Radeon HD 3850/3870 Via Open-Source Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 27 December 2007 at 10:42 PM EST. Page 1 of 1. Add A Comment.

Last week the RadeonHD v1.1 driver was released, which (among other changes) had introduced extended monitor detection, RS600 support, and preliminary support for the RV670-based ATI Radeon HD 3850 and Radeon HD 3870 graphics cards. This v1.1 driver release combined with a recent git commit for adding additional TMDSA/B electrical values has led to quite a pleasant experience already with these new midrange graphics cards that have been on the market for less than two months.

The RadeonHD v1.1 driver was released on December 21, while coming a day later was a change that added new TMDSA/B electrical values for the 0x9501 (Radeon HD 3870) graphics card. Prior to this work, the Radeon HD 3850/3870 were not supported by this official open-source ATI driver (December 11, 2007 article).

We have been testing the ASUS Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 using this latest RadeonHD code on Ubuntu 7.10 for the past several days and everything has been running quite smoothly. The Novell/SuSE developers have yet to receive these new PCI Express 2.0 GPUs from ATI, let alone the specifications, and the AtomBIOS usage isn't as going as nicely as planned. However, at the end of the day both the Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 are now functioning with the xf86-video-radeonhd driver. While the RadeonHD driver doesn't yet support 2D/3D acceleration and other features, this is great to see an open-source driver supporting these graphics cards less than two months after they were introduced and the same month it received proper support in the proprietary ATI driver.

The xf86-video-radeon driver, which recently began supporting the R500/600 series, has yet to support the RV670. If you are an RV670 graphics card owner, be sure to check out the latest xf86-video-radeonhd code from git (Ubuntu how-to guide). Additional information and git details are available from RadeonHD.org.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.