Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 22:15 UTC, submitted by Kombatant
3D News, GL, DirectX "ATI's R5xx line was first released back in October 2005. The initial launch covered the X1800 and X1300 series, with the X1600 series following suit in November. Last month we saw the release of the new X1900 series too. Now, let me count the months from October to February; it is 5 months, right? Well, believe it or not, that's the number of months the new X1000 series is out in the market without Linux support. If you are unfortunate enough to own such a card, all you have is Matthew Tippett's statement in Phoronix."
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Crazy characters
by siride on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 22:27 UTC
siride
Member since:
2006-01-02

Okay, what's wrong with plain ASCII?

Reply Score: 0

bad link in article
by umccullough on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 22:28 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26
what about specs?
by kamper on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 22:40 UTC
kamper
Member since:
2005-08-20

I don't understand why he doesn't even mention the idea of ati releasing chipset specs so that the linux community can write their own drivers. It probably wouldn't be good enough for serious gaming but it would do fine for the xgl stuff coming out now.

Alright, it probably won't happen either way, but I thought it was at least worth bitching about.

Reply Score: 5

RE: what about specs?
by umccullough on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 22:42 UTC in reply to "what about specs?"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

If I recall, ATI is better at releasing 2d specs than nVidia already - but I think it's the 3d specs that NOBODY wants to release due to the fear of competition stealing their internals or something.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: what about specs?
by Beta on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE: what about specs?"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Can't they (nVidia + ATi) release the 3d specs at the same time?
They'd have the same edge over each other, and it would probably improve each of their implementations.

Wishful thinking, I guess.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: what about specs?
by hohlraum on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 05:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: what about specs?"
hohlraum Member since:
2005-12-13

ati has a history of writing crappy drivers. on paper over the years there cards have had better specs than the competition yet never could out perform nvidia. personally i don't see nvidia releasing anything they thing might give ATI an insight.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: what about specs?
by Kombatant on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what about specs?"
Kombatant Member since:
2005-09-11

All companies have a history of crappy drivers. Nvidia's drivers when 3Dfx was around weren't so hot either. Right now many people consider the Catalyst suite to be more stable than the Forceware suite. But that's on Windows. And my interest is Linux, hence the editorial.

Edited 2006-02-23 07:46

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: what about specs?
by Ascay on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what about specs?"
Ascay Member since:
2005-07-11

on paper over the years there cards have had better specs than the competition yet never could out perform nvidia.

Really?

Radeon 8500 <=> GeForce 3
Radeon 9700 <=> GeForce FX 5800

Despite the crappy drivers these ATI cards were noticeable faster.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: what about specs?
by Bending Unit on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: what about specs?"
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, they are crappy but still better than Nvidia's drivers. But the Catalyst Control Center is an abomination.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: what about specs?
by Kombatant on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: what about specs?"
Kombatant Member since:
2005-09-11

Umm, we are talking about Linux here you know, not Windows. So care to explain how ATI's Linux drivers are better than nVidia's? And how you managed to run Catalyst Control Center in Linux in order to know it's an abomination?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: what about specs?
by CrimsonScythe on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE: what about specs?"
CrimsonScythe Member since:
2005-07-10

The problem isn't that they're afraid that the competition will steal anything from them, but that the competition will sue over potentially infringed patents. I would think that's much more devastating than someone stealing ideas, so you probably won't see any specs on the 3D chips from neither ATI nor nVidia. Also, IIRC the newer ATI cards have the 2D part included in the 3D chip, and so the specs for the 2D won't be released either.

I guess the only thing to do until ATI gets their act together, in my opinion, is to buy nVidia. At least they make decent Linux drivers.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: what about specs?
by ma_d on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE: what about specs?"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Or ... the specs aren't up to snuff to show. Remember why Microsoft can't release protocol documentation? They don't have anything good to release ;) .

I really doubt you could learn anything shocking from specs on how to talk to their hardware.
It could actually be nothing more than management thinking that said specs could be a problem, in said way, where the odds are really approaching zero. But, why take a risk for some geeks, right?

Oh wait, all their best customers are geeks!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: what about specs?
by siki_miki on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 12:11 UTC in reply to "what about specs?"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

That chip doesn't have the 2D hardware. All is "emulated" on 3D chip, so releasing spec would mean revealing workings of 3D chip. ATI don't want to do that because someone could have patent on some chip internals, and because competition can use it as inspiration.

Only way is maybe to reverse engineer their driver and look what they do (under windows). Probably very hard and long work, maybe even impossible given the state of open nvidia drivers.

While nvidia makes high grade linux drivers, ATI pricks almost don't care. I have radeon 9500 and almost regret I bought it (although the card itself is excellent). I consider it the most significant linux driver problem of all, because WLAN hardware can at least be used with help of ndiswrapper. Well, drivers will eventually be here if linux succeeds in taking more desktop share.

Reply Score: 1

I've used ATI exclusively
by 2fargone on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 22:53 UTC
2fargone
Member since:
2006-02-20

for the last seven years, but my next card will not be one. I'm so tired of the crappy Linux support, but even more angry at the crappy Windows support. Their drivers are junk, their bundled applications suck, and the catalyst control center is ugly.

I have always used ATI because the visual quality when everything is working right is noticeably better than everyone else, and way better than Nvidia. But Nvidia works, and I'm sick of ATI working only sporadically.

On top of that, ATI's Linux support is nothing compared to Nvidia.

Next card I'm buying will not be an ATI card. Maybe when they get things fixed, but for now, I'm moving on.

PS: To all perspective ATI chipset customers, whatever you do, beware of PowerColor. I'm sure they occasionally produce a good card, but of the few I've bought or used, PowerColor is garbage. Beware.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I've used ATI exclusively
by lord_rob on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 09:06 UTC in reply to "I've used ATI exclusively"
lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

Note that I own a five-year-old nVidia GeForce 2 pro, and recent nVidia drivers for linux don't support it anymore. It can be a problem when your distribution does have a lot of dependencies to upgrade simultaneously in order to upgrade the system. In my case, it's debian sid. Hopefully, debian nvidia team has a new package that contains the old version of nvidia drivers, but sooner or later, for some reason this package nvidia-legacy will stop working (incompatibility with a new kernel for example ...).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I've used ATI exclusively
by aent on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 09:23 UTC in reply to "RE: I've used ATI exclusively"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

The nvidia legacy package is also available directly from nvidia and the nvidia developers have said they will continue to keep them working for the people with old drivers, just there will be no further enhancements to them. If they don't compile anymore, nvidia will fix them. nvidia still supports them, just not with the new releases of the driver. No worries ;)

Reply Score: 1

v Why, oh why?
by Joe User on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 23:07 UTC
I'm out of here
by moleskine on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 23:34 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

I recently ditched my Radeon card after quite a few years of using ATI. Too much hassle with Linux, despite the manifest improvements of the past 12-18 months. I got a second-hand GF6800 on Ebay. The quality of display is on a par with my old Radeon card. Everything else is a lot simpler (and speedier since ATI's 3D takes a performance hit under Linux).

I have the impression that ATI's Linux team is doing a good job but on a relative shoestring and behind the curve compared to Nvidia. They probably come in for a lot of stick but it is the ATI management who call the shots (and toss peanuts at Linux). I don't think you can blame the devs. Excellent Linux help for ATI folks is at the forums of http://www.rage3d.com, in my experience.

Edited 2006-02-22 23:38

Reply Score: 1

No more ATI
by penguin7009 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 00:03 UTC
penguin7009
Member since:
2005-07-10

Sorry to have to say this but either my Linux has to go or ATI has to go. Its not going to be Linux adios ATI. Nvidia may not be perfect, but all the Nvidia cards I purchased last year worked really good on Xandros. Thats the bottom line for me. When ATI can get their act together for Linux I'll come back here to find out if their worth trying again.

penguin7009

Reply Score: 5

hmm
by Tomasz Dominikowski on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 00:05 UTC
Tomasz Dominikowski
Member since:
2005-08-08

This is very sad indeed, I'm using Linux with a Radeon 9600XT and I'm not even able to rotate the screen using xrandr...

Reply Score: 2

lol, x600se and x800 agp
by dammage on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 00:50 UTC
dammage
Member since:
2006-01-08

ATi are mobs

I bought a laptop with an x600se mobility inside - a radeon9600 actually. Still no support. And I doubt there will be any.

Then, I was clever enough as the last time and I checked the driver release notes _____again_____ anf bought an x800 AGP.

It still doesnt work.

both arent detected without chipID hacks.

Shame on you, ATi, you a a mob. At least a proper "ati" driver is inside - it is opensource and you can contribute to 2D.

My perconal princess of gayness 2005+2006: ati and it won't change until 2007 - a lot of bucks lost thanks to the terms of the linux driver.

Reply Score: 1

Binary compatibility
by rx182 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 00:50 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

I own only NVidia cards myself so this doesn't affect me at all. But at the same time, I fully understand ATI.

Stop believing that someday NVidia or ATI will release their 3D specs. It's their one and only secret. That's how they make money. There's no good reason for them to do so.

The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility. It requires vendors like ATI to release new binaries (that need some tweaking) too often. They need to provide so many versions for all supported arch. It's nonsense. It's such a time waster. I, myself, waste so much time backporting stuff because of that. Most of the time you only have 2 choices: rebuild the whole system or backport.

I guess they prefer to spend more time tweaking drivers for Windows. Gamers are their 1st market. It's fully understandable.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Binary compatibility
by kamper on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:09 UTC in reply to "Binary compatibility"
kamper Member since:
2005-08-20

Stop believing that someday NVidia or ATI will release their 3D specs. It's their one and only secret. That's how they make money. There's no good reason for them to do so.

I don't think anyone here is really under the illusion that they will. But we can hope and we can whine ;) Even specs for old chipsets would be lovely.

The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility. It requires vendors like ATI to release new binaries (that need some tweaking) too often.

That's a whole big can of worms that I don't really want to start arguing about, especially in light of the problem of chipset specs, but a strong argument against binary compatibility is that it teaches hardware vendors that it's perfectly acceptable to not release specs. They can write one shitty driver and claim linux compatibility for life. Maybe gamers like that because it facilitates getting better video drivers but I think the developers are less fond of the idea.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Binary compatibility
by umccullough on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:27 UTC in reply to "Binary compatibility"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility. It requires vendors like ATI to release new binaries (that need some tweaking) too often.

Last I looked we were on OSNEWS -- where Alternative OSes are the discussion topic of choice. Since hardware support is probably the primary issue that alternative OSes face - I would say that you appear to be trolling...

I'm not sure what you're proposing is the solution here. Is there some magical way that a hardware-interfacing driver is going to be magically cross-platform capable? I've heard of some ideas like this before, but they seem to have their limitations - and last I checked, no hardware manufacturers were interested in supporting them anyway.

But in any case: wouldn't something like this force all OSes to use the same driver model?

Wouldn't that hinder the ability for alternative OSes to make better use of resources and hardware and even exist for different architecture choices?

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by flav2000 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Binary compatibility"
flav2000 Member since:
2006-02-08

[i]But in any case: wouldn't something like this force all OSes to use the same driver model? [/I}

Yeah. I agree. I don't think cross platform driver would work at all. The architecture between X and the Windows driver model is so different.

Besides, having DirectX on Linux or BSD? /*shudder*/

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by rm6990 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 07:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Binary compatibility"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

I think you need to re-read his comment. He means that Nvidia's drivers from a year ago won't work on a modern kernel. That is pathetic. The Nvidia driver from '03 works on WinXP with the latest patches from '06. Yet the Linux developers insist on constantly breaking binary compatability. Not only does it piss off companies like Nvidia and ATI, it pisses off users like myself as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by Lobotomik on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

It doesn't seem to piss off Intel; their drivers are fully open, and are included with X, so you get the latest version every time you update your distribution.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by Ookaze on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 11:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

He means that Nvidia's drivers from a year ago won't work on a modern kernel. That is pathetic

I agree. It's pathetic that you would need a NVidia driver from one year ago, especially since they were buggy like hell.
It's pathetic that you would need a so old component, while the kernel is going forward.

The Nvidia driver from '03 works on WinXP with the latest patches from '06

Will it work with 64 bit WinXP ? Or with Vista ? Or with Win98 ?
Try comparing apples and apples, not apples and oranges. The Linux kernel supports SMP, x86, x86-64, ppc, ... so a driver for Linux is already far more than what you have on Windows. You need at least different drivers on Windows for 64 bit for example. Also, drivers in Windows often are one archive of files containing drivers for all Windows versions. See ? The picture in Windows is far worse than what you describe, especially when compared to Linux
Especially given the fact that only binary drivers have problems with Linux going forward.
Even worse, is what you imply : that Linux development should depend on NVidia !!! Or that NVidia not supporting its older drivers (if it means anything) is Linux's fault. And even worse, that you would need old NVidia drivers because NVidia no longer supports your card with their newer drivers is Linux fault. All of this is BS, most are not even facts.

Yet the Linux developers insist on constantly breaking binary compatability. Not only does it piss off companies like Nvidia and ATI, it pisses off users like myself as well

BS. Linux developers insist on going forward, and you astroturfer would like to stop them. Sorry to trell you that newer Linux kernel bring so much good improvements, that I never feel like you do, and it never pissed me off. Having a choice between going with the newer kernel or NVidia compatibility, I'd go Linux without a thought (already happened).

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Binary compatibility
by rx182 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 13:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Binary compatibility"
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08

Will it work with 64 bit WinXP ? Or with Vista ? Or with Win98 ?
Try comparing apples and apples, not apples and oranges. The Linux kernel supports SMP, x86, x86-64, ppc, ... so a driver for Linux is already far more than what you have on Windows. You need at least different drivers on Windows for 64 bit for example. Also, drivers in Windows often are one archive of files containing drivers for all Windows versions. See ? The picture in Windows is far worse than what you describe, especially when compared to Linux
Especially given the fact that only binary drivers have problems with Linux going forward.


Hmm. The driver model on Windows hasn't changed for age. Trust me. Of course, Vista will introduce a new one to meet todays needs. But during the beta test they even provide support for older drivers.

And I agree with you, new drivers were required for 64bit versions of Windows. Well first, that's normal and second, most 64bit related problems on Windows weren't really 64bit problems. Most problems were caused by their 64bit compiler which is way more strict than their previous 32bit compilers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Binary compatibility
by Ookaze on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Binary compatibility"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

The driver model on Windows hasn't changed for age. Trust me

I won't trust you because it's a lie.
The vendors of three of my multimedia hardware can tell you something about the driver model not changed for ages on Windows.
The only solution they came with is for me to buy new hardware.
IIRC my Win98 graphic card drivers would not even install on XP too.

Of course, Vista will introduce a new one to meet todays needs. But during the beta test they even provide support for older drivers

OK, so Linux does the same. SO what's the fuss about exactly ?

And I agree with you, new drivers were required for 64bit versions of Windows. Well first, that's normal and second, most 64bit related problems on Windows weren't really 64bit problems. Most problems were caused by their 64bit compiler which is way more strict than their previous 32bit compilers

Why is that "normal" ? Because it's Windows ? But in Linux it's not "normal" ? Talk about double standard ...
Some people want to prosecute Linux for being flexible. Of course, if you provide binary drivers, you have to provide one for every architecture Linux support, plus for each of these, every flexible feature that Linux provides (8K stacks/4K stacks ? Full preemptive/big lock/server setting ? SMP/UP ? ...).
Somehow, some people don't want to accept that for Linux, but it's "normal" for Windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Binary compatibility
by drahca on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Binary compatibility"
drahca Member since:
2006-02-23

Your are implying that the kernel going forward is the reason the ABI gets broken all the time. This is simply not true. Breaking the ABI is a policy instituted by the kernels devs for making sure the linux kernel does not get dependent on lots of binary drivers.

Backwards compatibility is always a trade off of some sort. But I always thougt Linux was about choice. So give me the choice of using hardware which *can only* have binary drivers. I am talking about hardware which is under NDA (just like some ATI IP is under NDA).

Just to give an example: I work for a large company which uses Linux in large systems. They want to use a innovative product from a small startup company. The small startup uses tech from Intel which is under NDA. This means they cannot release the driver source to us. - there is just no way. So we are faced with the situation that we have to ask for a custom driver for every kernel and gcc version we have deployed on our systems. This of course does not sit well with management since they do not want to be dependent on a small company when upgrading a kernel because of a security issue. Furthermore the small startup has only one driver developer, he does not have the time to recompile the drivers all the time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Binary compatibility
by Ookaze on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Binary compatibility"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

This is simply not true. Breaking the ABI is a policy instituted by the kernels devs for making sure the linux kernel does not get dependent on lots of binary drivers

Look, all of this is explained in the Linux kernel documentation, in your Linux source top directory, just do a 'ls Documentation | grep -i abi' to find the text ...

But I always thougt Linux was about choice

It is !

So give me the choice of using hardware which *can only* have binary drivers

YOU HAVE THIS CHOICE WITH LINUX !!!! Stop spreading FUD please !
You even can run some "Windows" (not really but well) binary drivers with Linux !!!

I am talking about hardware which is under NDA (just like some ATI IP is under NDA)

No problem. Your Linux kernel will just notify you that now, it is tainted.

Just to give an example: I work for a large company which uses Linux in large systems. They want to use a innovative product from a small startup company. The small startup uses tech from Intel which is under NDA. This means they cannot release the driver source to us. - there is just no way

Now I understand better your problem : your company put shackles on itself, and you want to accuse Linux for it.

So we are faced with the situation that we have to ask for a custom driver for every kernel and gcc version we have deployed on our systems

And from what you say, I still fail to see where Linux is the problem. Besides the shackles you already put on yourselves, you went as far as having a load of different kernel and gcc versions ... And you have the guts accusing Linux of your problems ?

This of course does not sit well with management since they do not want to be dependent on a small company when upgrading a kernel because of a security issue

So why did they do this ? Are they really that stupid ?
This just shows me how bad binary drivers are, nothing else.

Furthermore the small startup has only one driver developer, he does not have the time to recompile the drivers all the time

He can't even support his product ?!!! And you want to blame Linux for that ?!!!
I'm amazed really by such stupidity. I knew Linux was not really the problem, but I never thought of such a stupid cause.
Beside, in a work day, I can produce a tool to automate the compiling of modules for any Linux version and gcc version, which would require one command launch from me every time, and just wait for the compiling to end. And I'm not a developer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Binary compatibility
by anda_skoa on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Binary compatibility"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

So give me the choice of using hardware which *can only* have binary drivers

You don't have to upgrade to every developer version of the Kernel just like the Geeks do.

So we are faced with the situation that we have to ask for a custom driver for every kernel and gcc version we have deployed on our systems.

I am sorry, but this sounds like a made up example.
The company I am working for deploys Linux on servers and desktops and we use the latest stable version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which has always the same Kernel version until the next release and which is patched by RH if required for security reasons.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by vegburner on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
vegburner Member since:
2006-01-10

"Yet the Linux developers insist on constantly breaking binary compatability. Not only does it piss off companies like Nvidia and ATI, it pisses off users like myself as well."

/usr/src/linux/Documentation/stable_api_nonsense.txt

'nuff said.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by rx182 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08

I think you need to re-read his comment. He means that Nvidia's drivers from a year ago won't work on a modern kernel. That is pathetic. The Nvidia driver from '03 works on WinXP with the latest patches from '06. Yet the Linux developers insist on constantly breaking binary compatability. Not only does it piss off companies like Nvidia and ATI, it pisses off users like myself as well.

That's exactly what I meant. Thank you ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by umccullough on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The Nvidia driver from '03 works on WinXP with the latest patches from '06.

Well, gee... Considering Windows XP debuted in 2001, that's hardly a surprise...

I'm sure if you stuck to the same linux kernel for 5 years, you would still be able to use drivers that were created during those 5 years...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by rx182 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Binary compatibility"
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08

Last I looked we were on OSNEWS -- where Alternative OSes are the discussion topic of choice. Since hardware support is probably the primary issue that alternative OSes face - I would say that you appear to be trolling...

I'm not sure what you're proposing is the solution here. Is there some magical way that a hardware-interfacing driver is going to be magically cross-platform capable? I've heard of some ideas like this before, but they seem to have their limitations - and last I checked, no hardware manufacturers were interested in supporting them anyway.

But in any case: wouldn't something like this force all OSes to use the same driver model?


Well first, I think people like you are lame. I just made a point, I wasn't trolling. Unless trolling means something wrong about Linux, GCC...

Second, you look like a bit ignorant on the subject. I never said we need cross platform compatibility. I'm talking about kernel and gcc revisions requiring people to rebuild their stuff against them too often.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by Ookaze on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by umccullough on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Second, you look like a bit ignorant on the subject. I never said we need cross platform compatibility. I'm talking about kernel and gcc revisions requiring people to rebuild their stuff against them too often.

You're right, I am a bit ignorant on the subject. For that, I apologize (and I'm sorry I called you a troll)

I suppose I am part of the "open your specs please" crowd. I somewhat despise Linux, but I love alternative OSes (like Haiku, SkyOS, etc.)...

I personally don't see how a binary linux driver helps any of these other OSes at all, so therefore I didn't see how a complaint about binary-compatibility on Linux was going to help any of my causes whatsoever.

In any case, I guess it is definitely unfortunate that changes to GCC and Linux have caused older drivers to be useless - but this same thing can happen with any OS just as easily - so having hardware manufacturers produce all the software for their hardware seems ridiculous to me.

I do not expect ATI/nVidia to open their specs, but I would love to see them do it as many of the others here have stated. I actually would jump at the opportunity to buy an open-spec 3d card similar to what the Open Graphics Project is proposing... I just don't think it's going to happen any time soon. In the meantime, my integrated Intel graphics will probably suffice as I won't be playing any newer hard-core 3d games anyway.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Binary compatibility
by halfmanhalfamazing on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:53 UTC in reply to "Binary compatibility"
halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

-----------Stop believing that someday NVidia or ATI will release their 3D specs. It's their one and only secret. That's how they make money. There's no good reason for them to do so.-----------

I've never been one to demand that they release specs on their shiny/new/whiz/bang cards, I've even flamed people for suggesting that these companies do so.

But on the other hand, there's nothing stopping nvidia from opening up the specs for older cards.... say, everything from the original geforce back? Geforce2 and back?

Same with ATi. They've already got the DRI project under NDA with cards as new as the r2xx series. Why not release complete specs for everything up to the radeon one, and update the NDA that they have the DRI under to include r3xx cards.

We want to support these older cards ourselves. We don't need Ati's or nVidia's support, and they don't want to support the older cards. We just want the paperwork. It's the best of both worlds.

Your post is a good post btw.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by Wrawrat on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 04:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Binary compatibility"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

But on the other hand, there's nothing stopping nvidia from opening up the specs for older cards.... say, everything from the original geforce back? Geforce2 and back?

Sales. Since these products are phased out, people interested in them would get them second-handed. Thus, nVidia wouldn't make money out of this. You could argue they wouldn't lose any either, yet those people might skip their shiny/new/whiz/bang cards because they can enjoy their older ones...

That would be nice, but I'm not counting on it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by anda_skoa on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Sales. Since these products are phased out, people interested in them would get them second-handed.

True, but improving ones reputation might be a good idea nevertheless.

As others have already said, Linux users are often technically interested people and affect product choices of less inclided people.

And if the buyers of new cards can almost rely on being able to sell their old cards when they want to purchase a new one, might also speed up their upgrade cycle

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by halfmanhalfamazing on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

-----------Sales. Since these products are phased out, people interested in them would get them second-handed. Thus, nVidia wouldn't make money out of this. You could argue they wouldn't lose any either, yet those people might skip their shiny/new/whiz/bang cards because they can enjoy their older ones...------------

In the case of nVidia I can understand.(you're correct) They provide drivers for their new cards.

But in ATi's case, (linux)people aren't going out and purchasing the new cards because they're not supported anyways. And the support that's offered across the board isn't adequate anyways. This offers ATi a way to save money.

They can outsource their driver development to a group that *wants* to do it.

Unless DRI is being paid by ATi. I don't know if they are or not, that would change the picture wouldn't it?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by Tweek on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 05:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Binary compatibility"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

In all honesty.

They dont want to release their drivers because they simply dont have a reason to.

if they had a compelling reason (money) they would.

They can license everything, specs make no difference to the competitors (whoever came up with that idea was an idiot)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by halfmanhalfamazing on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

-------They dont want to release their drivers because they simply dont have a reason to.-----------

They don't have to release their DRIVERS, just release their SPECS. The linux market isn't going away, it's going to keep growing.

Based on projections from some of the major marketting firms, there are more linux users than there are mac users. So ATi is really dropping the ball here.

And "they simply dont have a reason to." sure they do. They can save money by outsourcing their driver development to DRI. Let the DRI project do all the work and ATi can sit back and prop their feet up.

*IF ATI IS NOT DOING THE DRIVER WORK, THEY ARE SAVING MONEY* There's the reason for them to release their specs. to save money.

Just release the specs.

Edited 2006-02-23 14:17

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by antwarrior on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Binary compatibility"
antwarrior Member since:
2006-02-11

"The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility"

I'm sorry but all this stuff about ATI needs some justification to build a decent driver on Linux due to market share is a bit of cop out.

How difficult is it to write good drivers and maintain them? Okay, let's go one further and let's add multiple versions of Linux ?

Nvidia does it why can't ATI ? Somebody give me ONE good reason ?

Nvidia has 2100 employees ,ATI has 3300 employees.
Nvidia has been around since 1993, ATI since 1985
They both have annual revenue of about $2billion

A company with ~1000 more employees,has been around for almost a decade longer seems to have difficulty producing drivers for Linux.It doesn't make sense.

It has nothing to with their company resources or with Linux's deficiencies. It has everything to do with them as a company and how they think internally.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by drahca on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
drahca Member since:
2006-02-23

Good post. ATI has had troubles with their drivers, for Windows as well as Linux, for as long as I can remember. Their DirectX drivers are very good, but for some reason their OpenGL drivers are very buggy!

So ATI seems to focus on good DX support on Windows. While OpenGL support lags on Windows as well as on Linux.

It has nothing to with their company resources or with Linux's deficiencies. It has everything to do with them as a company and how they think internally.

I agree.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Binary compatibility
by rayiner on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 03:31 UTC in reply to "Binary compatibility"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility.

I have a hard time understanding where binary compatibility comes into this. The X driver has had a formal ABI since XFree86 4.0. GCC hasn't messed with the C ABI in forever. NVIDIA more or less solved the kernel module issue by using an open-source wrapper for the kernel driver. NVIDIA's Linux support is rarely more than a few weeks or a month behind their Windows support.

The real problem here is ATI. They maintain two seperate source trees for their drivers, and haven't gotten around to adding X1000 support to their UNIX driver yet. On top of that, their OpenGL stack isn't very good, even on Windows. This isn't very noticeable in Windows, where most games use D3D, but it is noticeable in Linux, which is OpenGL-only.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Binary compatibility
by Shannara on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 06:17 UTC in reply to "Binary compatibility"
RE: Binary compatibility
by l3v1 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 07:22 UTC in reply to "Binary compatibility"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility. It requires vendors like ATI to release new binaries (that need some tweaking) too often.

Personally, I don't give a damn about such and similar "arguments". It may seem a problem for some people (shrug), still, if nvidia can release binary drivers, don't tell me that ati couldn't if they wanted to. But they don't want that, so I won't give them my money - as I never did. Unfortunately my new machine at work was ordered with an ati card (I wasn't the one who ordered it) and I have to live with it. But if it's my money, I will give it to those who are willing to give me proper drivers - binary or not, for me that doesn't really matter, all that matters is that there _is_ a usable driver.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Binary compatibility
by Ookaze on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 11:16 UTC in reply to "Binary compatibility"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

Stop believing that someday NVidia or ATI will release their 3D specs

We won't. We won't stop asking either. If one day our voice counts, they will be forced to do it.
You're the 2nd poster I've seen these days telling people to stop doing things like some astroturfers and trollers did in '99.
Is this a trend ?

It's their one and only secret. That's how they make money

No, they make money selling hardware. What you say is BS, as they don't sell their drivers.

There's no good reason for them to do so

Because NVidia already won the big film studios ? They should at least try.

The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility

Given that the trio you talk about works for everything except drivers, I'd rather say the problem is ATI here.

It requires vendors like ATI to release new binaries (that need some tweaking) too often

BS and lies again. ATI and NVidia release drivers for Windows more often. What FUD is that ?

They need to provide so many versions for all supported arch. It's nonsense

BS again. There is one version needed for every arch. Packages are given for convenience.

It's such a time waster. I, myself, waste so much time backporting stuff because of that. Most of the time you only have 2 choices: rebuild the whole system or backport

Stop the FUD please, you're ridiculous. Rebuild the whole system or backport, what is this nonsense ?
Nothing would require you to rebuild your whole system, only distro providers would need to do that as a Q&A process. You're an obvious astroturfer.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by rx182 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Binary compatibility"
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08

Stop believing that someday NVidia or ATI will release their 3D specs

We won't. We won't stop asking either. If one day our voice counts, they will be forced to do it.
You're the 2nd poster I've seen these days telling people to stop doing things like some astroturfers and trollers did in '99.
Is this a trend ?


Right.

It's their one and only secret. That's how they make money

No, they make money selling hardware. What you say is BS, as they don't sell their drivers.


You are ignorant. Knowing the specs, a competitor could understand how they implemented feature X...

There's no good reason for them to do so

Because NVidia already won the big film studios ? They should at least try.


I use NVidia myself

The problem isn't ATI here, but Linux, GCC, and binary compatibility

Given that the trio you talk about works for everything except drivers, I'd rather say the problem is ATI here.


No, see my point.

It requires vendors like ATI to release new binaries (that need some tweaking) too often

BS and lies again. ATI and NVidia release drivers for Windows more often. What FUD is that ?


Drivers released for Windows are most of the time bugfix and optimization/features for gamers. They don't release new drivers because some update broke them.

They need to provide so many versions for all supported arch. It's nonsense

BS again. There is one version needed for every arch. Packages are given for convenience.


Again you're wrong. For all arch, they need to release more than one version to match kernel, gcc versions...

It's such a time waster. I, myself, waste so much time backporting stuff because of that. Most of the time you only have 2 choices: rebuild the whole system or backport

Stop the FUD please, you're ridiculous. Rebuild the whole system or backport, what is this nonsense ?
Nothing would require you to rebuild your whole system, only distro providers would need to do that as a Q&A process. You're an obvious astroturfer.


Ok. You're really ignorant on the subject I don't even think it's worth explaining it. But I will. Well I will give you a short answer. Say you use a dist built with gcc X. You need a new package from some unstable/testing branch. There's no dep problem. Try using binaries directly if the new branch is built with gcc Y. (doesn't apply to minor revisions)

Have a nice day.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Binary compatibility
by Ookaze on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Binary compatibility"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

You are ignorant. Knowing the specs, a competitor could understand how they implemented feature X...

How do you know ? And you call me ignorant. Excuse me, but I have a hard time seeing how knowing taht you must activate such and such register and call such function in the hardware can help any competitor. They still have to implement the hardware.

Drivers released for Windows are most of the time bugfix and optimization/features for gamers. They don't release new drivers because some update broke them

I have news for you. They don't in Linux either. Linux NVidia drivers are released for the same reasons. I had one breakage and the community came with a patch, and NVidia did not release a new driver for at least 2 months after that. And they did not release it just for it to work with latest kernels. It was one point of the changelog only.

Again you're wrong. For all arch, they need to release more than one version to match kernel, gcc versions...

Read again what I said and stop the FUD. Of course you have to release one BINARY version for all arch. The rest of what you say is plain wrong.
The SOURCE package of NVidia will work, for one arch, on every Linux kernel known with any gcc version (from 2.95 to 4.0).

Ok. You're really ignorant on the subject I don't even think it's worth explaining it. But I will. Well I will give you a short answer. Say you use a dist built with gcc X. You need a new package from some unstable/testing branch. There's no dep problem. Try using binaries directly if the new branch is built with gcc Y

So I'm ignorant heh ?
But everytime I've done what you said, I never had a problem !!!
On my 4.0.2 compiled system with glibc 2.3.6 and latest kernel, I still use old Loki games (compiled with gcc 2.95 ?) without problem, I still use Real player compiled with gcc 3.0 without problem !!! When I changed from gcc 3 to gcc 4, you genuinely think I recompiled all my system ? This is nonsense !!! I never did such a thing, and the system ran without any problem. Some old source would not even compile under gcc 4, so I stayed with the old gcc 3 binary, waiting for a patch.
The only thing is that Linux kernel has a system to verify that you compile drivers (modules) with the same compiler used for the main kernel. You can bypass it but it's not advised and not so easy to do.
You thought you were a better astroturfer than the others. Sure that's true, but you're still not good enough, sorry !

Reply Score: 0

macisaac
Member since:
2005-08-28

then ATI's the better buy. no, not the latest greatest radeon (why do you need that for a linux box anyhow? ppracer can only go so fast...), get a 9250 or something, certainly not a bad card, and be able to use the DRI that comes with x.org without having to taint your kernel. nvidia on the other hand, even with a tnt2, you still won't get 3D without using their proprietary stuff.

yes, their non-free drivers aren't all that hot (in that case nvidia is certainly the better option). but really, if you're using linux, why do you want to be using something closed, at least at something so fundamental level as drivers for your hardware?

(that said, yes, I do use their fglrx driver at work, sadly the boxes there came with x300/x600s...)

Reply Score: 3

Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

If you don't play games, Intel integrated graphics is probably better than ATI or nVidia. Too bad you can't use it with an AMD processor. :-)

Reply Score: 3

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

Intel is open (Steve Jobs will kiss ATI/NVIDIA goodbye). There is always Via C3 and Unichrome CLE266 / CNR400. It is open source AFAIK. Matrox G550 low profile PCIE is also open source. XGI makes cool graphics with at least open 2d specs. So ATI or NVIDIA or 3Dlabs are irrelevant. The more open the best. That is why closed drivers are BAD !!! I do not rely on closed source drivers. And this thread reminds me that for my forthcoming laptop I will buy a VIA Unichrome laptop. Bye-bye closed source. Open Graphics Project will make the decision final. One more question, is Silicon Motion open. Does anyone know?

Reply Score: 1

vegburner Member since:
2006-01-10

Matrox G550 cannot be fully supported by opensource, and all their "new" products do not work on Linux. Oh, and performance is *really* bad on a Matrox card, even 2D/X11. Matrox had good products 5 years ago, but as far as I'm concerned, I cannot recommend them now.

I will not go into VIA-land, so the only one left is Intel, and performance wise, they're very far behind, but I'll take it if I have no other solution.

Looks like my FireGL 8800 (good DRI support) is here to stay...

Reply Score: 1

halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

Yup. I own a firegl 8800 for that very reason. Was only 65 dollars on ebay.

Damn good card, worth the investment and works very well under linux with my OSS dri drivers.

Until XGI does one better and releases full specs this is the card to have.(unless you can afford a 400 dollar nvidia card)

Reply Score: 1

gmiranda Member since:
2005-07-06

You can use the Open Source UTAH GLX driver for old nVidia cards.

Reply Score: 1

popper Member since:
2006-02-24

" macisaac:
then ATI's the better buy. no, not the latest greatest radeon (why do you need that for a linux box anyhow? "

the same reason you would want this card on any platform, the ability to encode video with the new
capabilitys that are in that X series.

from this url
" http://www.chip.de/artikel/c1_artikel_17670022.html
Encoding movies five times faster


By Arnt Kugler / November 2005



Avivo XCode: Top-secret power tool for ATI’s Radeon X1000 GPUs

CHIP Online had the opportunity to test a beta version of ATI’s still secret „Avivo XCode“ encoding tool. It uses the power of the GPU to reduce video encoding time –into virtually any format – drastically. Our results show: The new ATI solution easily does it 5 times faster than even the fastest CPUs available today! "

"Only new ATI graphics cards need apply

There’s a hook however: Avivo XCode only runs on PCs with ATIs Radeon X1000 series VGA cards; i.e. X1300, X1600, X1800 in their respective Pro or XT versions, as well as their All-in-Wonder version.
Our tests indicate that even the cheapest model, a Radeon X1300 available for around 90 Euros in Europe, can achieve dramatic speed increases at crunching down videos."
as it happens i tryed an early beta on my 9550 and to
my suprise some of the app worked while H264 didnt compress well (but did function), the Xvid/divx did indeed compress at a good rate, nothing like the real
X series would do the job but then they have far more
umph and extra capability as you might expect in their
user programmable parts....

Reply Score: 1

Drivers Mess Up
by hraq on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 01:38 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

ATI has always supplied crappy drivers in the past, and their drivers were the worst; when I was working as a technician I had a DVD that includes all the drivers for their cards..Oh my God they were 300 drivers for all the cards they had and have. ATI drivers mess reminds me exactly with Creative Sound Cards Drivers. I never purchased an ATI card since 1998 and never recommend it for my friends, family and customers because of drivers issues.

After all what really makes a good graphics card is its drivers not the hardware. Look at GeForce Cards and Quadro cards, no distinctive differences; but drivers wise yes there are many huge differences.

ATI chipsets (aside from their GPUs) are totally not supported in windows 2003 and windows vista (like in R300), so why bother with ATI if they are not good enough with windows; besides the future is Linux and open solutions so I will start shopping whomever will support linux.
My nvidia based cards (4600Ti and 6600 GT)are supporting 1920x1200x32@60Hz with OpenGL and Digital vibrance and excellent GUI running under RHEL 4.2 and Mandriva 2006 PowerEdition without a single problem and I watch last night 1080p wmv movie at 54% CPU time, 720p @ 32% and mov-high definition 1080p @70%; in all tests no single error (skips, freezes,...) I also played Unreal Tournament 2004 without a problem. Hardware was: P4 @3Ghz-1GB RAM dual channel-7200rpm seagate drive. [Without nvidia dirvers support I will never be able to do that]. I was experimenting with ATI drivers but they were for old cards only and thus their usefulness were limited at best.
I encourage ATI to study nvidia driver's strategy if they want to hava a chance to stay friendly with IT experienced personnels. Also I encourage Creative to do that and strat to support their cards with linux at least with their professional cards.

Reply Score: 3

...
by Mitarai on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:26 UTC
Mitarai
Member since:
2005-07-28

I bought a used ATI 9800 pro, but after trying to using with Ubuntu I really miss my old gforce 2 titanium, It was a modest card but at least worked flawless on Linux and the drivers installation was easy.

My next vid. card won't be an ATI, you can be sure of it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Binary compatibility
by TheMonoTone on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:35 UTC
TheMonoTone
Member since:
2006-01-01

I wouldn't necessarily call it trolling. Other alternative OSes do not have the ABI-change-ever-patch issue that linux seems to have. So is it a real issue? Yes. Do vendors want to spend the money to develop a driver thats compatable with 20 different versions? No. Why should they? The market share is smaller, the time and money factor is greater, therefore the profit margin from linux users buying there product is smaller.

As a side note, the BSD's last time I checked, do not have the ABI issues linux is plagued with.

Reply Score: 4

halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

It might be time to hit phoronix with a few emails and see if we can get an update on XGI's plans to open source their complete specs. 2d and 3d.

If they did that, they'd have an immediate customer in me. I'd be forced to upgrade several of my family member's computers so that all of their linux boxes would be fully supported.

ATi is slipping and doesn't deserve any new business.

However, AFAIK to date the fastest card money can buy with OSS drivers is still a fireGL 8800.(albeit with partially implemented OSS/3d support. Some is better than none)

Edited 2006-02-23 02:57

Reply Score: 1

smitty_one_each
Member since:
2005-07-07

Is there a Majority Shareholder keeping Linux support at the lip service level?
Or, do ATI's executives own Massive Stacks of certain stock?
Ah, Monopolistic Speculation: gotta love it.

Reply Score: 2

halfmanhalfamazing Member since:
2005-07-23

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Score: 0

2% doesn't matter...
by tomcat on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 03:05 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

I hate to break it to many of you but ... ATI simply doesn't derive enough revenue from the Linux community to justify giving away its IP and/or exposing it to potential liability.

Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320; HP iPAQ h6300)

Reply Score: 0

RE: 2% doesn't matter...
by jaapjan on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 11:21 UTC in reply to "2% doesn't matter..."
jaapjan Member since:
2005-10-06

And they won't get any revenue if their drivers remain so bad.

Reply Score: 1

Nvidia, Ati & Matrox
by irbis on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 04:28 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

I envy those owning an Ati card... Matrox Linux support for their newer (Parhelia-based) cards is even worse, I'm afraid...

There's no denying that Nvidia's Linux support is top class (and also FreeBSD is supported). I'm sure that they also get quite a lot money from their Linux customers. Why else would they even bother with it? Because of that, please don't expect too much from such companies selling their crown jewels, i.e. opening all the specs of their newest products and thus trade secrets to everyone. That is not likely to happen until others, important competitors do the same also. Maybe if some alternative company willing to take the risk, would dare to do it first, and if they were succesful, others like Nvidia and Ati might try to be more open too?

Btw, anybody know if there have been any important advancements in the Open Graphics project anymore?
http://lists.duskglow.com/mailman/listinfo/open-graphics
I only remember that their project of making open source graphic cards seemed to lose the company backing, so I wonder if their open source card will ever be released?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nvidia, Ati & Matrox
by Lobotomik on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 10:31 UTC in reply to "Nvidia, Ati & Matrox"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Not likely to happen until others do the same? Well, that has already happened. Intel graphics chips already enjoy open drivers (and possibly S3, Via and XGI, too).

I don't think Open Graphics will ever be successful; the product they are designing will be massively underpowered and massively overpriced.

An el-cheapo motherboard with a built-in i910 will give you vastly higher performance at a fraction of the price, and will run just fine from an out-of-the-box install of Ubuntu or Fedora with no need for binary drivers.

So, if you want free drivers, stop buying ATI or Nvidia. You will even save a lot of money!

If you want to play the latest games, you will be using Windows, anyway. At this point, as you probably don't really-really care about open drivers, I guess Nvidia is a good choice, too; it will blaze through Windows games and work well in Linux.

Edited 2006-02-23 10:36

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nvidia, Ati & Matrox
by Vanders on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Nvidia, Ati & Matrox"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

When it comes to Open Source video drivers, the top dogs are Intel and SiS/XGI. XGI may even be releasing their 3D components at some point, which would instantly put them top of the pile.

Next best are S3/Via with the Unichrome and the older S3 cards such as the Savage. S3 remains silent on Open Source Deltachrome & Gamachrome drivers though, which loses them some serious points. Older Matrox cards from the G550 down used to be well documented and supported, but when the Parhalia was released they went deadly silent and pulled their previously-open Developers Relations site, along with all the chipset documentation. Boo, hiss. 3Dfx Voodoos are also documented, but they're of similiar vintage.

Then we come to the bottom of the pile; ATI & nVidia. ATI used to be fairly good with documentation for older chips. The Mach64 and R100/R200 are well understood and I believe the X developers were given documentation by ATI. The same is quite possibly true of nVidia, but I'm not certain on that.

So if you want to help promote Open Source, go buy an XGI and encourage them to release their complete driver source!

Reply Score: 1

Indeed
by ryan on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 05:04 UTC
ryan
Member since:
2005-07-06

When I got my laptop, I made sure it had an Nvidia video card instead of an ATI in order to ensure that I could get proper Linux support. I am happy with this decision and feel it was vindicated by this article, and will continue to act the same way until ATI gets its act in gear. Maybe they never will: it's certainly their right to ignore that market like so many other hardware manufacturers do.

If you care like I do, just don't buy ATI like the article suggests. Simple.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Indeed
by Bringbackanonposting on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 05:21 UTC in reply to "Indeed"
Bringbackanonposting Member since:
2005-11-16

Yep. ATI has their reasons and that's fine. I say everyone buy Nvidia and enjoy the great products they offer. ATI can do the sums/market research after that and either love it or hate it. BTW, I can't see an ATI ever touching my PC here ever again. Ever.

Reply Score: 2

Read and learn
by DevL on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 07:05 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

Drivers first, hardware second - remember that when you're out shopping.

Reply Score: 1

Nvidia
by Carnevill on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 12:08 UTC
Carnevill
Member since:
2006-01-18

I've always used Nvidia because of their support for linux, and FreeBSD.

Reply Score: 1

v Apple + Red Hat
by Moulinneuf on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 12:13 UTC
Useless comments and lack of knowledge
by SlackerJack on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 13:49 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

"I think you need to re-read his comment. He means that Nvidia's drivers from a year ago won't work on a modern kernel. That is pathetic. The Nvidia driver from '03 works on WinXP with the latest patches from '06. Yet the Linux developers insist on constantly breaking binary compatability. Not only does it piss off companies like Nvidia and ATI, it pisses off users like myself as well. "

1. Why would you want to use one year old drivers?, most people complain if there a few months old.

2. Distros like Gentoo have the 4X.XX series patched and working with the latest kernel.

3. NVIDIA have done a very good job of making there driver compatible with the 2.6.XX kernel, and if anything changes there's usually a patch.

4. Dont use Windows as a comparision with Linux in this way, it's like apples and oranges. Linux doesn't get released every 3-5 years with the SAME kernel.

5. Break binary compatibility?, are you real, do you even know the reason why the NVIDIA/ATI driver dont compile with newer kernels sometimes?

Reply Score: 1

MS
by r2d2d3d4d5 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:16 UTC
r2d2d3d4d5
Member since:
2005-12-31

If anything ATI's support for non-MS OSs seems to be in decline, it probably doesn't help that ATI are pretty pally with MS these days (over things like XBOX2/DX9-nVidia's XBOX pricing).

Reply Score: 2

Alternative drivers from Scitechsoft
by skotti on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 14:24 UTC
skotti
Member since:
2006-02-23

For many ATI chipsets alternative drivers exist from Scitechsoft (www.schitechsoft.com). They only support 2D but at least they work.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06
matrox g400
by distincthead on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 15:11 UTC
distincthead
Member since:
2006-02-23

I love my ancient g400 dual head. Linux support couldn't be easier.

Reply Score: 2

ATI OSS 3d driver support
by Sollord on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 15:58 UTC
Sollord
Member since:
2006-01-05

Since I've yet to see this brought up ATI has released the spec for upto the r3xx series and there are open source 3d drivers in the mesa/drm and x.org cvs trees which is more then can be said for Nvidia.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ATI OSS 3d driver support
by rayiner on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 16:30 UTC in reply to "ATI OSS 3d driver support"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

ATI didn't release the specs to the R300 series. The specs were reverse-engineered, starting from the R200 documentation.

Reply Score: 1

Matrox G400
by 1c3d0g on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 16:02 UTC
1c3d0g
Member since:
2005-07-06

distincthead: I'm afraid you're right, I've heard great things about Matrox on Linux. IMO they're a very easy-going company that was just "left out" (or ignored) by most people. Hope they'll come back one day. :-)

Reply Score: 1

...
by suryad on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 17:20 UTC
suryad
Member since:
2005-07-09

I am going to be very cynical. So mod me down I dont care...but lets see how big is the Linux userspace? ATI and Nvidia I highly doubt care much for linux users. I have used Linux myself and that was 4 years ago and even Nvidia cards wouldnt hardware accelerate anything. Granted Nvidia's drivers are better for Linux. But Linux is a drop in the pond and those two companies, ATI and Nvidia have better things to do worrying about pushing more fps and meeting with the DX 10 spec and debating unified shader models than worrying about satisfying their Linux user community. But I agree, dont get ATI if you are going to use Linux. Simple.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by Finalzone on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 17:47 UTC in reply to "..."
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

But Linux is a drop in the pond and those two companies, ATI and Nvidia have better things to do worrying about pushing more fps and meeting with the DX 10 spec and debating unified shader models than worrying about satisfying their Linux user community.

They will worry when they will realize they are losing their potential hardware customers on that section such as Pixar for instance. Nvidia understood this hence the release of 4KSTACKS drivers after Fedora Core 2 uses that features, ATI didn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by Ookaze on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 17:55 UTC in reply to "..."
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

ATI and Nvidia I highly doubt care much for linux users

Depends on the Linux users. You can bet they care a lot about those Linux users in movie studios ...
NVidia won the bet with its binary drivers for now.

I have used Linux myself and that was 4 years ago and even Nvidia cards wouldnt hardware accelerate anything

That's plain wrong. I use Linux exclusively since 01/2001, and I recall perfectly having a NVidia card with binary accelerated driver at the time.

Granted Nvidia's drivers are better for Linux

No, they are better accelerated than others on Linux, they are not better for Linux. No binary only driver is better for Linux.

ATI and Nvidia have better things to do worrying about pushing more fps and meeting with the DX 10 spec and debating unified shader models than worrying about satisfying their Linux user community

That's not what came out of the latest XGL presentation, and of what RedHat started doing.

But I agree, dont get ATI if you are going to use Linux. Simple

I have to agree. They don't even accelerate video on Linux ;) . And I'm one of their last proponent ...

Reply Score: 2

Results?
by xushi on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 18:08 UTC
xushi
Member since:
2005-08-29

I wonder if this thread (and many more before it, and hopefully more afterwards) actually has any effect whatsoever on ATI to make them realise what a bad reputation they have been getting the past few years and to start shaping up or risk losing a huge share of users and reputation.

As previously discussed, the performance decrease on both windows and linux due to poor drivers is large, and they're losing users on both operating systems (and possibly many more).

I for one recommended my parents, cousins, and friends to use nVidia over ATI on many upgrades thoughout the past few years, i can only guess that many more have done so too.

Reply Score: 1

ubuntu and ati radeon
by gfx1 on Fri 24th Feb 2006 17:07 UTC
gfx1
Member since:
2006-01-20

In ubuntu (5.10) I get my radeon x800 card to work when I change the driver from ati to radeon in /etc/X11/xorg.conf like this...

Section "Device"
Identifier "ATI Technologies, Inc. Radeon X800 XL (R430 UM)"
Driver "radeon"
BusID "PCI:5:0:0"
EndSection

Reply Score: 1

Intel integrated graphics
by irbis on Sat 25th Feb 2006 12:13 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

Many people mentioned Intel integrated graphics and i910 above. From the point of view of altenative and strictly open source operating systems (like OpenBSD) it is indeed promising that there are such open solutions even if it was not in the same league with Nvidia, Ati & matrox as to performance.

I'm not very familiar with Intel integrated graphics, but don't they support Direct X only, and I wonder if there will ever be OpenGL support too? So 3D support is for Winows only, and if you would like to have/develop 3D drivers for, say, OpenBSD, it seems still impossible despite Intel's integrated graphic chips with open specs? High quality multi monitor usage is another area where people still need separate Nvidia/Ati/Matrox cards.

By the way, does anybody know what the 2D quality of those Intel integrated graphics is like and how it compares with Ati, Nvidia & Matrox?

Reply Score: 1