Radeon HD 4870 Open-Source Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 26 June 2008. Page 1 of 1. 4 Comments

Now that we have delivered OpenGL benchmarks of the ATI Radeon HD 4850 on Linux, we are turning our focus to the flagship Radeon 4870. For this testing we have dual Radeon HD 4870 graphics cards from Sapphire Technology. We'll be publishing these initial results in the coming days, but for now, we are just letting everyone know that this RV770 GPU also is working with xf86-video-ati after writing a trivial patch for this display driver. Our patch is enclosed.

We got the ATI Radeon HD 4850 working with this open-source driver last week. All we needed to do for introducing Radeon HD 4800 series support was just a simple patch to add the RV770 chip family and the needed IDs to identify this graphics card. The xf86-video-ati driver then proceeded to "just work" due to its use of AtomBIOS for abstracting the differences between card generations and using a generic API. Keep in mind, however, there is no open-source support yet for 2D, 3D, or video acceleration on the R600 or RV770 GPUs. The Novell developers -- who are notably against the use of AtomBIOS -- have yet to receive any card samples or any programming documentation for this new hardware, so right now the xf86-video-radeonhd driver has no support for the Radeon HD 4800 series.

Our patch for the Radeon HD 4870 support can be found here (which also contains the Radeon HD 4850 IDs). Like the Radeon HD 4850, we had experienced a resolution detection problem with a 1920 x 1200 display, but aside from that DDC problem it was working fine. We will have more on this new flagship ATI graphics card on Linux shortly -- in both single and dual-GPU CrossFire configurations. If you have any questions concerning the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series support on Linux, stop by the Phoronix Forums.


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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 10,000 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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