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NVIDIA Is Better For Closed-Source Linux GPU Drivers, AMD Wins For Open-Source

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the best-of-different-worlds dept.

AMD 185

An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix last week tested 65 graphics cards on open source drivers under Linux and the best result was generally with the open source AMD Radeon drivers. This week they put out a 35-graphics-card comparison using the proprietary AMD/NVIDIA drivers (with the other 30 cards being too old for the latest main drivers) under Ubuntu 14.04. The winner for proprietary GPU driver support on Linux was NVIDIA, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise given that Valve and other Linux game developers are frequently recommending NVIDIA graphics for their game titles while AMD Catalyst support doesn't usually come to games until later. The Radeon OpenGL performance with Catalyst had some problems, but at least its performance per Watt was respectable. Open-source fans are encouraged to use AMD hardware on Linux while those just wanting the best performance and overall experience should see NVIDIA with their binary driver."

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Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia closed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230635)

I got so pissed off that every time I updated Ubuntu I'd be dumped in a text terminal, have to install links2 and go browse how to install nvidia drivers again that I go with nouveau.

That, with optimus (intel + nvidia) together .. . == many days lost configuring stuff, honestly my girlfriend thinks I love "configuring" stuff, probably because I've wasted so much time doing it.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (4, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47230707)

Ubuntu has had its own method of dealing with nVidia drivers for about 7 years now. If you really want to go with the official nVidia driver (rather than the ubuntu-provided package which, IIRC, automatically handles kernel upgrades), all you have to do is cd to where you stuck the nVidia bin installer, and "sudo ./run" it. But really, if you're manually going outside of the package management system, you should learn how it works rather than complaining that you got burned,

Not to mention that the "dumped to console" was ALSO fixed many, many years ago (8.04?) as part of their bulletproof-X initiative.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230783)

Ubuntu has had its own method of dealing with nVidia drivers for about 7 years now. If you really want to go with the official nVidia driver (rather than the ubuntu-provided package which, IIRC, automatically handles kernel upgrades), all you have to do is cd to where you stuck the nVidia bin installer, and "sudo ./run" it. But really, if you're manually going outside of the package management system, you should learn how it works rather than complaining that you got burned,

Not to mention that the "dumped to console" was ALSO fixed many, many years ago (8.04?) as part of their bulletproof-X initiative.

On ubuntu 14.04 there is a "driver manager" in system settings. This lets you easily switch between the nvidia binary driver and nouveau (open source).

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47230933)

I find this also a bit odd. A lot of Linux desktop environments do not ship with a proper "Device Manager".

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231245)

Because Linux nerds want shit to be hard for no reason.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231555)

The opposite, in fact. Linux nerds want all the drivers in the kernel and all the HAL to work automagically. Basically, they're guilty of hiding the details from the user--but leaving configuration still technically there. Really, all OSs are guilty of it to some extent: MS "hides" tons of stuff in the registry, Mac OS X has enough of the "one true way" (that happens to change every so many releases), and many Linux DE (but not all) keep migrating towards hiding more and more details and giving less configuration options. And the truth is, except for a few corner cases--with graphics drivers being the big, proprietary obvious one and WiFi being less bad now days--stuff does just automagically work under Linux.

It's one reason why Linux had such a big "fuck you" to Nvidia because they're much more of a hold-out for providing details so open source drivers can be made (AMD being such a big win for open source is precisely because they have helped a lot in that area). Having said that, I think we'd be in a slightly better situation if we had dumped the X11-as-graphics-driver-kernel-as-dump-pass-through twenty years ago; I say slightly mainly because Xorg itself is 10 years old and has done a lot to push for this, but made relatively little progress in large part to the graphic card makers and their cross-licensing agreements and patent deals.

*shrug*

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47232015)

Really, all OSs are guilty of it to some extent: MS "hides" tons of stuff in the registry,

I always find it hillarious when the registry is brought up, but somehow noone wants to discuss gconf or the .gconf folder with all of its bizarre files.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (0, Troll)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47232135)

IMO Windows Registry is way nicer than what Linux has got. In Linux, programs use text files, which are slow and unreliable to parse, and require a separate config file interpreter in each program. Then there are these desktop environment -specific directories like .config, .kde, and .gconf, which just add to the mess. In Windows, you just use the standard API for accessing the registry.

Linux has much nicer package management, Windows has much nicer configuration management.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 months ago | (#47231925)

Most really don't need to anymore. I've been using Linux for a LONG time. Started when I was in high school circa 1997 or so. I'll admit that back then it was a pain in the ass to get a lot of stuff working.

Now - I install it and everything just works. I haven't had to mess around with text config files just to get the system running or the like for years (probably around 2009 or so).

The only time when things get a little hairy is when doing something a bit outside of the ordinary - IE, getting certain games running under Wine and the like. That's trying to work around a simple lack of native apps though. When running Linux software on a Linux system - piece of cake. As a matter of fact the only thing that keeps Windows from feeling completely foreign to me is that I have to use it at work.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47232057)

That "driver manager" was added somewhere between versions 6.10 and 7.10. It not only installs the nVidia driver, it handles re-installing it every time you upgrade kernels (though, to be fair, it did still occasionally break).

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (1)

Chris Dodd (1868704) | about 4 months ago | (#47231087)

Not to mention that the "dumped to console" was ALSO fixed many, many years ago (8.04?) as part of their bulletproof-X initiative.

Yup. Now its just dumps you back to the gdm screen and you have to manually get your way to a text console to fix it.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (1)

hduff (570443) | about 4 months ago | (#47231205)

Mageia handles the nvidia driver within it's packaging system. Automatic updates along with the kernel, easy installs, no problems. It's been this way since the Mandriva days. Mageia's a nice, no-hassle distro.

Re:Just don't upgrade the kernel with nvidia close (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 4 months ago | (#47230869)

Wait, nVidia linux drivers now support optimus properly? Last time I checked (some 2 years ago) I had to run a command line (bumblebee or something) to turn on the offboard video card for the process I was about to run. And even to get to that pathetic level of usability took hours of internet search and messing with configs.

Really, to me as a user, I want Linux open source drivers, not because I am an open source fanatic. I just don't want to have the headache of configuring that kind of stuff, hardware that has open source drivers just work in Linux.

There is also these... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230645)

...for you guys who like closed source stuff:

funny.exe
boobies.exe
yourprize.doc

Have fun!

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230673)

At least we don't have to piss away hours of time compiling the fuckers just to find out they're too old to work with the game I bought.

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230823)

Um. Great. I guess that proves my point.

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230831)

Not really. I haven't had any kind of malware problem under Windows for years. You're not supposed to run untrusted software under any operating system anyway.

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231103)

And I suppose you can trust NVidia just as much as you can trust any other big corporation not to put back doors in your system?

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231293)

We can't of course know for sure, because it is closed source. But I still think that life is too short for worrying something like that. It would be extremely unlikely for NVIDIA to ship a backdoor in their graphics drivers. They don't have any reason to, and if it was found out, it would destroy their reputation and people wouldn't buy their stuff anymore. It is not a compelling enough reason for me to completely switch to an open source operating system, especially when it mostly just brings a plethora of bugs and all sorts of other headaches.

Re: There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47232075)

Unliky you say but not altogether unknown.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231659)

And I suppose you can trust NVidia just as much as you can trust any other big corporation not to put back doors in your system?

I can't trust any Linux distro to ship bug-free software in to my system either. It all really boils down to which battle we want to fight...

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231119)

You're doing it wrong, fuckwit.
If you have a machine that's fast enough to play any game made within the past 7 years, your compilation times would be in a handful of minutes.
The entire kernel with lots of options / modules configured can be done in under an hour on a decent midrange machine.

Re:There is also these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231417)

You must be quite the showman.
Comparing video drivers from a reputable manufacturer to random windows malware...you must either be Richard Stallman's dandruff or a complete moron.
Not to mention the binary drivers work. And very well, by the way. So your FUD becomes a bit silly.

Oh well, I am sure you never, ever used a computer with binary drivers on it, right? Everything fully open, documented and ready for you to modify to suit your needs, I bet.

Captain something or other (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230647)

I can't quite put my finger on it, but something tells me this is a job for a captain. Captain something or other. Anyone care to help me out?

Re:Captain something or other (1)

armanox (826486) | about 4 months ago | (#47230713)

Captain Crunch? Captain Morgan?

Re:Captain something or other (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230771)

Captain Crunch? Captain Morgan?

Hey, how'd you know the two things I had for breakfast?

Re:Captain something or other (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 4 months ago | (#47230739)

Captain Picard? He's my favorite captain! It's Captain Picard, right?

Re:Captain something or other (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230977)

You're right! It's none other than Gene Luck Pickard!

Re:Captain something or other (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47230785)

Captain America?

Re:Captain something or other (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47231785)

Has recently been renamed to Captain Puerto Rico.

Re:Captain something or other (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 4 months ago | (#47230837)

Closed Captaining?

Re:Captain something or other (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47230937)

Captain Nemo? Captain Obvious? Captain Kirk?

Re:Captain something or other (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 4 months ago | (#47231165)

Whatever you're trying to get at is oblivious to me.

Re:Captain something or other (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47232089)

Nice, the only one to get it

Re:Captain something or other (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47232085)

Captain Planet

That's Odd. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 4 months ago | (#47230653)

Intel seems to have the only graphics that doesn't suck horribly on Linux for normal day to day use.

Re:That's Odd. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230755)

Not that odd. AMD and NVidia are both trying to find ways to tweak the standards for tiny increases in framerate, Intel is honoring the standards and improving performance by boosting the power of the hardware underneath. That means Intel will continue to lag when it comes to all the different GPU metrics (but they did close the gap a lot recently), but since they're not trying to do shortcuts with the OpenGL and DirectX standards, they are much more straightforward to use.

Re:That's Odd. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 months ago | (#47230897)

Intel graphics just plain suck... Actually they are not too bad these days but really do not complete with AMD or nVidia.

Re:That's Odd. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 4 months ago | (#47231023)

And yet I'm looking at lots of pixels driven by Intel graphics, with no obvious inability to support the applications I use day to day.

Sure I have Nvidia in my windows gaming rig. But Linux is the topic here.

Re:That's Odd. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231465)

I use an Intel HD 4600 (i5-4670k) with turbo and it works great... I can play Minecraft without lag.

Re:That's Odd. (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about 4 months ago | (#47230925)

> Intel seems to have the only graphics that doesn't suck horribly on Linux for normal day to day use.

Are you kidding? Their hardware sucks horribly for normal day to day use regardless of what OS you're talking about.

Re:That's Odd. (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 4 months ago | (#47231177)

What do you consider "normal day to day use"?
In my experience, starting with Sandy Bridge & HD3000, it's been acceptable for Windows office desktop stuff, Office apps, web browsing, online streaming, etc.

Re:That's Odd. (4, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47231313)

Even a GMA950 can easily perform all those tasks.

Re:That's Odd. (0)

haruchai (17472) | about 4 months ago | (#47231455)

Probably not on Windows 7 and not with very recent versions of Office, FF, Chrome and Internet sites.

Re:That's Odd. (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47231667)

Yes, it can. Very easily.

Re:That's Odd. (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about 4 months ago | (#47231559)

Well, you managed to mention not one thing where video power truly matters.

The moment you go into games, game development, image processing, rendering and modeling, perhaps HD video playback (and processing?), or working with very high resolutions, your video card sure does matter, so does the quality of the drivers and its acceptance of standards (specially OpenGL).
I found nVidia to be the safest bet in both those tasks I mentioned, as well as support for dual-booting while keeping the same capabilities in both Linux and Windows. Even my budget-cheap nVidia card can use CUDA to speed up renderings in Blender with no effort from my part. Just one click.

Then again, every computer user has a different use for a computer. If you produce nothing in terms of audiovisuals, or don't create or play games, you are pretty much good to go with the weakest/cheapest video adapter you can find.

Re:That's Odd. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 months ago | (#47231941)

I've been using a Nvidia card in Linux (with binary drivers) for years now with no issues whatsoever. Not sure how it would "suck". System boots, runs fine, and does what I need it to :S.

For Linux, Intel beats both of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230657)

Even for games, I'd rather have something that works properly and just run on lower settings than deal with the NVidia closed source or AMD's half-hearted open source efforts.

Re:For Linux, Intel beats both of them (2)

armanox (826486) | about 4 months ago | (#47230737)

I'd rather have hardware that works well. Closed source drivers don't bother me.

Better open source drivers, eh? (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | about 4 months ago | (#47230701)

Is that why, on my HD6450, Linux Mint setup boots into a garbled screen, PCLinuxOS skips the desktop installation, and Desktop BSD just gives me a black screen when any setup method is selected?

Re:Better open source drivers, eh? (1)

Freedom Bug (86180) | about 4 months ago | (#47230811)

Is this something you tried recently? Phoronix did their testing with the 3.13 kernel.

Re:Better open source drivers, eh? (1)

higuita (129722) | about 4 months ago | (#47231717)

CURRENT open source drivers should work well on that card, get a more update distro or manually update the kernel, libdrm, mesa and possibly the xorg-ati driver. Also, this open drivers status is for Linux, for BSD the open status may not be as good due the missing/incomplete lower level support in the kernel

If it is failing on a recent distro, with recent kernel and mesa , you should open a bug (sometime fixing a bug on new cards can create another on older cards due the different features available)

AMD Wins For Open-Source (4, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47230717)

In last week's testing of 65 GPUs on the open-source Linux drivers, the winner overall was the AMD Radeon graphics cards: they were the least problematic (though several Radeon GPUs still ran into different problems) and they delivered the best performance (including generally the performance-per-Watt).

Can confirm. The open source Radeon driver has been improving greatly. A bit surprisingly, Radeon hardware is actually starting to become a quite good choice for a Linux user.

Re:AMD Wins For Open-Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230775)

As a gamer with experience, the open source radeon drivers are still crap compared to running a comparable Nvidia with their drivers.

Re:AMD Wins For Open-Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231039)

Too bad that for a majority of users, Linux isn't an OS that they should be using to begin with...

Re:AMD Wins For Open-Source (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47231249)

Why's that?

Re:AMD Wins For Open-Source (4, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 months ago | (#47232017)

Too bad that for a majority of users, Linux isn't an OS that they should be using to begin with...

Nonsense. The vast majority of users these days just need a working browser. My mom, dad, and sister all run Linux. Only my sister seems to even be aware that it's not Windows. Simple fact is they know to click on the Chrome logo (same one a Windows user uses) to bring up the browser and they're off. I don't have to worry about fixing any malware that does crop up, and in the event that they DO have a problem I can easily SSH into the machine and tunnel through to a VNC server to look at things remotely.

As a matter of fact its the mid-range skillset users who seem to have the most trouble with Linux. For basic users it covers all of their use cases. For the geeky power users they don't mind getting their hands dirty and getting creative to make things work. The mid-range users though want to do semi-complex things but get frustrated when it doesn't work exactly the same way in Linux.

Really? (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 4 months ago | (#47230761)

Yeah, as long as you ignore "NVidia Optimus". I have a AMD-A6 based desktop, it works fine with the occasional glitches, but the only thing that is truly stable and works for everything is called "Intel". There simply is no contest.

Hello there, Captain Obvious (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230767)

One note:
AMD OpenSource drivers are best OpenSource drivers out there, but shitty drivers per se.
NVIDIA drivers are great drivers, but not OpenSource.
This is the real difference and conclusion. Don't try to hide it.

Re:Hello there, Captain Obvious (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about 4 months ago | (#47231187)

This!
I don't care much if AMD's drivers are open when they are mediocre at best. Everything else seems to boil down to zealotic anti-binary-blob commentaries.

I don't care if it's closed as long as it works. And nVidia works both in windows and linux, so that's where my money will go.

I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230815)

NVidia, for the 1st time since 2000 for myself @ least, had some issues with their drivers!

(For Windows @ least in my experience as I haven't run a Linux since 2010 here)

It started iirc, around mid 2011!

That's when MS patched Windows 7 for "driver stability" vs. crashes, which IRONICALLY introduced MORE OF THEM!

E.G.-> The ENTIRE 3xx.xxx series of drivers would "black screen" crash either in online video, gaming, or locally played videos OR just give you a BLACK SCREEN on logging into Windows - especially IF/WHEN you crashed! LOL, made me afraid to reboot even... which, thank goodness, @ least Windows NT based OS rarely do (unless you get a crappy driver of course, which this is, all about).

I.E..- You'd hear the sound of the Windows logon, but a black screen was all you got!

It made it hard to logon of course ala "use the force, Luke" & forget it inside Windows with an all black screen!

So, I did some research reading, & there were settings to offset that that actually worked PRETTY GOOD with the 335.xx series!

(Those only would have to reboot 2x after the crashes I noted above to regain a usable logon screen for example but BEFORE that it would take 6x times, & yes it was consistent & "coincidentally" mirrorred how many backup hives + 2 NVidia areas in each - & I strongly suspected power management features (since I tried to disable THAT too with some settings I found on their forums, which TOTALLY hosed it & you COULD NOT EVER GET BACK IN, thank goodness for System Restore features &/or System Image abilities Windows 7 provides which IS how I got back to a somewhat usable state)).

* NOW though, in the 337.88 series is pretty good!

It comes back after crashes noted above (fullscreen online or local is still "shaky" but not nearly as bad)...

So, they're making progress each driverset build - Still not "perfect" (what is) but, getting close now.

APK

P.S.=> Anyhow/anyways - I just wanted to share MY 2 cents viewpoint from a Windows user perspective as to NVidia getting back to how they USED TO BE before MS started messing around with powermgt & crashproofing drivers registry settings (which messed NVidia up imo & experience per the above) - perfect! They were from 2000 - 2011 in my experience & are getting it back (hopefully, next driverset build will be perfect)...

... apk

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230891)

Fuck off Kowalski, no-one cares what you think. About ANYTHING.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231069)

You can't think so your profanity riddled foaming at the mouth ravings make no sense from a troll like you.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231329)

Sorry. I didn't mean to say "fuck off", I meant to say "go away and never come back". Kowalski, you are a raving lunatic. Your boundless schizophrenia is only rivaled by your boundless faggotry and pedophilia. Your English and comprehension skills aren't up to the 3rd grade level. But then again, that's to be commended, as that puts those skills two grade levels above your programming abilities.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231591)

Take your own advice. APK must have gotten a piece of your hide based on your butt hurt off topic replies. I'm not apk. Everyone posting anonymous to you is not apk and I don't blame them. We don't need a psycho like you stalking us. I don't think apk is even paying attention to the likes of you. You're obviously paranoid. You really should get over your geek angst thinking you run the show here. You don't. Get over that too. You brought it on yourself.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231655)

Oh, Kowalski. Do you REALLY think that EVERYONE here doesn't know that all these AC sockpuppets defending you are just that? YOU sockpuppeting the crazy voices in your crazy head? Take your meds and go away, there's a good lad.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231739)

2 things. Learn to read. I am not apk. You're also projecting your own issues in your replies. Seek help. We're curious why you're losing your marbles the way you are over apk though. I won't posting using my account to someone like you. You might get all bent and start stalking me too. Get it?

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231819)

Of course you're APK. Your argumentation style, vocabulary, delusional rambling and general batshit crazyness give you away. And of course your inability to not have the last word. Trolling you is fun, because you're too batshit crazy to let it go. Nuttier than a ton of squirrel poo. See you next time, Kowalski.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231885)

The only obvious thing here is you're a raving psychopath.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231999)

See? I SAID you were pathologically unable to let it go. You'll reply to THIS, too.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47232245)

Speak for yourself. You're projecting again, psycho.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231627)

You should get professional psychiatric help. You're projecting who the lunatic here is. It's not apk.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231121)

Have you considered decaf?

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231141)

Hahahahahahaha

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231523)

Posting ac as I don't want the disturbed individual I am replying to stalking me as he does apk. Why do you act like such a maniac stalking his posts for? I've seen apk technically outdebate many here on hosts files and I'd guess you are one of those he did so too. It's your own fault. You always begin those conflicts and apk finishes them and you along with them.You have geek angst issues. Get over it. Be an adult instead of a childish troll who hides under anonymous coward replies while minus moderating apk's posts with your registered user account. Yes, it is obvious that's your method and don't try to tell us it's not. Mod Bombing is the last resort of trolls such as yourself and I've been on forums since 1995 online. You're not deceiving anyone on that account here. We've all seen it before.

Re:I believe it (they're improving) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231761)

Agreed. Everything I know about host files, I owe to APK.

So APK, if you're out there, thanks for making me a better host file user.

Ex-Valve Rich disagreed: Intel was more open (5, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 4 months ago | (#47230843)

The Truth on OpenGL Driver Quality [blogspot.hu]

TL:DR;
Vendor A nVidia - driver errs on the side of "make it work" vs GL spec
Vendor B AMD - conforms to the OpenGL spec, but is buggy, inconsistent performance
Vendor C Intel - best open source driver, but performance doesn't compete with nVidia or AMD

Vendor A

What most devs use because this vendor has the most capable GL devs in the industry and the best testing process. It's the "standard" driver, it's pretty fast, and when given the choice this vendor's driver devs choose sanity (to make things work) vs. absolute GL spec purity. Devs playing at home use this driver because it has the sexiest, most fun to play with extensions and GL support. Most of what you hear about the amazing things GL will be able to do in order to compete against D3D12/Mantle are by devs playing with this driver. Unfortunately, we can't just target this driver or we miss out on large amounts of market share.

Even so, until Source1 was ported to Linux and Valve devs totally held the hands of this driver's devs they couldn't even update a buffer (via a Map or BufferSubData) the D3D9/11-style way without it constantly stalling the pipeline. We're talking "driver perf 101" stuff here, so it's not without its historical faults. Also, when you hit a bug in this driver it tends to just fall flat on its face and either crash the GPU or (on Windows) TDR your system. Still, it's a very reliable/solid driver.

Vendor A supports a zillion extensions (some of them quite state of the art) that more or less work, but as soon as you start to use some of the most important ones you're off the driver's safe path and in a no man's land of crashing systems or TDR'ing at the slightest hickup.

This vendor's tools historically completely suck, or only work for some period of time and then stop working, or only work if you beg the tools team for direct assistance. They have enormous, perhaps Dilbert-esque tools teams that do who knows what. Of course, these tools only work (when they do work) on their driver.

This vendor is extremely savvy and strategic about embedding its devs directly into key game teams to make things happen. This is a double edged sword, because these devs will refuse to debug issues on other vendor's drivers, and they view GL only through the lens of how it's implemented by their driver. These embedded devs will purposely do things that they know are performant on their driver, with no idea how these things impact other drivers.

Historically, this vendor will do things like internally replace entire shaders for key titles to make them perform better (sometimes much better). Most drivers probably do stuff like this occasionally, but this vendor will stop at nothing for performance. What does this mean to the PC game industry or graphics devs? It means you, as "Joe Graphics Developer", have little chance of achieving the same technical feats in your title (even if you use the exact same algorithms!) because you don't have an embedded vendor driver engineer working specifically on your title making sure the driver does exactly the right thing (using low-level optimized shaders) when your specific game or engine is running. It also means that, historically, some of the PC graphics legends you know about aren't quite as smart or capable as history paints them to be, because they had a lot of help.

Vendor A is also jokingly known as the "Graphics Mafia". Be very careful if a dev from Vendor A gets embedded into your team. These guys are serious business.

Vendor B

A complete hodgepodge, inconsistent performance, very buggy, inconsistent regression testing, dysfunctional driver threading that is completely outside of the dev's official control. Unfortunately this vendor's GPU is pretty much standard and is quite capable hardware wise, so you can't ignore these guys even though as an organization they are idiots with software. Basic stuff like glTexStorage() crashes (on a shipped title) for months on end with this driver. B's driver devs try to follow the spec more closely than Vendor A, but in the end this tends to do them no good because most devs just use Vendor A's driver for development and when things don't work on Vendor B they blame the vendor, not the state of GL itself.

Vendor B driver's key extensions just don't work. They are play or paper extensions, put in there to pad resumes and show progress to managers. Major GL developers never use these extensions because they don't work. But they sound good on paper and show progress. Vendor B's extensions are a perfect demonstration of why GL extensions suck in practice.

This vendor can't get key stuff like queries or syncs to work reliably. So any extension that relies on syncs for CPU/GPU synchronization aren't workable. The driver devs remaining at this vendor pine to work at Vendor A.

Vendor B can't update its driver without breaking something. They will send you updates or hotfixes that fix one thing but break two other things. If you single step into one of this driver's entrypoints you'll notice layers upon layers of cruft tacked on over the years by devs who are no longer at the company. Nobody remaining at vendor B understands these barnacle-like software layers enough to safely change them.

I've occasionally seen bizarre things happen on Vendor B's driver when replaying GL call streams of shipped titles into this driver using voglreplay. The game itself will work fine, but when the GL callstream is replayed we'll see massive framebuffer corruption (that goes away if we flush the GL pipeline after every draw). My guess: this driver is probably using app profiles to just turn off entire features that are just too buggy.

Interestingly, Vendor B has a tiny tools team that actually makes some pretty useful debugging tools that actually work much of the time - as long as you are using vendor B's GPU. Without Vendor B's tools togl and Source1 Linux would have taken much longer to ship.

This could be a temporary development, but Vendor B's driver seems to be on a downward trend on the reliability axis. (Yes, it can get worse!)

On the bright side, and believe it or not, Vendor B knows the OpenGL spec inside and out - to the syllable. If you can get them to assist you, their advice is more or less reasonable about plain GL matters (not extensions).

Vendor C - Driver #1

It's hard to ever genuinely get angry at Vendor C. They don't really want to do graphics, it's really just a distraction from their historically core business, but the trend is to integrate everything onto one die and they have plenty of die space to spare. They are masters at hardware, but at software they aren't all that interested really. They are the leaders in the open source graphics driver space, and their hardware specs are almost completely public. These folks actually have so much money and their org charts are so deep and wide they can afford two entirely different driver teams! (That's right - for this vendor, on one platform you get GL driver #1, and another you get GL driver #2, and they are completely different codebases and teams.)

Anyhow, this vendor's HR team is smart: it directly hires open source wiz kids to keep driver #1 plodding forward. This driver is the least advanced of the major drivers, but it more or less works as long as you don't understand or care what "FPS" means. If it doesn't work and you're really motivated you can git your hands dirty and try to fix it and submit a patch. If you're really good at fixing this driver and submitting patches then you may get a job offer from this vendor.

Anyhow, driver #1 is unfortunately pretty far behind on the GL standard, but maybe in 1-2 years they'll catch up and implement the spec as of last year. But you can't ignore this driver because they have a significant and strategically growing market share. So as a developer who wants to reach this market, you can't afford to use those fancy extensions or the latest trendy "modern" GL supported by vendors A and B. You must do a min() operation across all the drivers and in many cases this driver gates what you can do.

Vendor C has no GL tools at all for either platform. Sorry - want to debug that graphics problem you're having? Welcome to 1999.

Vendor C - Driver #2

A complete disaster. This team's driver is barely used by any titles because GL on this platform is totally a second class citizen, so many codepaths in there just don't work. They can't update a buffer without massive, random corruption. This team will do stuff like give you a different, unique, buggy driver drop for every title in your back catalog for perf analysis or testing. This team will honestly ask you if "perf" or "correctness" is more important.

I've seen one well-known engine team spend over a year attempting to get their latest GL 4.x+trendy extensions backend working at all on this team's driver. Hey guys - this driver just doesn't work, just move on already and implement a plain GL 3.x backend with workarounds (just like togl and other shipping titles do today).

On the bright side, Vendor C feeds this driver team more internal information about their hardware than the other team. So it tends to be a few percent faster than driver #1 on the same title/hardware - when it works at all.

Re:Ex-Valve Rich disagreed: Intel was more open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230921)

I don't see how that's a disagreement in any form. He said that closed Nvidia driver works best (for a given value of 'best'), which is true - and he didn't say anything about open source drivers, which is the other item claimed by the article besides performance.

Re:Ex-Valve Rich disagreed: Intel was more open (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 months ago | (#47231957)

Also if you are a gamer why spend lots of money on a gaming PC and then live with shitty performance because you pick the open-source driver (even if it would be no more shitty than the AMD drivers)?

AKA: If you play advanced games get an Nvidia card and run the proprietary drivers.

Now if you don't play games do you really need a graphics card in the first place? Likely not. So get the integrated Intel or AMD graphics depending on your choice of processor. (And you could always leave AMD in the cold there too ..)

I've always thought (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230845)

There really isn't any reason ever to go with something other than the tried and true combination of Intel+Nvidia. If you are one of those people that has to be contrary for the sake of being contrary, you need to grow up, and stop building gimped computers. It just isn't worth it.

I had to switch to nvidia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47230905)

I had an AMD HD 6850 card that ran great on Windows, but could not run any game respectably in Linux. I was burned out waiting, so I bought an nvidia Geforce 750 ti, and now I can play games in Linux using the nvidia drivers from the website. This newer nvidia card is about the same performance as my old 6850 and it does not use any extra connectors from the power supply.

Re:I had to switch to nvidia (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47231009)

I was burned out waiting, so I bought an nvidia Geforce 750 ti, and now I can play games in Linux using the nvidia drivers from the website. This newer nvidia card is about the same performance as my old 6850

Just getting facts straight: actually that NVIDIA card is 50% faster than your old AMD card. Still though, the GTX 750 Ti is a chip with reasonable price and fantastic performance/watt ratio, so congratulations on the upgrade. :)

Re:I had to switch to nvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47232149)

I don't know where you get that 50% faster stat, because I could tell the difference in speed using both cards in the same system. The old AMD HD 6850 256 bit card got more frames for shooters and 3D RPGs than the Geforce 750 ti 128 bit, while strategy titles performed about the same. I was very happy with the HD 6850 performance, but wanted nvidia for Linux. I mostly play Civ V these days, so really strategy is the only genre I care about anymore.

Re:I had to switch to nvidia (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47232191)

I got the numbers from videocardbenchmark.net. :)

direct open vs closed comparison (1)

bigmo (181402) | about 4 months ago | (#47230917)

I didn't go through every page so I might have missed it, but were there any tests done using the same game or benchmarks for both closed and open source drivers? It looked like the previous article was using a completely different set of games than this test.

Anybody have links to actual apples to apples comparison? I'm using mostly amd cards for reasons that don't have anything to do with gaming but are opengl based. I'd like to get some idea just how far behind the open drivers are from the closed drivers on any recent fairly high end amd card. I know it depends on exactly what features are used and if a feature isn't available the fps will be zero.

thanks.

impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231085)

They got a video driver to work with Linux? I'm impressed. I gave up after many years of futile attempts. The only video hardware that has ever been stable for me is the Intel motherboard graphics. Fortunately that's all I need.

I guess if you had absolutely nothing better to do than try to figure out the Byzantine prerequisites and install process, get dumped to a command line every time you upgraded the kernel and left to try to get graphics working again, and suffer constant screen freezes and lockups, it would be doable, but for someone who does not have time for that, it's a nightmare.

Wat (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 4 months ago | (#47231095)

Open-source fans are encouraged to use AMD hardware on Linux while those just wanting the best performance and overall experience should see NVIDIA with their binary driver.

You should definitely chose White. Or Black. Definitely.

Chicken or the Egg (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about 4 months ago | (#47231185)

This seems to always have been a "Chicken of the Egg" problem for Linux.
We want major game titles to run on Linux, but vendors won't port because there isn't a large enough Linux user base; There isn't a large Linux user base because the quality of what is there is often inferior (dues to running in wine, bad/neglected drivers, etc) to Windows.

Re:Chicken or the Egg (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47232131)

Steam has SEVERAL major games that run on Linux.

Re:Chicken or the Egg (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about 4 months ago | (#47232203)

Of course there are a few here or there. The point I was trying to make was that the titles that are available cross-platform usually don't run as well on Linux as their windows counterpart due to the drivers.

Companies don't put the money into better driver development for Linux because the user base isn't there.

Media Playback (not Gaming) (1)

crow (16139) | about 4 months ago | (#47231209)

These reviews are nice, but they always focus on gaming. There's very little information for media playback.

How well do each of these drivers do with accelerated playback of MPEG2, MPEG4, and other formats? If given a 1080i source, can they produce a real 1080i stream to the display, or will the alternating fields get reversed? (I have an older CRT HDTV that is 1080i native. With newer displays, it's good to have the option of letting the display handle deinterlacing.)

If I want to build a low-power media player, what are my options for video hardware and drivers?

Re:Media Playback (not Gaming) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231791)

No currently existing graphics driver can correctly do hardware accelerated interlaced video playback in X11.

However, with software decoding it is trivial. Just do a double weave and never worry about reversed fields again.

At least... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231213)

Nvidia has provided a quality driver for Linux and has for over a decade, I cannot say the same about AMD.

Virtualization! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231323)

The main reason for going with AMD for me is Xen passthrough to a Windows 7 guest.

NVIDIA crippled their cards passthrough to be crashy unless you get a GRID/Quattro card. Oddly, removing resistors on gaming cards with the same GPU so they report a GRID device ID makes passthrough work.

As a life-long NVIDIA user (discounting my voodoo/3dfx cards), i'm jumping ship for the passthrough gaming goodness.

New AMD driver model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231821)

I wonder how this will help out AND in the long run: http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/14/03/22/1840228/amd-develops-new-linux-open-source-driver-model

thanks, its been a few days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47231907)

Just in case we've all forgotten lets bring this up again..
and again
and again
and again

Opensource is over-rated as a gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47232007)

I went through this issue a year ago when I bought my GTX660. I could get an ATI equivalent card cheaper, but I'd rather have something that works than something that doesn't but cost less. One of my main reasons for upgrading was my prior card as an ATI one with crappy Linux support.

ATI Linux support sucks.

I use Linux Mint, and I don't care if under the hood its open source, closed source or endangered rhinos. I love just opening my steam client, clicking on any game of choice and getting perfect performance, regardless if its Metro First Light or Serious Sam or Starcraft (Ok not Steam, but still works fine through wine).

And water is wet (1)

opus_magnum (1688810) | about 4 months ago | (#47232021)

news at 11.

"At least the performance per watt was comparable" (1)

Vektuz (886618) | about 4 months ago | (#47232049)

I'm pretty sure I could underclock my nvidia card to be as slow and shitty as the AMD card and the performance per watt would be comparable too.

Multi monitor SLI still not working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47232119)

It's been all this time and multi-monitor (sorry, "TwinView") and SLI is still not supported [nvidia.com] ? I'm starting to give up hope that it ever will be. My options are to either get a new, single, video card; or reconfigure X and lose my extra monitors while I'm in-game, and then do it again when I'm done; or just not use SLI at all. It was supported on Windows Vista [geforce.com] , for crying out loud.

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