AMD Catalyst 8.8 Linux Driver, Exciting New Features
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 20 August 2008. Page 2 of 2. 189 Comments

Both the ATI and NVIDIA Linux drivers have been limited for years to conventional anti-aliasing (AA) and anisotropic filtering (AF) support. With the release of Catalyst 8.8, there is now adaptive anti-aliasing on Linux. Adaptive anti-aliasing has been available on Windows for years now but it's finally come to Linux with OpenGL support. From the AMD Catalyst Control Center the adaptive anti-aliasing level can be overrode with performance or quality optimizations. This is great to finally have this capability on Linux.

While not apparent to the end-user in this release, there are also two new library files. There is a libAMDXvBA.so.1.o and libXvBAW.so.1.o. What do these files provide? Both file strings mention "Xv" which is the acronym for X-Video and also the X-Video Motion Compensation (XvMC) extensions, but the ATI Linux driver has already supported X-Video / TexturedVideo for many months now. It looks like we will just need to wait for a future release to see how AMD ends up using the AMDXvBA and XvBAW libraries.

This release is very exciting to see, but the two primary features introduced -- CrossFire and OverDrive -- are long overdue. Both of these features have been around for years now on the Windows side but it's the first time we are seeing this multi-GPU and overclocking support on Linux. We are very grateful though that this support has finally arrived and ideally with features to be introduced in the future we will have less of a wait (or no wait at all) in seeing the Linux support. The Linux 2.6.26 kernel support, adaptive anti-aliasing, and other minor fixes in this release are also great to see. What this release lacks though is X Server 1.5 / X.Org 7.4 support or and any improvements for WINE performance. The fun for the year though is not over and be sure to stay tuned to Phoronix for more ATI Linux updates.

You can continue reading about the Catalyst 8.8 Linux driver in our AMD CrossFire On Linux and AMD OverDrive For Linux articles. Head on over to the Phoronix Forums to discuss these latest ATI advancements on Linux.

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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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