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AMD To Open ATI Specs

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-what-was-asked dept.

Graphics 426

Several readers tipped us the followup of yesterday's AMD/ATI news, the new development hinted at by Phoronix: AMD has announced they are releasing the specs for all new Radeon chipsets, and will be working with the open source community to develop a fully functional 2D and 3D graphics driver. An anonymous reader opines: "AMD appears to be following in Intel's footsteps with upcoming releases. If AMD is successful NVidia will have real competition in the GNU/Linux gaming arena. While past support by ATI was unsatisfactory the new AMD buyout appears to be having some effect."

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Talk is cheap... (0, Troll)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494079)

Since this was just an announcement and nothing concrete has been released yet, the "Nothing for you to see here, please move along" was very appropriate. Bravo Slashcode!

What GNU/Linux gaming area? (2, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494091)

Lets see, ~2% of the users run linux. What fraction of those are actually gamers?

Seems like a move more for the high-end workstation market.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (5, Interesting)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494155)

I am a gamer and the only reason I run windows now days is because most of the games use DirectX. Perhaps with driver support from ATI and Nvidia more people will start writing in openGL because they will realize there is a market for gamers on Mac, Linux, and Windows. Just because people use Linux does not mean they do not play video games. Thats why we all have windows boxes so we can play the games (or run wine).

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494355)

Same here. I spent ages trying to get GTA:San Andreas to run on WINE (Vice City was fine, but not San Andreas, grr). Now that I've gone back to playing MUDs I guess technically I could be running Linux (in fact I've been MUDding via telnet on Mac OS, so I guess technically I've been gaming on unix anyway)

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (2, Informative)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494671)

GTA:SA [] is reported to work under Cedega when you use nocd to get around their copy-protection (I love "copy-protection" that only serves to support Windows PC gaming monopoly... grr).

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494821)

Thanks dude :) I'm going to have to try WINE/parallels/whatever on Mac OS just for fun, even though I already have a dual boot setup on my MBP..

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495147)

WINE on OS X disables Direct3D/OpenGL because of problems with Apple's DRI. Crossover for Mac includes its own X server, so you might have better luck with that.

GNU/Linux and Mac OS X gaming using xawtv (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495099)

I spent ages trying to get GTA:San Andreas to run on WINE

To play proprietary video games from major publishers on a Mac running Mac OS X or on a PC running GNU/Linux, try using an external gaming accelerator. This comes in two pieces sold separately: a "TV tuner" that you put in an internal slot, and an external "PlayStation 2" unit that you connect to the TV tuner and your sound card. Then you use xawtv [] to connect to the gaming accelerator. I did something similar a decade ago, by running a "Nintendo 64" unit through the TV tuner of a Macintosh Performa 6230.

You can continue to play Free video games using the hardware already in your PC.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494169)

The tide might just be changing. Have you looked at the ubuntu forums how many "normal people" has started using ubuntu after they found out they can actually run WoW in it?

I say a serious commitment from one of the two large gfx-chipset suppliers is extremely huge and will probably force the other one to do the same in time.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (3, Interesting)

protomala (551662) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494171)

I was going to ask the same thing, what gaming?? More than open-source drivers, we need a good replacement for DirectX.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494277)

We got one. There's a new open G/L spec that could very well compete with direct x.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (2, Insightful)

wulper (788005) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494319)

"More than open-source drivers, we need a good replacement for DirectX." Unless the game companies start designing games for multiple platforms to begin with, or design for Linux firsthand, having a replacement would give you nothing. Hardly any or none commercial games would be made for it. Unless DirectX gets ported to Linux, and there's a bigger chance that Vista turns public domain than that happening.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (2, Informative)

MindKata (957167) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495145)

"Unless the game companies start designing games for multiple platforms to begin with"

Both the Unreal 3 engine and the Tech 5 engine can/do use OpenGL. In the case of Unreal 3, a lot of games are already based on this engine. In the case of Tech 5, a lot of games will most likely also use this engine, especially as its got a lot of cross platform support.

A lot of games companies have moved away from rewriting the entire game including a use once 3d engine, every time they want to write a new game. So they have their own 3d engines or they use engines like Unreal 3 or Tech 5 etc...

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (4, Interesting)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494471)

In other words, someone needs to make a convincing (read: easier than DX) interface to OpenGL+SDL, and put it under a commercial-friendly license, and convince people to use it to build X-platform games. Both OpenGL and SDL are very X-platform (outside of OGL, SDL actually uses DX on Windows, Quartz on Mac, and straight Xlib on *nix)

good luck (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494983)

I mean it ... DirectX is pretty slick. Some of the big-name developers who swore it off (including John Carmack) are giving it a second look.

The nicest thing I've seen recently is Irrlicht, which runs atop either OpenGL or DirectX, with backup software renderers. But again, you still lose a lot from DirectX, like sound and device support, etc. and the ability to port quickly and easily (relatively speaking) to XBOX 360.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494941)

If the game vendors would actually put some sort of an OS on the same media as the game, then surely it wouldn't matter what was installed on your PC -- you could just boot up a game like a live CD? Or am I being too simplistic here?

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495135)

If the game vendors would actually put some sort of an OS on the same media as the game, then surely it wouldn't matter what was installed on your PC -- you could just boot up a game like a live CD? Or am I being too simplistic here?
For one thing, unlike Tivoized set-top gaming units, different PCs have different video cards with different hardware interfaces to their 3D accelerator, and the drivers for new interfaces would not be included on the game disc. For another, unless you're willing to plug in a USB memory card formatted in FAT32, you won't be able to save your progress if the operating system does not have a read/write driver for your hard disk drive's file system.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (3, Insightful)

Rip!ey (599235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494203)

What fraction of those are actually gamers?
Enough to sell a few more cards. It's all market share. I buy Nvidia cards bcause of their superior Linux driver support. This will tip the balance considerably. And if they work with the OS community in developement, it should bring about a better product at a lower cost.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (2, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494651)

If they convince people to submit code BSD style, than they can even possibly end up with better windows/BSD/Solaris drivers too.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (4, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494979)

Even if that doesn't happen, they're promising open specifications. This should be a boon for every single open source OS out there.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494347)

Yes, because video cards are only needed for games and high-end 3D. It's not at all useful for window compositing, hardware accelerated drawing and video rendering, GPGPU stuff, or anything else that might be useful in all kinds of other programs.

Anyone doing gaming on Linux is either going to be using an nVidia card with their binary driver, or (maybe) an ATI card with their binary driver.

At the moment, if you're not doing gaming, the best video card on Linux is actually an Intel one. It has the only current open-source drivers, which means that all the new 3D accelerated desktop stuff just works on that hardware, with no problems. And even with Intel's crappy graphics hardware, it's still more than fast enough.

Hopefully, this should bring ATI cards into the fray. It also means that Linux distributions and software can start to rely upon 3D cards for more capabilities. If nVidia did the same, there'd be nothing at all to stop all distributions including a fully 3D accelerated desktop out of the box.

Re:What GNU/Linux gaming area? (2, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494903)

At the moment, if you're not doing gaming, the best video card on Linux is actually an Intel one.

Ain't that the truth. My macbook running fusion wipes the floor with an ATI based system that by all accounts ought to be able kick the macbook to the moon. The ATI output is glitchy and choppy while the Intel chipset w/ its under-awesome shared memory set up totally rocks.

The only reason I have that ATI card is because I needed a low profile card quickly and it was my only option locally. I avoid ATI like botulism if I can. But if AMD really follows through with this, I'd become an ATI fanboi.

Red Hat (4, Informative)

netdur (816698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494105)

Has something to do with this news, read Red Hat and GNOME developer blog post for more information []

and in other news (1, Troll)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494189)

People with ATI / AMD video cards are reporting that they can not use DRM video and HD-DVD or BLUE RAY disk in vista any more. They are also reporting DRM and errors and DX 10 games are not working.

M$ may try to pull something like that.

Re:and in other news (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494391)

TBH any system that's designed to shoot its own nads off if you look at it funny was going to sterilise itself sooer rather than later. Blame the people who mandate DRM, not the code monkeys (well not entirely anyway).

Re:and in other news (0, Troll)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495119)

If you're going to theorise about things MS might do, imagine a computer security researcher and open-source migration strategist working out a deal with a medium-to-large-sized enterprise that will save them a few million a year in Windows and Office licences. Now suppose that this deal is celebrated with a party in town, and booze is flowing.

Suppose further that our security researcher happens to get caught short and has to relieve himself in an alleyway, and is unlucky enough to get hauled in. Bam, he just got his name on the Sex Offenders Register. Double bam, someone made an anonymous phone call to FAST and his computer equipment is being carted off down the local nick for investigation.

What's anyone who isn't intimately acquainted with the story going to think? Name on the SOR and computer equipment seized?

Why the delay, I wonder? (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495157)

From the link:

And it will take a while for all of the documentation to get published as well. (I hear the 2D docs will come first, followed after a period of time by the 3D docs.) So people will have to be patient.

I wonder why that should be. You'd think a company like AMD would have the specs in electronic format already. Why not release them right away, all together?

This is exciting news, and stands to change my graphics card buying habits. But I'm going to wait until I see those 3D specs released and deemed useful.

Linux gaming arena? (4, Funny)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494129)

That GNU/Linux gaming arena is *super* cut-throat, I'm not sure what NVidia is going to do after hearing about this! Those Tux Racer benchmarks are going to totally blow everyone out of the water! And I don't even want to mention how fast Life and KAsteroids...totally ridiculous!

Re:Linux gaming arena? (5, Funny)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494159)

You mean, I might be able to play Chromium?

Re:Linux gaming arena? (4, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494167)

But just imagine how awesome nethack will look!

Re:Linux gaming arena? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494177)

Hey, everyone bitching about Apple's price cut on the iPhone! GTFO, you fucking whiners. It's bad enough that you fuckers are switcheurs (PC users posing as Mac users), but it's doubly bad that you're also entitled douchebags. We don't want your kind on your platform. Just fucking leave, you accountants, and go back to your PCs.


Re:Linux gaming arena? (5, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494213)

You can joke all you want, but based on my own sample of Linux gaming, it is actually doing quite well.

For example in the case of Eve Online with a few hundred thousand subscribers, an officially supported Cider (Transgaming) client is in works and under beta testing. That is from an all out Microsoft shop.

The fact is, companies are reacting to demand. There are a lot of people who would ditch Windows in a heartbeat if only for windows-only games.

Curious. (-1, Flamebait)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494317)

I hope that one day I can argue with a straight face that a single experience that occurred to me is somehow indicative of an entire market shift.

Anyway, I have to get back to Gnibbles. I've never played a game quite like it...or with such high production values.

Re:Curious. (2, Interesting)

Reapman (740286) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494847)

Um... ever hear of a game called World of Warcraft? or how about a game called Doom or Quake? Transgaming, the makers of Cedega / Wine, have had deals with EA (you may have heard of them before) in the past, for their Mac software sure, but to say that Linux is still completely off the map is a bit short sighted. I still prefer Windows for gaming, sure, but Linux gaming has come a LOOOOOONG ways from even a few years ago.

Now if someone would find a way to get FFXI running under Linux, me and the other 3 people on the planet that care about that would be quite happy. :P

Re:Linux gaming arena? (2, Insightful)

glpierce (731733) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494387)

The fact is, companies are reacting to demand. There are a lot of people who would ditch Windows in a heartbeat if only for windows-only games.

To be more accurate, companies are interested in whether there are people who would ditch gaming (or at least that company's games) in order to ditch Windows.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (4, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494515)

How about Blizzard explicitly altering their anti-cheating stuff so that Linux users can play WoW? That's probably indicitive of at least a few hundred users.

Heck, I've played both WoW and EVE in Wine under FreeBSD. Only problem I had with either is that the galaxy map doesn't work properly in some modes in EVE.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495161)

Do you have a citation for this?

Re:Linux gaming arena? (5, Informative)

SpeedyGonz (771424) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494247)

You might have missed these ones:

Unreal Tournament 2004? Check

The upcoming UT 3? Check (Even the level editor will run on linux, yay!)

Doom up to Doom 3? Check

the Quakes? Check

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494435)

This isn't a troll, but since HL and Counter-Strike came out, those games haven't really been worth playing in my opinion! I used to play a lot of Quake III against bots since I didn't have a decent net connection back then, and I made some mods for it, but then after playing Counter-Strike and coding my own bots for that, I've found vanilla deathmatch rather dull. There's still a market for plain old deathmatch of course, but these days the mainstream thing is class based team combat isn't it?

Things are heading in the right direction though, it's great to see :)

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494861)

Steam, HL Etc. work pretty well in Cedega at the very least.

And Enemy Territory is real good too.

I have only Linux and I admit I get huge pangs of game lust when I am at the store (I really want to play Railroads!), but I make do quite well with World of Padman, Enemy Territory, UFO: Alien Intelligence (native). If you include WINE there are a few more games (one player at least), and if you get Cedega (more expensive than Windows), there is a fairly large selection of games to choose from. There are other Quake III mods that are totally free I am yet to play, including Urban Terror, and some aliens vs humans RTS hybrid too. Non cutting-edge FPS is very well represented on Linux.

If Sid Meier wasn't so old school (I get the impression he breaks a lot of (modern?) programming conventions when playing his games), I would probably be very pleased with the overall situation.

Besides, when I turn up the eye candy my Desktop Framerate drops to 15FPS when wobbling the windows (this is actually true, that and the not too-infrequent crashing caused me to dump Beryl). Wobbly windows look terrible without AA too.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494963)

There's still a market for plain old deathmatch of course, but these days the mainstream thing is class based team combat isn't it?
So you think CS is not deathmatch? It's the closest thing to it that I still play.

RTCW:Enemy Territory (Q3 engine) and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Doom3 Engine) are/will be extremely popular games, and both run in Linux. The only other real "class based team combat game" is the Battlefield series, but that's EA, and will probably never have a Linux version.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495029)

Well the way I prefer to play CS it isn't really deathmatch, but like I said I spent a lot of time coding bots for it before I'd played it online a lot ;) Yep Battlefield was really popular last time I checked. EA make stuff for every console out there, you wouldn't think it would be that hard for them to port to Linux. When they finally do I guess that's when Linux has 'made it' as a mainstream gaming platform, though it's not that much of a boost, as most EA games are just recycled trash. I have to admit that I like Need For Speed though. I've only bought 3 NFS games tho, and all for different systems so far, so I don't feel ripped off yet ;)

Re:Linux gaming arena? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20495101)

The biggest class based team combat game upcoming is EnemyTerritory-Quake Wars, which will have native linux support. Wolf:Enemy Territory has been one of the most played team combat games for about four years, and plays better on linux than windows (again, native support for linux, no wine). ID's upcoming tech5 engine will no doubt run native on linux (I havn't checked that but it would be highly unusual if it didn't). You can be sure that at the very least, there'll be one good team-based mod built on top of it, if not more. And then there's the UT3 engine, also coming with native linux support.

Gaming on linux is far better than it ever was and is gaining ground all the time. I spend an unholy amount of time playing games (all on linux) but I'm on the same servers playing the same games as my mates running windows. On top of the shooters I mentioned there's the likes of WoW, GTA San Andreas, Civilization 4 all working fine. Hardware vendors getting on-side was only a matter of time and it certainly is great to see.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

mihalis (28146) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494987)

and don't forget Descent 3 and Rune. I don't know if you can still get them, but I definitely had some fun with those. I loved Rune in particular. I completed it on my Athlon 750MHz/GeForce 256 PC back when that was a pretty fast machine.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (4, Insightful)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494261)

I know you're joking, but bear in mind that nVidia has a huge chunk of the Linux workstation/rendering market which is a highly profitable and competitive - better graphics drivers for ATI cards could be a blow to nVidia here and it'll be interestng to see how they react.

Just cos there's comparitively few games for Linux doesn't mean that decent 3D/OGL isn't important.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (2, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494551)

It seems ATI/AMD's new professional graphics cards are going to perform a lot better than Nvidia's current offerings.
They would need good Linux drivers for these cards to eat into NV's pro/workstation market share. [] []

Re:Linux gaming arena? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494301)

This really could be a "right place, right time" thing for Linux gaming though. There is a circular dependency between gamer use and game availability - WGA and Vista *might* actually make Windows just irritating enough and good ATI drivers might make Linux game performance just attractive enough to break through.

I can hope, because I really want my current PC to be my last Windows machine and the availability of mainstream games for Linux would make it happen.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494303)

Laugh all you want, but EVE online [] runs mighty fine in either Wine (or still a bit better) Cedega. And what does one really want in life besides freaking big spaceships with overpowered laser cannons? Maybe just play WOW [] ?

And I can't even switch to XP because then the kids will complain that the NFS server is down ;-)

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494429)

Laugh all you want, but EVE online runs mighty fine in either Wine (or still a bit better) Cedega.

Unless you have multiple monitors, and then it's a major chore to get it to run properly.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494569)

My NVIDIA setup runs two screens without any problems.

Done this ages ago, the setup was only a few lines. Ok, granted, not as user friendly as doing the same in XP.

Dumbest thing I ever did however was to get two monitors of different sizes -- it looks cool in double screen mode, but I miss pieces on the second screen.

I usually play EVE windowed on one screen, and firefox/whatever on the other.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20495009)

In X you can use "traditional X11 multi-screen" mode, where the screens are essentially independent desktops, makes more sense than amalgamating screens when the screens are different sizes. For nvidia drivers, all heads should be accelerated in that mode.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (2, Informative)

Shinatosh (1143969) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494483)

Yea? What about UT2004, Nexuiz, Sauerbraten, Cube, BZFlag, Quake3, ZDoom, Battle for Wesnoth, Enemy Territory, Quake4, Doom3 as am example of quite good quality linux playable games.

Buy some here [] , or search google for open source ones. You were kidding, right? Shina...

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494889)

ufoai, widelands (though i can't get 11rc to run), openttd, warzone2100 :)

most of these are remakes of the classics, but that's the great thing - those classics were awesome, but were abandoned or dragged into bad 3d mode. these remakes improve on those ideas and are really good.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (3, Informative)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494485)

Yes, there may not be a great need for 3D acceleration to play games on GNU/Linux, but 3D acceleration comes in handy elsewhere. It will be nice to have it next time I am looking at a surface plot of some scientific data. Or perhaps I want to visualize a model in real-time with OpenGL.

Here is a more concrete example, let's say I am an aerospace engineer and I am using FlightGear [] to model an airplane I am designing (my aerospace engineer friends actually do this). If I want to see and control this model in real-time that 3d acceleration is important here. Right now if you want to do this in GNU/Linux without an Intel video card you have to install proprietary software, which many people find unacceptable.

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

jma05 (897351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494611)

It does not have to be about games. Compiz and Beryl have drawn enough attention. That is not necessarily a trivial market. Geeks buy the latest cards. Geeks do care about these new desktops. I did not care too much about the brand for my last card. My next video card was surely going to be NVidia just for this reason. Now that choice may change.

BTW, others have pointed that Doom and Unreal series are cross platform. These may be few by themselves. But quite a few games use these engines. If Linux 3D isn't tricky, there might be adequate market for these engine users to support Linux without too much additional trouble. ames []

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

Tuxnco (1067206) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494613)

I deeply agree with you. When reading this post, it sounds to me like some kind ethical pro activism, ensuring a bunch of geek will say "Oh thank you, this is so nice". For sure the fps on linux desktop is not an issue for AMD/ATI. It is more likely to be a kind of social engineering : more sysadmin than gamers read '/.' ... More sysadmin will think, fine, I'll be able to set dual head in short time finally using those affordable ATI cards... Gamers buying a new PC will go window anyway...

Re:Linux gaming arena? (-1, Troll)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494789)

Who the fuck says anything about gaming you fucking imbecile drooling idiot?!?!

Re:Linux gaming arena? (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495125)

The article summary?

Oh. Silly me for reading that. I will leave you to your erudite insults, then. Take my apologies.

At last (5, Insightful)

SpeedyGonz (771424) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494131)

I guess this development will have an effect on my fanboyness towards nvidia . . .

Re:At last (1)

nategoose (1004564) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494637)

And I feel like my ATi fanboyness has finally paid off!

Re:At last (2, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494921)

If, at the end of the day, nVidia up the ante even more, then it's all good for us Linux users.

I've been crying out for HD XvMC acceleration for my Intel and nVidia cards for at least a year now, be interesting to see if ATI manage to beat them to the punch...

wooho! (1, Offtopic)

pato101 (851725) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494145)

Re:wooho! (1)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494975)

I agree with your sentiment, but reading a wiki article about a song is hardly as uplifting as hearing it []

well let's start then (4, Interesting)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494151)

okey-dokey. time to put our money where our mouth has been the whole time. let's get coding :)

(do i want to know what sort of NDA the specs are going to be under?)

Re:well let's start then (2, Funny)

pato101 (851725) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494237)

You are Mr. Wolf [] , aren't you?

Good for them (2, Interesting)

salimma (115327) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494161)

They are going one step further than nVidia (good binary drivers, documentation lacking). This looks like it is aimed more at redressing AMD/ATi's current shortcomings vis-a-vis Intel: with a 3D-accelerated open-source graphics driver, the only thing missing from an AMD-on-laptop equation is reliably-open Wi-Fi.

And no, Atheros does not count. I refer to the pre-n fiasco, which took months before the only open-soure developer with NDA access was able to come up with specifications. Perhaps AMD should come up with a wireless NIC next?

Re:Good for them (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494371)

I agree, it's more about Intel than Nvidia.

You know what else? I think this may be the first step in getting the developerment community onboard for a CPU/GPGPU hybrid processor I reckon they'll produce in a couple of years.

RaLink? (1)

Skinkie (815924) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494507)

Ralink drivers were open sourced, and are in the same stage as AMD is going to put their drivers. "Here you have the specs, write good drivers, goodluck!"

Re:RaLink? (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495081)

Complete specs are exactly what we've been asking for.

Kudos to AMD for listening.

GNU/Linux gaming arena (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494179)

I wasn't aware of one that existed.. Interesting. Until EA or Sony code for Linux, the "gaming arena" is all "one offs" and "happened to code for".
There are probably more movies available on Beta than games available for Linux (I'm not talking xbill and xpilot).

How long before we drivers for mac that work with. (0, Offtopic)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494221)

How long before we drivers for mac that work with any ati / amd video card with out a EFI rom in a x86 mac?
Drivers for mac os x 86?

Why show good will now? (3, Interesting)

bo0ork (698470) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494249)

Could this be becuase ATI might be falling behind nVIDIA technologically, rather than the AMD purchase of ATI? They might feel they don't have so much IP to protect any more. Just guessing.

Re:Why show good will now? (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494543)

While I think that's a good guess, I don't see any actual statistics to back it up.

I think instead that they are seeing a huge outcry at Vista's problems, a large swelling of (K|X|Ed)Ubuntu followers, Dell -and- HP selling Linux-based machines, and general non-MS market/mind-share changes.

ATI knows that nVidia can't legally copy anything from their specs, and their current drivers for all platforms are a joke.

It costs nothing for a home user to switch to (K|X|Ed)Ubuntu and if the user can know their graphics card will actually work BETTER that way, they might actually switch permanently. If the other graphics cards don't work on that system after the user has switched, they'll buy ATI from then out.

Yes, some of those are big IFs... But there's a lot more where that came from, and this move just costs them some engineer/programmer time to write the documentation up, which they should have anyway! What have they got to lose?

Re:Why show good will now? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494907)

It costs nothing for a home user to switch to (K|X|Ed)Ubuntu

Um, bullshit. It takes time to switch, and to find comparable applications. Then you need to figure out if you can even keep things like your documents, your finances, etc. There's also added support costs, in time and / or money.

A rumour about a rumour... (1, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494259)

There really isn't any substance behind this rumour, only another rumour. Anyhoo, I hope it pans out since high end graphics is used a lot in the field I'm in and this will make Linux deployment much easier and possibly cheaper.

lets get ALL the info... (3, Interesting)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494291)

I hope they release info on the video capture and TV out features of all of the ATI chipsets. It would be great to be able to support all of the features in the "all in one" chipsets. Especially the new HDTV tuner / capture cards.

Can't wait! (4, Interesting)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494329)

If quality Linux drivers actually materialize and they have a fully open spec, I'll jump ship from nVidia in a heartbeat. An open spec will help a lot with gpgpu projects. I'd love to be able to take full advantage of my otherwise idle GPU while say . . . transcoding video . . .

Different implications (4, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494353)

I think these news might have different implications than we might suspect. While we may think "that's cool, although so few gamers are running Linux", I think this move might have other repercussions than just help the Linux PC game market.

In this day and age, we've got Open Source Anything, handheld consoles, cell phones, toasters, anything. Now if we imagine that some people somewhere decide to make a gaming console to rivalize with the Xbox 360 and the Wii, an Open Source Console, running Linux, or even some Open Source AppleTV-like box, which GPU will the makers choose? Obviously the most FOSS/Unix friendly, and that would be AMD/ATI.

They might be feeling that a large market might open up soon, and that's why I think they chose to do this move, while they can easily become the first ones there.

Re:Different implications (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494503)

As an FYI, both the 360 and Wii have ATI-developed graphics.

Re:Different implications (1)

butane317 (998898) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494723)

If only Sony would open up the specs to the PS3, this could already be a reality. I'm sure someone will reverse engineer it given enough time, but using the official specs would be the real deal.

More than games (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494893)

I think this move might have other repercussions than just help the Linux PC game market.

Simulation and Visualization are both huge. Projects like OpenSceneGraph [] , etc. Lots of people are using Linux to do graphically intense development work - I used to, back when I worked for the Army. nVidia seemed to be the preferred video card by a long shot because it was so well supported. They are probably trying to crack that market.

nVidia also had the advantage of using a unified codebase - 90% of the driver code is identical between Linux and Windows. That's something AMD hasn't been doing (at least back when I kept up on things, they may have changed in the past few years).

So as you say there are markets above and beyond linux desktop gaming (which is pretty minimal ... honestly, its a few FPS's and then WINE. And most games under WINE have issues ... )

AMD's Open-Source support (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494383)

AMD's record for releasing documentation to open-source is was the one positive I had clung to when they took over ATI -- as virtually every successful Canadian company is being sold to some other international interest or other like we are having some kind of bloody giant fire-sale up here. I almost can't believe things have actually worked out in the direction I had hoped! (i.e. ATI becoming more open, rather than AMD becoming less...).

Not to come crashing to reality, but... (2, Informative)

JamesP (688957) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494459)

I know everybody asked for this, and they're finally giving in but.

More important than open graphic drivers is open disk controller drivers, open USB controller drivers, etc, etc, etc

Still, a great step.

And even though I would be one of the first to say "talk is cheap, show me the specs", someone further behind the curtains told me some companies knew (and possibly working with) it already.

oh yes! (2, Interesting)

phrostie (121428) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494477)

very sweet!

i know it won't happen over night, but it will still be nice to apt-get my ATI updates.

More than just Gaming (5, Interesting)

downix (84795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494555)

I read this, then the comments, and realized that a lot of people see vid cards as just gaming accessories. This couldn't be further from the truth. Look at industrial graphics and video workstations! nVidia is dominating there, and AMD is hungry for a piece of that pie. Open up docs, get the geek that the office keeps in the closet to get excited, he sends the list of the part upgrade to the boss for the graphics workstations, bada-boom AMD market share of ATI video cards grow.

The help for gaming is just incidental, AMD is keeping its eyes on the real prize, the industrial market.

Re:More than just Gaming (1)

dino2gnt (1072530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494665)

Very true. I work in a shop the does a lot of high-end data visualization processing and every single one of our (400+ here and more globally) Linux workstations utilizes nVidia GPUs and cards.

gosh.. (1)

Kuku_monroe (753761) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494575)

And this happens after buying a rig with nvidia stuff because it was more "linux friendly"...

To develop??? (3, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494589)


To develop of a fully functional 2D and 3D driver that supports all of their newer radeon chipsets.

Does this mean they don't have them yet?..

Re:To develop??? (4, Informative)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494857)

Chances are the source code to their existing drivers have a lot of 3rd party licensed libraries, and may be covered by NDA. They'd probably have to pull a move like what Sun did with Java: release whats not covered, and let the open source developers fill in the missing (encumbered) pieces with a clean-room implementation.

So in short, no, they probably don't have driver code that they can just give out.

Re:To develop??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494895)

They may have drivers with third-party propietary code in it, or code using licensed third-party patents which they cannot use in OSS code. They'll have to rewrite such code from scratch.

Umm....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494635)

*** If AMD is successful NVidia will have real competition in the GNU/Linux gaming arena. ***

For what, all 3 games? Sure you can still use Wine, et. al., but still.

Not that it matters - they are doing this to try and drum up some sales - because the performance of their cards, even the newer ones, lags behind the current set of NVidia cards by quite a bit....

too little, too late, if you ask me.

It's Just Business (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494749)

This reminds me a bit of the OS/2 days when I would hunt around for hardware whose vendors provided good OS/2 drivers. I think that maybe AMD's decision has more to do with more big company support and demand for Linux, like Dell and Google, and perhaps a good number of those hardware hunting geeks of old are now the decision makers for major purchases. In any case, they don't want to lock themselves out of potential sales from big customers. It would be nice if this really was something to do with wanting to support Linux gaming, but alas, it is probably just business as usual. And given AMD's current set of woes, they definitely don't need to lose any more business.

Gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20494781)

Ignoring the large market for 3D artists who currently use linux, we're moving into the age of accelerated desktops. When I think of 3D, games are not even on the list!

h264 acceleration then? (3, Interesting)

Manic Miner (81246) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494783)

You can currently only use ATI and NVidia drivers on windows to off-load decoding of h264 video, this makes playback under linux of HD DVB streams almost impossible (you get frames dropped even with top of the line CPU's).

Hopefully this will mean we can get XVmC support for ATI cards to do h264 decoding, this would be awsome, and a big boost to the media centre community. I look forward to seeing the developments, maybe soon I can put an ATI card in my Freevo Media Centre and actually be able to view HD content - woot!

If this means stable, open source drivers... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494835)

...for Linux, they're getting my money soon.

    nVidia's hardware is great and they have very high quality linux drivers, but when you hit a problem with them you're in for a fun ride. I had it happening on me once or twice in the past. ATI's driver for Linux (hell, even for Windows) were always a joke.

Well ..... (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494873)

..... I think I know what make my next graphics card might be.

(Although, to be perfectly honest, I've never actually had any trouble using nVidious graphics cards with the free nv driver. Yeah, I know, no 3d support; but as I've only got a 2D monitor, it hardly matters.)

Demand Older Hardware Specs Also (1, Insightful)

j0ebaker (304465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494905)

Demand the older 3D specifications as well!

Read the notice... they're only intending to release the hardware specifications on new cards. This is a ploy to sell more equipment.

What about all those cards that are already out there. Let's hold these people to a higher standard. If they WANT us to buy their new cards they are going to have to give open access to their old hardware specifications. It's that simple.

For the time being I'm delighted to have modest 3D support with Open Source INTEL drivers on a pre-release of Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbons.

-Joe Baker
Digital Communications Research, Inc.

Are my rants paying off? (1, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#20494915)

I have voiced several rants about ATI here on slashdot. Do you suppose they are reading them?

When pigs fly (3, Funny)

ArwynH (883499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495117)

"Hello? Is this the Daily Gazette? I'd like to report a story!"
"There were five of them! Pink! Well, one was kinda yellow. I think it was a pot-bellied one."
"What? No! Pigs! Outside my window!"
"Maybe in a farm it ain't, but I live on the 10th floor in the City."
"Yes, that's right! Flying pigs!"
"The wings? White."
"Yes, like an angels I guess."
"What? No, I haven't been drinking..."
"..or taking drugs."
"Look I'm not kidding! There were 5 flying pigs outside my window Oinking at me!"
"Hello? Hello? ... A**hole!"

This really changes things (2, Interesting)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20495129)

Hmmm. This is awesome news. The last 40 or so systems we purchased were all Intel based purely because of the fact that they were so much less trouble due to being supported with Free drivers. This changes the equation though. It sounds from the announcement that we'll be getting better quality drivers because AMD/ATI will be releasing the full specs and not merely documenting through the use of code (which is cool and still makes Intel supportable).

Some things I still wonder about are whether or not the comparably priced AMD/ATI systems will have good Free drivers for other integral components such as wireless (which Intel have also got a lead with due to their IPW3945ABG). Intel have also got some very important work underway with PowerTOP [] . The upcoming Fedora 8 will be benefiting from the results of extensive testing with PowerTOP (which is written by ex-Red Hatter, now Intel employee, Arjan van de Ven). This allows monitoring of the major drains of power in laptops and can also be a major factor in server rooms.

I'm delighted by this whole move and it means that I can now make recommendations which include ATI cards as part of the specifications to purchasing. In terms of whether the AMD/ATI platform as whole will be a competitor that depends on whether the AMD motherboard chipsets will also be as open, Free and supportable. Intel have an incredible headstart [] in this area and possibly this will prevent them from moving into the stand-alone 3D card market (which is what I thought was going to inevitably happen). It looked as though AMD/ATI were headed for extinction, but I guess the reality of sales started to catch up with them.

All in all good news that opens up some more options for us. Perhaps we'll be seeing some interesting Dell machines soon!
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