Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Jun 2007 15:05 UTC, submitted by Michael
AMD "Last year when AMD announced their acquisition of ATI it led many to wonder how this would impact the quality of their Linux support and driver. Some had even speculated that AMD would be opening the code to at least a subset of their graphics drivers, and while this issue has come up again more recently, we will cover this particular topic in a different article. In this article we will be exposing what truly consists of the ATI/AMD driver development cycle and ultimately what they are really doing to improve their image in the Linux community."
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Open Source?
by sukru on Fri 1st Jun 2007 15:21 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

I've taken a quick look through the article. They describe the current issues and the driver development process very well.

On the other hand I could not find much about the "open source" situation. They only tell that R200 series are now maintained only by X.Org open source drivers.

Have I missed something?

Edited 2007-06-01 15:22

Reply Score: 2

RE: Open Source?
by B. Janssen on Fri 1st Jun 2007 15:40 UTC in reply to "Open Source?"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

No, you haven't.

AMD is trying to tell a hurting man that that being poked by a branding iron is more painful than being poked by a cattle prod.

This may be an internal strategy paper and it does show that AMD is putting down a tight release schedule for drivers under Linux and that many common criticisms towards AMD seem to be unfounded. Beyond that the article has nothing to say but that AMD's effort is so much better than NVidia's. For free and open source advocates there is little in there. However, news of open sourcing the code are reserved for another article. Or so TFA says...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Open Source?
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Open Source?"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Exactly. What they say doesn't help that I had a X1600XT and I had to replace it with a GeForce because the ATI wouldn't work with most Linux distributions.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Open Source?
by ThanhLy on Fri 1st Jun 2007 15:40 UTC in reply to "Open Source?"
ThanhLy Member since:
2006-03-14

Read the summary a bit more carefully:

"while this issue has come up again more recently, we will cover this particular topic in a different article"

Reply Score: 3

it's good to see
by BluenoseJake on Fri 1st Jun 2007 15:52 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

AMD being so transparent and telling us how things are done. I figured being bought by AMD would help ATI, and what I've seen lately, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be great going forward.

Reply Score: 5

eh
by spikeb on Fri 1st Jun 2007 15:58 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

this is all lovely, but the drivers are still horrible

Reply Score: 5

RE: eh
by Touvan on Fri 1st Jun 2007 16:43 UTC in reply to "eh"
Touvan Member since:
2006-09-01

I thought the point of TFA was that they are trying to make the drivers less horrible, even if not open. That was what I got out of it at least.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: eh
by spikeb on Fri 1st Jun 2007 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE: eh"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

trying, yes, but failing miserably.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: eh
by hobgoblin on Fri 1st Jun 2007 19:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: eh"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

as i always say to things like this, rome was not built in a day...

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: eh
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: eh"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

True enough. But if Rome had been constructed as ineptly as ATI's Linux drivers, then people would probably be praising Nero today.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[5]: eh
by Moulinneuf on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 06:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: eh"
v RE[6]: eh
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: eh"
v RE[7]: eh
by Moulinneuf on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 09:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: eh"
RE[3]: eh
by ThawkTH on Fri 1st Jun 2007 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: eh"
ThawkTH Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, because improving such terrible drivers is simple in...how long has it been? A month? A few?


If they say they're working on decent drivers and don't deliver, I'll be one of the first to yell about it...

But jeeze man, give them some time.

Rome wasn't built in a day?

Decent software is, in my experience, never written in a day. Especially something as complex as GPU drivers!

Reply Score: 4

Is this an excuse?
by mindpixel on Fri 1st Jun 2007 16:06 UTC
mindpixel
Member since:
2006-05-01

Nvidia have AIGLX support, AMD/ATI have not.
Nvidia have decent performance, AMD/ATI have not.
Intel have open source drivers, AIGLX support, good performance and are working together with x.org folks, ATI have none of that.

Of course they have to work hard and do a release every month. They have been left far behind most of their competitors and because they have been slacking and ignoring the community for years. Pointing out the release cycles of others as an excuse is not enough.

And what is the purpose of this article? Is it to make us like ATI more? What for? For the promises they have not delivered or for the total disrespect for Linux, the BSDs and the open source efforts to support their hardware.

Great, they have an on going development process but that in itself is not a news worth talking about. They should have had that going 5 years ago.

I should not feel grateful to them for releasing some information on their development process and I would not spend money on AMD/ATI hardware until there is open source driver available.

This of course is just my opinion and you are free to do as you like.

Edited 2007-06-01 16:07

Reply Score: 5

RE: Is this an excuse?
by Mark Williamson on Fri 1st Jun 2007 17:01 UTC in reply to "Is this an excuse?"
Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

I really do appreciate that ATI/AMD are making an effort and that maybe they're seriously trying to turn around the deficiencies the driwers have suffered from in the past!

However, I do agree with you that it'd be really nice to see something come out of this, like AIGLX support etc. I've found the ATI drivers that came with my Ubuntu Feisty install to have some annoying bugs as well as the lack of up-to-date features. I'm hoping future releases will show the benefits of the improved attention the drivers are getting.

Reply Score: 5

Hmm..
by leos on Fri 1st Jun 2007 16:12 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

While it is interesting to see how the driver is developed, in the end that doesn't really matter. Bashing NVIDIA for releasing infrequently is completely missing the point. NVIDIA drivers work well and have for a long time. ATI drivers are pure garbage and are just now starting to get to the point where I can sometimes expect to get X running with them.

Maybe I have a weird card (Radeon XPress 200M), but I've tried almost every driver that ATI has released, and they're all equally atrocious. Until they get their act together and either opensource it or actually make the thing as reliable as NVIDIA's (which I also use and have never had even a single problem with, on multiple machines), I can't take anything they say seriously.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Hmm..
by apoclypse on Fri 1st Jun 2007 16:33 UTC in reply to "Hmm.."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

What good will opensourcing the drivers do. R200 has been around for a while and is opensource yet it doesn't support quite a few things that frankly it should have right now. Are you going to blame ATI for that too? If the opensource nvidia drivers are as good the developers say its going to be then we should be looking at the opensource radeon drivers developers and find out why they haven't gotten there crap together. Start from scratch do something.

Nvidia rarely releases drivers, but they work and they work well, and that's a testament to there dev team. Fglrx is way behind from lack of attention and now the devs have to work double time releasing monthly to get feedback from users as to what works and what doesn't. I think that if ATI can start to develop their drivers right on *nix they can probably whip there windows drivers into shape too. Those are almost just as bad as linux in some cases. I do like to see monthly releases though, its nice anticipating aiglx. When I see that in the release log I'll cry for joy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Hmm..
by ubit on Fri 1st Jun 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm.."
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

Exactly, which is why people ask for OPEN SPECIFICATIONS.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hmm..
by grogoreo on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 11:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm.."
grogoreo Member since:
2007-06-01

There is a clear difference between having the actual source code for the operation of hardware, knowing everything about it and how to function with it and reverse engineering the code by looking what calls the hardware is making and making the code up from that. I believe that ATi hasn't given anything in the way of specification to the hardware because they have to "think of their shareholders". nVidia have worked with the development of open source drivers and have spent a lot more development time on the drivers, which has been said before.

I don't see how anyone can quibble with the fact that open source is not the best solution for the user since there is a greater chance that the code can be improved rather than in a small, propriety group. So open source code and specification would mean more features available to be built by the community. I believe that the nVidia drivers aren't perfect, but if they were open source then they would be going in the right direction to.

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

The R200 open-source drivers may be fast and stable, support AIGLX and all such..But even though they've been available for god knows how long time, they still lack a bunch of important features! Like for example, TV-output is possible only when building from the sources and patching them, and the result is still quite shaky..The open-source ones don't support pixel-shaders either. Or XvMC for that matter..

Nouevau (for nVidia cards) is planned to support all that stuff, and even hardware H.264 decoding on supported cards when they figure out the best solution..

Reply Score: 2

adamk Member since:
2005-07-08

Actually, the r200 open source drivers do support pixel shaders. It was implemented on r200 after it was reverse engineered on r300.

And while XvMC and TV-Out may not work, saying the drivers suck is a little harsh. Pretty much all 3D features of the cards are supported.

Nouevau (for nVidia cards) is planned to support all that stuff, and even hardware H.264 decoding on supported cards when they figure out the best solution..

Planning and implementing are two entirely different things. Please let us know when those items are actually supported.

Adam

Reply Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Actually, the r200 open source drivers do support pixel shaders. It was implemented on r200 after it was reverse engineered on r300.

They do? Atleast not on my card, even though the card does support pixel-shaders under Windows. Hmm :/

Reply Score: 2

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Like for example, TV-output is possible only when building from the sources and patching them

We can all thank Macrovision for that. How is Nouveau going to get around their patents?

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

We can all thank Macrovision for that. How is Nouveau going to get around their patents?

This is a bit off-topic, but I decided to answer anyway. The situation is that the R200 drivers are built around whatever information ATI provided the devs with, which obviously lacked the TV-Out support information, but the Nouveau drivers are completely built around reverse-engineered information. As such, they don't need to care about Macrovision. All they need is the information about which registers to write to, and what values, and they apparently already have that information.

Reply Score: 2

adamk Member since:
2005-07-08

Actually, both hyper-z and pixel shaders were implemented in the r200 driver through reverse engineering. It's not like the nouveau developers have cornered the market on that :-)

Adam

Reply Score: 2

amd
by netpython on Fri 1st Jun 2007 16:45 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

AMD shouldn't have bought ATI and instead should have invested in their CPU programme and increased production facilities.You wouldn't notice anything if ATI suddenly ceased to be a marketplayer.ATI hardly makes a difference if any.

They will not likely get an opportunity such as the Opteron period.

Reply Score: 5

RE: amd
by butters on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 03:43 UTC in reply to "amd"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

AMD shouldn't have bought ATI and instead should have invested in their CPU programme and increased production facilities.

Maybe in yesterday's hardware industry, but not tomorrow's. In under 5 years, the vast majority of client processors will have on-die graphics units. Midrange MPUs will feature something like 4-8 CPU cores and 32+ GPU cores. AMD didn't have the skills, resources, or patent portfolio to get from here to there. Intel does, and so they will develop their own graphics technologies in-house. NVIDIA will be reserved for high-end gaming and visualization markets.

If AMD stays committed to their open bus technologies and successfully integrates ATi's DNA, they will remain relevant in the client market. Otherwise, they'll only compete with Intel in the low-end of the server market.

Reply Score: 4

drivers, pc market
by elanthis on Fri 1st Jun 2007 18:39 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

Are you going to blame ATI for that too?


Yes. They could release proper programming documentation. The release of fglrx drivers would allow the OSS developers to see how the hardware works, thereby allowing them to improve their own drivers or provide additional stabilization to the fglrx drivers.

You wouldn't notice anything if ATI suddenly ceased to be a marketplayer. ATI hardly makes a difference if any.


ATI sells more video cards than Intel and NVIDIA combined. Why? Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3 all use ATI video hardware. Even if ATI makes shitty discrete graphics cards for PCs, they're really hugely successful as a graphics hardware company. So even if ATI stops being a marketplayer, AMD will still be better off owning ATI from a business standpoint.

PCs are just a fraction of the electronics market, people. Success in the PC market isn't all that vital.

Reply Score: 2

RE: drivers, pc market
by cyclops on Fri 1st Jun 2007 19:19 UTC in reply to "drivers, pc market"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

ATI sells more video cards than Intel and NVIDIA combined. Why? Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3 all use ATI video hardware.


provide a quote.

Intel had until recently 60% market share but dropping and Nvidia 20%. There are about 1 billion computers worldwide. This is ignoring smaller makes like sis, but these add up to about 800million computers worldwide.

Latest Generation console sales add up to about 20million, and are dwarfed by those of its own PC based GPU's sales about 200million. Thats a fortieth of that of GPU's by Intel and NVidia.

Seriously what are you on about.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: drivers, pc market
by Moulinneuf on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE: drivers, pc market"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Provide a quote.

Ok ...

Moulinneuf Quote :

1) Anyone who know graphic/video cards know that Nvidia make *zero* graphic cards. They make the chipset and the architecture , company like ASUS , MSI , BFG , etc ... build the video/graphic cards. That was partially why Nvidia had an advantage over ATI int the past ( more vendor and OEM ).

Intel is almost the same , except they build other hardware with graphic/video card included , but no graphic card.

So yes the quote "ATI sells more video cards" is 100% accurate. But a bit skewed.

"Intel had until recently 60% market share but dropping and Nvidia 20%."

Where do you get your numbers ? What Market ?

"There are about 1 billion computers worldwide. "

No , computers are in everything from Bus to elevator to refrigerator this days ...

"This is ignoring smaller makes like sis,"

SIS is not a small maker , they just don't have competitive product's in the video game market , but with on-board graphic they are in a lot of devices.

"Latest Generation console sales"

here is a nice estimate :

Worldwide Hardware Sales (End of March 2007)
PS2 - 117.89 million
Xbox - 24.5 million (unofficially estimated)
GameCube - 21.59 million
Xbox 360 - 11 million
Wii - 5.84 million
PS3 - 5.5 million
Game Boy Advance - 79.46 million
Nintendo DS - 40.29 million
PSP - 25.39 million

Note : There is a short supply of WII people want them but there none available on the market. Not all *Console* are listed either.

"Thats a fortieth of that of GPU's by Intel and NVidia."

No , thats More sales that Nvidia and Intel lost to ATI on top of the current PC related products. One of ATI main problem in the past was that they could not meet the demand ( something a lot of people seem to be forgetting or are unaware of ).

People need to realize that Drivers , Graphic chipset and Fabrication and manufacture are not thing that innovate or grow on there own or in tree or by *waiting*.

You know something else people don't really respond well when you talk about **market share** , first Microsoft lies about there's , and most people they only think of market share : "The product they have."

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: drivers, pc market
by Kokopelli on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: drivers, pc market"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Interesting numbers, though I am not sure their relevance. First of all they are quite open to debate. Here is an alternate set:

http://www.vgchartz.com/

1) The PS2 is not ATI as far as I know.
2) PS3 is Nvidia.
3) The embedded market is a growing one to be sure. Are GBA, DS, or the PSP using ATI? I did some googling on the specs of the 3 and could find no reference to an ATI GPU being used. If you tell me they are I will believe you, but if you could provide a link I would be grateful. This is more because I am interested in the technology than proof.
4) Those numbers are for lifetime sales on the selected consoles. Lets compare them against computer world wide sales for just two years (2005 and 2006):

http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/12349/

While that is just a Mac blog, the source for the numbers is IDC. This puts sales at 400M for 2 years, so 1 billion in use is quite possible.

Now stripping off non ATI consoles, ATI's numbers from consoles are not terribly significant.

None of this changes the fact that ATI has not shown a lot of interest in the Linux market. Linux users can choose not to buy ATI due to lack of good support, and many do choose not to. ATI as of this moment seems to have looked at the numbers and decided it was not cost effective for now. You don't buy ATI, and ATI accepts these lost sales as part of their cost/profit comparisons.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: drivers, pc market
by kaiwai on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: drivers, pc market"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

None of this changes the fact that ATI has not shown a lot of interest in the Linux market. Linux users can choose not to buy ATI due to lack of good support, and many do choose not to. ATI as of this moment seems to have looked at the numbers and decided it was not cost effective for now. You don't buy ATI, and ATI accepts these lost sales as part of their cost/profit comparisons.


But at the same time, you seem to be forgetting three important things; firstly, if all alternative operating system people got together and refused to purchase ATI and AMD hardware, it would be a sizable chunk.

Secondly, as 'geeks' we're prepared to pay for the expensive gear; we aren't the 'charlie cheapskates' of the PC world, we'll go out and spend $400 on a graphics card, the type of card which have the good margins - a decent market with people prepared to spend the money.

Thirdly, we're the goto guys when it comes to IT advice for friends and family; all we have to do is say, "na, I'd avoid that computer, this one with the Nvidia graphics card would be better suited" and voila, no sale for ATI or AMD.

Its time for AMD to be punished, they've been given 6+ months, they've done nothing to improve the situation - boycott all AMD and ATI products till such time they actually fix the situation.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: drivers, pc market
by Kokopelli on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: drivers, pc market"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually I am aware of all these things, and my stance o opinion do not matter. Again, ATI's reasoning may be faulty, but they have considered Linux and for now at least they are largely ignoring it. Perhaps eventually the Linux users who refuse to buy ATI (and I am one of them) will make an impact. For now though we are at best a vocal minority.

But at the same time, you seem to be forgetting three important things; firstly, if all alternative operating system people got together and refused to purchase ATI and AMD hardware, it would be a sizable chunk.


As much as I would like to agree with you... At present not really. Ignoring all other factors the chance of getting all (or even a significant majority) of Alt OS geeks to boycott ATI and AMD is zero. We simply are too independent minded. Sure, as a whole there are quite a few alternative OS users, but when you account for the fact that as a demographic the representative number of people who would refuse to buy a AMD product because of poor support for ATI, the impact is quite low. Even on the ATI front there are a lot of geeks who do use ATI because it is what came with their computer (especially laptops), so you are only talking about swaying a fraction of a small group.

Secondly, as 'geeks' we're prepared to pay for the expensive gear; we aren't the 'charlie cheapskates' of the PC world, we'll go out and spend $400 on a graphics card, the type of card which have the good margins - a decent market with people prepared to spend the money.


Many Linux geeks are prepared to spend money sure, but not compared to the number of Windows gaming geeks, that is the high end target market for consumer cards right now. Again this may not always be the case and ATI may be being short sighted, but I think it foolish to say ATI has not at least weighed it in as a factor.

Thirdly, we're the goto guys when it comes to IT advice for friends and family; all we have to do is say, "na, I'd avoid that computer, this one with the Nvidia graphics card would be better suited" and voila, no sale for ATI or AMD.


Again, while I would love to agree with you, I think you overestimate the impact of the very small group who constitute the Linux community. Yes in our sphere of influence we have an impact. So do the Windows geek community in their sphere of influence and they could care less whether ATI does not support Linux et al.. And an observation from watching other Linux geeks dispensing advice. The open contempt many of the community show towards Windows does not help in the weighing of advice. A Windows geek will not force the person asking for advice to listen to lectures on the evils of Microsoft. Not all, or maybe even many, Linux geeks do this but I have seen it often enough to feel it is an influence at the demographic level as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: drivers, pc market
by daschmidty on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: drivers, pc market"
daschmidty Member since:
2007-03-01

Your comment about windows gaming geeks being THE market for high end video is largely true. I am a relatively new linux user and my current computer has a radeon X850 platinum, which I use with fglrx, with essentially no difficulty. It runs quake III, one of the few widely available commercial linux games, at 1280X1024 and max detail at well above 45fps with no trouble. Frankly, ther aren't many graphically demanding programs for linux that the driver really needs to support. While I wish there was AIGLX so i could use beryl, the fglrx driver is *not*, in my experience and utter disaster as some people make it out to be.I hope ATI/AMD keep improving the driver to something that will be as full featured as the windows one, sans the bugs, and I would like to add that I am a person who just wants the hardware to work, if it has been open sourced awesome ;) , but if it's proprietary, that's ok too, if that's what ATI thinks is best. Seeing as I paid for the hardware, I am ok with using proprietary drivers for it, as I see them as an extension of the hardware.(buying card=buying drivers) I personally don't like nVidia cards(just my taste really) and I have no intent of boycotting ATI simply because they won't release the source to their drivers, sorry.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: drivers, pc market
by cyclops on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: drivers, pc market"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

off-topic
---------

@daschmidty I'm a little confused by your post you have *THE* open source graphics card that balances 3-D performance with that of open-source drivers, admittedly its always advantageous to run the latest open-source mesa/X/Linux for this card as bug-fixes haven't yet hit mainstream and its only recently moved from its experimental nature. Although QuakeIII has worked for an awfully long time.

The other thing that confuses me it that you say your getting above 45fps on QuakeIII at 1280x1024 I'm getting 80+ as 1600x1200 on the open-source drivers on a x800, and I strongly suspect they are about half the speed of the proprietary ones.

The reality of the situation is ati justly have a bad reputation for support under linux, which has been seen as bare minimum at best, which come with empty promises of improvements in future. Most who want them to open-source drivers do so not for any concept of freedom; they want them becuase they believe that support/comparability/stability will improve...and they would. We actually have a strange situation in Linux where the slowest(Intel's)GPU's are actually the *best* supported from that point of view. Nvidia offers a significant performance improvement *at a price* and *trust* in their driver delivery, but the x300 based chips have the best balance of both worlds, but these drivers are *not* supported by the company themselves.

The Odd thing is people won't be boycotting Ati/AMD they simply won't be buying or recommending their cards, because the alternatives offer greater support/stability. This is without the simply fact that Intel is simply better CPU's as well...and its GPU's are starting to look favorable at least to the casual gamer.

BTW if you are buying a card on *taste* rather than support; stability; performance; freedom you really shouldn't be posting, becuase thats just daft.

Edited 2007-06-02 23:41

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: drivers, pc market
by kaiwai on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 07:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: drivers, pc market"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually I am aware of all these things, and my stance o opinion do not matter. Again, ATI's reasoning may be faulty, but they have considered Linux and for now at least they are largely ignoring it. Perhaps eventually the Linux users who refuse to buy ATI (and I am one of them) will make an impact. For now though we are at best a vocal minority.


But at the same time, this is a sympton of a larger issue; this isn't only just affecting Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris uses, but it is pissing end users off who use Windows Vista and find that ATI/AMD can't be bothered putting the money and man power into delivering stable and reliable functionality on Microsofts leading platform.

Ultimately, all users are screwed in the end. It isn't just alternative operating system users. I'm sorry, but with AMD it has been a downward spiral, first their chipsets were crap and buggy, then their graphics card were crap, then their drivers were crap. It keeps getting worse and worse with each sucessive generation.

When all else fails, start firing engineers to cut costs; have they thought that their financial woes are of a direct result of them not coming out with quality products which customers want; customers like me would purchase an AMD equiped laptop, I was actually tempted, but due to their 'screw you' attitude which they've given to us alternative OS users, I decided to go Intel + Nvidia.

My brother? same situation, he went Nvidia. My parents? again, Nvidia, my sister, like them, Nvidia. I've influenced 4 people in my immediate family, all who run Windows. Imagine if every person with a grudge did what I did. Maybe ATI/AMD need to wake up and realise whom controls the purchasing of IT equipment. Hollow promises aren't going to fix the situation.

Can they change this late in the game? no. They had their chance. The day when they go bankrupt will be the day when other vendors realise that if you fail to meet the requirements of customers, customers will turn on you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: drivers, pc market
by Kokopelli on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 07:30 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: drivers, pc market"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

My brother? same situation, he went Nvidia. My parents? again, Nvidia, my sister, like them, Nvidia. I've influenced 4 people in my immediate family, all who run Windows. Imagine if every person with a grudge did what I did.


But they won't, and even if they did you are an anomaly, not the norm.

The quality of Windows drivers is a different matter. Not having a Windows install on anything but a VM I really have only second hand knowledge on this. But what does this have to do with your original statement:

Its time for AMD to be punished, they've been given 6+ months, they've done nothing to improve the situation - boycott all AMD and ATI products till such time they actually fix the situation.


First off I contend that ATI has taken this lashback into account. Further I said that the Linux community as a whole is not going to boycott ATI, much less AMD so the point is moot. Of course there would be no point in remedying anything if all users took your unforgiving stance.

Can they change this late in the game? no. They had their chance.


Most computer parts manufacturers have screwed up in some way or another along the road. Fortunately for them the consumer biomass has the memory of a goldfish.

You think that the Linux communities wrath can damage ATI. I contend that their wrath is a painful paper cut compared to the impact of success or failure with the Windows community and their circles of influence.

Reply Score: 2

RE: drivers, pc market
by Finalzone on Fri 1st Jun 2007 20:16 UTC in reply to "drivers, pc market"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

ATI sells more video cards than Intel and NVIDIA combined. Why? Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3 all use ATI video hardware.


Sony Playstation 3 is using a customized Nvidia G70 videocard aka Geforce 7800 GTX.

Edited 2007-06-01 20:18

Reply Score: 4

The truth...
by Tuishimi on Fri 1st Jun 2007 18:44 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...is out there somewhere.

Reply Score: 4

my take
by Zedicus on Fri 1st Jun 2007 19:08 UTC
Zedicus
Member since:
2005-12-05

PS3 uses nvidia video, unfortunatly.

as a pc technician for the last few years ive found that i personaly prefer ati video cards. not always the fastest. always good price/performance and always stable. ati has had some less then steller linux drivers in the past but personally the times ive tried an nvidia driver in linux its sucked just as bad or worse. not to mention with the hard core release schudule ati has stuck to the linux driver is improving by leaps and bounds, where as the nvidia driver kinda stragles along.

and i agree ati should open the protocols for the hardware, which they did on some older hardware, but nvidia hasnt even done that, nvidia provides no support for third party open source drivers. i could ratle on for days but i will stop before my blood presure goes up.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: my take
by PJBonoVox on Fri 1st Jun 2007 20:35 UTC in reply to "my take"
RE[2]: my take
by cyclops on Fri 1st Jun 2007 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE: my take"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

No they "shouldn't". It's entirely their decision and this is just to appease <5% of their target audience. Why bother? They never asked you to use Linux.


"No they shouldn't" and "It's their decision" contradict each other. Linux might be a small community but it is a vocal one. Intel is getting a lot of good press regarding their own relatively weak driver. Linux users are a large proportion of the technical community...those people who people ask advise and make purchasing choices for large companies and friends alike.

Even if it is their choice how they use their code. It does not distract that particularly for drivers, that there advantages from doing so. Stability; Compatibility; Security; Free Advertising etc etc.

Linux is not an OS that is updated every 5+ years like Microsoft. X is updated every 6 months and Linux every 3 months.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: my take
by google_ninja on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: my take"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I actually agree with you cyclops!

Drivers in general should be opensource, ESPECIALLY on linux. It drastically cuts down on support costs as there are often people who are more then willing to do the supporting for you. Drivers (typically) are the textbook situation of where you are giving away free software to sell something else. It is nothing but an expense to hardware companies, and it is an expense that can be virtually eliminated (or at least mitigated), by going the open source route.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: my take
by smitty on Fri 1st Jun 2007 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE: my take"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

They never asked you to use Linux.

WTF? No, but they did ask me to buy their hardware...

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: my take
by WereCatf on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: my take"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

WTF? No, but they did ask me to buy their hardware...

Sure they did, but do you always do as people tell you to do? It is your decision if you buy their hardware, and you decide what OS you use. If your OS isn't compatible, it's not their fault.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: my take
by smitty on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: my take"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

You don't seem to get it. You seem to assume I'm buying their hardware and complaining about it, but I'm not. What I'm doing is not buying their hardware and informing them what they can do to change my mind. If my OS isn't compatible, it is their fault, because they haven't supported it. It certainly isn't my fault they haven't done so.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: my take
by WereCatf on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: my take"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

But that's pretty faulty logic. So, it's their fault if they don't support every possible OS on the planet? I could start using some really really rare niche OS and then complain that they don't support it? That's just plain wrong..Sure, it'd be nice if they did support every possible OS, but that'd be quite unreasonable and it's pointless to complain about it. If a graphics card is supported in Windows, then it's clearly meant to be used under Windows. If you use it in an another OS, then you're using it in an environment it (or it's software) wasn't designed for.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: my take
by wyth on Fri 1st Jun 2007 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: my take"
wyth Member since:
2005-12-28

Where's the faulty logic in telling a company IF you support this OS, THEN I'll buy your product.

Is it faulty logic to a store IF you carry a certain item, THEN I'll buy from you? That's what drove a lot of coffee shops to start carrying fair trade coffee.

This isn't Fordism, "They can have any color Model T they want, as long as it's black."

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: my take
by looncraz on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 03:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: my take"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

That is what the BeOS community did.

I think that is the most stable ( albeit 2D-only ) driver I have found for my ATI Radeon 9800Pro, not written or supported by ATI, but, IIRC, they provided the needed specs to the developer (Thomas Kurschel).

A much smaller community than Linux.

Getting heard requires a voice ( in this case, the more the better ).

--The loon

Reply Score: 1

RE: my take
by prammy on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 13:05 UTC in reply to "my take"
prammy Member since:
2006-12-31

@Zedicus:

I know of more people who have had issues with their ATI driver than nvidia (Both Windows and Linux) but especially Linux. I myself have had a few ATI cards in the past, and they all sucked except for the 9800 Pro under Windows.

I have also had machines with nvidia cards and except for _one_ card they have all performed like champs under both Linux AND Windows.

Reply Score: 1

Things
by Xaero_Vincent on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:07 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

The ATI drivers are improving but they still lack features, performance, and stability.

The newest version release fixes the long standing problem where X crashes frequently when logging on and off consecutively.

That is an improvement over feeling like I'm using Windows ME every time I try changing users.

Reply Score: 3

I just bought a HD2900 XT
by cefarix on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:24 UTC
cefarix
Member since:
2006-03-18

I hope I can get the drivers for it as I'll be installing Linux soon on my brand new system...

Reply Score: 1

drivers :S
by markoweb on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:27 UTC
markoweb
Member since:
2006-11-30

A little of topic, but the one thing I can never understand about drivers of any kind - how is it possible to create a piece of hardware and then implement a driver that isn't stable at all (a.k.a nVidia and it's 8800 series)?

Let's take graphics card drivers for example. You have the DirectX framework. When a game calls a specific function, the OS in turn calls some specific functions in the driver.
As a programmer, all you have to do is take the input and manipulate it in order to get the desired output. How hard is that to do??
Ok, maybe first time round you might not get all the 100% performance out of the driver, but BSOD-ing the OS?!?

Reply Score: 4

RE: drivers :S
by WereCatf on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:39 UTC in reply to "drivers :S"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

As a programmer, all you have to do is take the input and manipulate it in order to get the desired output. How hard is that to do??

You're missing a WHOLE LOT of stuff in between. Like for example, handling AGP, PCI or DMA isn't that easy..There's always memory management issues to be solved, the driver has to utilize several other drivers in order to even use AGP, and there's always the fact that those cards are so full of features that it takes complex sequences of code to get them to do a certain thing. Even just a single error when writing to a register can crash the card.

Reply Score: 4

Funny
by Phloptical on Fri 1st Jun 2007 21:36 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

ATI sells more video cards than Intel and NVIDIA combined

In that statement, you just described why it is not in AMD/ATI's, or nVidia's, best interest to open their architecture.

Let's not forget that the only reason Intel open-sources their graphics drivers is because the majority of their bread is buttered elsewhere. I'm sure sales of their graphics chipsets is a mere pittance compared to the dollars generated from the sales of CPUs and the rest of their product portfolio.

So appeasing a small market contingent to save face benefits them in other areas.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Funny
by kaiwai on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 03:27 UTC in reply to "Funny"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Let's not forget that the only reason Intel open-sources their graphics drivers is because the majority of their bread is buttered elsewhere. I'm sure sales of their graphics chipsets is a mere pittance compared to the dollars generated from the sales of CPUs and the rest of their product portfolio.


But lets ignore the graphics; the simple fact is, Intel is focused on delivering a complete solution to vendors, wireless, chipset, processor, graphics, network etc. A turnkey solution to their customer (the OEM); the graphics chipset itself isn't being sold, but the whole solution.

AMD is doing the same thing; the difference is that they don't have a 'complete solution', they're merely got a piecemeal solution from different vendors. For all of AMD's so-called 'success' they're still far behind Intel when it comes to laptop related share.

Why does Intel 'opensource' (they didn't actualy opensource their whole driver btw IIRC) driver? because there are no 'strategic intellectual property' which Intel needs to bullcrap about as with the case of Nvidia and Ati; for Intel it is all about volume. Push through, and ensure that those fab machines are constantly pushing out more chips. What they lose from 'competitiveness' by not 'hiding behind closed source' they make up by volume, low pricing and lower cost. Intel don't need to ride on margins of just graphics cards - they make it one the whole system.

Reply Score: 4

not looking good for ATI
by bnolsen on Fri 1st Jun 2007 23:25 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Strikes against ATI:
- Historically crippled drivers
- Historically over promising and under delivering
- Hardware performance lag last 3 generations
- Performance/watt lag last 3 generations.
- Massive time lag for supporting latest hardware

At this point they'd likely have to release totally open source drivers that are at least 50% as good as competing nvidia products to sanely get a recommendation anytime in the near future.

And the driver situation isnt' gointo get any better, now with microsoft requiring the hardware be closed in order to work with their DRM scheme under vista.

I would seriously consider suggesting people run something like a 9250, 9550, 9600 or x300 card, but I very seriously doubt these models make ATI any money.

Edited 2007-06-01 23:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Whingeing
by moleskine on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 00:04 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

What an ungrateful lot you are. No one owes open source a living and no one is under any obligation to open-source their own closed-source products. Indeed, if open-sourcing software is such a surefire winner, why have ATI and Nvidia not done so? Because while any fool can make an ideological case for it, no one has yet made a convincing business case for it so far as 3D drivers are concerned. One day they may but it hasn't happened yet.

Then there is the much-vaunted independent 3D driver project which is intended to replace the proprietary stuff. It won't. The main reason why ATI and Nvidia produce passable drivers is that they can afford to hire good developers and pay them, and are driven by the needs of the market, i.e. by what ordinary users want and by the need to run a disciplined ship that stays with the competition. An open source project will be driven what takes its developers' fancy and won't have ordinary users or competition to keep it up to the mark. Like so much in the *nix world, chances are it will be geeky, inefficient and riven by ideological bunfighting.

Debian here, with Nvidia's own drivers. I am very grateful to both of them. Both deliver superb quality that really does work. I found the phoronix article fairly interesting, but I've always thought that ATI produced pretty crap drivers and had a fairly dodgy attitude towards their users. Not an attractive company all round, in fact. Nothing in this article suggests that's changed, so I'm happy to stick with Nvidia for now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Whingeing
by looncraz on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 03:29 UTC in reply to "Whingeing"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

Community-driven in-fighting RARELY ( if ever ) really negatively affects the development process. It is the fuel by which it is driven.

ATI Could save untold sums of cash by using a controlled open-source paradigm for their driver development, 'merely' by releasing their specs and hiring a fews devs ( or using existing ones ) to oversee the development process.

The real stoppage in the sewer line isn't that there exist no business reasons to comply with the communities wishes, it is, rather, the desire to prevent their competition from using it ( even secretly ). Among the likely licensing issues.

I just want to know if they can or can't be, and if they can be... will they. I don't think that makes me 'ungrateful,' I'm certain they are not ungrateful for my business ( having purchased, for others and myself, nearly a hundred ATI cards, and probably nearly as many nVidia cards ).

--The loon

Reply Score: 3

RE: Whingeing
by Lobotomik on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 07:36 UTC in reply to "Whingeing"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Ungrateful? I should be grateful exactly about what?

I don't have to be grateful for receiving drivers that work correctly for hardware I *paid* for, and much less for drivers that don't.

Reply Score: 1

What I find Ironic
by blitze on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 00:37 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

Is that I prefer Nvidia's Linux Drivers to their stinking Vista drivers. Linux works and they have a simple but workable control panel if you need it.

Vista on the other hand still has severe issues which is due to Nvidia coders not allowing users to manually configure otions like TV-Out. What I love about Nvidia drivers in Linux seems to be completely the opposite for Nvidia Drivers in Windows and for that I say Kudos to the Nvidia Linux coders. Now if they could teach their Windows counterparts a thing or two.

Loosing AMD/ATI would be a serious issue to us as the consumer for when competition in the market place dies, we are the ones who ultimately suffer for it. I hope they get their Linux woes sorted soon. If they do and have strong working drivers for Vista I would dump Nvidia.

Reply Score: 3

Open Source
by Brandybuck on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 00:58 UTC
Brandybuck
Member since:
2006-08-27

With an Open Source driver (or even the open specs), BSD and Solaris users are screwed. Not everyone wants to go the closed proprietary route, but with the next generation "free" desktops requiring proprietary drivers, we have no choice. Our choice of operating system is being mandated to us. Either use Linux with proprietary software, or still with obsolete desktops. This sucks. The Linux community has abandoned its ideals.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Open Source
by notamisfit on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 04:43 UTC in reply to "Open Source"
notamisfit Member since:
2006-11-04

As far as BSD/Solaris, it comes across as a "boned either way" type of deal. With closed source drivers (ie, the current situation), the drivers only support the OS selections the vendors want you to run (ie Linux for ATI, Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris for nVidia as far as *nix goes). With an "open source" driver like Intel's, there's no specs, no docs without an NDA, and ultimately you're just left with undocumented, incomprehensible vendor-supplied source code that does you little better than an undocumented binary (Unless you're running Linux, in which case it'll be in the kernel tree and "just work.")

Reply Score: 1

Ati/AMD
by kaiwai on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 03:10 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sorry to sound negative, but the person who wrote the article is nothing short of a AMD/ATI apologist - case in point:

The entire year we have seen only one formal Linux display driver release from NVIDIA for the GeForce series, along with two beta releases (100.14.03 and 100.14.06) and finally another legacy release (1.0-7185) for their older graphics cards. On the AMD side, however, there have been five Linux drivers this year with another seven expected by year's end.


Excuse, but in all due respects who cares about how many times ATI/AMD have shipped drivers this year - heck, they can ship them 100 releases, but it won't make a lick of difference to the pathetic quality of their drivers, the low performance of their drivers and worse still, their complete ignoranc to supporting FreeBSD and OpenSolaris. The world doesn't revolve around Linux, just as it doesn't revolve around Windows.

NVIDIA Corporation has no set in stone release cycle other than pushing out a new release when bug fixes or new features warrant an upgrade.


Sorry, I'd sooner have drivers with no schedule than seeing drivers being shipped for a small number of operating systems, and are bug ridden and riddled with compatibility issues. Sorry, the day when ATI/AMD take responsibility, actually hire some MORE engineers that are dedicated to maintaining drivers not only for Linux but for FreeBSD and OpenSolaris. The day the actually put the dollars into the development then I'll believe them. Changing compiling and release schedules don't change a damn thing. Its just moving the chairs around on the deck of the titanic.

Reply Score: 5

v q
by jordan98 on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 03:30 UTC
Hrmmm
by flywheel on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 04:28 UTC
flywheel
Member since:
2005-12-28

This just describes the development process (No real mentioning of any open source stuff), nothing new - actually it seems like they still persue the oldfashion way of developing - with a seperate line for each platform.

Even though nVidia is as closed as a secret military base during the cold war, they do get one thing right in their process, they make one hardware specific driver that is put into an OS-specifik wrapper (Or communicates with an nucleus driver).

Regarding the release frequency - you could also say that a high releases frequency is due to many bug-fixes and therefore the code has many bugs. While a low release frequency could indicate very few bugs, that needs fixing.

BTW : The Intel open source drivers aren't entirely opensourced - closed binary libraries are being used.

Edited 2007-06-02 04:32

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hrmmm
by Lobotomik on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 07:53 UTC in reply to "Hrmmm"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

IIRC, Intel's driver code for the x86 architecture are completely open source. They do include some closed binary libraries that are not run by the x86, but shoved to the network processing chip, which has a different (and undocumented) architecture.

Why this is deemed good enough is because the binary bits are OS independent, and could have been hidden in a rom inside the network chip for all you care. When new versions of the Linux kernel come up, or when the open source driver is ported to BSD or OSX or whatever other OS, the same binary blob can be sent to the chip without caring about its contents, just as you don't have to care about what microcontroller is inside your USB flash bar.

Reply Score: 2

We need features
by rockmen1 on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 10:29 UTC
rockmen1
Member since:
2006-02-04

When will ATI/AMD implement the GLX_texture_from_pixmap feature?
Besides stablity, improving opengl extensions support should be the first, not that seldom used control center.

Reply Score: 3

v sydney11611
by sydney11611 on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 11:06 UTC
ATI and their reputation
by marcus0263 on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 18:06 UTC
marcus0263
Member since:
2007-06-02

I loath ATI cards, back in my Microsoft days they were nothing but problems. In the Linux world they're an even bigger headache, Nvidia provides pretty damn stable drivers. This goes for both the Microsoft and the Linux world. Well the recognize the problem they have, the jury is still out if they will improve. Even if they do and provide stellar support in the near future they still have to overcome their reputation.

My two bits ......

Reply Score: 1

They have been good to Genesi
by bbrv on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 19:09 UTC
bbrv
Member since:
2006-06-04

We did not read the whole thread, but ATI/AMD have been good to us:

http://ati.amd.com/products/certified/genesi.html

Surprise #1: Debian, Gnome and OO
Surprise #2: PowerPC

R&B ;)

Reply Score: 2

they lost me some time ago
by sgibofh on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 20:49 UTC
sgibofh
Member since:
2007-03-31

ATI lost me some time ago as customer. I have submitted several bug reports across several versions for at least 3 years.

Even asked at least to acknowledge the problem. Nothin, nada, zilch. On the laptop with an 9600 -- still problems after all these years. Notably -- switching between X and a VC.... *very* long standing bug.

Tossed out the card on one of my desktop systems, used NV card and yes, so much better. Easier to install as well. No problems, it just *works*.

The new laptop has a selected NV 7300 card in it. No ATI. They lost me.

Reply Score: 1

v ATI is the best GPU choice on Linux
by linuxminux on Sat 2nd Jun 2007 21:07 UTC
ATI Drivers
by marcus0263 on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 00:50 UTC
marcus0263
Member since:
2007-06-02

Well what people seem to forget is that a very large portion of the Linux Geeks are also employed in the IT Industry. They have major influence on the type of hardware that is purchased in the business world, that my friend is not a small market.

As I stated above AMD has a very long route to go to regain confidence.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ATI Drivers
by Kokopelli on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 01:56 UTC in reply to "ATI Drivers "
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Well what people seem to forget is that a very large portion of the Linux Geeks are also employed in the IT Industry. They have major influence on the type of hardware that is purchased in the business world, that my friend is not a small market.


I almost hate to rain on all this feel good "we may be small in numbers but we have a lot of influence" parade but this does not hold water either. Have you ever worked in IT in the SMB or Enterprise markets? Sure IT workers have influence on purchases but "should we get a computer with ATI" does not enter the picture. Vendor reliability, service level agreements, support, lease terms, and of course cost are the driving factors. The only place where I can see video cards being brought up most of the time would be laptop purchases and there I would push for Intel if anything. Not because of cost but due to reliability.

There are some vertical markets where this would be a consideration but they are small, and generally the Mac crowd would hold more sway than Linux in these cases. In the home market the social circles of geeks hold some sway, but this is not the type of thing that is weighed in a decision in the vast majority of the time in the business world.

Edited 2007-06-03 01:56

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ATI Drivers
by marcus0263 on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 03:12 UTC in reply to "RE: ATI Drivers "
marcus0263 Member since:
2007-06-02

"I almost hate to rain on all this feel good "we may be small in numbers but we have a lot of influence" parade but this does not hold water either. Have you ever worked in IT in the SMB or Enterprise markets?"

Worked in the Enterprise for close to 15 Years, what you're saying is true with the Vendors. But are you saying we don't have a choice on the hardware spec's?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ATI Drivers
by Kokopelli on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 07:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ATI Drivers "
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

Worked in the Enterprise for close to 15 Years, what you're saying is true with the Vendors. But are you saying we don't have a choice on the hardware spec's?


No, what I am saying is that the choice of video card is not pertinent nor is it likely to come up as a factor in the decision of hardware. RAM, CPU, HD Configuration (especially on servers) are all very important. But the video card is not a factor at all on servers. For deskptops/laptops, at the anything above small business the default gpu for whatever model is being bought will be left alone unless there is some special purpose that requires its replacement with an upgrade.

You said that many Linux advocates work in IT (which is true). And that they influence what hardware is bought in the enterprise (also true). And by implication that this has/can have a significant impact on the number of business systems bought with ATI gpus in them Here is where my opinion differs.

Out of the systems that are bought for a business how many do you think have an upgraded video card? And out of those upgrades, in your opinion are a significant number of them chosen NOT to be ATI due to their (lack of) Linux support.

My contention is that this bad blood many linux advocates feel for ATI is not particularly traumatic to ATI's bottom line. I am sure it does have an impact, but it is my opinion (as I stated before) that ATI has weighed the cost in good will and found it to be less than the cost of developing and supporting good drivers for Linux and other alternative Operating Systems. I have faith that eventually they will support Linux better than they do now, but I do not think it will be the threat of a Linux user boycott that will do it. Wanting contracts and good will with the Dell's of the world are more important to their vision. In an ironic twist I believe at least one of the Dell systems shipping with Ubuntu has a ATI GPU does it not?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ATI Drivers
by kaiwai on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 07:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ATI Drivers "
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

No, what I am saying is that the choice of video card is not pertinent nor is it likely to come up as a factor in the decision of hardware. RAM, CPU, HD Configuration (especially on servers) are all very important. But the video card is not a factor at all on servers. For deskptops/laptops, at the anything above small business the default gpu for whatever model is being bought will be left alone unless there is some special purpose that requires its replacement with an upgrade.


But we're not talking about servers, we're talking about desktops/workstations/laptops. I don't know where you got the issued of server, because it has nothing to do with the current issues at hand.

You said that many Linux advocates work in IT (which is true). And that they influence what hardware is bought in the enterprise (also true). And by implication that this has/can have a significant impact on the number of business systems bought with ATI gpus in them Here is where my opinion differs.

Out of the systems that are bought for a business how many do you think have an upgraded video card? And out of those upgrades, in your opinion are a significant number of them chosen NOT to be ATI due to their (lack of) Linux support.


Better question; how many of them have ATI? I'd say next to none; most of them will be usig descrete Intel GMA950 graphics cards. Keep pushing Intel and Nvidia solutions over Ati. Intel for the low end, and Nvidia for the high end. If the vendor only has ATI, then purchase it off some other company.

My contention is that this bad blood many linux advocates feel for ATI is not particularly traumatic to ATI's bottom line. I am sure it does have an impact, but it is my opinion (as I stated before) that ATI has weighed the cost in good will and found it to be less than the cost of developing and supporting good drivers for Linux and other alternative Operating Systems.


Unless you live under a rock, and a man as an island, then sure. But how many people do you influence when it comes to IT? how many come to you who ask for advice, "which computer should I purchase?!". For me, Intel for low end, Nvidia for high end.

I have faith that eventually they will support Linux better than they do now, but I do not think it will be the threat of a Linux user boycott that will do it. Wanting contracts and good will with the Dell's of the world are more important to their vision. In an ironic twist I believe at least one of the Dell systems shipping with Ubuntu has a ATI GPU does it not?


And if the Dell does, then refuse to purchase it unless you can get it replaced with an Nvidia one. Dell needs to learn something; don't deal with assholes like ATI/AMD or otherwise you will not make a sale. We the customer decides what gets sold, not them. Learn freemarket economics; demand dictates what is supplied. If Dell or any other vendor thinks they can push shoddy products onto customers, they've got another thing coming. If they continue to sell Ati products, they've obviously learned nothing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: ATI Drivers
by Kokopelli on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 08:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ATI Drivers "
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

I mention servers because it is a significant part of expenditures in the enterprise. I then continue and discuss desktops and workstations.

You are honestly arguing that it is the lack of Linux support that is the heart of ATI's problems? The encroaching of Intel chipsets on the laptop market is a problem. The loss of ~20% of the mobile market is a problem. Linux is not the cause, or even a catalyst, to either of these.

Learn freemarket economics; demand dictates what is supplied. If Dell or any other vendor thinks they can push shoddy products onto customers, they've got another thing coming


Learn to be less condescending. I have studied economics actually, and it is not as simple as you seem to believe, nor does theory always hold up to reality. MS has succeeded in selling suboptimal products and eliminated multiple arguably superior products in their market space. Dells are not the best, but they are not "shoddy" either, though I prefer IBM's (now Lenovo).

In the theoretical free market there is a low cost of entry into the market to stimulate trade. This is not the case in the IT industry given the extremely high cost of FABs and chip design. Further in a pure freemarket economy there is not a concept of profit driven trade, nor does the theory of free market take into account herd instinct. A lack of an equilibruim beng reached in the market is why prices can be driven so far beyond cost.

Unless you live under a rock, and a man as an island, then sure. But how many people do you influence when it comes to IT?


I am the decision maker actually and I write the recommendations on hardware purchases for clients with regularity. Further I am the primary influencer for technical purchases for my family and (admittedly small) social circle. I still contend that in the macro scale of things the influence of the Linux crowd as effected by ATI's lack of good Linux drivers, is small compared to other, more important factors.

But this is going in circles in an ever widening off topic pattern. We could go back and forth forever but really I am not going to change your views nor you mine so I am going to leave it be barring some reasonably new argument. One last time though ATI has taken the linux community under consideration and rightly or wrongly have decided that it was in their economic best interests to not make them a priority at this time. It may be a wrong decision, but if you think they made it without consideration and forethought you are mistaken. Good day.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: ATI Drivers
by cyclops on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 11:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ATI Drivers "
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

If I understand your argument, your saying Linux users have no influence at all in IT, or that users buy X instead of Y because X matters.

Then you talk about Intel chips being reliable and preferring Lenovo over Dell. Why?

My favorite quote from you is Apple users matter and Linux users don't, when it comes to choosing hardware!?

Its worth nothing that one of the ways Vista is being sold is to the "gaming community" which is a another small but vocal community.

Its also worth noting that sony is suffering "bad press" and it has a great deal of influence on their sales.

If your argument is that technical people so not make or influence others purchasing choices; purchase more computer hardware than the average consumer; Provide a cheap advertising through websites. then you are wrong.

What is true is that they have decided that they have chosen to pay lip sync to support in Linux than actually provide proper support, so it does matter enough for that it seems.

Whats nice about the whole thing is Vista something they *do* support is selling less than expected, and Intel is crushing them with there CPU/GPU combo, and rightly so. The rise in laptop sales are not helping their cause either.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: ATI Drivers
by Kokopelli on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ATI Drivers "
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

HOLY CRAP!!!! Congratulations, you read everything I said and did not understand a thing.

If I understand your argument, your saying Linux users have no influence at all in IT, or that users buy X instead of Y because X matters.


I did not say that at all. I said that the influence Linux users have on buying patterns, combined with buying practices in business means that a "boycott" by some Linux users will not sufficiently impact ATI to force them into action.


Then you talk about Intel chips being reliable and preferring Lenovo over Dell. Why?


For business purposes I prefer Intel graphics for Windows laptops over ATI and NVIDIA because of reliability, This is an opinion not based on the companies actions or an atempt to boycott but simply an observation that they are slightly more reliable since the drivers are targeting reliability rather than pushing the envelope on performance.

And I prefer Lenovo over Dell largely because of my experiences with IBM Thinkpads which Lenovo now control. I have been involved in multiple large Dell rollouts as well though and have had few problems with Dell outside of the fact I find the IBM support channels better.


My favorite quote from you is Apple users matter and Linux users don't, when it comes to choosing hardware!?


I said that Linux users have influence on business computer systems, but in the vast majority of business system purchases the video card would not be a major consideration and unless there was some business need would not be customized. I then went on to say in the few cases where it would matter (graphics design and such) that the Mac geeks would have more influence. I will retract this one somewhat though in that the Mac crowd probably would not hold sway on Windows purchases.

Its worth nothing that one of the ways Vista is being sold is to the "gaming community" which is a another small but vocal community.


The Windows gaming community is small, though larger than the Linux community. Further gamers are high end purchasers in a larger part of the demographic than Linux users. Linux users most assuredly purchase high end equipment as well, but based neither Windows or ATI target them with marketing.

Its also worth noting that sony is suffering "bad press" and it has a great deal of influence on their sales.


But they are not suffering from bad press and the reaction of the Linux community. Their problems and press are far winder in spread.

If your argument is that technical people so not make or influence others purchasing choices; purchase more computer hardware than the average consumer; Provide a cheap advertising through websites. then you are wrong.


No that is not my argument. Look at my statement in bold in the previous message.

What is true is that they have decided that they have chosen to pay lip sync to support in Linux than actually provide proper support, so it does matter enough for that it seems.


It matters enough for them to give Linux lip service and then shuffle them to a lower priority.

Whats nice about the whole thing is Vista something they *do* support is selling less than expected, and Intel is crushing them with there CPU/GPU combo, and rightly so. The rise in laptop sales are not helping their cause either.


I am glad Vista is struggling in that it gives Linux a window for opportunity in systems. I am also glad Intel is doing well with their chipset. This is a good win for the Linux community given the open source status of the graphics drivers.

Reply Score: 1

It would be interesting if...
by BrendaEM on Sun 3rd Jun 2007 17:52 UTC
BrendaEM
Member since:
2005-11-23

It would be interesting if they spent as much on driver development as they are with PR. Can you buy a proven track record with one article/interview? Incidentally, I don't see any mention of drivers for 64-bit Linux? Are they not in the, forgive me, pipeline?

I don't think I need to qualify that very few hardware developers have a good track record when it comes to Linux drivers. I remember seeing Samsung's ML1710 drivers on the their site with a good amount of flowery boasting, but the drivers did not work for me. Nvidia also made plenty of bad and crashy drivers for Linux, but historically, I think they've been trying harder than ATI.

Often, Linux drivers can be found on the manufactures Linux "getto" page. Looking on that page, you probably aren't going to see a "support" or "feedback" button.

Regardless of the platform, I like to see light stable drivers.
[The driver setup for a HP all in one is 1GB.]

For video cards, a little tuning applet would is nice because the hardware has unique attributes not usually found in a standard HAL-style GUI, but that should change, because most video card's settings are common.]

[I don't have an ATI, but let me guess what the control panel for ATI's card contains: Resolution, Timings, Colors, Color Correction, Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic filtering settings, Some kind of performance-Quality settings, and perhaps a few settings for double-buffering, and stereo settings. Am I close? If so, that's something that's a panel that should be handled by Gnome and KDE.]

The bottom line is: Is the chief product of ATI and nVidia, hardware or software?

Reply Score: 3

Buy Nvidia
by c789a123 on Tue 5th Jun 2007 12:08 UTC
c789a123
Member since:
2007-04-25

Works on windows, linux , solaris , freebsd ... with 3D accelaration. Ati not even works well under windows for my notebook (x1400).

Reply Score: 1

Imho the open source driver for ATI
by Radek on Tue 5th Jun 2007 19:08 UTC
Radek
Member since:
2007-05-08

isn't too bad except it doesn't support newer ATI's cards.

But on (my) 9550 does work good enough with AIGLX support. Beryl is pretty good on it and most OpenGL works. I had been having not that terrible experience with FGLRX too except I have to resort to use XGL for Beryl. But it works too.

What the hell - there is also a nifty utility for overclocking ATI cards in Linux as well.

But the point stands - ATI support is subpar and kind of stinks considering open source drivers works not bad when in a comparison to a proprietary FGLRX.

Reply Score: 1