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The Truth About OpenGL Driver Quality

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the when-standards-aren't dept.

Graphics 158

rcht148 (2872453) writes "Rich Geldreich (game/graphics programmer) has made a blog post on the quality of different OpenGL Drivers. Using anonymous titles (Vendor A: Nvidia; Vendor B: AMD; Vendor C: Intel), he plots the landscape of game development using OpenGL. Vendor A, jovially known as 'Graphics Mafia' concentrates heavily on performance but won't share its specifications, thus blocking any open source driver implementations as much as possible. Vendor B has the most flaky drivers. They have good technical know-how on OpenGL but due to an extremely small team (money woes), they have shoddy drivers. Vendor C is extremely rich. It had not taken graphics seriously until a few years ago. They support open source specifications/drivers wholeheartedly but it will be few years before their drivers come to par with market standards. He concludes that using OpenGL is extremely difficult and without the blessings of these vendors, it's nearly impossible to ship a major gaming title."

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Bam, first post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986785)

Bam, first post!

Just bought a GTX 660.... (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 4 months ago | (#46986813)

wanted an ATI card. Better performance and Image Quality for less money, but I just don't have time to be screwing around with making games work :(. I miss the hey-day of my 1650. $90 bucks, rock solid stable and fast. Just couldn't keep up.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986855)

I just bought a GTX 750 TI.. upgrading from a Radeon HD 3870, so quite a bump..

I had CUDA working with the nVidia drivers directly from the site, but was getting odd audio feedback in games..
Switched to xorg-edgers ppa, and now it works perfectly for games, but can't get CUDA to work....

If AMD had actually released the "only in userspace" driver, I think I would have gone with one of theirs...

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (5, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46986917)

ATI blows equally. Intel is known to have a little better drivers but have software worts to encourage them to CPU bound for obvious reasons. Or was the case 6 years ago when I worked for a famous game company.

Windows 8/8.1 blows on Nvidia with the latest drivers if you do not have the latest cards. Ask any owner as the majority of the 8.1 update 1 failures were NVidia related.

My ATI 7850 also craps out requiring a re-image with any .4 drivers. 12.4 and 13.4 I avoid even though they are WHQ.

The situation with the graphics markers are like the ISPs with broadband or the major telecoms when picking a cell phone. Not a monopoloy but an oligopoly run by a few. Boy I miss PowerVR, S3, 3DFX Vodoo, and Matrox.

You can bet if they were still around competing toe to toe with Nvidia and ATI everyone would benefit regardless of which side you pick. To me I view them as picking AOL vs RealPlayer. Yuck.

For the record I was an nvidia fanboy at one time too before owning ATI cards.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (5, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#46987083)

Boy I miss PowerVR, S3, 3DFX Vodoo, and Matrox.

I don't, having to code for OpenGL, Direct3D, Glide, Rendition and MSI to optimally support all the different vendors on the market was a huge PITA. Though I do agree that the competition was so fierce that technology was bounding forward at a brilliant pace! ...and that part I do miss.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46987113)

ATI is catching up and are competitive. NVidia lowered the price and made their Quadro turn into the Titan serious to counter the ATi 290x.

Good for consumers. However, their drivers are shit. ATI's drivers have improved then had issues again with frame pacing and mantle on older AMD chipsets. Nvidia had some questionable hardware and now worse drivers which are unstable and Windows 8/8.1 HATE. They do not even support all of directX 11.1 which is the cause of the crashes.

Part of me feels ATI and Nvidia are doing this on purpose so they can sell the remarked gamer cards as FirePRo's and Quadro's for real professional work yada yada at an expensive price. I mean if it is so bad even for 2d Adobe apps you need a $2,000 card just so video artificats do not pop up you know you have trouble.

Or maybe I am cynical to think of a conspiracy to sell professional grade cards more with real opengl of course.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987299)

In the past 10 years with 5 Nvidia cards, only gave me frequent driver crashes. Underclocking the card helped, but it eventually died. It was undoubtedly a defective card. It's replacement has given me zero issues on Windows 8. Not a single crash and no image quality problems, artifacts or otherwise with everything I've thrown at it from Skulltag (doom OpenGL port) to Skyrim and Crysis 2. Even Photoshop CS6 runs with no problems. Seems like you've been experiencing a lot of problems.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987313)

*Only one gave me frequent driver crashes.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (3, Informative)

taylorius (221419) | about 4 months ago | (#46987643)

A small correction, Nvidia Quadro has not "turned into the Titan". Quadro cards are largely the same hardware as the consumer cards, but with minor changes to enable certain features. The main difference is in the drivers. Consumer drivers err on the side of speed, whereas Quadro drivers will typically have lower performance in a game type situation, but be better suited for CAD / 3D work.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987829)

In addition, pro cards are designed to be worked hard around the clock.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 4 months ago | (#46988315)

No they aren't. They are the same hardware, different drivers.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988651)

Yes, they are.
They tend to be clocked lower, run at slightly lower voltages and have slightly less crappy chinese fans.
Sometimes they even get more memory or different output connectors than their gaming siblings.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988663)

They can be the same hardware but binned differently. This isn't a new concept.

May depend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989093)

Back in 2001, I bought a Matrox "pro" card, it certainly didn't have adequate hardware - this was just before aux power connectors came to video cards, and my Matrox needed one - certain operations would overload the system power bus and cold boot the system.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46989937)

A small correction, Nvidia Quadro has not "turned into the Titan". Quadro cards are largely the same hardware as the consumer cards, but with minor changes to enable certain features. The main difference is in the drivers. Consumer drivers err on the side of speed, whereas Quadro drivers will typically have lower performance in a game type situation, but be better suited for CAD / 3D work.

Not necessarily true anymore for all Quadro's. The titan is a different beast than the other high end cards that Nvidia makes. It has double precession and other on demand hardware features. It is true the drivers crippled double precession floats on it but for cheap engineering cards they are great.

But you are taking a crap-shoot with the drivers.

5 years ago ATI was the suckiest hands down! They have improved slighty and Nvidia has gone down to where they both have their good and bad versions with bugs everywhere where game designers have to put in special code like webmasters did with IE 6 just to not crash or display artifacts.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 4 months ago | (#47015825)

"It is true the drivers crippled double precession floats on it"

My understanding was that the crippling was done in firmware/hardware. I'd like to see otherwise as it'd save having to buy K10 cards for a current project.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

npridgeon (784063) | about 4 months ago | (#46988435)

If the article is correct (I didn't follow the link), ATI is in a perfect spot to go full open source. They would have a ton of people helping to build stable and open drivers and would be able to compete with Nvidia without spending a ton of money. Too bad it'll never happen.

Ever buy one of those megabuck Pro cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988479)

I started working with Autodesk Inventor back in 2001ish... took a class, bought the whole recommended top rig, CPU and a videocard that was over 50% of the system cost. Certain rotation operations in Inventor would reliably spike the power drain in the video card and cold-boot the system - every time. Had to try other ways to manipulate my part to get to the desired state, sometimes finding 2 or 3 crashing paths before finding one that wouldn't bring the system down - approximately 5 minutes per crash to reboot, and reload, longer if I hadn't saved in the last few minutes.

Frustrating does not begin....

Re:Ever buy one of those megabuck Pro cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988631)

Lesson learned: Don't mix a $1000 GPU with a $10 power supply.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 4 months ago | (#46988007)

That's not too different from having to write different code paths for different vendors using OpenGL or D3D for performance reasons.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#46994591)

That's not too different from having to write different code paths for different vendors using OpenGL or D3D for performance reasons.

Well it is, like I said it's OGL, D3D and 3 more vendor-specific code paths. Targeting 5 is significantly more effort than targeting 2.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 4 months ago | (#46994911)

That's not what I meant. Currently, it's not unusual for AAA games to have 2 or 3 different paths (or more, if they explicitly support different generations of hardware) even when using a single API for performance reasons. I was saying that having to support 3 different APIs instead of 3 different code paths using the same API isn't that much more work.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#46995107)

You had the same thing when targeting specific features of the Voodoo 2 as opposed to the Voodoo 1 even when using Glide. Having multiple code paths for a single API to support multiple generations of hardware is not new, it was done back when we were supporting a dozen graphics APIs as well.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 4 months ago | (#46995763)

And again you're missing my point. I didn't say it was new.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#46996229)

So what is your point? Previously we had to write for many APIs (OpenGL, Direct3D, Glide, Rendition, MSI, etc...), now we have to write for fewer APIs (only OpenGL and Direct3D). In both cases we always had multiple code paths per API so what point are you trying to make?

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (2, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | about 4 months ago | (#46988627)

Indeed.

I really DO NOT miss D3D execute buffers. Glide was awesome, and OpenGL 1.2 on IRIX was joyful (if the OS didn't crash on you...)

I remember coming into work one day and my dev manager saying the equivalent of "sorry about your office, but NASA is having trouble with their IR2 at Moffet so we got SGI to lend us one for a few weeks..." and lo and behold next to my desk was a brand spanking new - still had packing materials stuck to it - Onyx IR2 sitting there in all its purple glory. That was my favorite work day ever. This was one of those times when you actually say to yourself "they're paying ME to do this?"

I spent the next week working on multi-pipe multi-process OpenGL issues. Pure nerdgasm...

Those really were the great days of 3D in my opinion. Every week somebody was doing something awesome.

SPEA Fireboards, E&S graphics generators, Lockheed's Real3D, this crazy Hitachi Spherix that sat in my office for months.

DAMN! Nostalgia...

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#46994667)

Definitely! It was cool to have the 3D accelerator days, a TNT paired with a Voodoo 2 was such a cool combo! But then being able to work on an InifiniteReality the size of a pair of refrigerators with - back then - an enormous amount of computing power was just astounding (from a nerd point of view). I do miss that, and having such a buzzing development community being pulled in all different directions by the latest innovation from one of the many vendors :)

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 months ago | (#46987291)

The situation with the graphics markers are like the ISPs with broadband or the major telecoms when picking a cell phone. Not a monopoloy but an oligopoly run by a few. Boy I miss PowerVR, S3, 3DFX Vodoo, and Matrox.

Ask the people stuck with Poulsbo how they feel about PowerVR graphics, they are one of the few who suck worse than nVidia for driver support. 3DFX with their Glide API was king of proprietary solutions. S3 was the patent champion, even today their patented S3 Texture Compression causes trouble for open source. And Matrox made Intel's 3D performance look stellar. YMMV but I feel the competition in the graphics market is still working fairly well, at least a lot better than on the CPU side. It's just that the primary focus is who can push the most FPS in the latest games using the most bleeding edge drivers, that's what drives sales. But if you think it was any different back then, it's time to take off those rose colored glasses. The only thing that used to be really stable was Intel's server drivers, practically zero performance but it didn't bring your server down.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 months ago | (#46988437)

This is correct. We had more competition in terms of choosing graphics cards in the past, it didn't mean they were actually competitors or even tried to not do a completely shit job that didnt' help anyone in the long term.

Intel doesn't give a shit even today as far as graphics - good luck getting any launch game to run on any integrated graphics platform on a screen above 1024x768, where even a $50 card from literally anyone else will do better than the extra $50 intel is charging people to have an IGP. Hell, even AMD's hybrid solutions do better for gaming by an order of magnitude. What intel is open sourcing is not a solid 3d background, but a pile of unused 2d renders and basically nothing. It would not be unlike taking mono on linux and saying that Microsoft "gave up the crown jewels for linux" when it's explicitly untrue.

Meanwhile, AMD is budget constrained and not the best, Nvidia is proprietary as fuck (and tries to encourage everyone else to be, look at PhysX's bullshit proprietary nature), and Intel is shit. People don't build gaming rigs with an intel IGP in mind. Our options are just as relatively poor as they were back in the day, just newer hardware/better software.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (5, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#46987453)

Really, considering the quality of drivers out of nvidia for the last year I'm glad I switched to ATI. I think it started around the nvidia 302.xx series, where the mass lockups began and the nvidia forums(before they were hacked) that had the 480k post thread with 1m+ views for TDR's. [nvidia.com] Then it was the crashing with firefox, that lasted from the 302's right up to the 320's. It only got worse about the time the 310's or 315's rolled around and the drivers were causing hardlocks across all 400,500,600 series cards. And I think it was right around the 308's where the complaints got so bad that nvidia was willing to pay shipping costs for anyone in the continental US to have their rigs sent to California so they could try to find out why the TDR problem was so rampant.

I haven't heard anything good on the state of nvidia drivers, if I have a complaint about ATI drivers is that some programs are bit more sluggish compared to my nvidia card, but I'll take the stability over the TDR, TDR, TDR, TDR, TDR, TDR. And sadly it wasn't one card(had a 400, and two 560 series cards), and one configuration, or even one power supply or a particular CPU in my case. It was across AMD, Intel, various ram speeds, paired, non-paired, different PSU's, and machines in more than one physical location.

My general policy has been to flip-flop every generation and go nvidia to ati and back again. But the last series of drivers pissed me off to no end that I dumped them for ATI, and Matrox didn't go anywhere they're still making video cards only on the business end though. The problem of course is much like the CPU business right? Remember the days of Cyrix, AMD, Intel? Well it was a case of hardware pushing so fast that not all of the companies could keep up. Same deal happened in the videocard market.

Right: Did YOU see this shit too? apk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989339)

It goes to a "black screen of death" (due to powermiser settings I've determined). I also get the TDR issue where the display "loses connection to the video card" but, that DOES seem to be able to be offset properly using:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers]
"TdrLevelRecover"=dword:00000004
"TdrDdiDelay"=dword:00000007
"TdrDelay"=dword:00000003

&

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Configuration\NOEDID_10DE_06CD_00000002_00000000_2000100^D06938DED0679F9361F1BD7C043BEDA5\00\00]
"TdrDelay"=dword:00000004
"TdrDdiDelay"=dword:00000007

+

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\TdrLevel]
"TdrLevelRecover"=dword:00000003

---

* The "Black Screen of Death"'s a widely KNOWN issue.

I've *tried* these settings for a "fix" for that (didn't work, crashed on desktop, not in game OR video online or local - didn't matter IF I used AeroGlass display or classic GDI driven desktop either...):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video\{0C4EFFE1-F6C9-486D-83A9-21C9F86E8470}\0000]
"PerfLevelSrc"=dword:00000cfa
"PowerMizerEnable"=dword:00000000
"PowermizerLevel"=dword:00000001
"PowermizerLevelAC"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video\{0C4EFFE1-F6C9-486D-83A9-21C9F86E8470}\0001]
"PerfLevelSrc"=dword:00000cfa
"PowerMizerEnable"=dword:00000000
"PowermizerLevel"=dword:00000001
"PowermizerLevelAC"=dword:00000001

(I PERSONALLY HAVE TO "STEER CLEAR" OF THESE, since they crash me (DirectX Aero display OR classic desktop both do it in minutes...)).

This is with the latest/greatest 335.23 driver mind you (nvlddmkm.sys = OpenGL, & DirectX display are .DLL driven under %Windir%\System32) - funny part is, when I go back to 285.79? I can do DirectX driven local video fullspeed & fullscreen just fine, but NO OpenGL gaming now (due to MS doing those TDR settings above)... when I use the latest driver? I can't DO fullscreen online video, or I get a "crash", everytime (sending me into those powermgt 6++ reboots).

APK

P.S.=> The GIANT pain-in-the-ass, is that it DEFINITELY IS powermgt. (since my flatscreen shows it's dropped into "power saving mode" AFTER these crashes - ONLY WAY OUT TO BE ABLE TO BOOTUP TO WINDOWS AGAIN, MINUS BLACKSCREEN? 6-8 reboots typically (slower each time I've noted - it MUST be "diggging thru" diff. CurrentControlSets backups to get those powermgt. settings, & once they're in place? Folks online said "There's no way to remove them" which is untrue, since a "-" based removal via .reg file can do it, or those multiple bootups can (where you only have a minute or two to remove those powermiser settings & then it goes black - this HAS to be done that many times, otherwise it appears to be "digging into" old CurrentControlSet registry hives to get them BACK again, whether you like it, or not - there a 2 keys worth in each hive x 3 backup CurrentControlSet hives, so the 6++ reboots to normally bootup again, makes sense)... apk

Addendum (tech specs) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989399)

NVidia GeForce 470 GTX (by PNY) & used both Trinitron 21" CRT + later a DELL flatscreen - same crap as I noted in my post I just replied to (this was for YOUR reference seeing as you've been there too, unfortunately, like the rest of us experiencing this instability...).

APK

P.S.=> Pity is, NVidia used to make THE MOST STABLE & WELL-PERFORMING DRIVERS a user could EVER ask for or want... but this TDR stuff from MS + their OWN imo quite obviously erroneous powermgt stuff is NOT working & not helping their rep (big fanboy of theirs too here since GeForce 2 days no less)... apk

Small "correction" (fuzzy one)... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46994229)

" (nvlddmkm.sys = OpenGL, & DirectX display are .DLL driven under %Windir%\System32)" -

So I don't get any 'slack'? OpenGL isn't JUST that driver (well, sort of): nvoglshim32.dll, nvoglshim64.dll, + nvogl64.dll are "shim" libraries for it too, so... "correting myself" in a way!

(They, iirc, ,b>'translate' OpenGL calls to DirectX ones since MS made DirectX 'the' display engine all the way around iirc).

However - I COULD be wrong/off here somewhat on the "exactness" of that (as it's been SO many years since I really "got into" THAT level of esoterica... but, might as well note it now (before the "tech nazis" nail me on it, lol!)).

* :)

APK

P.S.=> Oh and Thanks for the "upmod" too - whoever gave me one.

I posted all of this, for 1 reason:

I hope nobody has to go thru the "hell" I did for about a MONTH solid *trying* to figure out HOW to get both Online Flash videos to go fullscreen minus crash (still can't after a few minutes I crash under 335.23)

&

I also omitted the fact that once I tried those "powermiser" settings, the FAN WENT APESHIT from bootup into Windows 7 64-bit's logon screen (the sign that those tweaks don't work for me @ least), running "full bore" constantly...

(This data was all so others do NOT have to go thru "mixing & matching" all the versions of drivers there is (33++ iirc, from 197.03 onwards were what I tried with)).

... apk

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (2)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#46987589)

"Windows 8/8.1 blows on Nvidia with the latest drivers if you do not have the latest cards. Ask any owner as the majority of the 8.1 update 1 failures were NVidia related."

I know it's an anecdote, but you said ask anyone, so hey, I have 8.1 update 1 and saw no failures with a not the latest card using the latest drivers. Not had the slightest problem, everything worked fine and smooth (well, apart from generally just being Windows 8 - but hey, I like to try before I judge).

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987751)

My Dell laptop comes with a 'mix' of Intel HD 3000 & nVidia 4200M (Optimus).
This worked flawless under Win7 but I had to upgrade my machine to Win8.1 lately (full wipe & fresh install) and now I'm having the weirdest artifacts, probably due to 3D stuff. Strangely it shows up the most in IE and Firefox where I have completely black boxes when scrolling a page. Pushing that part out of sight and then back usually 'fills in the content' again; but it's annoying.
Disabling 3D acceleration in IE seems to have fixed things there, but in FF it happens quite often even though I unchecked the Use Hardware Acceleration... (which now seems to have magically re-enabled itself, duh?... switching it off again and hoping for the best... )

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 months ago | (#46988449)

It's all anecdotes, and anyone who believes personal anecdotes is a fool and deserves to lose their money to a corporation on their foolish decisions. Which is how our economy operates, anyway.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988259)

My 2 year old Nvidia card handled the 8.1 update 1 just fine.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989065)

Nvidia's been struggling with their drivers for the last few revisions - it's not just win8 that's affected, windows 7 is affected too, and it is affecting some of their later cards as well.

There's a bug that was introduced (I think in the 325 revisions?) that's causing some frame hitching and random game crashes. Nvidia themselves are aware of it and trying to resolve it, but for now the workaround seems to be 'use older drivers'. I'm using 314.22 as a result. The problem is, those older drivers don't support the newer cards or shadowplay. My 560Ti is fine; you wouldn't get a 780 working on those though.

AMD is actively working on Catalyst Linux (1)

DG (989) | about 4 months ago | (#46989477)

My 7870 performance on Linux has been getting steadily better. The release schedule is WAY faster than it was and I haven't seen any regressions for a long time.

The last 2 releases tripled performance on Portal - it's over 300 FPS now.

Steam on Linux appears to have lit a fire under AMD and real progress is being made. Shit Just Works now.

Re:AMD is actively working on Catalyst Linux (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46989961)

Let me know when they get Catalyst to work well with Windows.

My 7850 can not run anything after 13.12 and couldn't run 13.4 either without a damn re-image.

Re:AMD is actively working on Catalyst Linux (1)

Lotana (842533) | about 4 months ago | (#46996051)

Who the hell uses Windows for gaming?!! Linux is where all the games are. Windows is only for serious work. :-)

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 4 months ago | (#46992101)

I'm not so sure ATI does blow equally. I have two 660ti's in SLI to power 3 monitors. Anything beyond the ~2 year old 327 series drivers does not work for me. Without surround mode, I at least get three screens with newer drivers... generally I get a stupid amount of slowdown to the point where I feel like I'm running Windows 7 on a 486. If I somehow manage to turn on surround mode, all three screens are recognized, but only 2 of them display anything. The slowdown also gets much, much worse. To date I have not found anything about other people experiencing similar issues, and all of the nVidia documentation shows "this driver improves surround on 600 series and higher chipsets!". 3 fps is better than 2 fps, but still useless.

Re:Nvidia blows too with drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46996045)

Half the ATI drivers wont work if you have an older chipset on an AMD phenom II board. Half work fine but with visual artifacts. It is a crabshoot.

This is non acceptable and these drivers should not be released and be treated as a defect. There is no competition between just themselves so there is no need to invest in QA.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986993)

if you are in windows you wont have a problem making games work, if you are in anything else you dont have any games to worry about

so whats the problem? have you actually used AMD in the last 5 years, considering you are still calling it ATI, which ceased to exist in 2006, I doubt it

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (4, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46987057)

Try doing anything with radeon cards that the installed drivers were not 'optimized' (ie hacked together to get working) for and watch your $500 graphics card fail horribly.
eg:
1. Older games (not just ancient, but only a few years ago).
2. demoscene - most demos have trouble with radeon or ship with radeon specific binaries.
3. gpu accelerated desktop applications, 3d design, video editors, CAD, etc. you could argue that one should only use these programs with the 'professional' model cards, but these models share the same driver code with few modifications. The only difference is that they hide the bugs with stupid certification statements like "Only use driver 4.0.456.456.22 with autocad 15.4. While nvidia drivers have issues too, by and large, it's possible to run these applications quite acceptably on the 'gamer' class cards (which are software restricted in the driver) anyway. This is great for the gamer who wants to dabble in other things.

Maybe opengl needs a reworking.. the whole point of an api is to insulate the programmer from the differences in the hardware.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987099)

My ATI 7850 has no issues at all with the above?!

Cite references.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (3, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about 4 months ago | (#46987151)

Ditto for my 7950, on anything from indie games that the developers will never have heard of to really weird legacy games that run like absolute shit on NVidia for some reason. For example, a DirectX 7 game that ran better on a 2008-era Intel integrated GPU tied to an ultra-low-voltage C2Duo clocked at 1.2GHz than it did on a GeForce 9600M with a C2Duo at 2.8GHz, even when both boxes had 4GB of RAM and ran Win7; but ran better than either on single-core 1.8GHz AMD chip with a low-end 2006 mobile graphics chip with Vista on 2GB of RAM (and also runs great on my current beast of a gaming box, with higher specs than all three of those put together and then doubled, which has the 7950 card I mentioned before).

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987281)

For example, a DirectX 7...

Which was called what? You don't even give the name of the game.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#46995305)

For example, a DirectX 7 game that ran better on a 2008-era Intel integrated GPU tied to an ultra-low-voltage C2Duo clocked at 1.2GHz than it did on a GeForce 9600M with a C2Duo at 2.8GHz, even when both boxes had 4GB of RAM and ran Win7; but ran better than either on single-core 1.8GHz AMD chip with a low-end 2006 mobile graphics chip with Vista on 2GB of RAM.

That sounds very strange, what was the game? Certainly sounds like an outlier than a general rule.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 4 months ago | (#46996765)

Malfador Machinations' Space Empires 5. It gets unplayably bad framerates on NVidia WDDM drivers (Vista or later), no matter what settings you tweak or compatibility modes you set. It's playable (though slow) on Intel chips from the same era and quite acceptable (if still lower than it should be) on AMD.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#46996933)

So it sounds like a poorly developed game then.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 4 months ago | (#46988815)

I've got a 7990 and have had no trouble playing any games (on Windows). I think they're all D3D9 and D3D10/11 games however, so I can't comment on OpenGL games. I develop OpenGL visualisation software (debug GL 4.3 drivers loaded at the moment) with an ATI card and I've had no problems there either.

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (2)

Number42 (3443229) | about 4 months ago | (#46987097)

you dont have any games to worry about

Have you even looked at the OS X/Linux sections of the Steam Store?

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987145)

According to the steam hardware survey, yeah, all 1.26% of you looked... [http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey]

Re:Just bought a GTX 660.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987717)

AMD works just fine for me.

Hell I've had nothing but cluster-f*ckery happen whenever I had a nVidia chip. It doesn't mean I hate nVidia, just that nVidia doesn't assert quality control over the manufacturers as good as AMD does. That said, I've had AMD parts go bad too, just it took several years of continuous use.

But the OP is talking about Linux OpenGL drivers. Not OpenGL drivers in general, because Windows game developers gave up on OpenGL. OpenGL on Windows is largely a product of supporting CAD/CAM/3D modeling software, OpenGL on MacOS X and SGI boxes before them. Game developers need to actually grapple with getting the maximum performance out of the crap that comes with the onboard Intel parts. Intel doesn't give half a crap unfortunately about producing good hardware and good drivers, just "enough" to give it support enough Direct3D caps to say it's DX10/11/12 compliant, even if it's done in software.

Like, if I could punch the AMD/nVidia/Intel hardware devs, I'd want them to produce hardware that is capable at all tiers, and not to produce sh*t-tier hardware at all for sh*t-tier laptops and NDAS/Microservers where the parts are designed to go into quiet-hardware that requires no ventilation. Then I'd smack around the driver developers to standardize on tools to make it work on all their hardware simultaneously.

This is why Microsoft is still KING... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986881)

As with most Open Source, much of it doesn't play well with anyone else.

This is why Microsoft is still KING...

Re:This is why Microsoft is still KING... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 4 months ago | (#46986969)

The King wears no clothes.

Re:This is why Microsoft is still KING... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986975)

in terms of pc gaming he's not wrong call him troll all you want but its true

Re:This is why Microsoft is still KING... (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46987065)

Actually, it's microsoft that doesn't play well with much else. Since the driver development consists of closed and open teams, the openness of the code isn't the issue here (though it would be nice to have).

Re:This is why Microsoft is still KING... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988079)

Actually, it's microsoft that doesn't play well with much else.

What are you talking about? For any of these graphics drivers, it should be the vendor's responsibility, not Microsoft's.

Re:This is why Microsoft is still KING... (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 4 months ago | (#46988833)

Regardless of driver development, if you ask actual developers they'll tell you they prefer DirectX to OpenGL by a mile, mostly because of tool chain support. And why wouldn't they? They're not dicking about with open source projects, they've got actual mortgages to pay and deadlines to meet.

Uh...What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46991163)

What are you dribbling on about? Macs have the same issues with games and drivers. It's got nothing to do open source versus closed source. It's got to do with the vendor making a determination on whether or not the market is worth it.

Re:This is why Microsoft is still KING... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46991247)

How does the license of the code matter how the implementation to the spec is done? Also how many graphics drivers have microsoft done? I'd say 0 released.

sad drivers (1)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about 4 months ago | (#46986889)

I work with some high end graphics software
The Mesa drivers don't work.
A prolonged and nasty install of the Nvidia drivers is req. for the software to work.
Not a good user experience on Linux

Re:sad drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987307)

I work with some high end graphics software

The Mesa drivers don't work.

A prolonged and nasty install of the Nvidia drivers is req. for the software to work.

Not a good user experience on Linux

Well, duh [slashdot.org] . How can you expect a fully functional open source driver when the developers had no hardware specs to work from up until about 8 months ago?

Re:sad drivers (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46987609)

In this day and age I have my doubts whether they have proper manpower to complete the task anyway.

Re:sad drivers (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about 4 months ago | (#46990165)

Driver development for single piece of hardware requires pretty much fixed amount of work. In that case, you can use time as substitute for manpower.

Re:sad drivers (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46990583)

It's comforting to know that we can have an open source driver for current-generation NVIDIA hardware by the year 2030.

Re:sad drivers (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about 4 months ago | (#46991317)

Go thank nVidia for keeping the specs secret for so long. Open drivers for current generation AMD hardware beat the proprietary driver hands down in 2D performance and stability, they're a little behind in 3D performance but close to catching up.

I also find it very comforting to know that we'll actually have a working driver for current-generation graphics hardware AT ALL even after so long.

Re:sad drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988795)

Is that still the excuse? AMD released full specs on their stuff years ago... how are the open source drivers working out?

Re:sad drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989663)

Power management specs? Nope.
Memory controller specs? Nope.
SMC specs? Nope.
DCE specs? Nope.
ATOMBIOS specs? Nope.
PCIe controller specs? Nope.
DMA engine specs? Nope.

Full specs my ass.

Re:sad drivers (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about 4 months ago | (#46990337)

Is that still the excuse? AMD released full specs on their stuff years ago... how are the open source drivers working out?

Pretty [linuxsystems.it] well [linuxsystems.it] . And the hardware specs released by AMD are not complete by a long shot.

Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (1)

mah! (121197) | about 4 months ago | (#46986903)

The article seems to mention Windows/Linux (or Linux/Window). What about OpenGL/GLES drivers on other platforms, such as Mac OS X, Android, iOS, ?

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986911)

OS X drivers are done by Apple. That would be the descrepancy there.

OSX GPU drivers probably not written by Apple (3, Informative)

Sits (117492) | about 4 months ago | (#46986989)

NVIDIA definitely write their own OSX drivers [nvidia.com] . I'm pretty sure AMD/ATI and Intel write their own OSX drivers too but these days GPU drivers are usually delivered with operating system updates (in a similar way that you can get driver updates through Windows update). Given how squeezing out GPU hardware documentation for Linux has been tough I don't think NVIDIA/AMD would be keen to help someone else write drivers that unlocked full functionality...

Re: OSX GPU drivers probably not written by Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987401)

Those are only drivers for aftermarket cards Apple never shipped with older Mac Pro models.

I have no doubt Apple collaborate with nVidia on the drivers they ship with OS X, but they are maintained by Apple.

Re: OSX GPU drivers probably not written by Apple (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 4 months ago | (#46989479)

There is no aftermarket vs. bundled drivers. They're the same drivers.

Apple takes regularly drops and rolls them in to OS X.

Apple does not write the OS X GPU drivers (except possibly the Intel drivers for a bit.)

Re:OSX GPU drivers probably not written by Apple (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#46990135)

NVIDIA definitely write their own OSX drivers. I'm pretty sure AMD/ATI and Intel write their own OSX drivers too but these days GPU drivers are usually delivered with operating system updates (in a similar way that you can get driver updates through Windows update). Given how squeezing out GPU hardware documentation for Linux has been tough I don't think NVIDIA/AMD would be keen to help someone else write drivers that unlocked full functionality...

I would say NVidia HELPED write the drivers.

And Apple is a closed source OS company - NVidia, AMD, etc., will have no problems executing NDAs with Apple to prevent disclosure of documentation and other things since none of the patented stuff will leave Cupertino in source code form. And a lot of licensed stuff has that - you may not release the source to it - it can only leave in linked binary form.

Well, that doesn't work TOO well on Linux - because you end up with binary blobs that don't go over so well. So documentation is a lot harder to share since there's stuff in it under NDA that cannot be revealed, and Linux being open-source well, code is a form of documentation.

Apple's not that big - they don't have huge marketshare and all that. You're not going to dedicate a lot of resources helping Apple write drivers for their own OS which has its own idiosyncracies and all that.

At best, most drivers are modular - you have the OpenGL parts that are fairly platform independent that need to talk to hardware which can be done by Apple writing the necessary glue logic between the driver and the ickiness that is I/O Kit.

Then again, Nvidia has a lot more resources to dedicate to driver writing. AMD doesn't, and Intel really only does software (badly) to sell chips.

Re:OSX GPU drivers probably not written by Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46995341)

> Apple's not that big - they don't have huge marketshare and all that.

Forget market share. In a growing market, it doesn't mean much. Look at market cap [mercurynews.com] instead... Apple IS big. They grew by not just entering new markets, but creating new markets.

Apple sells a lot of computers and devices. [macrumors.com] The number of units shipped has consistently increased [macworld.com] until recently. They haven't sold as many phones as Samsung, but they held their own pretty well against Samsung's juggernaut.

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986979)

On Android, OpenGL is not just a communist cancer-like invention to bypass Microsoft's lock in, like on the desktop, but the main way to access graphics.

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#46987771)

communist cancer-like invention

Microsoft's lock in

You hate both sides then, I take it? Or do you figure Microsoft lock-in is a Good Thing?

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (1, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#46987015)

The article seems to mention Windows/Linux (or Linux/Window). What about OpenGL/GLES drivers on other platforms, such as Mac OS X, Android, iOS, ?

OS X and iOS well, the drivers I believe work, but can be slow. The reason is, well, Apple pretty much wrote the drivers for AMD, nVidia, Intel and Imagination Technologies. There probably was a lot of cooperation with the respective companies, but Apple pretty much wrote it themselves as the others do not have the time, money or resources to write drivers for Apple.

Android is much like Linux and Windows. The driver quality depends a lot on the OEM. Most just blindly use the drivers as is and maybe tweak stuff if it doesn't compile, but that's it. Just take the code base and plop it in. You'll find OpenGL extensions that claim to be supported, but aren't, things that work wonky if you don't do it the right way, and features that are supposed to be supported, but so untested that they don't work.

Android's further complicated because there are multiple vendors - AMD (as a derived part in Qualcomm SoCs), nVidia, Imagination Technologies, Intel, Broadcom (VideoCore, same as RPi), etc. Drivers from each are pretty sketchy because most are developed to the point of "it seems to work" and shipped as early releases, while later revisions fix bugs and such. But a year later, a new one comes out and more beta drivers.

It can be a challenge if you want to code to the bleeding edge. Apple has a slight edge here as iOS exclusively uses Imagination Technologies and Apple's drivers are fairly consistent - if there's a bug, well, everyone ends up knowing about it and coding around it. When you're only worrying about effectively one platform, it's a bit easier.

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987225)

Actually Apple wrote their OpenGL drivers themselves because they couldn't trust Nvidia, AMD and Intel to write stable drivers.
Stable OpenGL drivers are extremely important for Apple because everything in OS X is 3D accelerated. An unstable driver here means that their base operating system will not work correctly.

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 4 months ago | (#46991119)

The article seems to mention Windows/Linux (or Linux/Window). What about OpenGL/GLES drivers on other platforms, such as Mac OS X, Android, iOS, ?

OS X and iOS well, the drivers I believe work, but can be slow. The reason is, well, Apple pretty much wrote the drivers for AMD, nVidia, Intel and Imagination Technologies. There probably was a lot of cooperation with the respective companies, but Apple pretty much wrote it themselves as the others do not have the time, money or resources to write drivers for Apple.

Apple is not writing the drivers for AMD and nVidia. I'm not sure about Intel. At one time Apple wrote the Nvidia drivers (over a decade ago), but they never wrote the AMD drivers. AMD and nVidia definitely have internal teams writing their drivers these days.

Apple is responsible for the OpenGL stack and driver ABI, which is where they work closely with the GPU vendors. But they're taking drops of the drivers and pre-bundling them with the OS. It can make submitting bugs a problem because Apple are the ones supplying the drivers, so you file bugs with them, but they're just forwarding the bugs on to teams at Nvidia or AMD.

There is a lot of finger pointing over the slowness issues. Sometime's it's clearly Nvidia or AMD. Sometimes it's clearly Apple. Because Apple controls the OpenGL ABI and public interface, OpenGL version update issues are definitely Apple's problem, which could be the result of some performance issues.

A lot of the issues are just around Apple's history. Apple was big into games and gaming performance back around 2000. There usually was an OpenGL game tech demo every conference. A big driver of this was Apple's support of Bungie. When Microsoft bought Bungie I think Jobs held a bit of a grudge against the gaming community. Apple tried to counter Microsoft's offer but came in too late. Ever since then, Apple's interest in games has gone away.

So a lot of the slowness issues are commonly thought to be Apple optimizing their drivers towards pro applications like Final Cut, and not spending much time optimizing for games.

OpenGL drivers on other platforms (5, Informative)

Sits (117492) | about 4 months ago | (#46987073)

There's a comment at the bottom of the article by David Poole [blogspot.co.uk] that links to a post talking about OpenGL driver quality on desktop Linux and mobile Linux [dolphin-emu.org] . The summary from that blog post is:

  • Vendor N closed source desktop Windows/Linux - Excellent. Near perfect.
  • Vendor X open source desktop Linux - Good. Highly responsive to bug reports but updates get to users slowly.
  • Vendor I closed source desktop Windows - Good but lacking useful features.
  • Vendor A1 closed source desktop Windows/Linux - Mediocre. Unresponsive to bug reports.
  • Vendor A2 closed source mobile - Bad. Buggy, vendor knows there are issues but doesn't fix them, driver limits performance forcing others to implement workarounds.
  • Vendor Q closed source mobile - Bad. Buggy, vendor is unresponsive to bug reports.
  • Vendor P closed source mobile - Unknown. Driver does not publicly support high enough version of OpenGL ES.

Re:OpenGL drivers on other platforms (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987497)

So why do people keep writing letters instead of the firm names? Everybody knows that Apple (Q) is unresponsive to bug reports, but saying so won't make black choppers fly over your basement.

Re:OpenGL drivers on other platforms (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 months ago | (#46987963)

No. Just lawyers.

Re:OpenGL drivers on other platforms (3, Informative)

msclrhd (1211086) | about 4 months ago | (#46988027)

If you read the blog post, they don't use letters: N=NVIDIA, X=Mesa, I=Intel, A1=AMD, A2=ARM/Mali, Q=Qualcomm/Adreno, P=PowerVR. There is no mention of Apple.

Re:OpenGL drivers on other platforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989083)

If you read the blog post, they don't use letters: N=NVIDIA, X=Mesa, I=Intel, A1=AMD, A2=ARM/Mali, Q=Qualcomm/Adreno, P=PowerVR. There is no mention of Apple.

PowerVR is both Intel Atom and Apple.

After an amazing interview I was about to secure an internship with those guys, but due to some corporate policy, I didn't make it. Allegedly, the driver is where most of their magic is happening.

Re:OpenGL drivers on other platforms (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 4 months ago | (#46991725)

Intel last released a PowerVR based IGP with the CloverTrail+ chips, Baytrail and onward will be using their internal GPU designs. Apple does use them, but I suspect that, being such a huge customer, they probably get complete documentation and wrote their own driver that doesn't suck. Everyone else gets Android-only userspace blobs of bad to shit quality.

Re:OpenGL drivers on other platforms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989103)

> , but saying so won't make black choppers fly over your basement.

Well it might but with you being in your mom's basement you'd never know.

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#46987167)

Windows/Linux (or Linux/Window).

Well, I use GCC and MinGW, so that would be GNU/Linux vs GNU/Windows... Apple's OS is illegal to install on my hardware so I don't know about GNU/OSX.

OpenGL ES is used on mobile platforms, and there are some tight CPU related issues (often what would be strictly GPU hardware is emulated CPU side on crappier devices). Smartphones and tablets don't really compare to the desktop. I'd be more interested in the difference in Nvidia vs ATI drivers consoles. For instance: the PS4's AMD/ATI Radeon vs the Xbone's AMD/ATI Radeon... hmm.

Re: Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987303)

What's left of GNU on OS X? bash and some command-line tools? gcc is gone.

Re: Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (1)

armanox (826486) | about 4 months ago | (#46988177)

The command lines tools should be from the BSD groups, not GNU.

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (1)

Sally Bowls (2952007) | about 4 months ago | (#46987189)

That was my question as well. You can't say so at PC sites, but I thought the real growth platforms, games and non-games, were iOS and Android (in the order you prefer.)

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 4 months ago | (#46988857)

I believe Apple are up to OpenGL 3.3? Well GL is at 4.4 right now, which is more or less feature parity with the D3D 11 that was released 3 or 4 years ago. So you see how throwing money at the problem (Microsoft) results in far better, more robust and more feature complete solutions than waiting for some greasy students to finish their open source coursework.

Re:Linux/WIndows, or Mac too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46993053)

Yes, this group of greasy students [khronos.org] is clearly late on their open source coursework. ;)

Fuck the grafix mafia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986909)

It's kinda sad that no one will reverse engineer the stuff and post all the specs and diagrams it can anonymously. I guess egos are just too important.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#46986919)

It wouldn't matter if it was... nobody else would be able to freely use the information.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986939)

Why not? I thought clean-room reverse engineering was perfectly legal?

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987059)

It is, assuming you don't stumble over any patents in the process.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#46987085)

Presumably such work wouldn't really qualify as "clean room" following the above poster's recommendation... hence the requirement for anonymity.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#46987783)

It protects you against copyright infringement, but not patent infringement. The famous reverse-engineering of the IBM PC BIOS was back in the days before software patents were considered valid - if exactly the same thing happened today, IBM could certainly have sued and won an injunction and massive damages.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988533)

Actually, I think a case could be made that when dealing with closed source, reverse engineering it is the *only* way you can be sure you're not infringing its patents!

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46992895)

Software should only be patentable under the condition that the authors disclose ALL the source code to their "invention" to make sure we are not accidentally infringing by reimplementing their patented algorithms.

Not to mention if you can't see the code, you can't tell if it's an obvious idea, or one with prior art. A lot of times it's just a re-implementation of an existing machine with the added step "use a computer to..." You can't patent an idea anyway, so I should be able to make my own design that does exactly the same thing yours does.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (3, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 4 months ago | (#46987105)

It's about time for someone to host a Github clone as a Tor hidden service for the explicit purpose of allowing people to share source code without having to worry about being punished by the imaginary property police.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986999)

sure just reverse enginner a GPU and all its subsystems, its the button next to "fuck off you moron noob"

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46987663)

It's kinda sad that no one will reverse engineer the stuff and post all the specs and diagrams it can anonymously. I guess egos are just too important.

My god that's naive. Good luck reverse-engineering a modern GPU. It would be extremely complex and extremely time-consuming. It wouldn't be worth it at all.

Re:Fuck the grafix mafia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988941)

And yet people have done it for AMD and NVidia :
http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/Radeon_Companion_2/
http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/

Nvidia, ATi, Intel (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#46986945)

My guess. I didn't try hard. But the important question to everyone, is this A B C in the right order?

Re:Nvidia, ATi, Intel (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#46986951)

Aw shit, busted for reading TFA but not actually bothering to read any of the summary. Well, I was eager and didn't give a shit about the icing, I went straight for the cake, but I was dead on ....

(So sue me ... not literally, of course since these days --- well --- you know ... )

No shit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46986967)

I don't know why the Linux crowd continues to live in ignorance, but it has to eventually become obvious that despite their screaming there ARE some legitimate reasons why DirectX/Direct3D dominates the gaming API land for PC gaming. Apart from the superior documentation and development/debugging tools, it's also a case that Direct3D seems to work more consistently between Nvidia/AMD cards compared to OpenGL (I don't mention Intel because until recently, no-one took them seriously for running demanding games on).

Now from a personal viewpoint, if I were to do any 3D programming I would do so using OpenGL because it would at least provide 90% of cross-platform compatibility automatically without having to do much else. That remaining 10% would be on testing and tweaking for various differences between cards. It would still ultimately be much better than having basically no cross-platform support from DirectX. But I can also understand why the gaming industry doesn't care about such things - gamers use Windows, so they target Windows and hence Direct3D. Only a handful are interested in Linux now but solely because of SteamOS and no because of any existing Linux community.

Re:No shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987441)

Got nothing better to do than keep trolling your shit around here?

Re:No shit! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46988073)

In which way was he trolling? You may not agree with him, but at least he calmly rationalized his comment.

Re:No shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989167)

Faggot still deserves -1, Disagree. I'm heading back over to reddit now.

Re:No shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989129)

Apart from the superior documentation and development/debugging tools, it's also a case that Direct3D seems to work more consistently between Nvidia/AMD cards compared to OpenGL (I don't mention Intel because until recently, no-one took them seriously for running demanding games on).

D3D is more consistent between venders as compared to OpenGL on Linux, but what about OpenGL in Windows? It seems more like the Windows environment gets better attention for drivers (which still suck in various, different ways), and not so much down to the API.

Money woes? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#46987041)

Vendor B has the most flaky drivers. They have good technical know-how on OpenGL but due to an extremely small team (money woes), they have shoddy drivers.

Is that the excuse? So uh, ATI has always had money woes? Since time was time? That should have been a sign.

Re:Money woes? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 4 months ago | (#46987469)

Yeah, this Vendor A/B stuff fooled no-one. As such, I wonder how much point there is (legally speaking) in doing that as opposed to just saying "nVidia's drivers are closed source and they optimise for benchmarks and popular games, ATI's drivers are open but crap, Intel gives no fucks and just wants to build SOCs."

Richie rich? (2)

gentryx (759438) | about 4 months ago | (#46987067)

OT: "Geldreich" is a German compound of Money (Geld) and rich/plentyful (reich). So if he's called Rich Geldreich, that could be written as Rich Rich... Yeah, I know: no one knows Richie Rich today.

'cause FOSS niggerdom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987087)

I've bought >60,000 USD worth of graphics boards since '97, about 5 of them have worked reliably under Linux. Fuuu-

Re:'cause FOSS niggerdom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987133)

Maybe you should've stuck with sega cd.

I didn't want to comment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987127)

I didn't want to comment, because I've had a love hate relationship with some of these drivers. Two video cards ago when I was building my current computer, I wanted ATI because I was tired of the NVIDIA post-kernel-install. NVIDIA got lucky because the ATI card was DOA. So I went with a 9600GT. And I kept using it till a few months ago, when I replaced it with a 630 (about the same speed, but doesn't have the 'single monitor only' problem when using the Nouveau drivers. But the Nouveau drivers proved to be Unstable! , including kernel error messages. They are also painfully slow compared to the proprietary drivers. I have given up on Nouveau for the time being. If they get stability down, and get clock and cooling down, I will go back to Nouveau.

Advertisement for Intel (1)

rudolfel (700883) | about 4 months ago | (#46987245)

Slashdot has become an advertising site. Intel is always the best. Any article which compares Intel with AMD or Nvidia is a piece of crap. Intel 20 years behind in graphics.

Re:Advertisement for Intel (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 4 months ago | (#46987357)

Slashdot has become an advertising site. Intel is always the best. Any article which compares Intel with AMD or Nvidia is a piece of crap. Intel 20 years behind in graphics.

They really aren't that far behind anymore for an enormous amount of uses, some pretty graphics-intensive. From the HD integrated graphics onwards Intel has been making great strides with every iX generation, catching up in most ways that matter in all but the most demanding areas (high end games and GPGPU). And I'm not saying that because I love these guys, I spent a decade telling customer after customer that Intel just straight up lied (as did the driver) about the graphics capabilities of the 9XX series of integrated graphics, that our software would never, ever work properly on these cards, and they should have read the minimum specs that clearly stated that we didn't support these chipset (this is software that was an order of magnitude more expensive than the laptops they were buying to run it on, but customers can be a silly bunch). Having that same argument with management every two years "because thousands of people have these chipsets!" (they'd usually shut up after a realistic time estimate of the work to support these cards, along with a table of probable performance and visual quality).

No, the HD-series integrated chipsets make me quite happy, because now we can at least have minimal support for people who buy these laptops (it's nearly always laptops), and their experience will actually be pretty good.

As an aside, it's easy to tell that TFA is absolutely true by how few major gaming titles ship. Oh, wait.

Re:Advertisement for Intel (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46987693)

Intel 20 years behind in graphics.

The performance per watt compared to similar low-end AMD and NVIDIA chips is very competitive.

Re:Advertisement for Intel (1)

HuguesT (84078) | about 4 months ago | (#47006705)

People seem to still not grok exponential improvements in hardware. Intel GPUs are state-of-the art for integrated graphics, and only about 2-3 years behind the top-end discrete graphic cards at the most. They are good enough for most things now, except top-end demanding recent games.

Wait... Wait... Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987321)

You have to get help implementing your software on their hardware so that it runs at a decent rate?!? And there's more than one hardware vendor?!?

The horror!

What we need is... (0)

technosaurus (1704630) | about 4 months ago | (#46987343)

A Posix consortium to establish some standards for self standing games that boot themselves and can only interact with specific partitions (intentionally not NTFS, HFS so a game is less likely to mess with them)
If there were better tools for it, game vendors would prefer to build on a single platform that could run on MS*, i*, PS*, etc...
It would be up to them whether they wanted to include anything besides their game (a browser for looking up game hints... ok, ok really to serve ads and do in app purchases)

fucktards (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46987467)

won't share it is specifications?

Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987493)

What OpenGL Driver Quality?

NVIDIA and nouveau (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987515)

Saying that NVIDIA is "blocking any open source driver implementations as much as possible" is rather misleading:

http://www.neoseeker.com/news/24575-nvidia-pledges-more-support-for-linux-open-source-nouveau-driver/

Not a gamer (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#46987521)

Not being a gamer, I'm all okay with waiting for the rich kid's hardware to catch up. Besides, too much graphics capibility seems to do nothing but encourage developers to force all sorts of ridiculous visual doodads on software that really needs to do nothing but serve as point and click program launchers.

Hopefully changing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987581)

Hopefully this will be changing over the decade as more and more devs are ditching DirectX because Microsoft keep locking it to their OSes, which nobody is buying, and even less people will buy the next if the rumors are true.
Not only that, it is more popular on handheld devices as well.
And the largest of all, Valve are now supporting Linux very heavily, so they might soon see there is a reason to support OpenGL since it has even been shown that generally Linux and Mac users pay more for things. (especially in Humble Indie Bundle, the differences are huge in pretty much all of those)

All I know is Win7 is likely my last Windows. It was going to be XP, but Linux still isn't quite there yet in regards to the games, which is the only reason I keep this crap thing around. Stupid friends having fun.

Re:Hopefully changing (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46987721)

I would be happily already gaming under Linux, if the desktops in general weren't so buggy. I will never go to Linux as my main OS until the quality assurance of the desktop reaches a professional level.

Re:Hopefully changing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987975)

I don't know what desktop experience is buggy. But I'm using linux exclusively for a couple of years now, never had much problems with it. And If I had I could find enough debug to pinpoint the problem en found enough documentation to actually resolve the problem.

Re:Hopefully changing (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46988005)

You have probably just used to the glitches.

Re:Hopefully changing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989269)

(Different AC) Care to give some examples? I switched to Linux ~6-7 years ago when it had better support for my aging video card at the time, and then I stuck with Linux on newer rigs since. This includes one that was a workhorse for my thesis work that had heavy use of accelerated 3d visualization of data and some GPGPU work. My main complaint was that sometimes it took a while to get things setup when making a new system and getting it to work, compared to some smooth Windows installations (but quicker than some non-smooth Windows installations), and I didn't care for the direction of newer versions of desktops like Unity. But otherwise it ran smoothly, and I am curious what types of glitches you are expect people to not notice.

Re:Hopefully changing (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46989893)

Just today installed Fedora 20 (KDE spin) on a HP 2230s laptop. After the initial installation of all system updates I restarted the computer. Now every time I login to my desktop, I'm greeted with "KWin crashed unexpectedly". I cannot start KWin at all and have no desktop effects. Please help.

At the same time I'm personally working with the Intel guys with an issue of backlight flickering [freedesktop.org] on this same laptop under Linux.

I have to deal with problems like this all the time. Open source is garbage!!!

Re:Hopefully changing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46990729)

Those sound like rather serious issues... how would those be glitches that that a person just gets used to?

Re:Hopefully changing (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46991059)

Because he finds a workaround and quickly forgets about the issue.

Re:Hopefully changing (1)

HuguesT (84078) | about 4 months ago | (#46994305)

Like there is nothing to work around in either Windows or OSX. Typically Win7 or Win8 attention seeking dialogs drive me up the wall. They block the whole screen even for tiny minor issues. OSX very often has a frozen dock that doesn't work. Lately I've been unable to add attachment to emails by drag-and-drop in Mail.app

Everyone finds workaround in all systems. I find that the Linux experience has improved immensely in the last couple of years.

Re:Hopefully changing (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46996857)

Windows generally works just fine these days. It's been the best choice for me.

Re:Hopefully changing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46994287)

Professional like what? Yesterday I tried Win 8.1 ; hoping for a better experience than before. Even though I do *not* have any kind of tactile interface, the system *forced* me to learn swipe gesture with BIG ORANGE ARROWS I could not get rid of. I spend the better part of an hour researching the issue to remove this idiotic behaviour via the registry editor.

What kind of professional desktop QA brought that in? In contrast the Ubuntu desktop is perfectly sane.

Re:Hopefully changing (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46996853)

I was talking about actual bugs. That's more of an UX choice.

infOrmative FAGORZFAGORZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987605)

40,000 3oming [goat.cx]

Dat name. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987765)

Rich Geld (German for money) reich (German for rich). "geldreich" = full with/of money.

I will also name my child Richy W. MacMoney. The W. stands for "Wealthy".

Meanwhile OpenGL ES Is Doing Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987787)

If you look at the "other" OpenGL, which actually seems to now be the dominate GL it is doing great. OpenGL ES has even more implementers (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, Imagination, Arm, Vivante, Broadcom, and more). Not only are there more drivers, but the actual hardware is much more varied than the big GL landscape and still it manages to thrive. Some major differences are conformance tests and the OpenGL ES is a simpler more streamlined API. Hopefully big GL will start learning from OpenGL ES's success.

Re:Meanwhile OpenGL ES Is Doing Great (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 4 months ago | (#46988033)

Well. I wouldn't be so sure about calling that a success. OpenGL ES drivers are know to be even buggier and more terrible than the desktop OpenGL drivers.

Re:Meanwhile OpenGL ES Is Doing Great (1)

MoonlessNights (3526789) | about 4 months ago | (#46988919)

I would still like to see OpenGL largely punted in favour of OpenGL ES. As you point out, it is a much smaller API and it reflects the realities of the hardware, as it actually evolved (shader programs and GPU-memory vertex buffers), instead of how the software initially wanted to see it (immediate mode and imperative matrix manipulation).

Hopefully, the inclusion of OpenGL ES as a subset of OpenGL within the 4.x versions will make this more a reality, as well as the use of things like WebGL.

Numbers too small for interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46987867)

Like anything else numbers play a roll in Open GL and gaming. This is really about Linux and the fact that only roughly a few percent even use Linux on a desktop does not make even very dedicated people very excited about Open GL and gaming. Although Linux is not far from gaming consoles its ability to garner any interest from the gaming developers on a Linux desktop platform is rather low. But let's look at PC gaming as a whole, not a lot has happened in PC gaming for a while to spur any kind of resurgence. Because Linux is dependent upon contributions to improve the OS, I think its clear many in the Linux community are not focused on the 3D graphics portion of Linux. Most know that the majority of Linux users are not gamer's and unless the gaming industry as a whole shows interest. I doubt gaming will be anymore then a hobby on a Linux Desktop.

Radeon started working for me (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#46988093)

I like to rant about OSS, and will continue to, but I also saw a surprising and positive result with the open-source Radeon driver.

On a low-end Radeon 6320, about a year ago Half-Life 2 was extremely choppy on Linux. Of course it might have been a Mesa or compositor problem too, instead of a driver issue.

However, I recently tried it again and the frame rates are now almost as good as under Windows. Nice improvement.

Re:Radeon started working for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46988761)

The issues are mostly manpower and hardware availability.
AMD has all of two devs working full time on the open source GPU drivers.
And they don't get access to the GPU zoo of the Catalyst team.
As a result, lots of issues get fixed via rounds of "X doesn't work." "Try this patch." "That did nothing." "Here's another patch, try that and attach/pastebin dmesg with that" "Didn't fix it, but here's the dmesg." "Okay, try this patch." ... on IRC or the freedesktop.org bugtracker.

sanity pre-emption field (1)

epine (68316) | about 4 months ago | (#46989047)

If I had a time machine and I could visit myself in a past life, but it was even more hemmed in than Twitter—say Morse code at one millibaud—my message to self (circa mid to late 1990s) would be this: Screw games.

Yes, I had a blast playing those games. But then I started making "mixed" decisions in how I set up my system to balance the games I liked to play and the development tools I needed to use. In hindsight, that was nothing but bad mojo. The difficulty of achieving a perfect stack is exponential in the number of interacting constraints.

There are many other things I could tell myself, but in most of the other cases I probably had to learn those lessons the hard way. This one is different. I guess I somehow believed I was just chasing a moving carrot I would catch Real Soon Now and that all the fuss to mate the perfect video card to the perfect driver was a temporary growing pain (along with much else at the time). I was wrong. Nearly two decades later, the carrot remains elusive. DRM amounts to a sanity pre-emption field.

My final stop on the video card wagon was a hardened HD5670 (Redwood) with the open source Linux driver, nearly passive heat pipes and Japanese capacitors. If the software doesn't work with my card, screw the software.

I have mucked a bit with OpenCL. Getting the software development stack to work again after each Linux upgrade cycle bears some resemblance to Mine Sweeper. Sometime in the next decade I'll probably spring for a $60 CGN prime plus plus, just so I don't feel left behind.

I've had HUGE issues (after NVidia 285.79) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989317)

It goes to a "black screen of death" (due to powermiser settings I've determined). I also get the TDR issue where the display "loses connection to the video card" but, that DOES seem to be able to be offset properly using:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers]
"TdrLevelRecover"=dword:00000004
"TdrDdiDelay"=dword:00000007
"TdrDelay"=dword:00000003

&

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\Configuration\NOEDID_10DE_06CD_00000002_00000000_2000100^D06938DED0679F9361F1BD7C043BEDA5\00\00]
"TdrDelay"=dword:00000004
"TdrDdiDelay"=dword:00000007

+

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\TdrLevel]
"TdrLevelRecover"=dword:00000003

---

* The "Black Screen of Death"'s a widely KNOWN issue.

I've *tried* these settings for a "fix" for that (didn't work, crashed on desktop, not in game OR video online or local - didn't matter IF I used AeroGlass display or classic GDI driven desktop either...):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video\{0C4EFFE1-F6C9-486D-83A9-21C9F86E8470}\0000]
"PerfLevelSrc"=dword:00000cfa
"PowerMizerEnable"=dword:00000000
"PowermizerLevel"=dword:00000001
"PowermizerLevelAC"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video\{0C4EFFE1-F6C9-486D-83A9-21C9F86E8470}\0001]
"PerfLevelSrc"=dword:00000cfa
"PowerMizerEnable"=dword:00000000
"PowermizerLevel"=dword:00000001
"PowermizerLevelAC"=dword:00000001

(I PERSONALLY HAVE TO "STEER CLEAR" OF THESE, since they crash me (DirectX Aero display OR classic desktop both do it in minutes...)).

This is with the latest/greatest 335.23 driver mind you (nvlddmkm.sys = OpenGL, & DirectX display are .DLL driven under %Windir%\System32) - funny part is, when I go back to 285.79? I can do DirectX driven local video fullspeed & fullscreen just fine, but NO OpenGL gaming now (due to MS doing those TDR settings above)... when I use the latest driver? I can't DO fullscreen online video, or I get a "crash", everytime (sending me into those powermgt 6++ reboots).

APK

P.S.=> The GIANT pain-in-the-ass, is that it DEFINITELY IS powermgt. (since my flatscreen shows it's dropped into "power saving mode" AFTER these crashes - ONLY WAY OUT TO BE ABLE TO BOOTUP TO WINDOWS AGAIN, MINUS BLACKSCREEN? 6-8 reboots typically (slower each time I've noted - it MUST be "diggging thru" diff. CurrentControlSets backups to get those powermgt. settings, & once they're in place? Folks online said "There's no way to remove them" which is untrue, since a "-" based removal via .reg file can do it, or those multiple bootups can (where you only have a minute or two to remove those powermiser settings & then it goes black - this HAS to be done that many times, otherwise it appears to be "digging into" old CurrentControlSet registry hives to get them BACK again, whether you like it, or not - there a 2 keys worth in each hive x 3 backup CurrentControlSet hives, so the 6++ reboots to normally bootup again, makes sense!)... apk

I just about died... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46989707)

...and I've only made it through vendor b(ATI/AMD) as I was ROFLMAOWTFBBQ!!!!1111!!!1!ONE as it was so incredibly spot on! And thet "yes, it can get worse...") man!

Which is why when it came time to build new desktops, and buy new notebooks after having suffered w/b's craptacular drivers for years on an older notebook only to have support dropped after about 2y I flipped them teh bird and happily went back to a never to look back again unless C is truly taking gfx seriously now.

That said I need to go read C's section and hopefully not get stuck ROFLMAO about B(well and crying too since I've been there and done that and it sucked, and stupidly I bought some more or their sh!t and even their fscking windows drivers("beta"(what used to be the monthlies, but their too incompetent even for that now)) are fscked to hell and back, as in the base driver installs, but it's a crap shoot as to whether or not their control panel will install(and function even if it CLAIMS to install) and/or their crappy attempt at copy GF experience installs(or claims to) and/or works... ...and the AMD side. They need to get their thumb out and decide if they just wannabe yet another ARM purveyor or design decent x86 arch again, none of this splitting every which way up the middle again....

i.e. they apparently have never had any resources to speak of even when they were making $$$, and now when they're behind they 8 ball they're pulling stupid sh!t like HAY! Let's start a zillion hw & sw projects and task the same 5 guys to do them all! That's the ticket! It'll work GREAT! (and so we see how that works out)

my experience OpenGL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46990037)

most games that I play use DirectX. I haven't played much with OpenGL, but here is my experience: the only big program that I know that uses OpenGL is Second Life. Second Life and OpenGL are fairly stable. Only real issue that I have a sim that has is lots polygons, flexi prims and particles. Not trying to complain, but some zones go overboard with GPU intensive features in their sims. Thankfully, Second Life doesn't crash much.

The programs that do crash are the 3D modeling programs like Vue and Daz 3D. Sometimes the viewport / preview / modeling window becomes corrupted for some reason. Vue even switches to a software compatible mode. I am using the latest Nvidia drives too. I guess I should rollback to an older driver.
Interesting that Second Life is more stable than the 3D graphics program. Second Life streams tons "megabytes" of data over a network whereas the 3D modeing and rendering programs load megabytes of objects and textures from my 7200 RPM hard drive.

Question, how big a team is required? (1)

shoor (33382) | about 4 months ago | (#46991605)

I used to write drivers for hardware a looong time ago (disc drives, UARTS, that kind of thing.) I realize that these graphics cards are way more complicated and trying to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of them can be a lot of effort. (I can remember spending a day trying to save a single instruction inside a device interrupt, and those were relatively simple devices.)

Even so, eventually you can't just kkep adding people to a project. If the concepts are well known then you get some decent programmers to do a workmanlike job of writing the software. If there are still areas of research and black art, then you need people who are initiates in the black art. So, I'm just curious, how many people, and what kind of skills, are involved in creating good drivers for this hardware, and, when a new piece of hardware comes out, how much new stuff is required to make use of it?

DSP from TI (1)

FithisUX (855293) | about 4 months ago | (#46993335)

Replace the proprietary junk with an Octacore DSP as a co-processor and do software rendering assisted with extra instructions. If it works with arm, it should work with Intel.
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