Linked by Andrew Youll on Tue 27th Dec 2005 12:07 UTC, submitted by Phoronix
3D News, GL, DirectX As 2005 comes to an end, both NVIDIA and ATI have fought a competitive battle not only when it comes to their hardware lineup but also display drivers for alternative operating systems. When discussing this subject matter, GNU/Linux users have been quick to criticize ATI Technologies whether it is due to poor installation support, distribution compatibility, rudimentary control panel, or simply the performance level of its drivers.
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ati ...
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 12:21 UTC
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ati drivers are a nightmare.

Reply Score: 5

The nightmare of ATI..
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 12:37 UTC
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I have a computer with a built in ATI XPRESS 200 and it has been such a horribly dreadful experience that I bought an NVIDIA 6200 card instead. My PC used to just hang with a completely white screen or crash and restart. I think the ATI drivers where to blame. These white screens of death happened with Windows or Linux.
Windows just said either nothing or a 'driver has failed' in the event log. Linux said nothing at all.
Also on ubuntu AMD64 ATI caused a repeatable crash when zooming in a PDF document or using inkscape. The Nvidia card just works...
I have used ATI for years from RAGE on up to the 9600XT but no more..
The picture looks better on the ATI card but the PC stays running with the Nvidia card..

Reply Score: 1

just say no to ati!
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:08 UTC
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from linus ;)

Reply Score: 1

Oh how you mock me ATI
by SEJeff on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:12 UTC
SEJeff
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2005-11-05

My development desktop has a fairly recent ATI 9250 video card and even with the official drivers from ATI, hardware accellerated OpenGL does not work. It's really a shame too, I was a loyal ATI fan for years and until recently only chose ATI. Some of the newer releases of x.org are supposed to support EXA with ATI cards like the 9250, but I haven't noticed any difference between fglrx and when I run the open source drivers. It's pathetic actually

My next video card...Nvidia.

Reply Score: 2

IGP's are the future!
by Bonus on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:12 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

Go with Intel, Via and SIS IGP.

Reply Score: 1

RE: IGP's are the future!
by biteydog on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:19 UTC in reply to "IGP's are the future!"
biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

Had probs with all 3 of these at times, together and separately - installation refuses, crashes, and just plain weird behaviour. Never had any trouble from AMD or NVidia (or Via's ethernet) - c'est la vie ;)

Reply Score: 2

Technical voes
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:14 UTC
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Ok, the fglrx drivers do come from a long way. I remember having to always patch em once or twice and depending the kernel i was running, it was just simply impossible.
At those time, it was a radeon mobility 9000.

Of Course, i have since then by pure sanity switched to nvidia ( even if i am not impressed at the harware YUV controls being removed from the 6XXX and 7XXX cards, Nvidia, please think of people watching videos on their computers ! ). I don't really care to who my money goes as long as i get a lasting reliable and easy enough set up.

A month ago, i bought a desktop bundle that came with a X300 128 meg PCIE ( desktop and non mobile as the one of the article). I thought, lets see how ati fares.

At install, the driver complained about symbol not found in my running kernel, figured out i had to patch it, did so, and made em work apart that any call to OpenGL will result in an X crash ( Sig 11 ).

So, ATI, get this message: Try to provide a driver that doesn't relies so heavily on kernel code. The present 2.6 kernel is moving very fast, and especially things like AGP that the fglrx driver uses heavily, are changing abruptly. The Nvidia driver doesn't suffer such issues when the kernel API changes, just because they are supplying their own interface to the kernel. It might be ugly, and not in sync with open source practices, but hell, it just works, and when it comes to graphic cards, open source doesn't really cut it.

The main issue with the fglrx driver is that it is always lagging behind the current kernel, and playing catching up isn't of the taste of the linux gamers out there, as they often run latest kernel sources.
Lets hope this happens, as well as a real performance driver, as the benchmarks of this test showed, there is no incentive in buying expensive ATI cards if you gonna use Linux with them.

Reply Score: 1

Open Source?
by xushi on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:24 UTC
xushi
Member since:
2005-08-29

Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't it a bit ironic that ATI's linux drivers are open source, and after all this time they still can't get it to work propperly on linux, while nVidia's drivers are closed source, and work like a charm?

Anyway, i hope more news comes out the same as this, to let ATI realises their mistakes, and start fixing their drivers. It was hell trying to find a good nVidia powered laptop in europe!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Open Source?
by joelito_pr on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:38 UTC in reply to "Open Source?"
joelito_pr Member since:
2005-07-07

Actually, oficial ATI drivers are as propietary and closed source as Nvidia. And both cards have Open source drivers made by users. In my experience, ATI's Open source driver has been more stable (As in no crashes) and I even have 3d acceleration (Using a Radeon 9200SE)

Edited 2005-12-27 13:38

Reply Score: 4

RE: Open Source?
by null_pointer_us on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:42 UTC in reply to "Open Source?"
null_pointer_us Member since:
2005-08-19

Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't it a bit ironic that ATI's linux drivers are open source, and after all this time they still can't get it to work propperly on linux, while nVidia's drivers are closed source, and work like a charm?

ATI and nVidia provide proprietary drivers. ATI also assists with 2D support for the community-developed open source driver, but I don't think they help with the 3D stuff. Is that what you were referring to?

Reply Score: 3

Support
by SlackerJack on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:31 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

In the end it's down to support and who does it best for Linux, NVIDIA are second to non and there devs are always helping out at nvnews linux forums.

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14

NVIDIA gfx support on Linux is superior and I just don't see ATI getting there act together anytime soon, kernel compatibility with NVIDIA is excellent. We have had two releases in the last month with better support for composite and I see no reason what so ever to buy a ATI card. Also the newer nvidia driver updates the xorg.config so you don't need to edit it.

Reply Score: 2

There is always ...
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:45 UTC
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Unichrome and VIA C3 (open source) . By the way PCIe G550 Matrox is open source. Why struggle on closed source solutions?

I was never able to install on my nx9010 laptop the driver by ATI. Drivers in FC3 make it work very well. At least 2D acceleration is working. Marvellous.

I hate this driver discussion. Make evrything OSS and let the best win. By the way I cannot understand why 3Dlabs rely on Xi Graphics (only their DeXtop deserves some praise and yes their products are good if they have open specs. Wildcat driver has not open specs. Refrain from them. You can use their Intel or Radeon 9250 drivers since they have open specs) and why XGI do not release everything as open source ( I mean 3D)?

ATI or NVIDIA? I prefer opensource. Go Unichrome or PCIe G550LP !!!

Even MS$$$ or Apple can benefit from Open Source.

Reply Score: 0

nvidia drivers
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 13:58 UTC
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Has anyone benchmarked nvidia drivers on Windows versus on Linux. Maybe it is X or some kernel decision Linux has used that keeps it running at the same speed as Windows.

Reply Score: 0

RE: nvidia drivers
by JLF65 on Tue 27th Dec 2005 18:42 UTC in reply to "nvidia drivers"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Has anyone benchmarked nvidia drivers on Windows versus on Linux. Maybe it is X or some kernel decision Linux has used that keeps it running at the same speed as Windows.

Nothing official, but DOOM3 runs just as fast in linux on my nVidia GeForce FX5600 as in Windows. Overall, DOOM3 is smoother in linux due to better filesystem handling, but I've never seen any issues on graphics being slower. In fact, Amercian McGee's Alice runs faster in linux via WINE than it does in Windows with DirectX.

Reply Score: 1

RE: nvidia drivers
by rayiner on Tue 27th Dec 2005 20:53 UTC in reply to "nvidia drivers"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

OpenGL direct rendering on Linux mostly bypasses X (hence the term "direct rendering"), so that is unlikely to be a reason for a slowdown.

Previous benchmarks have shown that in applications equally well-optimized for both OSs, Linux can perform as fast as Windows using NVIDIA hardware. See: http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/video_winvslin/

Linux comes out ahead in Quake III, loses in UT2003 (which has always been a Windows and D3D oriented game), and ties in SpecViewperf. These benchmarks were done on a GeForce4, though I don't expect the results to have changed significantly since then.

One thing that should be noted is that it could be the case that the Linux versions of the OpenGL drivers are optimized for workstation apps rather than games (given that the main users of 3D on Linux are places like ILM). Workstation apps are characterized by higher geometric detail and lower pixel-level detail (lightmaps, textures, shaders, etc). Drivers for workstation cards tend to optimize for such apps, and thus often perform poorly in games, which are characterized by low geometric detail and high pixel-level detail. You can verify this by comparing a Quadro card to the corresponding GeForce card. Even though the hardware is almost identical, you'll find that the GeForce beats the Quadro in games, and the Quadro beats the GeForce in workstation apps.

Reply Score: 2

ati on linux: are we joking?
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 14:00 UTC
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i own an r9800pro. as far as it comes to linux, my gfx card leaves me unsatisfied due to pooooooooor support from ati.

i think there should be regulations concerning the fact of hardware selling (why does ati "force" me to use windows? everyone might say this: "look dude, the card is as is. take it or leave it. you want proper acceleration in linux? go buy an nvidia"...)

so, next time it's gonna be an nvidia card for me.

Reply Score: 2

Open Graphics Project
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 14:01 UTC
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I'd like to remind everyone of the ongoing Open Graphics Project [http://lists.duskglow.com/mailman/listinfo/open-graphics] which is an attempt to design and mass produce Free-Software-friendly graphics cards. This is an extremely important endeavor as it will allow solid, Free drivers to be built as well as send a message to nVidia, ATI, et al about the importance of open specifications to the community. If/when this card is released I intend to purchase at least one (or several if I can afford it) as I want to ensure that the project can release more cards in the future. I urge others to at least consider doing the same.

Disclaimer: While I am a strong supporter of the Open Graphics Project, I am not affiliated with it in any way.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Open Graphics Project
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 16:32 UTC in reply to "Open Graphics Project"
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While I do wish them all the best...

"Posted by timothy on Sat Nov 27, '04 11:10 PM"

It's just about January 2006 now.

1) What these guys need to do is get the spec for the minimum graphics needed to run Vista,

2) implement it in a free an open way that is extensible, in a way where it could be used in the handheld media player market, and laptop markets, these guys will be 10 years behind ATI and Nvidia on the desktop. Learn from the mistakes of Matrox & Volari, don't put all your eggs in one basket, especially when there are others out there with much better eggs and baskets. Compete where the competition sucks.

3) Profit from the IGP market, since ALL CURRENT INTEL IGPS ARE GOING TO HAVE A HELL OF A TIME SUPPORTING VISTA, especially the laptop market. The #1 seller of graphics processors is Intel. The #1 laptop GPU is from Intel. Learn from this.

Reply Score: 0

ATI & NVIDIA on Linux
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 15:23 UTC
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NVIDIA Linux drivers rocks!
ATI Linux drivers are unstable and there's no OpenGL 2 support but OpenGL 1.3 !!!
And as for their kernel module (half source/half object), they could put their secret code into an external (closed) userspace library and the rest of the source licensed under GPL.

Reply Score: 1

ATI give us OpenGL 2.0 full shaders+XvMC!
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 15:41 UTC
Anonymous
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ATI
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OpenGL 1.3 (you buy a super-duper GPU with pixel and vertex shaders and you get NOTHING of this; OpenGL 1.3 is equivalent to Direct3D 7 - Geforce 2 MX level)
NO XvMC (X Video Motion Compensation) support!
In windows you can even accelerate DivX (MPEG-4).
At least nVidia provides XvMC for MPEG-1/2.
NO EXA support (nVidia supports it, even in combination with OpenGL apps).

I use exclusively Linux in both my laptop (ATI Radeon 9000 Pro Mobility + open-source X.org 7 drivers) and my desktop (nVidia Geforce 6600 GT + closed drivers of course...)
If find it PRETTY IRONIC that MacOS X has support for both OpenGL 2.0+XvMC (CoreVideo) for ATI (and nvidia also).
I have no plans of buying ATI again.-

Reply Score: 2

NVIDIA Article to Come
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 15:55 UTC
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From what appears to be a Phoronix blog or alter-ego site:

With our ATI A Year in Review 2005 article we published yesterday, we have received an overwhelming amount of feedback from loyal visitors sharing their experiences with Linux graphics products and beliefs in the ATI/NVIDIA debacle. There has also been a great deal of comments on other websites about the article and ATI's sub-par performance. Although we had not planned on doing a NVIDIA AYiR 2005 article, as we had done a NVIDIA Q4-2005 Driver article, we have received a great deal of interest from Linux users seeking additional driver comparative numbers as well as a Windows comparison as we had done in the ATI article. To honor this request, we are looking at making room in our Phoronix.com schedule before the end of this year to perform a NVIDIA AYiR investigation. More information will be available later in regards to this upcoming piece, that is if we do not lose all of our sanity with a second Windows installation in a matter of a month.

Thus it looks like a NVIDIA article similar to this ATI piece will be out this week, for reference the above quote was found @ http://www.pyrocpu.com/index.php?page=home#13

Reply Score: 0

Go with Free ATI
by Sodki on Tue 27th Dec 2005 16:17 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

For a casual Free Software zealot use, I recommend ATI < 9800, wich has Free 3D drivers and works quite well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Go with Free ATI
by Anonymous on Fri 30th Dec 2005 09:12 UTC in reply to "Go with Free ATI"
Anonymous Member since:
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Open source ATI 3D driver does nothing but basic stuff, that is, no vertex/fragment shaders, etc... closed ATI driver provides those but it is so buggy they are almost unusable... seriously, there is no choose but nvidia closed driver for decent 3D support.

Reply Score: 0

ATi (fglrx) and me
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 16:55 UTC
Anonymous
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Just for the record:
I'm using ATi since Rage, on linux since Radeon 7500 with the early fglrx driver on RH 7.3 (which was made earlier for professional FireGl cards only, this is the origin of the ATi's linux driver name).
Now I have a X800 XL. It is working, even on Ubuntu. Right now I have 64 bit suse 10 and Ubuntu 32 bit. Both working well with the fglrx driver.
About nvidia, they have problem too, try the new 1.8*** drivers, those have so many problems..(but yes even with this, nvidia has better linux(+bsd, +Solaris) drivers, I agree).
One more thing: opengl 1.3 + extensions (ati has it) = opengl 2.0.
Of course it needs more develepment, but it is working.

TRS

Reply Score: 0

blah, blah, blah...
by nirvanix on Tue 27th Dec 2005 18:07 UTC
nirvanix
Member since:
2005-10-03

That's what I say when I read most of these comments. Just ranting without the facts presented. I live in a house with 4 computers, all running Arch linux. Two of the machines have Nvidia GeForce 5200, one has a Radeon 9600, and the other a Radeon 8500LE. I've had the proprietary 3D drivers on all of them for over two years.
Here are some findings based on experience:
i) The Nvidia drivers have more or less been stable over that whole time.
ii) The ATI drivers for the two different radeons have been stable most of that time, going back to about Nov. 2003. If you've had problems then I would look at your distro or how you installed the drivers.
iii) Under linux, the radeon 8500LE outperforms the Geforce 5200 in ET and UT2003 in framerates, which is surprising to me.
iv) If you haven't tried the ATI installers lately, they are as good as if not better than the NVidia ones.
And if you haven't tried them lately, then you really have nothing to rant about.

Those are the facts as I have found them. That's not to say I don't have my issues with ATI. I believe that for a long time they never embraced linux and hoped it would go away - I think it's just this year that they've realized that linux is here to stay and I hope that 2006 sees them bringing the driver up to the Windows level. Nvidia on the other hand has always made a solid effort to support their hardware on linux and deserve praise for that. I'm just tired of this bs ranting that still continues based on somebody's experience years ago.

Edited 2005-12-27 18:09

Reply Score: 1

RE: blah, blah, blah...
by Richard James on Wed 28th Dec 2005 10:21 UTC in reply to "blah, blah, blah..."
Richard James Member since:
2005-07-07

I'm just tired of this bs ranting that still continues based on somebody's experience years ago.

X crashed on me today and yesterday because of that dumb ATI driver. I can't wait until I get a replacement NVIDIA card.

Reply Score: 2

Ati Xpress 200m
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 20:19 UTC
Anonymous
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I feel sorry to post this here, but if someone can help me with installing my ati Xpress 200m in ubuntu breezer, Please Help!
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=607198#post607198

For now, I don't like ati a lot...

Reply Score: 0

Went with Nvidia this time
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 20:29 UTC
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Two years ago I got an ATI 9600 in my notebook and even though it worked good on windows there was no RENDER on xorg and the performance was lacking.

This time I got a Nvidia 6800Go on my Inspiron 9300 (upgradable to the 7800) and really like it. ATI seems to occassionaly get on part with Nvidia, but it usually doesn't last long. But it's in everybody's interests that ATI put out quality GPUs

Reply Score: 0

reasons for nvidia
by Anonymous on Tue 27th Dec 2005 22:26 UTC
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reasons for using nvidia:

* linux drivers
* freebsd drivers
* solaris (10, express) drivers

and they work, and work well very well

so much so that i delayed for months until i found teh right laptop version with nvidia and not ati inside.

i hope someone from ATI is reading this forum becaus ethey are in serious trouble. unless all they care about is windows users.

also - says something about the qualiyy of code and design that the same driver core s use for all the freebsd, linux, solaris and macos NVIDIA drivers ... hello ati?

Reply Score: 0

v RE: reasons for nvidia
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Dec 2005 01:15 UTC
RE[2]: reasons for nvidia
by rayiner on Wed 28th Dec 2005 02:40 UTC in reply to "RE: reasons for nvidia"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Except NVIDIA, apparently. And ILM, and Weta, and Dreamworks, and Disney, etc. What, you think NVIDIA made Linux drivers for gamers?

Reply Score: 1

ATI in the wrong direction
by bouh on Wed 28th Dec 2005 02:53 UTC
bouh
Member since:
2005-10-27

IMHO ATI is in the wrong direction. They spend their time to correct bugs, which is obviously important. But doing an installer is just not right! They should consider working hand to hand with main distros, be happy to release a tarball and let the packaging work to the distro!

Spending time on an installer (that almost any of my friend and me uses because this guy put a fglrx directory into /lib/modules instead of /usr/src to build the module) and a package generator, ignoring the distros and reinventing the wheel, is just wrong IMHO. __Please__ tell me what do you think about that, I feel like I am saying some devilish stuffs...

They should focus on putting more horse power in their modules and implement for exemple, the support for Xcomposite...

Reply Score: 2

Ati
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Dec 2005 05:25 UTC
Anonymous
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If you follow ati forums then you know that Ati engineers themselves said that they simply don't have enough manpower/resources for linux/opengl drivers. Therefore, wishing that Ati could out do nvidia in this regard (yeah, 2006 is going to be the year) is simply unrealistic.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ati
by Anonymous on Thu 29th Dec 2005 06:44 UTC in reply to "Ati"
Anonymous Member since:
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If you follow ati forums then you know that Ati engineers themselves said that they simply don't have enough manpower/resources for linux/opengl drivers. Therefore, wishing that Ati could out do nvidia in this regard (yeah, 2006 is going to be the year) is simply unrealistic.

This is the only post that actually explains what's going on. Simply put, ATi doesn't have the resources to spend on Linux drivers. Nvidia has. (also for Solaris and FreeBSD). And the results reflect this.

You're less likely to get issues with Nvidia solutions under Linux than you will with ATi. (That doesn't mean you get problems 100% of the time. Sometimes an ATi solution works without too much difficulty under Linux. I know my Thinkpad's Mobility Radeon 7500 works.)

Overall, if you're planning to use various OSs, check hardware support and the things involved to make them work. (This is one of those times where I prefer NOT to use those "easy to use distros" with pre-packaged ATi or Nvidia drivers). I go for those that are recognised by the manufacturer.

eg : I have two Sempron64 setups, one with GF5900XT, the other with GF4 ti4200-8x...And yet, under PCLinuxOS, the GF4 one won't even boot with the pre-package Nvidia driver. Under Slackware/Fedora/Suse, where I manually install the driver, both are fine!

To me, it doesn't matter if its ATi or Nvidia...Its whoever provides the best support in drivers for the OSs I use. If the situation was vice versa, I would lean to ATi.

As for those mentioning VIA's UniChrome IGP...That is a POS not even worth bothering. VIA provides binary drivers to support open-source OSs. What they advertised is that they're opening their drivers! (Supporting an OS and opening up your drivers are two very different things).

Last time I checked, VIA won't help (open-wise) with 3D-support of UniChrome because its "too complicated" for the community to handle. As a result, the open-source driver for UniChrome was worked on by the community (which, I think, have splintered). I'm not sure how far its gone status-wise.

As a result, all my setups involving UniChrome IGPs (just VIA EPIA Mini-ITX boxes) are used in roles where the display is only used for installation of software or for troubleshooting. (server, firewall, etc). I'm not wasting time on crap like that.

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous
Member since:
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Not a problem in windows OR linux.

The linux installer is simple and works as an charm.
The windows drivers also works as they should and i have NEVER had any problems or crashes because of ATI:s drivers.

What are you all doing wrong????

//Rickard

Reply Score: 0

linux and 3D
by STTS on Wed 28th Dec 2005 18:18 UTC
STTS
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (8500 in past, up to Rage128), and it is sad that I miss (3d for < 9800 only) rule. I remember that near october 2003 all rage3d.com users be happy with that driver team promise. Now (~2 years later) i have cool fast fgl_glxgears -vbo, funny ATI control, and lot of rumors about "Great OpenGL reworking from scratch so doom3-like engines be 1000000 times faster etc.". May be it is my crazy conspiracy theory, but i think that ATI just payd by MS to sabotage anything around linux. Not abandom support at all (in that case it is less destructive) but do like it always do: release some half-arsed driver so nobody can use linux at full throttle but same time re-engeneering (disassembling) MS driver motivation be decreased - "Why spend my time when there is drivers that seems to run American Army, Unreal, glxgears".

Reply Score: 1

You know
by deathshadow on Wed 28th Dec 2005 21:44 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

I've never understood the problems with ATI drivers under Linux, since the FireGL cards have historically been THE weapon of choice on REAL unix workstations.

Of course, I take some offense to the notion that OSS is the be-all end-all of alternative operating systems. Ever try the nVidia equipped Mac's? You want to talk flaky, poorly written drivers, THERE YOU ARE. Even under OS X, ATI is THE manufacturer to have.

One thing the article does I found semi-annoying is compare ATI to nVidia, compare ATI to nVidia, compare ATI to nVidia, then not post a single benchmark or link to benchmarks comparing the X300 they tested to an equivalent GE. I've generally noticed the same piss-poor benchmarks on the Ge6600 between linux and WinXP, surprising they don't mention that.

Oh wait, no it isn't... because to *nix heads nVidia is god no matter how cheaply made or poorly designed they are.

Reply Score: 1