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AMD Releases 900+ Pages Of GPU Specs

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the out-in-the-open dept.

AMD 325

An anonymous reader writes "Ending off the X Developer Summit this year, Matthew Tippett handed off ATI's GPU specifications to David Airlie on a CD. However, the specifications are also now available on the X.org site. Right now there is the RV630 Register Reference Guide and M56 Register Reference Guide. Expect more documentation (and 3D specifications) to arrive shortly. The new open-source R500/600 driver will be released early next week."

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Tor like oatmeals! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578635)

Tor like oatmeals!

Its (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578645)

over NINE HUNDRED!!

It's It's, not Its (2, Funny)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578989)

google it. :-)

fagot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579063)

I meant lts as in lieutenants you FAGOT AGO G

Re:It's It's, not Its (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579305)

you make me wish there was a mod point for pumpis asshole

Re:It's It's, not Its (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579379)

I got over 900 hit's.

Re:It's It's, not Its (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579503)

WHAT nine HUNDRED?!

Re:It's It's, not Its (4, Informative)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579751)

Specifically, google "over nine thousand" since the OP was paraphrasing. On a related note, my karma is over NINE THOUSAND!

FUCKING (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579015)

  • asdf8j0andf sf9o bdsavsdvj98 b uhwfe9-db u4oqwaef7hv zsbgphq93553b hgdfz9gbyv 32wfe-9hszby awhfes9dvbu izbu h4wga9rvs7zbry ug2wfes98fhybhu 4frz9d870yb aq4fzvfybou a4q3aw7g9sbaH tpweVShvpbifv 7hfq53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd9bu ied9v 8hnu svd 9b ugv8d90snhgewofvd899jiomasdf8j0andf sf9o bdsavsdvj98 b uhwfe9-db u4oqwaef7hv zsbgphq93553b hgdfz9gbyv 32wfe-9hszby awh3j4waugipo8bfhnie h3tgeod8f7ghbyua h2rwfehs8byrh 53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecdhwh9esdzbu h4wga9rvs7zbry ug2wfes98fhybhu 4frz9d870yb aq4fzvfybou a4q3aw7g9sbaH tpweVShvpbifv 7hfq53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd9bu ied9v 8hnu svd 9b ugv8d90snhgewozbu h4wga9rvs7zbry ug2wfes98fhybhu 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8hnu svd 9b ugv8d90snhgewofvd899jiomasdf8j0andf sf9o bdsavsdvj98 b uhwfe9-db u4oqwaef7hv zsbgphq93553b hgdfz9gzbu h4wga9rvs7zbry ug2wfes98fhybhu 4frz9d870yb aq4fzvfybou a4q3aw7g9sbaH tpweVShvpbifv 7hfq53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd9bu ied9v 8hnu svd 9b ugv8d90snhgewofvd899jiomasdf8j0andf sf9o bdsavsdvj98 b uhwfe9-db u4oqwaef7hv zsbgphq93553b hgdfz9gbyv 32wfe-9hszby awh3j4waugipo8bfhnie h3tgeod8f7ghbyua h2rwfehs8byrh 53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xybzbu h4wga9rvs7zbry ug2wfes98fhybhu 4frz9d870yb aq4fzvfybou a4q3aw7g9sbaH tpweVShvpbifv 7hfq53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd9bu ied9v 8hnu svd 9b ugv8d90snhgewofvd899jiomasdf8j0andf sf9o bdsavsdvj98 b uhwfe9-db u4oqwaef7hv zsbgphq93553b hgdfz9gbyv 32wfe-9hszby awh3j4waugipo8bfhnie h3tgeod8f7ghbyua h2rwfehs8byrh 53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecdbyv 32wfe-9hszby awh3j4waugipo8bfhnie h3tgeod8f7ghbyua h2rwfehs8byrh 53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd9bu ied9v 8hnu svd 9b ugv8d90snhgewofvd899jiomasdf8j0andf sf9o bdsavsdvj98 b uhwfe9-db u4oqwaef7hv zsbgphq93553b hgdfz9gbyv 32wfe-9hszby awhfes9dvbu ihwh9esdzbu h4wga9rvs7zbry ug2wfes98fhybhu 4frz9d870yb aq4fzvfybou a4q3aw7g9sbaH tpweVShvpbifv 7hfq3j4waugipo8bfhnie h3tgeod8f7ghbyua h2rwfehs8byrh 53qowgrhsf7nbiwah7byhuodxfhbu bd bwfgvsgbi few7rgvdgdgbb e7fhdf d bdfinubg cvv r vdvbdzdfbv xyb jbfv hbf iwhfvun hv xcfui svd x9huni efd79hb8i fecd9bu ied9v 8hnu svd 9b ugv8d90snhgewofvd899jiom

I'll replace my nVidia when I see a good review. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578663)

The only way to get nVidia to release their specs is to show them that there is a real market.

I'll do my part and replace my AGP nVidia card with an ATI one as soon as there is a good review of an available card with this driver on Ubuntu.

Re:I'll replace my nVidia when I see a good review (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578779)

Good luck finding an AGP card; I don't think they're making many these days.

Re:I'll replace my nVidia when I see a good review (3, Insightful)

ryszards (451448) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578885)

Actually there's a good number of modern AMD D3D10 products available on AGP now, and the older R5-series hardware had good AGP presence as well. Not the high-end R600 I should say, but RV630 and RV610 (HD 2600 and HD 2400) are both available. And the Windows Vista driver sucks, somewhat hilariously.

You may be right ... (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578903)

So what you're saying is that I should get a completely new system, all AMD-based?

And that I should send a copy of the receipt to AMD along with the explanation that the only reason I spent that money was so I could run Ubuntu with the new Free video driver? And that I should say that the system I'm replacing was Intel/nVidia?

Well, if you say I should, that's good enough for me.

And you go on to say that everyone who buys an ATI card because of this should also send a letter (not email) to ATI saying the same thing?

Re:You may be right ... (2, Insightful)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579385)

I would say the message would come across better if you send it to nVidia.

The big effect will be if every Linux OEM started shipping Radeon in every box, that could be a pretty big number of lost potential sales that they weren't considered for solely based on software.

This could really be huge in the progress towards making Linux mainstream. The last few times I've installed Linux, installing my 3D drive for nVidia has required a few steps most users wouldn't or couldn't do. Several distros won't automatically set this up during install because the drivers aren't open. As soon as we get these drivers, Linux setup and support should get that much easier, because the installer will pop up a dialog that says "RADION XXXX detected, install 3D acceleration? Y/N."

We're getting a few steps closer to the mainstreaming of Linux, which will snowball once games and other software starts to include Linux binaries/installers on the disks that you can buy retail.

Re:You may be right ... (2, Insightful)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579519)

Better idea: instead of popping up a dialog asking to install 3D acceleration, the installer just does it. After all, it'll be free software.

Re:You may be right ... (3, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579637)

Better idea: instead of popping up a dialog asking to install 3D acceleration, the installer just does it. After all, it'll be free software.

An even better idea: since a Free driver can be included in the kernel source and compiled into a module, the installer doesn't have to do anything special to enable 3D acceleration. It just installs all available kernel modules as normal and the kernel figures it out at bootup time and loads the ATI driver if appropriate.

Re:You may be right ... (0, Flamebait)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579753)

Better idea: instead of popping up a dialog asking to install 3D acceleration, the installer just does it. After all, it'll be free software.

No, it'll have to ask the user - because the 3D driver will have various instabilities and have a tendency to hard-lock the machine at random intervals for some ill-defined reasons. Years will go by, and the situation won't improve - because by then, the hardware in question will be obsolete, and nobody will be bothering to improve the drivers.

Okay, I'm being pessimistic - but something pretty similar happened after Matrox released the specifications for its 3D graphics cards. There were fully open-source drivers, but they weren't exactly high-quality. I moved on to Nvidia after that...

Re:I'll replace my nVidia when I see a good review (3, Interesting)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578801)

Actually this is the fun part. Governments have been "enforcing" open source as gimmicks. The only way to show there is a REAL market is to have an actual producer get involved and actually PROVIDE the goods and support. Red Hat did its part, various OSS groups did their part, etc.

They weren't tax supported, but they did a better job than all the tax supported wealth consuming agencies out there :)

I agree, once the cards hit my neck of the woods, if they're well implemented in hardware, I'll gladly supplant my 7800's in my SLI rig :) (Or build another one.)

Re:I'll replace my nVidia when I see a good review (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578865)

Are you on crack? Did anyone say anything about government? Has government ever made a peep about video cards and closed or open drivers? Did you read the summary before you spouted off?

STFU, FOAD, and take your paranoid attitude with you.

Sound interesting... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578681)

no, wait, the other thing - tedious.

Great (4, Insightful)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578691)

They've actually done it. It's time to buy an ATI card.

Re:Great (5, Insightful)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578823)

"They've actually done it. It's time to buy an ATI card."

I've been recommending nVidia cards to everyone who asks, simply because their Linux support has been leagues ahead of ATI (now AMD, for those who haven't been paying attention). If the specs are credible enough to create a quality Free driver, then I'll switch to AMD in a heart beat.

Re:Great (1, Interesting)

777a (826468) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579169)

Quoting myself from a few weeks ago:

For the last several years I've alternated between nVidia and ATI (nVidia 4200Ti, ATI 9800XT, nVidia 6500, ATI X1900XTX).

My last card (the ATI X1900XTX) cost ~$600, since then I've started paying a lot more attention to Linux, and unless ATI do some decent drivers it'll be the last ATI card I buy.

I retract my previous statement, it looks incredibly likely my next card will be an ATI.

Looking like I'm going to be becoming an ATI fanboi.

Re:Great (5, Insightful)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579625)

I've been recommending nVidia cards to everyone who asks, simply because their Linux support has been leagues ahead of ATI (now AMD, for those who haven't been paying attention).
True, true. My girlfriend got a laptop a couple weeks ago and one of the deciding factors was nVidia vs ATI. I haven't even considered an ATI card for myself and I recommend that others get nVidia.

It's about fucking time that companies realize the trickle-down effect of abusing nerds. Who do the ignorant masses go to when they need advice? Their nerdy friend...

ATI lost market share for almost the exact reason that IE did (albeit to less extent).

Re:Great (3, Interesting)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578861)

Is it really though? That's not rhetorical. Without RTFAing, I want the slashdot opinion - is this or is this not the proof that ATI is the solution for linux graphics? I was almost certain that my next card would be an nvidia, but this may change that.

Re:Great (3, Interesting)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579659)


is this or is this not the proof that ATI is the solution for linux graphics?


For those of us who absolutely refuse to use closed sourced drivers their older cards have already proven to be the best solution for desktops.

Re:Great (4, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579729)

Is it really though? That's not rhetorical. Without RTFAing, I want the slashdot opinion - is this or is this not the proof that ATI is the solution for linux graphics? I was almost certain that my next card would be an nvidia, but this may change that.

It will be, in a few weeks. Moreso in a few months as the drivers improve. Performance tuning is one of the open source methodology's strengths.

Re:Great (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578937)

You're not jumping on a bandwagon, you're creating one. Kneejerk reaction! Care to expand on anything like "it", what "it" means to them and us, etc?

Re:Great (2, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579039)

I've got a new in the box nVidia card I was going to put in my new tower I'm building. It's off to e-bay for it and back to the store for an Ati card. amiga3D

Well hold on there (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579259)

They've released the specs, this doesn't mean anything yet. People forget just how complex graphics cards are. Writing a driver for something like a network card or SCSI controller is fairly easy, and that's also evident from how small the drivers are. There's just little to do. 3D cards are extremely complex, hence the massive amount of documentation. It isn't like there was just some magic number that needed releasing and the OSS drivers would be perfect with full support. There's now a ton of work to be done, since it sounds like it is just specs, not code, they are releasing.

So you'll probably want to wait and watch until the driver is ready to go and up to whatever performance and stability standards you need for your application. Switch now and you are likely to find yourself in essentially the same situation as before: ATi's binary driver, or an OSS driver that doesn't do what you want.

It'll be some time before this information can be transformed in to a fully functional, stable, fast driver. After all, if it were so easy, ATi and nVidia would have perfect drivers out on the launch of a new card and never need to do anything but minor updates.

Sweet! (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578695)

Closed-source drivers can be OK, except they tend to discontinue support after a while. Eventually the binary driver won't load into a current kernel and you are high and dry. With open-source drivers, the prospects for long-term support are better.

Re:Sweet! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578825)

That sounds more like a problem with Linux than with closed-source drivers.

Re:Sweet! (2, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579251)

Considering the issues I've had with closed source drivers over the years, I just can't EVER agree with them being OK. Closed source drivers have had all sorts of issues with not only kernel changes, but distro versions, architecture (64bit), xfree86 vs x.org, have issues with redistribution rights, etc.

Furthermore, BSD / vs linux vs Solaris. No, IMHO closed source drivers just suck in all cases. We need the specs. Specs for all hardware would allow us to have working scanners, webcams, wifi adapters, etc. on Linux / BSD no matter which brand you buy, or which architecture you use.

Let's let Nvidia know that we will all be moving to AMD/ATI for all future purchases over this issue, unless they too release specs.

Re:Sweet! (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579281)

Forgot to mention that open source drivers are almost always easier to install due to the fact that they are normally included / maintained by the distro.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579645)

I also will be moving to ATI cards just as soon as I can type "emerge ati-driver" and get a decent open source driver to compile with same ease that all other software does on my Gentoo box (Ok, I might have to change VIDEO_CARDS="ATI" in make.conf as well)

But I have never had any problems with NVidia closed source binary driver. The ATI one was trash which was I started buying NVidia cards in the first place but if myself as gentoo tweaker has never had any issues they cant be that bad under Linux. Obvoiusly they are trash for everyone on non x86 hardware or running BSD or whatever but not all of them are that bad.

Maybe the reason that ATI have taken this step is because of the problems they had with their drivers in the past.

Re:Sweet! (1)

tiocsti (160794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579347)

Slavery can be a good thing too, cept they tend to beat you.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579381)

Closed-source drivers can be OK, except they tend to discontinue support after a while.

Exactly. I have an aging GeForce 4 that's slow by current standards but still quite enough to mess around with Beryl and play Unreal Tournament. And yet, Nvidia has deprecated its drivers. When new kernels can no longer load the old module, I'll have to decide between resigning myself to that kernel version forever on this system or forking out a comparatively huge amount of cash. (Since this is an AGP system, I'll also have to replace the motherboard. And CPU. And memory. And probably throw in an IDE card so I can use the 320GB drive I bought last year.)

Again, this is a working system. I know it's not new and shiny, but it runs everything I want to run and there's no other reason I'd need to replace it right now. Suddenly that ATI card is looking far cheaper if it means that I won't have to literally upgrade my entire system as soon as they decide to stop providing closed binary drivers for it.

Oh, to head off the inevitable criticism from k1dd1es: this is what happens when you get old. Sure, I can afford a nice new system and I'm not a cheapskate about it. Still, I'm stubborn enough to not want to if I don't have to and it's the principle of the thing, and get off my lawn.

Re:Sweet! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579427)

OMG, you mean you can't run the same computer equipment for 20 years and expect it to before useful work in a modern fashion? Those fascists, always improving things. Probably just because they want money. Let's burn them.

Re:Sweet! (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579561)

OMG, you mean you can't run the same computer equipment for 20 years and expect it to before useful work in a modern fashion?

Your reading comprehension is worse than your grammar. By 20, you mean 5. It still "[something] useful work in a modern fashion", except that it's been artificially crippled by recent driver updates.

Probably just because they want money. Let's burn them.

Child, meet Market. Customers don't want to spend more money than they have to. Paradoxically, this often means they'll spend even more money with the companies that don't put the squeeze on them.

Sweet! Sour!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579683)

"And yet, Nvidia has deprecated its drivers. "

You can still download older drivers. And the newer drivers still support chips that predate your GF4.

"When new kernels can no longer load the old module, I'll have to decide between resigning myself to that kernel version forever on this system or forking out a comparatively huge amount of cash."

Care to give an example of this happening? Whatever you may think of Nvidia, they've been good to Linux before it was even cool to do so. You all should be grateful instead of pissing in their Cheerios.

Re:Sweet! (2, Interesting)

Sark666 (756464) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579569)

Well, one time where people were left high and dry, was when voodoo went under. Lots of people had voodoo3s and its brethren. In this case, 3dfx had already released specs for linux (and I believe provided an open source driver at one time? can't recall). Yet with the specs released, the open source driver never achieved the same performance of what the card was capable of (comparing it to windows drivers' performance) and problems with some functionality.

When investigating for info on updated drivers the general feeling was no one is working on them because none of the devs bother with using 3dfx anymore and most users have moved on so there is lack of interest in further support. And this was only shortly after 3dfx folded. I thought this was a perfect situation for the strength of open sourcee. I actually still have that same v3 and when putting together a myth box last year, I thought it might be good enough for basic video. But in xorg, hardware overlay has been broken for quite sometime, so I couldn't control the brightness/contrast etc of videos. And opengl was pretty shaky.

I don't think the same thing would happen here, as ati is still doing fine and lots of people have their cards, now. But when a card becomes old and outdated, it will interesting to so how long it's really supported.

Lets hope so (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579667)

I bought an Intel 965 based motherboard for my new computer because Intel have open source drivers but I've been disappointed at the lack of progress with them.

Given that 3d multimedia desktops are the new sexy which all distros seem to be getting into I'm surprised [launchpad.net] that there doesn't seem [redhat.com] to be much progress [freedesktop.org] on getting it fixed on what is (as far as I am aware) the only open-driver supported 3d hardware available (at least until AMD release their 3d specs).

It seems to me... (4, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578701)

AMD ie recently making more moves toward the open source community than either it or ATI did prior to the merger.It seems to me that AMD has realized that there is value in not only having the right products rolling off the lines, but also having a greater mindshare.

Google realized this early, and bought off a great amount of geek awe by using Linux as the basis for its computing grid. This popularity among geeks turned into word of mouth advertising which turned into huge market share (having a great product didn't hurt either). Google still tries to maintain the "we're just a benign bunch of geeks" image (an image which is eroding, as it becomes more apparent that they are more akin to a lovechild of M$ and the NSA than a giant sushi eating LAN party). This appeal to mindshare by making steps toward the community, genuine or not, may be part of what AMD is trying to do, at least to an extent.

There are other genuine benefits to being more open about its specs, most clearly highlighted by the use of ATI GPUs to process Folding@Home. Therefore it is conceivable that AMD GPUs and GPU/CPU combo chips in the future may, if more openly specced, be used in a wider variety of HPC applications.

Disclaimer: I am an AMD fanboi.

Re:It seems to me... (5, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578791)

Linux kind of carried the Opteron for the first year or so, since it had 64-bit and NUMA support, while M$ obligingly waited to release any such thing until Intel had an offering as well. Maybe AMD learned something from that.

Re:It seems to me... (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578827)

>> Google as it becomes more apparent that they are more akin to a lovechild of M$ and the NSA than a giant sushi eating LAN party)

Google does search on massive amounts of data and returns relevant results.

Do you think the NSA did not drive up with a dump truck full of cash and say "give us one" as soon as Google proved their technology worked?

How many Google stand alone search appliances do you think the NSA has?

Re:It seems to me... (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579029)

Given that Google's initial search technolgy seems to have come out of nowhere and that Google had secretive high government clearance contacts from day one, I think the more likely scenario is the NSA rolling up to Larry and Sergi and saying "we need public sector lovable geek mascots to hide behind while we monitor the population's activities. You two seem suitable and have the right profiles. Here's some search tech, and we'll set you up with the right venture capital connections [sequoiacap.com] . No go profile everybody."

Re:It seems to me... (5, Funny)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579601)

I think the more likely scenario is the NSA rolling up to Larry and Sergi and saying "we need public sector lovable geek mascots to hide behind while we monitor the population's activities. You two seem suitable and have the right profiles. Here's some search tech, and we'll set you up with the right venture capital connections. No go profile everybody."

This conspiracy theory seems incomplete. Did Jimmy Hoffa steal the search technology from Area 51's crashed Roswell UFO, and masqueraded as JFK when FSF supporters attempted to assassinate him for creating the possibility of a faked Apollo moon landing, then went into hiding for many years as Lord Lucan, fathered Princess Diana's unborn child, found Elvis and Marilyn Monroe alive and well in Atlantis, flew an Aurora spy-plane powered by water-fuelled engines through the hole in the North Pole into an unknown hollow Earth down to the South Pole, took this fabled Google search technology to the secret Illuminati base in Antarctica before heading north again, annoyed the Pope and Opus Dei and the long-lost descendants of Jesus Christ and finally became integrated into the Project for a New American Century's headquarters, the NSA - which was almost obliterated when the international Zionist conspiracy felled the Twin Towers with explosives and thermite in the fraudulent September the 11th attacks?

To be honest, you're not trying very hard. Or giving the real-world NSA lots of credit and assuming no end of competence on their behalf. They've cracked every form of encryption as well, right?

Re:It seems to me... (4, Interesting)

gmack (197796) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578857)

AMD ie recently making more moves toward the open source community than either it or ATI did prior to the merger.It seems to me that AMD has realized that there is value in not only having the right products rolling off the lines, but also having a greater mindshare.

AMD has actually been making moves for a long time so this isn't as large a step for them. Even before the amd64 cpus came out AMD had specs available and a machine simulator as well as several kernel developers working on getting Linux to run on their hardware.

On the other hand this is a huge step for ATI and I may very well find myself reconsidering my ATI boycott.

Re:It seems to me... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578901)

Google realized this early, and bought off a great amount of geek awe by using Linux as the basis for its computing grid.
Umm.... Are you somehow implying that Google based its initial infrastructure choices on what would gain it the most "geek awe"? In which case, the phenomenal success of their infrastructure is a mere accident? That's patently ridiculous. Google used Linux because it was the right tool for the job (reliable, stable, scalable, Free to be modified, and free to use).

Sure, the geek cred is a nice by-product of the choice they made. But that was inevitable, since they were geeks making geeky choices about technology (rather than marketing choices).

Re:It seems to me... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579121)

I don't believe I claimed that was the only reason or even the main reason. It was certainly a factor though, and the cred was exploited for it it was worth. Given that my post was about image, I thought this would be obvious, but as it turns out, there's always an idiot willing to miss even the most plainly visible of contextual qualifications. Well done on it being you!

Re:It seems to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579629)

I don't believe I claimed that was the only reason or even the main reason. It was certainly a factor though, and the cred was exploited for it it was worth.
Okay, fair enough. From my reading it sounded like you were claiming that was a primary deciding factor. Thank you for clearing that up.

Given that my post was about image, I thought this would be obvious, but as it turns out, there's always an idiot willing to miss even the most plainly visible of contextual qualifications. Well done on it being you!
Well, I think your post could have been more carefully worded to get your point across. In any case, I think you calling me "an idiot" is uncalled for. I apologize if my comment (e.g. usage of "patently ridiculous") bothered you.

No, this is normal for AMD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578939)

They released full specs for their hardware for ages, and even donated hardware to open source projects. Not just big name ones like linux either, openbsd got AMD64 hardware. This is why all the free operating systems had full AMD64 support very soon after the hardware was released (if not before it was released).

Re:It seems to me... (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579187)

Google realized this early, and bought off a great amount of geek awe by using Linux as the basis for its computing grid. This popularity among geeks turned into word of mouth advertising which turned into huge market share (having a great product didn't hurt either).

Although I think you're probably right on the amount of geek cred google gets for the computing grid, I'll bet that you'll probably need to flip the two arguements around - the word of mouth and market share are driven by great product, not that it runs linux and geeks like it.

People talk positively and negatively based on the question of "does it work", not "does it run linux". Oddly enough, in AMD/ATI's case, they've had a rocky set of answers for both of those questions.

Re:It seems to me... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579623)

People talk positively and negatively based on the question of "does it work", not "does it run linux".

Dude, seriously? "Does it run Linux?" was such an important question in the common mindset here that it has become a meme.

Great! More fans of Bob Llama are pissed at Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579247)

>Google still tries to maintain the "we're just a benign bunch of geeks" image (an image which is eroding, as it
>becomes more apparent that they are more akin to a lovechild of M$ and the NSA than a giant sushi eating LAN party).

I think Google's actions towards the open source community and users worldwide has been excellent.

You are I am sure mad at them because of their dealings with China over the treatment of Bob Llama...

blah, blah, blah....

Re:It seems to me... (1)

N7DR (536428) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579313)

AMD has realized that there is value in not only having the right products rolling off the lines, but also having a greater mindshare.

Or, as you implicitly suggest later but don't actually say: greater mindshare amongst technologically literate and influential people. My opinion (which is worth what you're paying for it) is that such people wield widely-underestimated power in the mid and long term.

Re:It seems to me... (1)

Somegeek (624100) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579343)

I would say that the buzz about Google came %99.98 from the relevance of their search results as compared to what came before; alta-vista, etc., and %.02 from geek awe over Linux infrastructure.

Re:It seems to me... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579499)

I doubt that Google used Linux to gain mind share. They used Linux because they could get the source and was free. It was the cheapest and best solution for building a super large COTS cluster.
It is nice that AMD gave the 2D specs away. I will go to great when they give out the 3-D specs. I will buy and AMDTI video card when we have good working drivers.

Re:It seems to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579717)

"AMD ie recently making more moves toward the open source community than either it or ATI did prior to the merger.It seems to me that AMD has realized that there is value in not only having the right products rolling off the lines, but also having a greater mindshare."

Also, having a (hopefully) large developer pool optimize your drivers for free doesn't hurt, either. I'd bet anything that stable well performing driver code produced by the community for open source drivers makes it back into their binary distributions for other platforms in short order (source available upon request, of course).

AMD's commodity market is hardware, and they already give away their drivers for free, so this does nothing but help them in both the short and long term.

Looking to buy dual head card soon for Linux (-1, Redundant)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578713)

I wasn't even going to research ATI, but now I'll definitely take a look.

Hopefully a meaningful contribution (3, Interesting)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578717)

One can hope that it actually had the specifications for modern GPUs... and not just stuff you might find in scrap piles or in 15+ year old government computers. Otherwise, it will be like when the RIAA gave a crap-ton of Whitney Houston Christmas CDs as a settlement for their price-fixing practices... technically within the letter of the law, but violating the spirit of the law all to hell...

Re:Hopefully a meaningful contribution (2, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578769)

it will be like when the RIAA gave a crap-ton of Whitney Houston Christmas CDs as a settlement for their price-fixing practices... technically within the letter of the law, but violating the spirit of the law all to hell...
Not to mention violating our ears too!

Re:Hopefully a meaningful contribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20578843)

That is the case -- AMD/ATI is putting out specs for everything on their latest cards, and will do so from here on out. Even better, there's no NDA stuff around it, which was the problem with ATI's previous dip in the open source pool: there were only a small handful of X11 devs with access under the NDA, and when they moved on, all the benefits of the spec "release" went with them.
  I've always had a slight preference for ATI hardware, going all the way back to my DOS 6 machine in the early 90's, which had a very nice little ATI card. The image quality of ATI cards has always been excellent, and they've never been much of a slouch at 3D, it's always just been the crappy drivers that were the problem, so I'm really happy about both these specs, and the new 8.41 driver that Phoronix previewed -- my old Radeon 9800 is finally getting good drivers, and my next card (which was going to be an nVidia up until AMD made this announcement earlier this month) will get free drivers.
  The future's looking up!

obvious disconnect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579359)

How would you even know they had good image quality if they had crappy drivers? Does not compute, unless you got lucky and bought the magical cards that ran without drivers. Or is that just some rumors you heard on the internets?

Re:Hopefully a meaningful contribution (5, Informative)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578863)

The specs are for the brand-spanking-new RV630 series, the mid to low range chip in the r600 line. And the specs are only for 2d modesetting at the moment, so they likely apply to the whole r600 series. When the 3d specs are released they'll likely be a separate spec sheet for each specific chip. So to answer your question, they are for the newest cards ATi currently makes not their old, outmoded ones.

Re:Hopefully a meaningful contribution (1)

VGR (467274) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578925)

I agree with you, except that the older cards should not be written off. I wonder how many of those older All-In-Wonder cards would be sitting in scrap piles if their video ports were usable in Linux. I know I'd use them. I get the impression they're quite a bit better than BT8xx cards. Sadly, they're currently only usable as generic SVGA cards.

Yes, I know there have been some attempts at reverse-engineering the older cards' video ports, but it's spotty, difficult to use, and if I remember correctly, requires not only an X module but also patching and recompiling X itself. Plus special binaries instead of v4l or v4l2 support.

It seems ridiculous to me that so many cards are sitting in landfills for no reason other than ATI's unwillingness to release specs for them. What is there to lose by releasing specs for old cards?

Re:Hopefully a meaningful contribution (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579091)

Possibly, the fact that that and older card with perfectly optinmised drivers might actually perform better than a newer one with badly written drivers. Seems to me that S3 and XGI learned this the hard way.

Re:Hopefully a meaningful contribution (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579193)

What they have to lose is the work it takes to do that. They said there's proprietary IP involved in the specs for the newer cards that they'll have to find a way to not release along with the specs, probably there are similar issues with the old cards. And the older cards no longer generate revenue, so from ATI/AMD's point of view it's not really worth the trouble.

Re:Hopefully a meaningful contribution (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578943)

The RV630 chip is anything but "old", and what runs the Radeon HD 2600 PRO and Radeon HD 2600 XT. These belong to the very latest Radeon R600 line [wikipedia.org] -- AMD's Direct3D 10 / Shader Model 4.0 supporting GPU's. These are high end chips from 2007, currently only beat by the Radeon HD 2900 XT in performance, if only speaking of AMD/ATI. The M56 chip is the core of the ATI Radeon Mobility X1600 (released December 2005), which is still a very decent mobile chip, roughly corresponding to an NVIDIA Geforce Go 7600 in performance.

Hmm, I now also see the ATI FireGL V7600 runs the RV630 too. Maybe that could work out for something too...

Nice, but... (4, Funny)

Briareos (21163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578747)

...will that GPU run Linux?

Just imagine an SLI'd Beowulf cluster of these!

np: Masha Qrella - Insecure (Luck)

Wow! (3, Funny)

nonsequitor (893813) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578761)

This is amazing news, not only that the specifications have finally been opened, but that the open source community has immediately utilized them to update the driver with a turn around time of only 2 weeks.

I guess we can thank Dell for pressuring ATI for better Linux support.

Re:Wow! (5, Informative)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579707)

Actually, (IIRC) the driver has been sitting in somebody's desk drawer for months, waiting for AMDTI to bless it. The developer got the specs under NDA or something quite a while ago.

ati on ubuntu dell laptops? (1)

wpegden (931091) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578763)

Maybe now this means we can have some dedicated video cards on the Ubuntu Dell Laptops, instead of just the onboard Intel chip they're using now because of the driver issues?

Hmm... (4, Insightful)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578775)

I wonder if this has more to do with trying to get mind and market share over intel than them really beleiving Open Source is the future of the market. maybe it's both.

Nice bit of good news anyway.

Re:Hmm... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579335)

From their perspective, who cares if Open Source is the future of the market (it's doubtless the future of some portion of the market.) What does matter is that non-Microsoft, non-proprietary systems are a significant and growing aspect to modern computing, and they'd just continue to be fools to ignore it.

900 pages? (5, Funny)

26199 (577806) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578803)

Come off it... that's not even enough for an Office document standard.

Worthless!

Re:900 pages? (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579463)

But this is only the 2D parts, no 3D formulas (no specified shader language, akin to spreadsheet formulas). And I would damn assume that they have left out the VESA BIOS specs, so no backwards compatibility!

(jk, not troll)

My next box will go ati (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578815)

I have not bought an ati for a long time after I switched to linux. My last ati card was a 9800. I will next time.

Re:My next box will go ati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579505)

My currently-in-use card is an 9800, you insensitive clod. SCNR, it really is. ;-)

HOLY FREAKING CRAP (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578829)

I say again. HOLY FREAKING CRAP.

If this turns out the way it seems from an optimistic reading of the /. post, I think there's absolutely no reason not to recommend an ATI display card anymore. (Well, except for Intel's or VIA's integrated graphics in a non-gaming desk- or laptop.)

Amazing, we're saved! (3, Funny)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578859)

Bits 12 and 13 of D2CRTC_TRIGB_CNTL are D2CRTC_TRIGB_RISING_EDGE_DETECT_CNTL !!!

Hurray, now all Linux graphics problems are solved, it will autodetect all graphics cards like Windows 1.0 did and penguins will dance in the streets.

Definitely a good move. (1)

Mr_Mirsal (1155535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578921)

These are great news for the FOSS world, and I hope it will be for AMD too. This is one of the things the GNU/Linux desktop world was awaiting the most, and this will prove there is a real market there if AMD benefits from opening their specs.

IMHO, effectively releasing full specs, and doing it fast is not only a matter of "looking good from the geeks point of view" but a real desire of taking the GNU/Linux (and BSDs) desktop from nvidia.

Within (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578993)

Within 6 months i bet nvidia does the same thing

Oblig. Monty Python (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579009)

And there was great rejoicing.

Slashdot: Yay!

Re:Oblig. Monty Python (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579483)

Narrator: In the frozen land of nVidia, they were forced to eat 900 pages of ATI documentation.
Slashdot: Yay! [mwscomp.com]

Let the rationalization begin... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579069)

For why the open source driver is going to prove absolutely pathetic....

Next graphics card: Ati (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579071)

My current card is nvidia because they had the best 3D drivers so far. That's going to change.

Thanks AMD for taking this step!

Re:Next graphics card: Ati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579307)

My current card is nvidia because they had the best 3D drivers so far. That's going to change.
Are you ready to bet your first born on that?

Just because it is available doesn't mean that the drivers will become better. Maybe over time but by then nVidia have had time to fire back.

Thank you ATI + AMD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579081)

I promise that you will get my business for as long as your drivers stay open-source. I bought an AMD CPU already and I'll buy the rest (ATI graphics card and motherboard w/ATI subsystem) once I get paid.

May you bottom-line go through the roof, your hardware stay cool (both literally and figuratively), and your (Linux) drivers stay open source.

- On a technical note, how long would it take for MPlayer/VLC/GSTREAMER people to have hardware-accelerated playback of DVDs and the like?

juicy news! (1)

jhwilliams (1155955) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579101)

Boy oh boy, this is some juicy news. I had stopped using ATi stuff cause it blew. Maybe I'll start to see some new options open up.

Too late..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579113)

I just bought a laptop with an nVidia card in it; ATI was too late to get their share of my $2200.

However, for my next ~$5000 desktop, ATI will get the nod.

Thank you, AMD.

captcha: solemnly

Re:Too late..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20579333)

$5000 desktop? You could probably get a rackfull of servers for that much money, not just a desktop... Or are you one of those people that gold-plate their heatsinks and order their RAM directly from Apple?

So, which cards does this cover? (2, Interesting)

Eneff (96967) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579189)

I am not a hardware hacker, so I was wondering what cards would benefit from this first release.

Holy Crap Batman !!!!!!! (1)

sundru (709023) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579201)

Open source drivers for my X1900XT :):):) Hot diggity damn ! Gonna start a petition to port command and conquer - tiberium wars to Linux. or reopen my subscription to transgaming. -Sundru

900+ you say? (1)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579263)

The Athlon 4800+ runs at 2.4GHz so this 900+ GPU thing must be really dragging ass.

Re:900+ you say? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579771)

Yeah, compared to ooxml it is a slowtard.

Two words. (1)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579525)

Hell yes.

now I can buy one (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579565)

I used ATI products for years, starting with a 2MB Graphics Xpression that let me run at 1152x900 (used OpenLook, so my Linux desktop at home mirrored the Sun at work), but my last card buy had to be nVidia, although I despise them for what they did to 3dfx.

I was just about to build a new system around the Asus M2N32 WS with yet another nVidia card, but not now. It will be an ATI again.

Vote with your dollars AND ballots.

Mobile and IGP GPUs? (1)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579581)

With portables on the up, are we going to get specifications for the Radeon IGP chipsets? These seem to be causing the reverse engineering folks a huge headache and I've seen no mention of the Radeon Xpress 200M RS480 (yes, I have one, so I suppose I had better declare self-interest) or the Xpress 1100 so far. OK, we have 2D with the radeon(4x) driver in Xorg 7.2. 3D would be nice, though.

Thanks AMD! and good luck to the devs! (1)

Cprossu (736997) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579749)

Thanks AMD, and to all of the devs, communities, and testers out there who are going to put their heart, soul, time and money into making a rock solid driver set! Make sure that these specs and the others that we all hope will be released are put to the best use possible.

I look forward to any OS drivers that are produced and will at the very least try to put my time to use by finding and reporting bugs with the hardware I have when the time comes.
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