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Old 03-23-08, 01:55 AM   #1
Gregor A.
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Default Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...glxgears&num=1

If I'm thinking about the slow 2D performance on my "8800 GTS 640 MB" and the very long time broken NVIDIA Drivers (Broken Textures in Unreal Tournament) I like to read such news.

Next purchase an AMD card? Never again NVIDIA?

My old Radeon Mobility 9000 (Open Source "ATI" / "Radeon" Driver) in my old Notebook works much better with "Composite" Extensions in Compiz or KDE4 as the new/old expensive "8800 GTS 640 MB".

And the best is, I don't need to install any dirty binary (Starting *.run files as root) drivers for this card....

Everything is included in my Debian distribution...

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item&px=NjMzOQ
http://lists.freedesktop.org/archive...ry/032992.html
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...icrocode&num=1

And the future?
I don't need any more to compile with every new KERNEL the driver interface.
No any more: Oh **** NVIDIA uses GPL-only symbols ....
I must patch the driver...
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Old 03-23-08, 03:09 AM   #2
pawels133
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

That's great news. My new card will propably be Ati. No more unusable firefox, kde4 etc. And the best thing - open, high quality drivers.
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Old 03-23-08, 05:41 AM   #3
Linuxhippy
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

Quote:
No more unusable firefox, kde4 etc. And the best thing - open, high quality drivers.
It may be true for very old AMD chipsets (like the r200), but for newer ones (r300 was released in 2002) you don't get descent performance or render accaleration at all.
My grilfriend has a X700 (R420) Mobility and performance is really low - even with "old school" apps like KDE-3.5 making KDE4 apps *totally* unuseable. And I mean really unuseable, not only slow (2s for a window resize).
EXA is almost unimplemented for newer AMD chips (only some simple upload/download hooks, no advanced XRender stuff), and DRI itself has several drawbacks (however they are working on it) and 3D performance can't be compared at all.

If you've read my post I am always in the position that nvidia should tune their 2D drivers (and especially their XRender implementation), but what you state is simply not true.
For now the open-source drivers available for newer AMD chipsets are rather weak, in fact the only open-source drivers I can recommend for now are Intel (and maybe Openchrome and older ATI) - all others simple have too little manpower working on them.

Mfg Clemens
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Old 03-23-08, 06:10 AM   #4
pawels133
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

I didn't mean current Ati drivers, because they're not so good. I meant that Ati will have better drivers in near future than NVIDIA ones if NVIDIA won't open their specification.
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Old 03-23-08, 07:13 AM   #5
Gregor A.
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawels133
I meant that Ati will have better drivers in near future than NVIDIA ones if NVIDIA won't open their specification.
I mean the same...
The next logical step for NVIDIA is open their specification.
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Old 03-23-08, 07:29 AM   #6
Silverbak
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

While this is a milestone anyone who thinks that stable and high-performance drivers will appear quickly are deluding themselves. It takes years to develop drivers of the kind of quality of the fglrx and nvidia drivers, despite some of the problems that exist with them.

Given the long development path to a decent open-source driver it would be quite premature and in my opinion, remarkably uninformed, to think about making your next purchase and ATI on the basis of an infantile ATI driver in development, unless of course your purchase is in the order of years.

You may also like to consider that as ATI/AMD are releasing the specs to allow open-source development, it is quite conceivable that NVIDIA may do something similar and something that is worth considering before you make rash decision.

While where you spend your is the ultimate influence on NVIDIA's driver development strategy, I'm fairly confident that given ATI's move that NVIDIA could be coaxed in to finally pursuing a truly open-source driver model in the future.
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Old 03-23-08, 09:19 AM   #7
Linuxhippy
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

I would prefer a mixed open/closed driver

- 3D as fast and highly-tuned as its the case with current proprietary nvidia drivers.
- Open-Source 2D drivers, build on top of Xorg's infrastructure (EXA), only providing the hooks to allow the 3D driver to jump in.

This would ensure high 3D performance (the open-source intel-opengl-driver provides about 20-30% of the performance the closed-source windows driver is able to provide), with stable, mature and fixable 2D drivers.

Mfg Clemens
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Old 03-23-08, 10:04 AM   #8
Tub
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbak
While this is a milestone anyone who thinks that stable and high-performance drivers will appear quickly are deluding themselves. It takes years to develop drivers of the kind of quality of the fglrx and nvidia drivers, despite some of the problems that exist with them.

Given the long development path to a decent open-source driver it would be quite premature and in my opinion, remarkably uninformed, to think about making your next purchase and ATI on the basis of an infantile ATI driver in development, unless of course your purchase is in the order of years.
Amen to that.

nVidia isn't necessarily evil for not providing specs or not open-sourcing their drivers. Releasing something (specs or code) to the public is a matter of complicated legal review of contracts, licenses etc and may prove to be impossible. Of course nVidia can't talk about it unless it's solid, so anything at this point is pure speculation.


I'll keep my 7600 GT until it breaks down or proves to be insufficient, then I'll look at the current driver states on both sides, the available hardware (price, power consumption/noise and processing power) and make a decision based on all those factors. Simple as that.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:50 PM   #9
energyman76b
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

Remember the 'old' open drivers?

The ones some years ago?

The ones ATI provided the spec?

That drivers sucked monkey balls. Highly unstable, low performance.

Free is not equal to high quality.

Btw, I just played ut2004 on my 8600GT.
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Old 03-23-08, 01:16 PM   #10
pawels133
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

Are you talking about drivers that aren't ready even in 20%? Using nvidia's binary I almost can't surf the web.

>That drivers sucked monkey balls. Highly unstable, low performance.

I can say the same about nvidia ones.

>Free is not equal to high quality.

Free is not, but open is...
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Old 03-23-08, 01:29 PM   #11
energyman76b
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

you can't surf the web?

So what are you doing just now?

And why didn't I ever had problems? Not with my 5200, 6600 or 8600GT?
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Old 03-23-08, 01:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Open-Source ATI R500 3D Milestone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawels133

>Free is not equal to high quality.

Free is not, but open is...
No, definitely not.

Software quality has nothing to do with whether a software is open source or not. It still depends on

a) how many people are working on it

b) who is working on it.
This is an important part: there are lots of bad
programmers out there, and lots of good programmers
with issues like no knowledge of any software engineering basics,
an ego which simply makes it impossible to develop with them,
no good coding and / or documentation style and so on.

Of course it would be great to see specs from nvidia,
or, which is rather impossible at the moment, open source drivers.
But just because a company opens their specification or develops
open source drivers their product doesn't get any better.

ati is a good example, the (official, not the Xorg one) OSS driver
is no match to a) the binary driver b) the Xorg open driver,
c) the nvidia binary driver.
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