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AMD's OverDrive and CrossFire Come To Linux

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the first-they-laugh-then-they-create-drivers dept.

AMD 82

twljagflba writes "Since last year AMD has made ATI increasingly Linux friendly by releasing 3D programming guides and helping out the open-source community. At the same time they have been continuing to develop their binary Catalyst driver for the Linux platform and most recently they delivered same-day support for their new graphics cards. Today though they have released the Catalyst 8.8 Linux driver that adds two very important features: CrossFire and OverDrive support for Linux. Linux users are now able to use CrossFire to split the rendering workload between multiple GPUs and they're also able to overclock their graphics cards now using the binary-only driver. Phoronix has a complete run-down on both features — including benchmarks — in their AMD OverDrive on Linux and ATI Radeon CrossFire On Linux articles. Other features were also introduced in this update such as Linux 2.6.26 kernel support, Adaptive Anti-Aliasing, and other fixes."

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82 comments

Awesome! (4, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679115)

GREAT! Now I can play ... uh ... well, someone can make some visually awesome (exclusive) games that I can play for linux!

YOTLD FTW!

Re:Awesome! (5, Insightful)

edlinfan (1131341) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679205)

Y'know, games aren't the only things that benefit from powerful video acceleration. I use my linux box for 3d modeling -- if I had crossfire-compliant cards, you can bet I would be downloading this software right now.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24679299)

Yes but 3D modelling only benefits from graphics cards during the actual modelling, rendering is still CPU only (for now at least).

Re:Awesome! (2, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679245)

Id Games? I've been enjoying Enemy Territory: Quake Wars for a long time on Ubuntu. (although the newest Ubuntu 8.04's pulseaudio seems to have broken the Microphone part of the audio, not Id's fault)

Besides, you can always right your own rendered 3d version of Soduko!

Re:Awesome! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681213)

Besides, you can always right your own rendered 3d version of Soduko!

If he rights his own version of Soduko, then there would be nothing left to do!!

Re:Awesome! (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683295)

You say it's not id's fault that the microphone isn't working, but I have had a lot of trouble getting their games to work with ALSA. And for that, the blame goes squarely on id.

Re:Awesome! (2)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680209)

If you're judging on exclusives only, Windows doesn't look all that attractive either.

Re:Awesome! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689037)

If you're judging on exclusives only, Windows doesn't look all that attractive either.

An XB360 can never become a PS3 or vice versa. A Linux computer can always become a Windows computer (reboot). If I rephrase the grandparent as "games that can't already be played on this hardware" you're looking at a very slim list. That said, if you're running Linux it's of course much better to be able to play them under Linux without killing everything else you got running. On that note, I hope more games will be available through Steam and the like. It would seem many games whose only WINE problem is the CD copy protection run perfectly using Steam since obviously there's no CD. Through judicious use of the WINE AppDB and Steam I've bought some games for Linux lately...

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681881)

I think they should release a driver that doesn't crash my box 4x/day like flglx does in the first place, then after that worry about crossfire.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24685171)

My wife plays Second Life on Linux (Ubuntu Edgy Eft) natively. Hers is an older machine with a mid-range but very new Nvidia card. The app has auto-configured with only moderate settings but even that looks pretty damn good. If I manually push the settings to max the graphically capability just blows me away when she's playing one of those combat simulations in SL. Her machine isn't up to running SL at max settings, aMSN and Skype all at once, so she runs with slightly above moderate settings most days. OK, so it's not exclusive and frankly the client app for Windows is slightly better (read: more stable) then the one for Linux, but that's the result of Linden Labs priorities. Nonetheless, Second Life can be made to be visually awesome if that sort of thing is your taste.

Argh (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679227)

I would snap up a 790GX-based board in no time flat for HTPC / big-screen gaming purposes, but it doesn't support more than 2-channel LPCM over the HDMI port!!

How about GPU video decoding? (1)

BrunoUsesBBEdit (636379) | more than 5 years ago | (#24727263)

I'm starting to get tired of _hearing myself_ say this, but it is not getting any better. When are they going to support us in our efforts to decode HD video on a GPU? We need ridiculously powerful CPU in a Linux machine to even come close to what a low power MSFT machine can do with HD video. The reason is that MSFT can offload the work to the GPU.

Seriously!!! What the heck is going on here? Why do the GPU makers want us to invest our money in CPUs instead of GPUs? Wouldn't ATI and nVidia rather get our money than driving us to give it to Intel and ADM? This is crazy.

High end gaming on Linux, which would utilize the new advanced hardware, is somewhere in the future. But, HD video and Linux based HTPCs are in the present. MythTV is ready today. It was ready 2 years ago. If only the GPUs would open the door to HD video on hardware that couldn't heat a Canadian Movie Theater and sound like a jet engine.

If the GPU support would have been available 2 years ago when I gave up on my MythTV, by now Linux PVRs would be the most viable Home Theater solution "on the market". A huge opportunity was lost. I think that there is still more opportunity, but it is being piddled away.

And on Windows? (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679263)

I've got to say I'm disappointed they don't provide Crossfire numbers for the same hardware on Windows. It's nice that Crossfire can improve things in some situations and some games that are supported under Linux, but I'd like to know the relative benefit.

That is, when going to Crossfire do both Windows and Linux gain 40 FPS? Or do they both go up 60%? Or does Windows go up by 70% to 100 FPS where Linux only goes up 40% to 80 FPS?

How close are they? That's what I'd like to know.

I also find the "we had no problems except for some segfaults during Quake Wars, and they say that will be fixed in a month or two with the next version" a little worrying. A problem with a driver is a game looking off, or having slow frame rates. Segfaulting the system is not a problem, it's a BIG PROBLEM.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679451)

did it say the /OS/ segfaulted? I'm pretty sure I had apps segfault in Linux without taking the OS down with them. Admittedly it's been a while since I've used Linux (about a year?), so I can't remember for certain.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680597)

Yes segfaults affect the application only (unless the kernel itself segfaults, which never happened for me). Although if it's a driver that segfaults it may bring down the system, I think if it's built as a module and not compiled into the kernel it shouldn't

Re:And on Windows? (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683771)

Being built as a module makes it no different from an in-kernel driver once it is loaded. A crashing driver would have the same effect whether it's a module or not.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

joe_cot (1011355) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683817)

True, if the video driver segfaults, it'll only take down the display. You won't be able to see anything, but other than that, the system will be fine.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24688571)

If you are logged in via kdm/gdm/xdm, it will also log out (at least in FreeBSD, the intel driver on my notebook has done that to me a couple of times in an older version of xorg).

Still, that's annoying, not a system crash.

Re:And on Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24679619)

That is, when going to Crossfire do both Windows and Linux gain 40 FPS? Or do they both go up 60%? Or does Windows go up by 70% to 100 FPS where Linux only goes up 40% to 80 FPS?

That would be only interesting if there's any difference. And there's really no reason why there would be a difference other than sloppy coding on the part of either team. Even then, the windows driver probably shares 90% of the code with the linux driver.

I also find the "we had no problems except for some segfaults during Quake Wars, and they say that will be fixed in a month or two with the next version" a little worrying. A problem with a driver is a game looking off, or having slow frame rates. Segfaulting the system is not a problem, it's a BIG PROBLEM.

It's not "segfaulting the system," it's segfaulting the game. Game crashes with drivers suck, and it's a problem that needs to be fixed, but that happens on windows all the fucking time. I don't game much anymore, but do you realize how many problems I head playing Star Trek Armada for the first two months until I finally had drivers that wouldn't crash to the desktop?

If you haven't had any problems like that, you're a lucky man.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680341)

That would be only interesting if there's any difference.

That's precisely what I want to know. That would give me an indication how mature the drivers are, how much more performance there is to gain, and how much they cared about creating this. I mean is it worth the risks (like the crashes in some games) or if the performance is going to take another 25% jump maybe I just want to wait for the next driver version in September or October.

It's not "segfaulting the system," it's segfaulting the game.

I haven't used Linux for a desktop in a while, so I'm not up on this stuff. When I last messed around with 3D game in Linux segfaulting a game sometimes would take down just the game (and usually X) and sometimes would take down the whole system. For my purpose segfaulting the game might as well have taken down the whole system.

If things have progressed past that in even a tough case like this (controlling two expansion boards) that's a very nice plus.

As for on Windows, I've had it happen many times in the past but it has been quite a while since it took down my system. Even back in '01 I could have to kill Counter Strike and my box (running 2k pro) would survive just fine. These days I don't play many computer games so it's not much of a problem I run into.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680729)

Well I've been using Linux for like 2 years, experienced many seg faults, in all kinds of applications, including games, and it's never taken down the system, or even X.

Are you sure it was the game and not the driver crashing? If it was just the game it shouldn't have touched anything else, not even X. If it was the driver then it could easily take down X and/or the entire system

More specifically, when TFA says the game segfaulted, do they actually mean the driver segfaulted, because there's a very big difference in terms of stability

Re:And on Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24680097)

You don't understand.
Linux keeps FPSs in a hash table, so it can always add more FPS in O(1)
Windows uses a tree which has a O(log(n)) time for adding FPSs

Re:And on Windows? (1)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680449)

Gaming usually better on Windows, since DirectX actually uses the new features on the GPUs where as Linux's OpenGL hasn't evolved quite as much, since it is primarily used in proprietary 3D CAD programs, which requires a stable codebase. The huge differences in between major DirectX versions does tend to screw up everything though.

Re:And on Windows? (3, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683461)

That's completely wrong.

OpenGL supports all the latest features of graphics hardware. Some of the features are ARB extensions and the like, but you can do anything in OpenGL that you could do in Direct3d.

Do you honestly think id would be developing their next gen titles with OpenGL, if OpenGL was a crippled shadow of d3d might? No, OpenGL is comparable. OpenGL's main problem is that its really, really crufty because it supports every feature known to man, things Direct3d doesn't. Unfortunately, most of these things are very old.

OpenGL fixes that problem by cleaning up the API. That's what all the bitching was about last week when Khoronos announced the new specs. All the newbies were bitching about how certain extensions weren't moved to core, which doesn't matter in a practical sense anyway.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24692987)

That was my question that I never saw answered there, what was so important about extensions being "moved to core". If they still worked, but aren't completely "official" as part of the "official" specs and packages, so what? As long as the API is stable, the only issue I can think of would be possible issues with those extensions not being installed on the user's computer? DirectX gets around this partially by providing the most recent versions of DX along with the programs any way, so until the extensions get "officially adopted" or whatnot, just make sure you provide a way for users to easily install them? What else is there? Did I miss anything?

I think the larger complaint may have been the lack of new promised features which of course will hopefully land soon in later releases. If OGL's feature implementation isn't fast enough though then maybe someone should write their own extensions or libraries or whatnot to compensate?

To respond to the OP also, if you're only on Linux you don't really care about Windows tests, you just care about NV vs. ATI tests and such, and perhaps Wine benchmarks. But, yeah, since some users dual-boot that would be helpful for them and it'd always be interested in seeing how Linux drivers fare to Windows and Mac even (when there IS hardware that it can share with the rest of the world that is), but apparently Phoronix isn't too interested in providing these Windows benchmarks. It is a Linux site, go figure. :)

Re:And on Windows? (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 5 years ago | (#24684925)

... Linux's OpenGL hasn't evolved quite as much ...

I don't know what you mean. OpenGL isn't a Linux thing; it has implementations everywhere, including Windows. Also it's not a part of Linux. The drivers from nVidia, ATI, or Intel implement the OpenGL interface. There is Mesa, an implementation in software, but that doesn't really count since it's too slow to do any good.

OpenGL isn't stagnant either. There was a new revision recently, OpenGL 3.0.

Also I started writing this a couple of hours ago but kept getting interrupted. Maybe everything has changed in that time.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683697)

Re: Segfaulting, in the commercial market, such a release would be called "premature" and derided by gamers everywhere, but in a world where you can see the source, it could be an invitation to get involved by finding and crushing bugs.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683781)

Right. But you can't see the source. Crossfire is only available with their binary blob driver. Whether that is temporary or permanent wasn't mentioned in the article.

Re:And on Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24685925)

Tell that to funcom

Re:And on Windows? (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 5 years ago | (#24687367)

I really hate when whiny posts like yours get modded insightful.

If you want a comparison between linux and windows with this on/off, THEN GO DO IT YOURSELF. who the hell should do the work you're interested in except you?

For everyone else than you this is a great step forward in getting compatibility and options for linux. I think it's great, and applaud it.

Re:And on Windows? (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689835)

I really hate when whiny posts like yours get modded insightful.

Maybe his post was modded insightful because he's not the only person wondering this?

Most "Gamers" are looking for the highest frame rates, and knowing if there is a large difference between the Windows frame rates and the Linux frame rates for the same games and same setup would be something most of them are VERY interested in.

Nice (3, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679269)

It's nice to see they are providing both their own driver implementation AND the specs for OSS drivers.

Once the OSS drivers are done, then even within the realm AMD cards, users will still have some choice.

At least in Linux. Us FreeBSD users will have the OSS only...

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679463)

It's funny, isn't it... all the GPL/GNU zealots talk shit about Freedom, but it's the BSD folks that quietly have the principles.

Re:Nice (1)

DirkGently (32794) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679627)

...along with 3D acceleration and driver support thats even worse than what we Linux zealots have to put up with.

Personally, I traded in my indignity for usable drivers on nVidia chips. I'd do the same thing with my Via CX700M if I thought Via were compentant enough to write them.

Re:Nice (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 5 years ago | (#24686185)

Personally, I traded in my indignity for usable drivers on nVidia chips.

You still sound pretty indignant to me.

Re:Nice (4, Insightful)

neuro88 (674248) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679991)

It's funny, isn't it... all the GPL/GNU zealots talk shit about Freedom, but it's the BSD folks that quietly have the principles.

What? You're saying this because there are no proprietary radeon drivers for BSD? What about the closed source nvidia drivers? There aren't any proprietary radeon drivers for BSD, because AMD/ATI feel BSD doesn't have enough users to be important, not because of the principles of the BSD folks.

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

fostware (551290) | more than 5 years ago | (#24685241)

Yeah, and look who's principled code accounts for a metric truckload of commercial code.

Windows 2000's TCP stack became reliable once they inserted large chunks of BSD code to get things done. And all BSD gets back is FUD.

Re:Nice (1)

dook43 (660162) | more than 5 years ago | (#24691095)

Um, no. You're spreading FUD. There are no BSD code snippets within the MS TCP stack, just userland utilities. http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory;sid=2001/6/19/05641/7357 [kuro5hin.org]

Eventually the new, from scratch TCP/IP stack was done and shipped with NT 3.5 (the second version, despite the number) in late 1994. The same stack was also included with Windows 95. However, it looks like some of those Unix utilities were never rewritten. If you look at the executables, you can still see the copyright notice from the regents of the University of California (BSD is short for Berkeley Software Distrubution, Berkeley being a branch of the University of California, for some reason referred to as "Berkeley" on the East Coast and "California" on the West Coast...and "Berkeley" is one of those words that starts to look real funny if you stare at it too long - but I digress). Keep in mind there is no reason to rewrite that code. If your ftp client works fine (no comments from the peanut gallery!) then why change it? Microsoft has other fish to fry. And the software was licensed perfectly legally, since the inclusion of the copyright notice satisfied the BSD license.

So wait-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24679527)

Okay, quick question. Let's say my nvidia 6600GT is ready to go and a new card put in its place...

assuming I don't have a moral problem with closed-source drivers...

Is the general consensus these days to go with an ATI card and NOT nVidia? It used to be, when I was shopping for cards 3 years ago, that nVidia was the way to go as they had better drivers. Does ATI's cooperation with open source developers recommend their cards as friendlier/better w/my Gentoo system?

Re:So wait-- (2, Informative)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681343)

Nvidia still is the way to go if you want a card that works really good today. I've been using Nvidia cards like forever but now I decided to go ATI for my latest (I want to support the OSS frendliness of AMD/ATI). I bought a 4850 card. Works pretty good, but not nearly as good as Nvidia cards. No OpenGL in wine, no workspace switching when using fullscreen OpenGL apps and some other things. UT2004 works very nice though, 1680x1050 4xAA.

Re:So wait-- (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683629)

But the problem is all of nvidia's current cards are total crap.

You're not honestly saying it's better to go for a GTX260/280 or an older 8800 over the HD4850? One is old, the other is extremely expensive, the other gets 95%-99% of the performance of #2 and costs ~200$... My what a decision!

Re:So wait-- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24693651)

Learn English. "Works really good", "works pretty good", "not nearly as good", "works very nice"...all phrases that make you sound like a Neanderthal.

Second choice (1)

ShadowWraith (1322747) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679697)

No matter how hard AMD tries, ATI will be a second choice for linux-box builders for years at least. The Nvidia drivers are currently much more reliable than their ATI counterparts, and forcing Nvidia's reputation for greatness to disappear will be very tough for ATI, unless Nvidia screws up big-time. It's nice to see that they're trying, though.

Re:Second choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24681785)

It seems lately nvidia has been in the process of screwing up. Not necessarily specifically for linux, but in general. Mediocre drivers will win out over shoddy hardware in the end.

Re:Second choice (3, Informative)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681825)

2005 called and asked for their gripe back. The reputation of the most recent ATI drivers is much enhanced from what it was. And whether someone will buy nVidia, Intel or ATI graphics for Linux depends upon their preference for powerful but proprietary binaries, free software compositing and low power consumption or the choice of reasonable performance in ATI's binaries or high-performance free software from the X.Org drivers.

Re:Second choice (2, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24686869)


You're joking? I got a HD2600Pro at the end of last year. 3D was still problematic back then, but the 2D ran very well. By this point, it has excellent support. The turn around this year so far has been enormous. I'd definitely recommend ATI cards as having the best support in Linux now because as well as a good (and regular) update program, you have the OSS projects running in parallel. They are also the most OSS friendly graphics card company and I bought ATI rather than NVIDIA for that reason, likewise it's what I recommend to others. ATI, definitely. You're very out of date with your information.

No facts == fail. (0, Flamebait)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24687439)

Just WTF did you think I said? I'd buy ATI tech today because of the free drivers. As I understand it, the performance of the ATI Linux blobs doesn't completely match that of their Windows ones, where the nVidia drivers pretty much do. Can you educate me with a link to facts?

Re:Second choice (1)

Walter Carver (973233) | more than 4 years ago | (#24719391)

correction: Intel has open-source drivers

Maybe it missed the word 'respectively'. (1)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24748717)

You've parsed the text wrong. Watch how the list matches up when you examine what I really wrote: "nVidia[1], Intel[2] or ATI[3] graphics for Linux depends upon their preference for powerful but proprietary binaries[1], free software compositing and low power consumption[2] or the choice of reasonable performance in ATI's binaries or high-performance free software from the X.Org drivers[3]."

Unless you're nitpicking about free software/open source, what did you mean? (And if you're on that trip, the Intel drivers in X.Org are MIT/BSD licensed and those in the Linux Kernel are GPLv2.)

Re:Second choice (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24682083)

You are so out of date.
ATI has made great progress and is not working with the FOSS community to produce "Free" drivers that will make even the biggest FOSS fan happy.
I used to stick with Nvidia because of their Linux support. My next box is probably going to have ATI all the way.

Re:Second choice (1)

imbaczek (690596) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683283)

mine already has. nvidia has terrible issues with 2d performance, compiz was next to unusable for me (6600gt was sooo much slower than an integrated intel 945 on a freaking laptop!) not to mention running games in compiz made them run at 1 fps.

haven't installed linux yet though, so I can't speak from experience how ATI fares.

Re:Second choice (1)

Locomorto (925016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24687173)

Did you install the NVIDIA binary drivers? Also, make sure you don't use XGL because then that is the only app that can control the 3D card. I can't remember off the top of my head what the alternative is. One thing is for sure though, ATI are worse then NVIDIA at this, or atleast, where the last time I looked (~6 months ago last time). I've used XGL and its descendants since their inception. First I used a 9600 Mobility Pro, which had reasonable support in the driver (performance wise). Never chips had _horrible_ performance. It was atleast close to windows, but I never performed concrete measurements between the two. Don't get me wrong though, getting the driver installed in the first place was an excercise in self-flagellation. Then, they never supported things as well as NVIDIA (certain extensions where missing in the drivers). The drivers would falsly report their capabilities (just listing everything under the sun). Even recently when they finally annouced they had got the XGL replacement support in, and it worked great, well guess what. It didn't work. ATI has been promising the heavens with their drivers for _years_ now. Each time its been, comon guys, it will be awesome soon. Personally, I'm not taking their word on anything untill I see it in the flesh (or bits in this case ;) ). Of course, they have made strides, and looking back have progressed far. The journey ahead is long, and they still (AFAIK) have not released all specs for their cards (specifically the R700 series). I like many others, wait for the day when ATI makes some drivers/community produces good drivers from specs, before prasing them too much. I can only hope that that day comes soon.

Re:Second choice (2, Informative)

siride (974284) | more than 5 years ago | (#24683973)

Thank you. I have an x300 in a Thinkpad T43 and while the first year was rough, the OSS drivers have improved markedly. 2d performance is nearly on par with Windows, and is actually quite snappy with xcompmgr running. Compiz is also fairly fast these days, although still slower than a plain old desktop. X is rock solid stable, even using git for the entire X setup (I haven't had a random server crash once). And every week or so, I see a new set of commits that improve performance for r300 or EXA. It just keeps getting better. Meanwhile, I see people on forums complaining about how to get nVidia drivers working, and how the kernel is always locking up etc. Granted, it's not a whole lot worse or better than fglrx generally has been, but for nVidia users, that's really the only option. The OSS drivers are either horribly out of date (nv) or a work in progress (nouveau). I am now glad that I ended up with an ATI card instead of nVidia. It was worth the wait.

Re:Second choice (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24693265)

Now if Linux could just get a hold of some more games, like the porting of a bunch of the games available through Steam for example (something that was hinted at), Linux users would have more of a reason to care about buying faster hardware. Right now I'm still running a Radeon 9800 along with an AMD Athlon 64, and really love it how it's way more than enough for Linux which is one reason Linux is awesome, but without some more high end games hitting it, and ones that I'm actually interested in playing (which is a tall order for me), I won't have a reason to upgrade.

Re:Second choice (2, Informative)

j3tt (859525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24684137)

I used to have problems with a mobility Radeon on my Thinkpad T40 a couple of years ago but things may have changed ... I currently have Ubuntu Hardy on a Thinkpad T60 with an ATI x1300. compiz ran out of the box. Have not had issues so far.

Really? (4, Funny)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#24679799)

I just went through hell and back getting my 1950pro to work last week end.

Moral of the story hard work is never rewarded only procrastination is

Re:Really? (2, Informative)

StevisF (218566) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680247)

The motto is, "Working hard now sometimes pays off later, but procrastinating now always pays off now."

Re:Really? (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24693377)

Funny, though that's a terrible quote since of course doing stuff now means it gets done now which means it benefits you now. Procrastination is usually really just another way of saying you just don't care. :P

Re:Really? (2, Funny)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 5 years ago | (#24687261)

So now in your head imagine Crossfire.

It's two cards, which with fglrx probably means twice the amount of work to get it running.

Nice but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24679819)

will it run KDE 4.1?

Re:Nice but... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680315)

Why in the world would you want it to? KDE 3.5.7 FTW for now. KDE 4.4 maybe. Maybe.

Re:Nice but... (1)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24680579)

Why in the world would you want it to? KDE 3.5.7 FTW for now. KDE 4.4 maybe. Maybe.

Uhhh...... I was using 3.5.9 before I made the switch to 4.1. What distro are you using... Corel Linux?

http://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-3.5.9.php [kde.org]

Re:Nice but... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24690803)

It was a little tongue-in-cheek. I do believe 4.1.x isn't quite ready to take over from the 3.5.x line.

I am actually running a patched 3.5.7 right now, though. Mandriva One 2008.0 is the distro. The base KDE packages are listed as 3.5.7-38.3mdv2008.0 and there are packages for 4.0 RC2. It's my main business desktop, so I'm a little conservative with it and let the repositories and automatic updates take care of most of my software. The only things I update outside of those tools are browsers, programming tools, some graphics stuff, and my kernel.

My home box some more recent stuff for playing around, but at work I need to make sure I'm not spending more time compiling my productivity stuff than actually doing work.

ATI drivers (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 5 years ago | (#24681849)

Since last year AMD has made ATI increasingly Linux friendly...

On average, my experience with ATI's drivers kind of go like this:

  • Maybe get the driver to compile, the first time. Probably not, so I spend an hour browsing help forums looking for similar problems.
  • Get X configured. Go through a few hundred "black screen of deaths" that locks up the whole damned system, NOT just X Windows. This happens every time you try to restart X Windows with Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, run 'X -configure' or a click a logout button in your Window Manager.
  • Hard reset the system. Because the driver somehow locked up the whole system, I cannot get back over to a console and kill anything.
  • Boot up into a different runlevel to prevent the display manager from repeating the same problem.
  • Spend another 2 hours trying to figure out the "black screen of death", and how to stop it.
  • Give up on acceleration altogether with this ATI driver. A co-worker of mine gave up and is running X Windows in VESA mode until a decent driver is available for his Radeon HD2600.

Compare this to the usual Nvidia install process.

  • Run the makeself archive, it installs and configures. I Might have to tweak a few things or edit xorg.conf, or XF86Config. Rarely, if I compile and run a brand new kernel release, the driver will not compile. I have had to go look for a patch at least 2, maybe 3 times at the most in the last 6 years.

Re:ATI drivers (2, Informative)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#24686537)

Strange. On average I've had two Linux and ATI experiences:

1) Download pre-built RPMs from Livna. Install using package manager. Restart and go.

2) Give up on waiting for Livna to make new releases. Download drivers from ATI. Compile using built-in "Fedora X" version. Install RPMs. Let RPMs reconfigure my XOrg.conf properly (or just change "radeon" to "fglrx" by hand, because that's all it seems to need). Run with graphical acceleration without a problem.

The only time I've had a problem is with Fedora 9, and that's just because they're using XOrg server 1.5, which hasn't reached a final release and so isn't supported. That just involved one quick check on the Fedora forums and a downgrade of XOrg to the one shipped with F8.

Re:ATI drivers (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#24689917)

try installing using an nVidia 6150 onboard chip and then try to figure out where the mouse pointer is......

i abandoned Linux on one computer over this issue.
It wasn't worth the time to maintain on every new install.

switching to a computer with an ATI 2400 works nearly flawlessly.

Amd needs an edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24683043)

Maybe AMD can get a bit more underdog support from the tech savy linux crowd. ATI binaries are on the up and Nvidia seems to be flat lined... Who knows what will happen.

Great. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 5 years ago | (#24686739)

Now can ATI submit a kernel patch so we can use our FPU in cuda like fashion for all tasks? That would be nice. Can we also get a kernel patch that can automagically detect other local computers and automagically use their CPUs/FPUs real time in addition to the local terminal like a beowulf cluster?

These are things that should've already happened a couple years back.

"Yes, my cell phone is slow, but when I'm on my wifi-N network, it has the power of my desktop quad 4 extreme, and I can even play farcry 2 and run Vista in a VM simultaneously, if my laptop is also on and idle. Or I can log on automagically VNC style with hi speed video to either system."

"I can put each of those desktops on different sides of my compiz cube in fullscreen, and the computer feels completely local, but with additional clustering processor and memory performance, all of which I can back up as a .VDI on a USB stick".

Why are we eternally stuck in XEROX parc c.1982?

My usual question whenever this is "news" (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24692573)

Does that mean we now have h.264 and/or Blu-ray support under Linux?

And I don't mean "I can play my 1080p Batman Begins just fine on my 2.6 GHz Quad Core" crap. I mean something that allows me to build a low power HTPC running Linux with hardware decoding.

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