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How To Request Better ATI Linux Support

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the worth-a-try dept.

Graphics 192

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Larabel, the editor of Phoronix, has outlined some strategies for contacting ATI's customers (OEM/ODM/AIBs) to seek ATI Linux fglrx driver improvements. He opines that contacting ATI or AMD directly is the 'wrong approach.' He also states, 'I know for certain that at least one major OEM would like to see improved Linux support but is afraid that the Windows support would then be at risk.' Michael cites examples from the past where Lenovo had sought improved Linux display drivers, which resulted in several new features last year. He provides links to the feedback pages for a number of the vendors to whom ATI actually does listen."

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Buy NVidia (3, Insightful)

dusty123 (538507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426211)

Simple: If you buy a Linux desktop, take care that it has a graphic card from NVidia. These drivers may not be open source, however they are easy to install, work and have a decent performance.

Not realy accurate statement. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426293)

The Intel onboard video cards are quite sufficient for modern Linux desktop.

They have completely and 100% open and free software drivers.
They are ahead of Nvidia when it comes to Linux desktop support. They will support sleep better, then will support hotplugging monitors better (when support for that sort of thing is added in X.org 7.3).
They supported technology like AIGLX before Nvidia.
They are quite fast enough for 3D desktop. The onboard GMA 950 can comfortably run either compiz or beryl 3d desktops with high efficiency.
As the display technology for Linux progresses the Intel onboard video cards will be the first.

Other advantages over Nvidia propriatory drivers include that they are much more inexpensive. The motherboards they come on have much better Linux support then the typical motherboards you find Nvidia onboard video drivers.
Laptops with Intel onboard video drivers will have advantages in price and battery life as well as stability when it comes to sleep and other advanced power management features.

The advantage that Nvidia video cards have over Intel is performance.

If you require performance for LInux desktop that goes beyond free software 3d games and good 3d desktop support and have requirements for newer video games or need 3d performance for your work then you have no choice but to buy nvidia.

There exists no open source 3d drivers that can support high end 3d performance nearly as well as what Nvidia provides.

But if your looking for cost effective and stable (much more stable then Nvidia) 2d/3d performance then Intel onboard video cards are the logical choice.

Plus they are open source.

Using Intel hardware I have absolutely no need for any propriatory software to drive my hardware. No SATA drivers, no video drivers, no wireless drivers, no nic card drivers, or no audio drivers need to be proprietory in any way.

(Intel is no freind of Free software, or realy even open source. They just see the financial advantage to supporting Linux properly.)

The current chipset for Linux to look for if you want as trouble free install as possible is the Intel 945g with the integrated GMA 950 video device. For non-bog-standard resolutions (ie widescreen) you will need to use the 915resolution hack for now, but this should go away in the future.

For special setups (for onboard devices) such as TV/componate/HD-out, DVI-out, and even dual DVI out you can purchase ADD2 cards for those features which plug into the PCI express port and interface the onboard intel cards. I don't know how well these work, but I am told by X.org folks that they _should_ work and will be _very_ interested if they don't.

Oh, and stay the fuck away from ATI. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426333)

IF ATI had open source drivers, even if they sucked as much as the current FLGLX drivers I would recommend them over Nvidia.

This is because if they did have open source drivers, they wouldn't remain bad for very long.

Currently all free softawre drivers for Nvidia and ATI (except for 'nv' driver) has to be reverse engineered from hardware that is purchased well after they are relased to the public.

therefore it's a miracle they work at all. But as it stands open source drivers exist for R200 up though the R480 video cards (the ATI 8700 thru ATI x800) and although those drivers are slow, they do offer good 3d desktop support and are more stable then ATI's propriatory stuff.

Re:Oh, and stay the fuck away from ATI. (2, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426811)

I've have been a big fan of nVidia on Windows for quite a while because their drivers are simply better. ATI has made huge improvements on Windows in the last couple years, though. It doesn't surprise me that nVidia also has better Linux drivers, too. I'm hoping that with enough coaxing, ATI will indeed open source their Linux drivers in an attempt to take back (yes back!) more marketshare from nVidia.

nVidia used to be a tech support nightmare back in '97. Gateway 2000 used them on a lot of their system and the drivers were always screwing up. I think I did more nVidia driver reinstalls than any other single thing. They got serious about quality of their drivers and now they are some of the best. ATI could take this a step further by open sourcing their drivers (at least the Linux ones.)

I'd even bet that if ATI open sourced their Linux drivers, they'd be better than the Windows ones within 2 years, and within 4, they would be the basis of the Windows drivers, which would probably then go open source as well. (These are pessimistic numbers, because I'm not much of a betting man.)

So if I'm an nVidia fan, why am I saying that I hope ATI will do this? Simple: ATI has always had better hardware. All it would take for me to change loyalty would be to have ATI open source their drivers. I'd go buy one of their best cards tomorrow if they open sourced today. (I tend to be an early adopter. Go Feisty Fawn!)

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426355)

if your looking for cost effective and stable (much more stable then Nvidia)
The Nvidia drivers were a tad unstable not so very long ago, but in my experience they've been rock solid for the last couple of years. And this is on Gentoo, with heavily customised kernels etc.

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (1)

camcorder (759720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426431)

You don't need driver for wireless? Theorically correct, however you need firmware anyways, which make it practically incorrect.

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426531)

Using Intel hardware I have absolutely no need for any propriatory software to drive my hardware.
OK, now you're either trolling or you work for Intel. The Intel onboard graphics suck ass on a Mac Mini... my Powerbook's ATI Mobility Radeon card runs circles around it and frankly, that's sad considering the Mac Mini should be much faster.

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (1)

porl (932021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426871)

I can't actually see any reference to speed in the GP's post...

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427747)

Hmmmm... Intel onboard graphics run quite quick for the standard stuff I do on my Linux PC.

I do watch quite a bit of video on it as well.

Why should your Mini be faster than your powerbook?

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (1)

pato101 (851725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426551)

hey are quite fast enough for 3D desktop. The onboard GMA 950 can comfortably run either compiz or beryl 3d desktops with high efficiency.
As far as I know, not with vsync though. Vsync is a must when you try it once.
However your points about opensource-ness are not refutable :). Hope the drivers keep improving. Nevertheless when talking about performance... the Intel cards are comparable to nvidia ones? I mean from hardware point of view- I'm not sure if gaming performance lack is due to drivers or to the card themselves.

I game with the Intel GMA 950.. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426695)

I tell you my experiances.

I am using Debian unstable, which currently uses the X.org 7.1 release.

The drivers that are supplied with that are not well optimized. They are good for compiz and can run Beryl very well, even with high amounts of eye candy except (almost everything turned on) for the one or two features that require special shading support. (basicly water effects).

It is capable of playing Quake2 and Quake3 well.
Return to Castle Wolfenstien is _very_ playable.
Enemy Territory is starting to push it and my currently favorite game, which is a full modification called True Combat: Elite is barely playable (it adds several more advanced features to the ET like HD lighting)

Nexuiz is not realy playable. Tremulous is fine, warsow is very playable. Cube/Cube2 is mostly playable except certain levels.

Benchmarks suggest that they offer decent enough performance for UT2k3 and UT2k4, but I don't know that for a fact.

If you use:
export INTEL_BATCH=1
and run 16bit RGB then everything is mostly playable. Also manually allocating memory to AGP and Texture stuff helps. And then allocating memory to a special buffer will enable HD-sized XV support. (see the 810 man file) A little tweaking is very helpfull. Expect a 75% boost in performance from that alone.

Now X.org, DRI, and Mesa folks (the DRI drivers are basicly made by taking Mesa and accelerating what they can), are working on efficient ways to manage video card memory, which is required for newer cards and usage patterns.

They are working on a special branch of DRI drivers called 915tex_dri.so (were the normal is just 915_dri.so). This adds lots of optimizations and efficient dynamic memory management and allocation. Using this you get quite a performance boost over the default drivers.

ET is very playable. As is True Combat: Elite and you rarely get framerates that drop below 20FPS. I keep my framerates limited at 70FPS and most of the time it's sitting at that limit.

If your using LCD display there is no point beyond having the limit set at 60 FPS. But you need to have good performance to keep it dropping down under 30FPS for good online play.

So the drivers are definately improving. I am expecting good things to happen with X.org 7.3. But due to the shared memory sceme and lack of accelerated texture and lighting effects these things will never be usefull for gaming, not like most 'gamers' expect.

Now with the GMA X3000 aviable with G965 video cards they will offer acceptable gaming performance once the drivers are optimized. They offer hardware acceleration for texture and lighting effects as well as shader support and other such things.

Technology-wise, at least on paper, they are on par with ATI's and Nvidia's entry-level video cards.

You can find benchmarks on Phoronix for the GMA 3000, which is from the Q965, which is a bit lower end then the X3000. It completely lacks T&L hardware acceleration and other such features. So it's sort of like a X3000 core, but with the GMA 950 features.

The X3000 should perform better then that, by quite a bit, but I don't think right now the drivers are realy all that optimized. Not until the memory management stuff gets worked out. Then it should meet the lower end requirements for Doom3 and Quake4 pretty well. At least enough to be playable.

But realy if your a 'gamer' that is more then casual then Nvidia is about it.

The nice thing about this is that you can get a 945G motherboard right now, get good 3d/2d support and if it doesn't work out for you then a Nvidia card is a easy add on.

Probably with Feisty the G965-based motherboards will probably be a good choice, but unfortunately I don't own one right now for personal testing. If Ubuntu was smart they'd be paying close attention to those chipsets, especially since they will be in the majority of next-generation laptops that people will be trying to use Ubuntu with.

Can't find 'em (1, Insightful)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426887)

I've never seen an Intel onboard video card on any AMD compatible motherboard...

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (2, Informative)

psxman (925240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426971)

An additional little bit I should mention:
Intel graphics cards, to the best of my knowledge, only come on Intel motherboards, which are only compatible with Intel CPUs. As AMD and ATI have merged, this means that buying Intel graphics cards causes ATI/AMD to lose out on three sales, not just the graphics card.

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (2, Funny)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427175)

Aren't you supposed to be posting this in the Opinion Center: Intel [tm] section?

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427189)

"They supported technology like AIGLX before Nvidia."

That isn't true, nVidia's driver have supported accelerating Indirect GLX since long before development of the 'AIGLX' project started in the OSS drivers. The only thing nVidia was lacking was the GLX_texture_from_pixmap extension that was created recently for compiz/gl-compositors (which really is unrelated to accelerating indirect glx).

Re:Not realy accurate statement. (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427519)

> They are quite fast enough for 3D desktop

Are they fuck. Ever tried playing doom on one? hahaha.

RTFP! (2, Insightful)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427813)

If you require performance for LInux desktop that goes beyond free software 3d games and good 3d desktop support and have requirements for newer video games or need 3d performance for your work then you have no choice but to buy nvidia.

There exists no open source 3d drivers that can support high end 3d performance nearly as well as what Nvidia provides.

But if your looking for cost effective and stable (much more stable then Nvidia) 2d/3d performance then Intel onboard video cards are the logical choice.


He concedes the performance point, but merely says Intel is fast enough for desktop use. I don't play doom, so I really could care less if my Intel video is fast enough to play it. ... cue car analogy...
It is fast enough in the same way that my 92 Accord is fast enough to get me to work and back every day. It isn't as fast as a (insert high performance sports car here), but it gets me where I am going reliably and quickly enough (faster than one can legally go in my jurisdiction).

Re:Buy NVidia (5, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426299)

I basically have to agree. nVidia drivers now seem to work well, after much pain over the years. They even managed to open up their development process up a tiny little bit by leaking beta drivers. Kind of like a prude who secretly has a little on the side anyway.

Nonetheless, it behooves us to fight the good fight and annoy the shit out of graphics card manufacturers to reveal the eleven secret herbs and spices so we can fully enjoy the hardware we paid for. Discriminating against crappy support is a step.

Re:Buy NVidia (1)

Hilbert24 (1070128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426353)

Nothing beats a company more than competition. Buy a hardware that supports Linux better and mention it as loudly as you can. In all likelihood you aren't going to suffer as a hardware supporting Linux will (usually) support Windows as well.

Re:Buy NVidia (5, Informative)

grolschie (610666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426395)

Agreed. I am not trolling when I say that I believe ATI cannot even make stable drivers and software for the Windows platform. I will never again buy an ATI product after all the hassles I have had in both Windows and Linux with their so-called drivers. :-(

Re:Buy NVidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426831)

You are 100% correct. I used to be a dedicated ATI buyer, but got fed up with their drivers. Tried it again when the Radeon chips came out - the drivers are no better. ATI, the problem is not your chip speed or amount of RAM - plain and simple: your software team SUCKS!

Re:Buy NVidia (5, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426419)

I also agree, but there are open source 2D drivers for nvidia... True, they aren't nearly as complete, but for basic stuff they work fine.

I really don't want DRIVERS from ATI or NVidia though, I want DOCS. We hear all sorts of whining about proprietary secret data, blah blah blah, but I DON'T CARE. If you want to sell me a fucking device, release the damn docs already. This goes for all the winmodems, winprinters, winscanners, wincameras, winwifi cards, winethernet, winsound cards, winkeyboards, winmice, winharddrive controllers too!!! I'm not buying WINDOWS hardware, I'm buying COMPUTER hardware. I want to be able to use it with ANY operating system. There is nothing so damn secret about how to program your device that would put you at a competitive disadvantage if everyone is releasing information. And if there really is? Tough shit. That is the price of being in the business.

Re:Buy NVidia (2, Insightful)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426535)

It is this kind of wording and this kind of claims that keeps so many hardware manufacturers from supporting Linux.

I would mod you up. (1, Troll)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426861)

You hit the spot. At the end, that constant whining gets frustrating. Those stupid kids who does not get out of their mom basements think they are a majority... Of course this is slashdot and this is where all of them come to whine and cheer up each other. Groupthinking or Sheepthinking as I like to call it.

If these companies do not want or cant release they open source drivers then great, it is up to you to buy or not to buy their products, but whining is not going to solve anything.

Re:I would mod you up. (0, Flamebait)

Cylix (55374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426931)

mod parent -1 non-groupthink

Re:I would mod you up. (4, Insightful)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427891)

That's a pretty strange opinion really. Sure, *whining* isn't going to solve anything, but how is this whining? The GGP has a point when he asks for documentation so he can make the hardware he bought actually work, but even if you disagree with that and think that he doesn't, you shouldn't troll him by labelling his opinion as "whining" simply because you don't agree with it.

Re:Buy NVidia (4, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427293)

Frankly, that's total bullshit and you know it. Developers have been asking politely for years, and the problem has gotten WORSE, not better. It used to be that you could get technical programming docs for damn near EVERYTHING. Now it's the other way around where it's nearly impossible to get technical docs for ANYTHING. Manufacturers that used to cooperate are no longer doing so. It has NOTHING to do with user attitude and ALL to do with manufacturers wanting to keep data secret from competitors (which is short sighted, as their competitors have the know how to reverse engineer if they wish), and thinking that it's too costly to maintain public documents. It is also an attitude that everyone uses windows, and therefore releasing docs serves no purpose.

Re:Buy NVidia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427499)

If anything it has gone backwards. You used to be able to get full technical and programming documentation from Matrox for their entire range of cards upto the G400 via. a very easy to join Developer Relations program. About two years ago now they "re-organised" their site and dropped the entire DevRel program. Now you can't get the Matrox documentation from Matrox for love nor money. Just what was the point of that, I wonder?

Re:Buy NVidia (2, Insightful)

andyr0ck (847274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426555)

yep, the open source nv ones work just fine for 2D. personally, since nvidia started the use of their 'installer', i've not had a single problem installing the drivers on slackware, which traditionally always requires a custom module to be built as there's no precompiled ones included. i recently borrowed a lovely acer laptop from work (travelmate 8100) and have had nothing but problems with the ATI X700 in it. i came at the problem with an open mind and tried installing ATI's proprietary drivers in all the possible methods and troubleshooting the process when it failed but after a few days worth of chewing up my spare time with it, i fell back to Xorg's broken (well, it is in slack 11 anyway) radeon driver without 3D. i already had an nvidia bias but thought i'd give ATI a fair chance to persuade me otherwise (i'm a fair bloke). no such luck.

back to my point; yes, i'd love open drivers for nvidia. it'd be fair to say they'd most likely see a surge in sales if they went down this path. but that's not their business model so it's not going to happen anytime soon. on the other hand, they sell a solid PRODUCT. a product isn't just the hardware but the software also and, in my experience, they're worth the money i've forked out for them. i know other people's mileage varies a lot but their prodcuts 'just plain work' for me. that's what keeps me buying.

Re:Buy NVidia (1)

k8to (9046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426993)

Note that the "open source" 2d drivers for nvidia are largely unmaintainable (by those without inside knowledge) precisely because of the lack of documentation. Documentation for products purchased is a reasonable baseline expectation from a manufacturer. We need to insist on this point.

Re:Buy NVidia (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427343)

Documentation for products purchased is a reasonable baseline expectation from a manufacturer. We need to insist on this point.

Only for you, most of us dont give a crap as it works fine with the proprietary drivers they ship. In fact, most people are windows users so have never even been exposed to this debate.

Personally I run gentoo and the proprietary nvidia driver is fine, if I ever have a problem I might start complaining (to nvidia), but in the 3 years I have bought nvidia cards they have never given me any issues.

Re:Buy NVidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427199)

From your comment, I bet if you were working for nvidia you'd be screaming "If you don't like it, don't buy it. Tough shit." etc.

Nvidia and ATI don't owe you anything.

Re:Buy NVidia (0, Flamebait)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427255)

Slashdot needs a new moderation option - (-100) moron.

You bought it knowing it was a closed spec device, tough shit. If you dont like it buy something else.

Re:Buy NVidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427815)

There is nothing so damn secret about how to program your device that would put you at a competitive disadvantage if everyone is releasing information. And if there really is? Tough shit. That is the price of being in the business.

Seeing as they're the ones hauling truckloads of cash, I'd beg to differ. The tough shit, as it is, is placed on the linux nerds. The price of being in the business at the moment is clearly not releasing open source drivers, otherwise I don't believe AMD would have lobbed more than 5 billion dollars after ATI, who would be out of business because they wouldn't pay the price of opensourcing their drivers.

Said in another way: I call bullshit. The market has clearly shown that it disagrees with you proposed price of being in the business.

We can all hope that changes, and if you can influence hardware buyers to opt for HW with OS-drivers, then by all means, go ahead. Hell, incest enough money in AMD/ATI or nvidia to have your say in the company. That would be putting your money behind your word: If you invest heavily in a business and then try to alter it in a way that you believe will make the business more lucrative, then you will have your expenses covered plus a nice little condo in Paris.

Re:Buy NVidia (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427843)

Godsdamn. Even though I went anon it undid my moderations.

At any rate, What I meant was *INVEST*, obviously. You can't incest money. (or can you?)

Re:Buy NVidia (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426509)

Yea, except NVidia is crap and too expensive. I can't afford that. But then again, I've never had any problems with ATI's drivers from their website in Linux, so....

Re:Buy NVidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426611)

Simple: If you buy a Linux desktop, take care that it has a graphic card from NVidia. These drivers may not be open source, however they are easy to install, work and have a decent performance.

If I wanted binary only, I would be downloading my drivers from Windows Update.

I don't. That's why I bought an ATI card.

I prefer 60 FPS (vsync, 60 hz flat screen) hardware accelerated 3D over the 3 SPF (That's seconds per frame) the lousy nVidia drivers deliver.

Re:Buy NVidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427111)

This might be the dumbest and most shortsighted thing I've ever read, even for Slashdot!

Have you guys completely lost sight of the big picture?

We are doing OPEN SOURCE here. FREE SOFTWARE. Not binary blobs!

clueless... as usuall

Re:Buy NVidia (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427481)

I used to agree, however recently I had the choice of no upgrade or a laptop with a FireGL V5200. I already was on a laptop with ATI, but the older generation where there are usable DRI drivers (before ATI ceased providing information essentially).

So fglrx I had last tried caused occasional hangs on VT switches, hung on gdmflexiserver, and did nothing for sleep so the ATI chip was chugging down 5 watts of power in ACPI suspend. On resume the graphics would occasionally be corrupted. Just everything was wrong.

So I tried them again (had no choice), with 8.34.8. Now sleep the whole laptop uses 400 mW without me having to bend over bacwards, gdmflexiserver has yet to crash, I have not seen video corruption (this is Feisty after I set SAVE_VBE_STATE=false and POST_VIDEO=false, methods to work around some cards, but in this case essentially letting fglrx take care of it all, like I do for an nVidia system).

Maybe it's because of Lenovo demands, but my recent ATI driver has actually been on par with my nVidia driver experiences now. With the *very* notable exception of a complete lack of AIGLX, or even more basic Composite support. Feature wise they are still missing those, but it seems they have demonstrated the *capacity* for a decent driver at least...

Mail in your proof of purchase (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426225)

These days email is cheap and simple. A real snail-mail letter grabs attention.

Get yogether with your buddies and collect a pile of ATI and competitor proofs of purchase.

With the ATI ones say that you are a customer and would really like to see Linux support. With all the competitor ones, say that you would have bought ATI but for the driver issue. make sure you youtube it, blog it,...

Re:Mail in your proof of purchase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426325)

These days email is cheap and simple. A real snail-mail letter grabs attention.


Oh, actually it depends on how good their servers are set up for these web page feedback forms. After all he did request that Slashdot readers use them for feedback. Of course snail mail can have a strong effect, after all it got Kris Kringle off.

I doubt that it would work (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426423)

I doubt that it would work. As far as ATI is concerned, the market for people who are (A) building their computer from components, _and_ (B) run Linux on it, _and_ (C) didn't buy a cheap 9200 or 5200, is very very very small. Especially look at that last part. Keeping even 1000 people satisfied when they bought the cheapest chip and made you barely a couple of bucks each, hardly justifies the salaries of a driver team.

I know, we all like to think that the customer is king, and that just because you have a proof of purchase for an old $30 graphics card, it means that a major corporation must bend over backwards for you and catter to your every whim. They should instantly hire a big team to code whatever you fancy today, open-source all their programs... Why, they should even come over and do your laundry. Dream on.

When cattering to mass-markets, you have to think in terms of ROI. If it costs X dollars to do something, will you even get those X dollars back? Is it likely that you'll even make a profit? If not, it's actually smarter to ignore that market segment.

Drivers nowadays are complex and expensive things, and frankly the Linux hobbyist market is tiny. And then they're likely to buy the lowest end card, or not even that as they're busy bitching about how binary drivers are evil.

So, basically, fully expect someone at ATI to at most have a chuckle as they dump your letter into the garbage bin.

OEM's are a whole other affair, because they move millions of boxes. If one of those says "we need linux drivers", then:

A. they probably know what their many corporate customers want. Dunno, maybe some major corporation or government department decided to standardize their desktop on Linux and actually needs 3D accelerated drivers. Basically if a big OEM bitches, they probably aren't doing it out of zealotry and fanboyism, but they know something about demand that you don't. You listen and take notes when those guys speak. And,

B. even if not, you want to listen to those anyway, because they're the guys who make your money. They're the "R" in "ROI". The last thing you want is Dell or IBM (Lenovo) standardizing exclusively on nVidia cards because you told them to fuck off when they complained that lack of Linux drivers hamstrings their server sales. If that were to happen, you'll see a big dip on your income chart, and the mere rumour would make your shares dive and the shareholders demand blood and rolling heads.

Basically you'll have a chance with your proofs of purchase when you fit at least one of the two criteria, preferrably both.

Re:I doubt that it would work (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427151)

Drivers nowadays are complex and expensive things, and frankly the Linux hobbyist market is tiny. And then they're likely to buy the lowest end card, or not even that as they're busy bitching about how binary drivers are evil.

If that was true, NVIDIA & ATI wouldn't even have written their binary drivers. But they did, and they maintain them, and Intel even wrote an open-source one ! What you're missing is that Linux isn't easily segmented into markets. The "hobbyists" are the ones fixing the bugs for the pro market, and the pro market just wants something working and maintained, so keeping the hobbyists happy is important. The natural tendency towards free drivers is slow, but that will happen.

Re:I doubt that it would work (1)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427389)

the market for people who are (A) building their computer from components, _and_ (B) run Linux on it, _and_ (C) didn't buy a cheap 9200 or 5200, is very very very small.

Are you sure? I mean, I'm part of that group.. I figured there would be lots nerd types who dual boot Windows and Linux. They might use Windows for gaming and have mid/high end video card for that, but use Linux daily for normal tasks and want their expensive hardware to perform well in that environment as well.

Re:Mail in your proof of purchase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426477)

An even better approach is to use high-priority FedEx or a similar courier service to deliver your letter directly to the senior person in charge of whatever you're lobbying for. Sure it's rather expensive, but very often it bypasses all the normal filters, they actually read it, and they actually respond.

Re:Mail in your proof of purchase (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427899)

With the ATI ones say that you are a customer and would really like to see Linux support. With all the competitor ones, say that you would have bought ATI but for the driver issue. make sure you youtube it, blog it,...

I did this several times, never even got a response. I also had a ATI Video USB device, tried getting them to release the details needed to program it... no answer...

So I now buy other products and will not buy a ATI based product. If AMD management "fixes" ATI management, I might reconsider but until they are friendly to more than Microsoft they are off of my purchase list. ATI and Broadcom are on my no-buy lists.

So wich modern graphics card IS fully opensource (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426237)

Is there an actuall graphics card out there that IS capable of doing the eyecandy stuff, it don't have to do games, that is fully opensource with absolutely no binary bits.

I used to think matrox cards were the way to go but even they have a binary HAL bit that you need if you want the more advanced features needed for xgl and the likes.

Anyway the matrox cards are not supported anyway, as they are listed as missing certain features that are required.

The only lists I ever find mention ONLY nVidia and Ati cards. Yet I have seen some references that Intel was working on opensource drivers for its cards or at least hired some developers to do so.

So, is there a graphics card out there that I can use that is simply fully opensource, no hidden tricks, that is capable enough to give me the candy?

Because that would I think send the strongest message of all, if everyone who runs linux just buys a fully opensource card the others would be sure to take notice.

Intels onboard stuff is, I think. (3, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426263)

Is there an actuall graphics card out there that IS capable of doing the eyecandy stuff, it don't have to do games, that is fully opensource with absolutely no binary bits.



Intels i810 and above are. Of course you can't get any graphics cards with them, since they're onboard solutions, so you're stuck with an Intel processor too. Which may or may not be a drawback.

Re:Intels onboard stuff is, I think. (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426489)

They work fine for desktop use though. I've got one on my SLED 10 office PC, the i950 series chipset works great with the dual core processor, and yes, it runs XGL in all it's 3D-accelerated eye-candy glory. Hopefully Intel's new GMA X3000 will provide some better 3D performance for more intensive tasks though.

Obviously I'm not saying the current chips are the quickest OpenGL graphics around, but really, for 3D graphics, how many choices do we have?
* NVidia - works well, but binary only.
* ATI - works mostly, but binary only.
* Intel - works for me, open source.
* Xorg - fairly limited support for 3D acceleration.
* Commercial X-servers - either don't support current cards, or too spendy for personal use, closed source.

I'm happy enough with the ATI on my laptop, but I'm equally happy with the open source Intel on my desktop.

Re:Intels onboard stuff is, I think. (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426525)

This often causes practical problems when you want to use two screens, and/or DVI.
Even though the newest Intel onboard graphic chips actually support dual screen, the motherboards often have only a single video output connector. And it quite often still is VGA.
For example, nearly all Dell systems come with an Intel onboard video chip and have only a single VGA output. When you opt for DVI or dual-monitor, you get an add-in videocard which usually is something like an ATI X300 :-(
(it used to be nVidia FX5200 in the past)

There are a few systems with DVI-I outputs and often they have wired the analog and digital outputs to two different screens, so a splitter cable enables you to connect two monitors (with different content).
However, that is still one digital and one analog.

Re:Intels onboard stuff is, I think. (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426685)

Get a laptop that supports a docking bay.

I don't think so (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426281)

Because that would I think send the strongest message of all, if everyone who runs linux just buys a fully opensource card the others would be sure to take notice.


Listen you cockdangler. If all 3 Linux users - meaning you, Linus Torvalds, and Bruce Perens actually crowbarred your thin little wallets open and bought that card with opensource drivers - ATI/Nvidia would shrug, yawn, and roll back to sleep.

You linux cocksuckers ain't worth shit. Got it?

Re:I don't think so (0, Troll)

darinp (1076055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426343)

....You linux cocksuckers ain't worth shit. Got it? Hey! That was uncalled for. When it comes to linux people buying top end video cards we are talking maybe 10% of 10% of PC users. Now there's a market worth chasing! (figures made up, but that seems normal for /.)

Re:I don't think so (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426425)

When it comes to linux people buying top end video cards we are talking maybe 10% of 10% of PC users. Now there's a market worth chasing!


ROFLMAO! You aren't serious, are you?

It's more like 1% of 1% of the PC market at most. Face it, 1 person out of 100 runs linux. 2 more run macs. The rest run Windows because they have at least half a brain.

Now, it's known that the retards that have money AND want to buy a unix run Macs.

The rest who want to pay nothing run Linux. They obviously don't want to pay anything for a decent OS otherwise they'd be running Windows. They don't want to pay for hardware either.

I swear, I once put up a 2 year computer on Craigslist, still perfectly fine, and asked only $50 for it, since I didn't know better - it probably was worth $400 still since it was a top of the line at the time I purchased it. This fat, smelly hippy, who still drove in a beetle he probably stole in the 60's answered the ad and wanted it for free! With the monitor! After I said no, he took me aside, and said I can have a free roll in the hay with his wife, a monstrosity of a woman! Yuck. He was that cheap.

Later, my friend, a programmer, offered and bought the computer for $250 for his kid. Now, if he was programming for OSS, he might have acted the same way as the hippie. But he works for Microsoft and can afford nice things because MS is good to him, just like they are good to their customers.

But that hippie is your typical linux luser. I mean, if you had the finer things in life - a nice car, home - why would you waste time on an OS that can't even run the most basic apps in stores today?

Re:I don't think so (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427095)

You realise it's a complete waste of time saying anything anti-linux on here. This will soon turn into a Monty Python episode where they will compare you to a duck, and then test if you float or not. Ultimately you will lose and be burnt at the stake. Yes, I am comparing Linux to Monty Python.

Re:I don't think so (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426459)

Wow, an economical genius has spoken. An idiot like me could come to the conclusion that if there are two companies, which both almost hold 50% of the market, those few linux geeks might tip the balance in favour of those company, which might catch those additional 10% of PC users.

Especially since those linux geeks are no normal Joe Publics, which are content with the equipment they get at Wall-Mart and cannot even name the stuff they have in their machines.

Always a good idea to chase away potential information multiplicators.

Re:So wich modern graphics card IS fully opensourc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426479)

Intel and XGI are both modern manufacturers who provide fully Open Source drivers. Older cards include S3 Savage, Matrox cards older than the G450 (The binary Matrox HAL was dropped some time ago) and 3Dfx Voodoo 3,4 and 5 cards.

The Intel and XGI cards are decent but not exactly power-houses in 3D performance, but they're perfectly usable for Beryl or Compiz and the odd OpenGL game on Linux. Don't expect them to beat even older ATI or nVidia cards, though.

As a footnote, I'd love to be able to recommend the newer S3 Deltachrome and Gammachrome cards, which actually have fairly decent 3D performance (Better than XGI and as good as equivalent ATI and nVidia cards in some benchmarks) but S3 refuse to provide any Linux support for these cards, open or otherwise. Even for 2D only. Go figure!

Re:So wich modern graphics card IS fully opensourc (4, Informative)

RAID10 (1051554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426631)

As someone already said Intel's onboard stuff is the best out there. Especially if you are building a new computer, which propably don't have anything but pci-e slots.
With older hardware there were more options. I have an old Ati Radeon 9200 in my closet, just in case I need AGP graphics card. It's the last Radeon that works completely with open source drivers. (also 7000 and 8500 and 9000 work).

So it doesn't look too good, does it..

Well there is hope. Intel is working on discrete graphics chips. read more here [beyond3d.com] and here. [theinquirer.net]
I believe Intel has no reason to change their Linux friendly policy. So I hope they come up with a decent discrete graphics card and release open source drivers with it.
Since Intel is such a big player it just might encourage others to do the same.

Re:So wich modern graphics card IS fully opensourc (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426979)

I use an ATI radeon 9000 64 Mb with the opensource drivers and it runs the eyecandy fine. Newer radeons are supported by the r300 driver. Not the latest, but newer than mine, up to 9800 or the x800 if I remember correctly.

Matrox G550 PCIe -- fully open source, HAL not rqd (1)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427613)

Is there an actuall graphics card out there that IS capable of doing the eyecandy stuff, it don't have to do games, that is fully opensource with absolutely no binary bits.

I used to think matrox cards were the way to go but even they have a binary HAL bit that you need if you want the more advanced features needed for xgl and the likes.

You're not right about this, as HAL is entirely optional. I run the Matrox G550 PCIe [matrox.com] card *without HAL* (pure source-based Gentoo distro with the standard G550/mga kernel/X11 driver) and have all the fancy OpenGL eye-candy goodness.

But it gets even better than mere 2D eye candy. You can even run full 3D OpenGL games on this card perfectly happily and at decent frame rates, as long as the game is coded efficiently for the standard OpenGL pipeline and doesn't require programmable shaders. As an example, I run the old FPS game Cube [sourceforge.net] on this card in a slowish P4, at a very acceptable 50 FPS, and it's extremely snappy like FPS games need to be.

So don't believe everything you hear. The pure open-source Matrox driver works just great, *without* HAL.

hmm (4, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426267)

at least one major OEM would like to see improved Linux support but is afraid that the Windows support would then be at risk.

Hmm, could it be Dell?

Re:hmm (1)

u.hertlein (111825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426403)

at least one major OEM would like to see improved Linux support but is afraid that the Windows support would then be at risk.

Whoever that is maybe it's a consolation that the ATI Windows OpenGL drivers are pretty crappy as well. As is ATI's responsiveness to pleas for better drivers for professional purposes (vis-sim community namely).

Until that changes I'll always go with and recommend nvidia.

Intel cards are already open source (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426301)

I don't know if you can get Intel graphic cards for your desktop (I got one onboard on my laptop, the 915GM one), but it works like a charm, actually better on Linux (out of the box) than on Windows (I had to hunt the driver as I lost the drivers CD).

Re:Intel cards are already open source (1)

Mukunda_NZ (1078231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426545)

There are Intel graphics cards available built in to desktop motherboards, a bought a machine making sure it had one actually, so that I could use gNewSense. The ATI Free software graphics drivers unfortunately require a small proprietary binary blob to run, would be nice if ATI would put that firmware under a free license. I'm watching the nvidia Free software driver project though, hopefully that'll turn out well and I may get an nvidia card at some point.

In other words... (5, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426309)

If you want Linux drivers, you have to let these companies know:

ASUS [asus.com]
Lenovo [lenovo.com]
HP [hp.com]
Power Color [tul.com.tw]
HIS Tech [hisdigital.com]
Sapphire [sapphiretech.com]

The suggested letter is:

Subject: Product Feedback

To whom it may concern,

I recently purchased one of your [graphics cards || notebooks || desktops] that had contained an ATI GPU. While I realize your products are catered toward Microsoft Windows users as they are your largest consumer base, I wish to use this product with Linux. I had used the [your model number for their product] with the ATI Linux drivers, and while they have improved a great deal recently, I still feel there is much room for improvement. The drivers in their current form run much slower under Linux than Windows, lack support for AIGLX (a visual desktop feature), and other features found within the Windows Catalyst drivers but not Linux.

I do realize you may not officially support Linux and that you have limited control over the development of these drivers, but I would kindly ask that you forward this comment to AMD and that you ask them to channel additional resources to the development of these drivers. In good time you should make Linux support from AMD a requirement. Another step that I would hope to see is including the ATI Linux display drivers on your support/driver CD. As the adoption of Linux on desktops continues to increase, I hope you are able to jointly improve your Linux presence with ATI/AMD.

[your name]

Do not copy the "suggested letter" (2, Insightful)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426759)

The suggested letter is:
Try to describe the issue in your own words instead. A thousand template letters screams "astroturf" instead of "concerned customers".

Re:Do not copy the "suggested letter" (1, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426803)

Well it is better then.

Hay [Company Name]

You guys are such jerks. Get with the times man! Open Source is everything release GNU Drivers for your [video card model] now or you will be sorry in the future. Unless you change I am not going to get any of your crap, and I am going to warn everyone from buying your junk. Common you guys can be 1337 too!!!!!!

from
[your slashdot alias]

Re:Do not copy the "suggested letter" (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427039)

Yes and no. Thousands of form letters also tell a company that the segement of their user base that has concerns is somewhat organized. That in and of itself can be a scary thing.

Ideally you are correct and those who have the language skills should use their own words. Having a form letter to copy and paste is a good thing for people who have a hard time expressing themselves in writing though.

Re:Do not copy the "suggested letter" (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427125)

I absolutely agree with you that anyone who can eloquently express their views in their own writing should do so. I think there's no doubt that there's a number of people who are better represented by the default letter, though. Not because they don't care about the issue enough, but because they lack the written language skills required. They probably still have enough money to buy computers though, so they're still worth listening to!

What is "astroturfing", anyway? Anyone who bothers to send the letter obviously cares, and there's not really any unscrupulous companies pushing for free software drivers, so no one is getting paid to send the emails. Since when is thousands of legitimate customers or would-be customers requesting something from a company known as "astroturfing"?

GREAT! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426323)

now who do we contact to get them to write good windows drivers?

Driver support can mean increased sales (1)

gavink42 (1000674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426349)

Better yet, the hardware manufacturers should give thought to the large number of Linux systems out here, and provide drivers on that basis alone. They might be surprised to find that their sales increase!

It stands to reason that most people would rather buy the card with decent driver support, than the one without.

Re:Driver support can mean increased sales (1)

hellsDisciple (889830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426373)

Yes and the converse of this is also true. I had a beautiful Radeon Sapphire 9800 256MB card which I used to use occasionally to play RTCW and Half Life - I'm not a big gamer. So when I heard of Beryl I realised I had a big problem, as XGL was just too much hassle to pursue. I picked up an NVIDIA Geforce 6200GT 256MB on eBay and haven't been happier since. However the result of this is that the 9800 is going into my PVR box and I won't be touching ATI again for a long time.

Re:Driver support can mean increased sales (2, Insightful)

roalt (534265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426667)

... versus having good relations with the software manafacturer that makes the operating system that is being used by 90% of your customers...

Respond with your wallet (1)

vtrac (876898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426377)

This one is obvious. I haven't bought an ATI card in years because their linux drivers suck. Whenever I bother to read about it, both Nvidia and ATI are on par as far as performance goes, and so why on earth would I buy a card from a company that gives me shitty drivers when I can buy from Nvidia, which treats linux users on the same level as Windows?

Here's an improvement -- open the source!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426379)

Here's an improvement -- open the source!! It lets others improve on the drivers, and Linux isn't the only operating system that could benefit from it!

Re:Here's an improvement -- open the source!! (0)

roalt (534265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426463)

Yes, that would be great! But, unfortunately, this cannot be done easily: The drivers are stuffed with proprietary code from Third-party technology companies that deliver it to either NVIDIA and ATI. So they have to replace it or ask those companies to open the source. Second issue is of course the company-secret technology of NVIDIA and ATI that's in the driver. Think of the tricks of the past where they did some shortcuts to let their card perform better in certain games and benchmarks. However, I don't think that's a real compelling argument.

Re:Here's an improvement -- open the source!! (1)

ooze (307871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426481)

Exactly ... I hear that reiterated quite for quite some time already. To really get things going there, somehow it has to be figured out, which parts of the code are covered by 3rd party patents, and which 3rd parties own those patents.

Then we know where to go to and who to spam, or wether it is feasible to just drop those parts of the code, or wether to implement open alternatives. Maybe those parts are even some fraud patents, something like matrix multiplication or whatever.

They are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427207)

Since you must know the details (else how do you make the assertion), please let us know WHO'S IP is in there?

NVidia used to say it was Sun. Sun was approached and said "there is nothing NVidia license from us that cannot be open sourced".

Now, maybe it is Sun technology but NVidia haven't licensed it, so they don't want Sun to know...

Bu in any case, who is it, what does it cover (I.e. what is missing if we don't have it: it may not be worth anything to us) and we'll ask them.

Unless you don't know and you're just making shit up.

Re:They are? (1)

kazade84 (1078337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427321)

He's not making it up [amd.com] , why would he?

Free Drivers ? (5, Insightful)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426413)

How about requesting ATI/AMD to take care of the already existing free X11 drivers, by giving informations about newer cards and manpower to develop all features, so that we have something readable (and working), and fixable by the community ?

Re:Free Drivers ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426511)

No chance. They won't even let some commercial vendors write drivers for their latest cards, so I doubt there will be anything open in the near future.

Support Open-Graphics (5, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426519)

Re:Support Open-Graphics (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426729)

While I do like the project, I am very skeptical about it. Yes, I believe they will succeed in building a basic video card, but nothing like a nvidia one. This is relevant because it means that OpenGraphics will be a niche product. Catching up with nvidia and ati from scratch is next to impossible, especially in a resonable timeframe.

NVidia! NVidia! NVidia! (1)

motumboe (784283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426601)

I owned an ATI video card, and I switched to a NVidia just after switching to Linux... :-) At the momente I use official NVidia closed source drivers, but Nouveau [freedesktop.org] is getting better everyday.

Their Burden, Not Mine (2, Interesting)

Jekler (626699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426609)

Why should I have to prove to them that I want better support? They should prove to me that they are providing better support. Until then, I will only purchase Intel video.

The Intel 950 GMA is sweet compared to any of ATI's cards with shoddy support.

Re:Their Burden, Not Mine (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426707)

I have a i965 with GMA. It *never* worked for me well regarding OpenGL. In fact, it didnt provide OpenGL rendering *at all*. I tried for days to get it to work, with zero success.

Then I got me a nvidia card, and it worked out of the box. I also have a laptop with a mobility 9600. fglrx is an awful driver, but at least it provides OpenGL with DRI.

Re:Their Burden, Not Mine (1)

Jekler (626699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426937)

I admit that stinks, but Intel has open sourced most of their drivers (including the i965), which leaves the door open for someone to create decent drivers for it. The i965 might not work but the i950 works flawlessly.

I think they may have perceived their open-sourcing as relinquishing responsibility. Kind of a "Ball is in your court now" gesture. If only things were that simple. Still, I must commend them for providing open source drivers, while ATI and nVidia refuse. Getting a better driver than ATI or nVidia gives you isn't even an option, while it's possible someone could come out with a better driver for the i965 any day now (assuming they haven't already done so).

Re:Their Burden, Not Mine (1)

k8to (9046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427043)

It didn't work for you without significant effort because the GMA X3000/G965 support is innitially baked as of the X.Org 7.2 release, which just happened a few weeks ago. I would phrase your complaint as "it did not work yet".

New hardware that doesn't have support yet is a tired story on Linux, we're all sad about it, but sort of used to it. But what was really galling was Intel trumpeting the announcement back in summer of 2006, when it wasn't available to normal users who aren't up to building and installing their own copies of X and Mesa (I did, it wasn't pretty). Many of us recommended and purchased the hardware only to find out it wasn't ready.

This problem is far more serious, btw, than a kernel driver addition, because the replacement of the linux kernel is a fairly well defined procedure in most distributions, often with supporting documentation and tools. The replacement of Mesa and X.Org leaves you largely on your own. Not to mention the vastly inferior build support.

Let this be a lesson to us all not to buy into the hype of press releases or even driver source availability until we can get confirmation that the stuff is available and working.

YO@U FAIL It!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18426653)

Pooper. Nothing AND AS BSD SINKS they want you Cto recruitment, but

Or (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426741)

Or you could write to your MP and ask them to push for a new law, obliging manufacturers to provide documentation that would enable the creation of drivers if they want to be allowed to sell their hardware at all.

If you don't get any harsher a punishment for selling heroin cut with brick dust than you do for selling pure heroin, then some drug dealers are going to cut it -- which means that if they want to stay in business, all dealers end up having to adulterate their product. The consumer doesn't know what they're buying; and the end result is often either poisoning from all the adulterants, or an overdose due to a batch of gear being stronger than they were expecting.

With graphics cards, the argument that manufacturers will use is that they might give away a competitive advantage (as though they weren't all reverse-engineering the living daylights out of one another's products anyway .....) if they released their details and the competition didn't release theirs. If, however, it was a statutory requirement to provide this information, then nobody would get an unfair advantage.

An alternative approach. (3, Informative)

nbritton (823086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426769)

It's who you ask, not how... although being nice always helps:

Dirk Meyer [mailto]


His executive bio is here [amd.com] . Please ask him, nicely, to open the hardware documentation, and if he could provide some resources (people, money, hardware) to the X.org team so they can build drivers.

Why bother (2, Insightful)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426815)

I gave up asking for and waiting for ATI to wake up to Linux. If they don't want to play on linux they don't play on my computer. When I buy computers I do make sure I at least mention to the sales staff that I want Nvidia or Intel because all other gfx cards have crappy Linux drivers, I hope I may be educating the salesperson so they know if someone else mentions running Linux they'll offer them a real gfx card. I don't buy from big names, because then I get big headaches, and bad support. So my hopes of my OEM somehow having any influence over ATI isn't going to happen.

Composite support! (2, Interesting)

kazade84 (1078337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18426853)

The only thing that really is disappointing me about the ATI proprietary drivers is the lack of composite support! Even the open source drivers have this, hell my crappy work Matrox card can run AIGLX/beryl. The open source drivers are great but don't have enough functionality (or speed) for what I wanna do, the ATI ones do, but I cant use the nice desktop eye candy I'd like. I thought when they started to do monthly releases, this would be one of the first things they'd implement... I'm still waiting.

Lenovo thinkpads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18427127)

Rumor has it (forum.thinkpads.com) that we'll see Lenovo Thinkpads move away from ATI in May.

Better Hardware isn't worth it.. (2, Insightful)

mulvane (692631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427473)

I have put off buying ATi in favor of nVidia for years. nVidia used to have the hands down better hardware, and the drivers have been outstanding for years. ATi has gotten the slight upper hand on hardware for the price point now most of the time with slight model deviations between them and nvidia. However, what's the point of better hardware if you can't take advantage of it?

Re:Better Hardware isn't worth it.. (1)

bitrot42 (523887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427625)


> Michael Larabel, the editor of Phoronix, has outlined some strategies for
> contacting ATI's customers (OEM/ODM/AIBs) to seek ATI Linux fglrx driver improvements.

I think Windows users would like to see some f@%gl$rx! driver improvements, too!

How about Dell? (1)

rnmartinez (968929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427615)

Dell seems big on ATI these days (I wanted a Dell core duo notebook with an nvidia card that wasnt too expensive and didnt find anything on there Canadian site) so maybe they could push for better drivers?

be happy with your low end ati cards & systems (1)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18427727)

..at least you didn't purchase an sgi prism [sgi.com] which probably cost us $15k+, has dual ati firegl's, uses the same shitty fglrx drivers, with all the same shitty problems found on ati's unofficial bugzilla [cchtml.com] .
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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>