part in it's class- even with suboptimal drivers it was a suitable choice for Linux (Though for bang for buck, it was a losing proposition- even now it's not the best buy...). I've R500's that can't compete with the G70's I've got. It's all in what part you've got. Furthermore, some of the R500's seem to generate the issues people are seeing. Not all R500's are magic good. Worse, the IGPs all are evil devices, one and all, that should not be compared with discrete chips. Performance and stability are not the same with those parts. I've an R300 part that just isn't good all the way around. I resorted to giving the laptop, reconfigured for XP, to my mother because it wasn't usable by myself- and bought a laptop with an NVidia G70 series laptop part that actually performed WELL under Linux and favorably with everything else out there.

      You have been lucky. Others have NOT. Please don't be going about claiming everything is just fine (Which is what comes across here, whether that is what you intended or not...) Spare me the line. I've got all kinds of parts and I have to rely on the 3D performance being there along with stability for doing the cross-platform visualization software and the Linux game porting work I do for people. AMD's stuff just isn't there yet for anything other than test for proper function (which much of it fails right now...).
      maybe i should have mentioned that the nvidia is an igp with 128mb vram
      i know that i don't have a very good performance, but for my daily needs for the moment they're enough. of course i'd really like to have a more stable and performant driver but for the moment fglrx works with 2d,3d Xv/opengl aiglx+compiz on all of them. they don't work as stable as it works nvidia with these features enabled but they still perform better that that nvidia (with the exception of the evil x200m with which i cannot get anymore the fps go more than 380. i think that it has something to do with powerplay).

      Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
      The driver happens to be derived from their "Orca" codebase. There's VERY little undocumented code and it's all largely new compared to what they've done in the past. That's not the reason. Not at all.
      what's "orca"?! i've tried some googling about it but haven't found relevant things on it.

      Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
      Compiz may be "useless" but AIGLX is far from it. AIGLX allows one to have accelerated remote GLX sessions as if they were local. While that may seem like a silly thing to do, it's very, very useful in some visualization applications.

      Just because YOU see something as being useless or a waste of resources, doesn't make it so.
      in fact i was writing: "in my opinion" compiz is useless and i've not used remote accelerated sessions on my pcs so i never knew of aiglx being able to do this. i think i'll go and read some documentation about aiglx as homework...

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      • what's "orca"?! i've tried some googling about it but haven't found relevant things on it.
        maybe that's because it's all closed source and proprietary. people outside of ati know little about it, at best.

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        • Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
          they don't work as stable as it works nvidia with these features enabled but they still perform better that that nvidia (with the exception of the evil x200m with which i cannot get anymore the fps go more than 380. i think that it has something to do with powerplay).
          In the case of the NVidia IGP, it's not the IGP that's causing the lack of performance, it's that your R500's are higher performers and would out perform a discrete part. I know because my Go7600 on my laptop performs rather nicely when compared to the other parts in the house- surprisingly so for an IGP. As for the X200m, that's not because of power play, it's because of a distinct lack of vertex shader hardware, coupled with a seriously underperforming driver for the chip in question. In all honesty, as far as Linux people are concerned, the X200m is a brown paper bag over the head moment for ATI...

          what's "orca"?! i've tried some googling about it but haven't found relevant things on it.
          You can't have tried very hard googling it...

          http://www.driverheaven.net/linux-ra...ject-orca.html
          http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/28/
          http://www.beyond3d.com/content/news/473

          Now, if you caught the OpenGL driver rewrite part in the last URL...

          http://www.phoronix.com/forums/archi...php/t-926.html

          In short, there's not a lot about talking to the codenamed drivers, but there IS some discussion all the same- and all I did was plug in "ati orca" in Google to get to what I handed you just now.

          in fact i was writing: "in my opinion" compiz is useless and i've not used remote accelerated sessions on my pcs so i never knew of aiglx being able to do this. i think i'll go and read some documentation about aiglx as homework...
          Something about the name should have tipped you off.

          Accelerated INDIRECT GLX...

          Direct mode means that you're submitting the GLX rendering requests directly to a dispatch engine from the local app- little to no abstraction involved. You need Direct mode to get peak speeds with indirect mode, which accelerates the traditional pathway for GLX, allowing remote rendering and things like Compiz.
          Last edited by Svartalf; 12-28-2007, 10:58 AM.

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          • Originally posted by Christian_L View Post
            I'm surprised that you were surprised. So what did you expect the users to vote for at that time?
            Based on what I see on the forums, my guess would have been improved video support for the 5xx-and-up chips, or a smarter installer that could deal intelligently with all the different distros and configs out there.

            Originally posted by Christian_L View Post
            There was a time when the things that are now broken for me (xv, suspend/hibernate, 1680x1050(!)) were more or less working. 3D was not that fast as it is now, but enough for my visualisation needs.
            Have you seen actual regressions in video support, other than the change in support between 5xx-and-up (TexturedVideo, using shaders) and earlier chips (overlay, using dedicated HW) ?

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            • Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
              i have 3 different ati processor types and one nvidia and the results are:
              - the ati opensource driver is worse than fglrx on all the boards (r300, r500, r600)
              - the r500 outperforms the nvidia 7xxx serie that i have and the r600 does it too
              - i can use compiz on all of them, but on r300 is slow
              - i don't have all the problems that continue to come out with outher users, or i'm able to fix them when they come out
              Well well. How sweet. However, I, like many users here, really do not care for performance, at least not now. I do care about stability.
              You seem to be a lucky user. Read a bit more in this forum to see that there are many many users with real problems. And many of those users are not newbies...

              Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
              now, speaking directly with you:
              1- nobody has forced you to install the new driver. this driver hasn't the quality for being a "distribution" release as stated by ati (michael should be able to confirm it). the last distribution release should be the 8.40 if i remember right.
              I'm sorry but that is total crap. If the driver is not stable then do not release it to the entire community. Instead release it to your beta/test group and/or explicitly label it as alpha/beta quality, which ATI has not done (read the release notes...)
              Like you I'm a developer and the single most damaging thing to do for your reputation is to release unstable code, as you very well know.

              Beside, many users are seeing regressions that should not be seen. WTF happened that non-vesa resolutions can't be used any longer??? This is a major f&*k-up.
              As a professional developer this gives me serious doubts about the development process they are using. This should not be possible! And this is only one of the examples! There are even regressions that were fixed in the 'old' codebase and re-appeared in the 'new' codebase. Are they actually using new code? Or is it simply that the don't have their process under control?

              Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
              2- you have errors?! return to the catalyst 7.11 or to the 8.42. all distributions have their patches to install and make work the last "stable" fglrx driver.
              You are repeating yourself.

              Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
              3- the driver is far from perfect and lacks features, but if you take a look on the progress that amd has made with fglrx in the last year you may be able to say: hey the guys aren't doing so bad. amd has to catch up with nvidia after 5-6 years of lack of linux support. they've done in one year what nvidia has done in more time (they've restarted to write the driver from scratch about one year ago, while nvidia has reached over the years a quite good base).
              I think you are seeing it all a bit too rosy. Try to _really_ look at what they accomplished. Aside from a very crappy implementation of the OpenGL extension that is needed for Compiz there is really very very little that they have done. In fact, many things do not work anymore, like suspend (which is critical for laptop users).
              Ok ok, they have improved the performance a lot. But at what cost? By breaking many things that did work? I would rather have stability than performance. And if you're adding features, make them work! Do not experiment with your users (like M$, Apple, Cisco, etc.) That is really really damaging for your reputation, and reputation is worth soooo much, especially in the community.

              Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
              4- nobody forces you with amd/ati. buy nvidia if you're not satisfied or wait about 6 months to have a quality driver.
              Not completely true or false. I did switch my desktop machine (I have a spare X1900XT, wanna buy it?). But my laptop I cannot switch, like many users.

              I do want to support ATI because of their recent initiatives towards the community but they are making it very hard for me. My main machine is my laptop and it sucks bigtime that suspend doesn't even work on it because of the ATI driver. This is a daily frustration, which is why 'enough is enough' and I switched it to vesa.

              Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
              5- if any amd/ati employee would read your comments i'm sure he'd ignore you thanks to your "kind and gentle" words. if you address to someone like this in real world i'm sure that the most you'd get is a "yeah, whatever..."
              Maybe. Maybe not. Like many others I'm very frustrated with the quality of the releases of their software. Maybe this makes it a bit more clear. Being politically correct many times doesn't drive the message home. They need to feel in their guts that they have a quality issue. Understanding it is not enough, they need to FEEL it.

              I think you should take off your pink glasses and truly look around. Then re-evaluate your convictions.

              I have done it. I was an ATI fanboy too. Still am a bit but their driver forces me to make different choices.

              As for your reaction, your not quite as politically correct as you would like to believe yourself, but that might be your pink glasses. I do understand that all these reactions see like whining when you do not have problems, but try to place yourself in our shoes, we do have serious issues, and many of those issues frustrate the hell out of us...

              I do hope that the driver improves fast but I have much higher hopes for the documentation drops that are coming. Once the community has the 3D documentation I think a stable functional driver will be coming fast in 2008. I have high hopes for both the RadeonHD and the regular Radeon drivers.

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              • Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                Have you seen actual regressions in video support, other than the change in support between 5xx-and-up (TexturedVideo, using shaders) and earlier chips (overlay, using dedicated HW) ?
                (Dell Inspiron 6400 with Mobility X1400, Fedora 8)

                I don't remember what the exact version was, but somewhere around 8.35, my only problem with Xv was a thin green bar covering the top of some videos. Not perfect, but useable. Around 8.40/41, Xv was completely broken (black window or green garbage). 8.42 brought back basic Xv, but gave me blocky videos in fullscreen (no antialiasing for the blown up resolution) and diagonal video tearing, most noticeable with big video resolutions (1280x720) and during fast movements. So I switched to OpenGL, which has the same video tearing, but smooth fullscreen display. Tearing can be reduced by setting "Vertical Refresh" in amdcccle to "Quality", but it's still too annoying to use on some videos. Same effects under 7.11. Haven't tried 7.12 because my laptop's native resolution is 1680x1050... So yes, for me it's a regression.

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                • Originally posted by Christian_L View Post
                  (Dell Inspiron 6400 with Mobility X1400, Fedora 8)

                  I don't remember what the exact version was, but somewhere around 8.35, my only problem with Xv was a thin green bar covering the top of some videos. Not perfect, but useable. Around 8.40/41, Xv was completely broken (black window or green garbage). 8.42 brought back basic Xv, but gave me blocky videos in fullscreen (no antialiasing for the blown up resolution) and diagonal video tearing, most noticeable with big video resolutions (1280x720) and during fast movements. So I switched to OpenGL, which has the same video tearing, but smooth fullscreen display. Tearing can be reduced by setting "Vertical Refresh" in amdcccle to "Quality", but it's still too annoying to use on some videos. Same effects under 7.11. Haven't tried 7.12 because my laptop's native resolution is 1680x1050... So yes, for me it's a regression.
                  I'm in the same boat here with an IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T60 Wide, with integrated X1400.

                  All the issues that you've listed are exactly what I've experienced. I could care less about Compiz, I just want a driver that works properly for even the basics. I think the ATI devs should walk before running, i.e. first and foremost get the basic 2D working the way it should including video acceleration, then get the GL and 3D stuff sorted later.

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                  • Yes! Exactly!

                    Originally posted by Porter View Post
                    I'm in the same boat here with an IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad T60 Wide, with integrated X1400.

                    All the issues that you've listed are exactly what I've experienced. I could care less about Compiz, I just want a driver that works properly for even the basics. I think the ATI devs should walk before running, i.e. first and foremost get the basic 2D working the way it should including video acceleration, then get the GL and 3D stuff sorted later.
                    Yes-- I just signed up for an account just to agree with the previous x1400 owner and you beat me to it. (I have a Thinkpad Z61m.)

                    These are *exactly* the problems I have and thank god I can dual boot to XP. I don't give a flying fsck about AIGLX or compiz or, really, 3D at all. I play a 3D FPS about once every two months, and it's nice to see that it works. But I don't really care.

                    I want working, non-flickery, no-diagonal-tearing, non-blocky video in Linux. To make something clear: EVERY FGLRX RELEASE FOR MANY MONTHS HAS BEEN A STEP BACKWARDS. Amdcccle's vertical retrace handling simply does nothing. And in 7.12 I can't even use 1680x1050.... Give me a break! Are these AMD people incompetent or what??? I am sick of Microsoft and all I want in the world is to be able to scrape Windows off my computer completely, permanently. And I don't want to have to buy a new laptop to do it.

                    At this point, I would pry the ATI chip out of my computer and solder in the Trident cyberblade from my last Thinkpad, if that were possible. That's how I feel about ATI at the moment. At least I could watch DVDs under Linux. And that computer is five years old. (The video driver was open source.)

                    Ok, this is unintentional troll bait I admit, and I do appreciate that ATI/AMD is going through the efforts of creating a Linux driver at all. But let's be honest. Their results are pathetic. I'm not sure what else to say at this point. I might throw in that my experience with the NVIDIA driver on my desktop machine has *never* had *any* problems.

                    The fact of the matter is, AMD/ATI is doing this community a favor by creating Linux drivers at all-- they don't have to do it. But shouldn't they know not to put out a release when they're drunk? The whole situation seems like an existential play. Faint glimmers of hope appear once a month but really, nothing changes. Can't they just put us out of our misery and shoot us?

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                    • Originally posted by benwick View Post
                      The whole situation seems like an existential play. Faint glimmers of hope appear once a month but really, nothing changes.
                      8.01 - Waiting for Godot?

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