Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Sep 2007 17:24 UTC, submitted by Rahul
AMD LWN.net writes: "A quick report from the kernel summit: AMD's representative at the summit has announced that the company has made a decision to enable the development of open source drivers for all of its (ATI) graphics processors from the R500 going forward. There will be specifications available and a skeleton driver as well; a free 2D driver is anticipated by the end of the year. The rest will have to be written; freeing of the existing binary-only driver is not in the cards, and 'that is better for everybody'. Things are looking good on this front. More in the kernel summit report to come."
Order by: Score:
THANK YOU!
by spikeb on Wed 5th Sep 2007 17:37 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

Horray and thank you very, very much ATI/AMD! Not only for the opened specs (which are VERY appreciated) but the upcoming binary driver as well.

Reply Score: 29

RE: THANK YOU!
by tyrione on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:30 UTC in reply to "THANK YOU!"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

What the hell did people expect? They sell CPUs/GPUs and now they want to compete with Intel on the integrated graphics front.

It would be suicide not supporting Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE: THANK YOU!
by flanque on Thu 6th Sep 2007 01:15 UTC in reply to "THANK YOU!"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I can only hope that nVidia counter this by opening their architecture up as well.

Reply Score: 5

freeing of existing driver
by spikeb on Wed 5th Sep 2007 17:41 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

not being in the cards is A-OK - it's probably a legal nightmare to do so. What they're doing now is just fine, and if they (can/do) dedicate some engineering time to the OSS driver project too, that'd be even better.

Reply Score: 6

Bravo
by tristan on Wed 5th Sep 2007 17:50 UTC
tristan
Member since:
2006-02-01

This is a fantastic decision from AMD, and I applaud them for it. I've always favoured Nvidia cards in the past due to their vastly superior Linux support, but if AMD are true to their word then I may see myself going for ATI cards in future (which is, of course, AMD's intention).

It's also quite a slap in the face to all those other vendors who claim they can't release product specs for "commercial reasons"; there is not a single field of computer hardware that is as fast-moving, as competitive and as advanced as GPU designed, and so if ATI can do it, nobody else can have any excuse.

Reply Score: 25

RE: Bravo
by sandwichbutton on Thu 6th Sep 2007 07:24 UTC in reply to "Bravo"
sandwichbutton Member since:
2007-03-03

I agree I'm glad AMD/ATI has finally embraced the FOSS community, but I must say, don't count your chickens before they hatch. Phoronix is reputable and I like their site a lot, but, no one aside from the editors at phoronix have seen these drivers, they certainly aren't in the wild. I have faith in AMD and have since I traded my 486-DX2 in for an AMD K5. It's too bad that they let the linux drivers suck so bad for so long though, because I totally just purchased an Intel dual core processor/mobo and an Nvidia 7600GT so I could finally have my perfect Linux box. Maybe I'll pop my Ati x1600 Pro back in after the drivers are released.

Reply Score: 1

So when?
by BSDfan on Wed 5th Sep 2007 17:50 UTC
BSDfan
Member since:
2007-03-14

This is really cool news, but.. when? and where?

It would be "cool" if AMD/ATI could start a "website" related to this process.. A centralized informative location.

It's getting rather annoying to just read "second hand" accounts from OSNews etc.. We need an official response!

Reply Score: 6

RE: So when?
by Havin_it on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:21 UTC in reply to "So when?"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

I'm sure there will be a press-release, and quite possibly an AMDti website devoted to it, but c'mon, give'em a chance! Announcements like this are made at trade-shows and cons for a number of good reasons:

1) The news (as you see) permeates the tech talking-shops across the Internet very quickly because it's being relayed by journos and bloggers who are present for just that reason. Many big tech "news" sites won't give a high priority to knocking out an article about something like this.

2) Said "enthusiast" reporters are more apt to report the details of the announcement accurately (compared to some bored PCProMagNewsNet(TM) hack), and with enthusiasm.

3) Expectation of announcements like this is a good way of getting people through the doors of these events, so everybody's happy.

Personally I'd rather they spat it out, than spent more time putting together a fancy website and a showy press launch before doing so.

Reply Score: 4

Hooray!
by jaylaa on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:00 UTC
jaylaa
Member since:
2006-01-17

This is pretty sweet.

And now I'll be a shit-kicking jerk: to all those "pragmatists" who used to claim we should be grateful that they are making drivers for us at all and that we should just be happy with the binary drivers, look at what being a purist can get you. If the "zealots" hadn't kept at it, insisting that ATI open up, they wouldn't have.

Reply Score: 19

RE: Hooray!
by spikeb on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:10 UTC in reply to "Hooray!"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

amen to that. very, very true.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hooray!
by jadeshade on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:01 UTC in reply to "Hooray!"
jadeshade Member since:
2007-07-10

The "pragmatists" get to use the OSS drivers too, you know - and I don't think anyone was grateful for the huge, seeping mess that was the fglrx driver. nvidia, on the other hand...

(don't hurt me, I'm using intel)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hooray!
by hobgoblin on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Hooray!"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

this kinda reminds me of unions...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hooray!
by tyrione on Thu 6th Sep 2007 05:35 UTC in reply to "Hooray!"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Hate to burst your bubble, but Intel, Dell, HP and others running Linux made it clear that AMD better get off their butts and make inroads or lose this opportunity.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Hooray!
by spikeb on Thu 6th Sep 2007 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Hooray!"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

which they wouldn't have done unless a sizable and vocal part of the community wanted it

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hooray!
by jaylaa on Thu 6th Sep 2007 13:51 UTC in reply to "Hooray!"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

Hate to burst your bubble, but Intel, Dell, HP and others running Linux made it clear that AMD better get off their butts and make inroads or lose this opportunity.

Yes, and? They are some of the purists I was talking about, at least the people in those companies pushing for this. The purists aren't just individuals who are into the philosophy of Free software for moral reasons, they are also open source purists who know that the model works better in many situations. And they include some companies.

Edited 2007-09-06 13:55

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hooray!
by edwdig on Thu 6th Sep 2007 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hooray!"
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

Yes, and? They are some of the purists I was talking about, at least the people in those companies pushing for this. The purists aren't just individuals who are into the philosophy of Free software for moral reasons, they are also open source purists who know that the model works better in many situations. And they include some companies.

The major OEMs pushing for this weren't listening to purists. They were just being practical. ATI's Linux drivers were a complete joke, making it infeasible to ship a laptop with Linux and an ATI graphics card.

The Linux kernel development model intentionally makes closed source drivers a pain to work with, so open source drivers make more sense from a practical standpoint.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Hooray!
by jaylaa on Thu 6th Sep 2007 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hooray!"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

The major OEMs pushing for this weren't listening to purists. They were just being practical. ATI's Linux drivers were a complete joke, making it infeasible to ship a laptop with Linux and an ATI graphics card.

The Linux kernel development model intentionally makes closed source drivers a pain to work with, so open source drivers make more sense from a practical standpoint.


Yes, and hence my words "know that the model works better in many situations." What I'm calling a purist is anyone who demands open source, and rejects the closed source version, whatever the reason for it is. And this is exactly what these companies are doing in pushing AMD for open drivers. You say they weren't listening to purists.. They are the purists in this situation.

Like I said, many "purists" are only so because they know that open source works and that, in the long run, it is the practical way to be. And yes, they include the decision makers of some major companies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Hooray!
by edwdig on Thu 6th Sep 2007 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hooray!"
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

Yes, and hence my words "know that the model works better in many situations." What I'm calling a purist is anyone who demands open source, and rejects the closed source version, whatever the reason for it is. And this is exactly what these companies are doing in pushing AMD for open drivers. You say they weren't listening to purists.. They are the purists in this situation.

Well, you have an odd definition of purist. I'd consider an open source purist someone who insists open source is always better than closed source, no matter what.

In this particular case, the open source is considered the practical choice only because the Linux kernel developers go out of there way to make it closed source drivers impractical. This is strictly a case of "I just want things to work, do whatever you have to do." That's the exact opposite of a purist.

Reply Score: 2

Great news!
by kenjiru on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:09 UTC
kenjiru
Member since:
2006-03-26

Thank you AMD.

Reply Score: 5

Best decision they could make
by Toad on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:10 UTC
Toad
Member since:
2005-11-27

Best for AMD and best for us consumers. They can concentrate on the hardware, slash cost with driver development/support.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Best decision they could make
by spikeb on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:11 UTC in reply to "Best decision they could make"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

probably not slash costs - they're still making the official binary only driver.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Best decision they could make
by stephanem on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:13 UTC in reply to "Best decision they could make"
stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

They are only slashing costs (non existent I may add) for development and support on Linux - for Mac and Windows they are still paying good money to get proper drivers developed and supported.

Reply Score: 1

I was considering NVIDA for the next card
by Toad on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:13 UTC
Toad
Member since:
2005-11-27

Now I will probably buy an ATI/AMD.

Reply Score: 8

spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

me too, to encourage them.

Reply Score: 3

muep Member since:
2006-03-19

If they really give us full specs for their cards to support open driver development, I will probably sell my Nvidia card and replace it with a new AMD card. I really hope that they are going to do it.

Reply Score: 3

spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

cool ;)

Reply Score: 2

vikramsharma Member since:
2005-07-06

Woo Hoo, I can install Linux on my new iMac at Office. the lack of proper ATI drivers for Linux sucked, glad to know that those days are over.

Reply Score: 1

This is the best...
by Temcat on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:15 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

...that AMD realistically could do for the community. Kudos for having the guts and going forward with this. I say "the guts" because not many companies even go as far as opening up specs, leave alone open-sourcing the existing drivers or writing new open-source ones.

Reply Score: 6

Breakthrough
by stippi on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:17 UTC
stippi
Member since:
2006-01-19

What a breakthrough! This will make it so much easier for all us alternative OS developers! Way to go, AMD, thank you so much!

Reply Score: 3

with good theres always bad
by Zedicus on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:19 UTC
Zedicus
Member since:
2005-12-05

at the pace hardware goes the open source driver will 'probably' never perform even close to the binary only driver. even with open hardware specs. this is due to the developement cycle, the peeple building the open source driver will not be given the chance to work with prerelease hardware. and while someday they may get oficial boards sent to them if it gets big enough, for now sumone doing the developement is going to have to fork over money to buy a 500$ graphics card every 6 months or so if they really want to even try and stay on top of created an open driver.

now i know i sound pecimistic, im glad thiis is hapening and it will be good for pureists who want nothing but open source on there box. it is also great to see a huge company going this route, maybe pushing others to follow. for the 'average' linux user theres no compelling reason to not use the binary driver.

Reply Score: 5

RE: with good theres always bad
by spikeb on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:24 UTC in reply to "with good theres always bad"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

which is why the binary only driver being massively improved is also wonderful news ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: with good theres always bad
by spikeb on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:27 UTC in reply to "with good theres always bad"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

and actually, considering the average user doesnt need awesome 3d performance, they have all the reason in the world to use the open driver, and will, because distros will ship with that as default.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: with good theres always bad
by Hands on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE: with good theres always bad"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

That's basically what most people experience with Windows. There is a simple (usually binary though) driver that provides basic functionality for the majority of people, and there is a high-performance driver that can be downloaded and reinstalled every time the driver is updated. Most people just use the simple driver. Gamers and some others use the high-performance driver.

Reply Score: 2

RE: with good theres always bad
by SomeGuy on Wed 5th Sep 2007 21:29 UTC in reply to "with good theres always bad"
SomeGuy Member since:
2006-03-20

Wrong.

The open source driver ALREADY outperforms the closed driver, for many of the parts where they got the reverse engineering done right, especially on R200 class chips.

The problem is when they hit a place where they don't know how something works, or haven't found the ideal way of doing something, and fall back to software rendering, which clearly slows EVERYTHING down massively.

Reply Score: 2

siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Yes, but this is compared to fglrx which is a crap driver. New binary one just announced is significantly faster (supposed to be about as fast as Windows one because it is basically the same driver - unified arch as Nvidia's).

They'll always be able to resort to various secret/patented methods, approximations and hacks unlike in open drivers (though with the spec, we might see many clever ideas as well), and they certainly have lots of experienced people in this area.

Well done AMD, about time. Only thing we could ask more is to devote a few developers to work on DRI and OSS ATI drivers, but maybe they already ARE planning that. ("skeleton" driver as a hint). I also hope for good TV-out specs.

Reply Score: 2

spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

yuppers

Reply Score: 2

There are many linux and unix distros.
by Toad on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:32 UTC
Toad
Member since:
2005-11-27

And there are many version of the kernel.
So between 23 version of 2.6 kernel and 10 major distribution and say support for the two last version of distribution, I think there are plenty of money to save.

If you add fringe OS's (hobby OS's like haiku,specialized OS's) that now will have easy access to the hardware specifications they expand there market.

I think this is a graceful exit from Linux by AMD, and implicit acknowledgement of the deficient of their existing linux driver, both in stability and features(no AIGLX for example).

Reply Score: 3

Zedicus Member since:
2005-12-05

aparently u missed the 8.41 ati driver release. and 8.42 will hav aiglx. 8.41 brings 50% to 90% performance increase on all cards across the board.

Reply Score: 2

xxxspuddy Member since:
2007-05-12

I must have missed it too, it's not been released yet as far as I can see, or am I missing something?

http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/linux/linux-radeon.html

I hope the rumors about 8.42 are right, maybe I can finally get some decent framerates, picture quality etc. out of my x850

Any sign of xvmc support?

Reply Score: 1

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

8.41 is supposed to be released next week, i think.

Any sign of xvmc support?

Probably not, but maybe the reverse engineers can focus on that now that they've released the specs to the 3d pipeline.

Reply Score: 2

I'm hoping
by SReilly on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:40 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

...this puts pressure on nVidia to release they're specs, but very much doubt it. Although they would be generating massive kudos from the community, in the end Linux is still not anywhere near a large portion of they're income.I would be more than happy to be proven wrong though.

Still, not wanting to leave this post on a negative note, a big thank you to AMD and ATI for taking the first steps towards proper kernel integration. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'm hoping
by budword on Thu 6th Sep 2007 11:44 UTC in reply to "I'm hoping"
budword Member since:
2006-06-18

Gamers spend the most per person on a GPU. They are either geeks or get advice from geeks on what to buy. Real geeks will advise an ATI GPU, where previously they almost always advised an NVIDIA GPU. (Just my experience, yours may have been different.) I've bought 3 top of the line GPU's in the last year and a half or so, and will be buying ATI stuff in the future, as long as they come through for open source.

It won't matter much at first, but over time it will matter more and more, and lets face it, when your in second place, even a 2% or 3% change in market share is a huge difference.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I'm hoping
by REM2000 on Thu 6th Sep 2007 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm hoping"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

Most real geeks would advise nVidia as the current 8000 series blows away anything from ATI.

AMD have only just released some updates to their drivers which get their cards up to 90% quicker. Thats not 90% quicker than nVidia's simply 90% quicker than they used to be. Currently i will stick with nVidia, it would take a few years of consistent stability and improvements from ATI to make me change.

Reply Score: 1

RE[1]: So when?
by BSDfan on Wed 5th Sep 2007 18:52 UTC
BSDfan
Member since:
2007-03-14

@Havin_it, I don't want a flashy press site.. That's not what I was talking about, "any" location at least.. targeting developers.

A Wiki? Something that documents what's going on..

Reply Score: 2

great news
by REMF on Wed 5th Sep 2007 19:16 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

i have always been a nVid'ian, not least because of the better linux support, that may change.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by el3ktro
by el3ktro on Wed 5th Sep 2007 19:18 UTC
el3ktro
Member since:
2006-01-10

This is REALLY good news! I've always bought Nvidia cards because the ATI drives have been so shitty, but on my laptop I realized how much more "comfortable" true open source drivers are (I have a 945GM) - you install Ubuntu, and Compiz works right out of the box - that's how it should be! And hopefully this will soon work with ATI cards, too.

Reply Score: 3

If this is for real...
by binarycrusader on Wed 5th Sep 2007 19:20 UTC
binarycrusader
Member since:
2005-07-06

If this is for real, an ATi card may once again be in my future.

The most important thing is that if they follow through, that the community follows through as well and buys their product. I know I will (if they follow through).

Edited 2007-09-05 19:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

This came to me as a surprise! :D
by WereCatf on Wed 5th Sep 2007 19:23 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I was quite surprised to read this title in the OSnews front page ;) This is going to boost ATI/AMD sales ;) And they just got a whole bunch ATI/AMD users across several alternative OSs ;)

Now we'll see if nVidia dares to respond to this..

Reply Score: 2

wow!
by hobgoblin on Wed 5th Sep 2007 19:31 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

and here i was partially dreading that i had gone ati recently.

thank you ati/amd!

Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux armv5tejl; no-NO; rv:1.9a6pre) Gecko/20070810 Firefox/3.0a1 Maemo browser 0.4.34 N770/SU-18

Reply Score: 3

back to ati for me then
by simo on Wed 5th Sep 2007 19:47 UTC
simo
Member since:
2006-01-09

with this and the news of speedups in the closed driver, i think i'll be switching back to ati from nvidia in my next pc.

i'm fed up with having to disable compiz on fedora7 (shutdown problems) due to the stagnant nvidia drivers, and frankly opengl performance is pathetic, even my intel945 is faster than my geforce5200, and uses less cpu.

Reply Score: 1

RE: back to ati for me then
by signals on Thu 6th Sep 2007 13:29 UTC in reply to "back to ati for me then"
signals Member since:
2005-07-08

i'm fed up with having to disable compiz on fedora7 (shutdown problems) due to the stagnant nvidia drivers, and frankly opengl performance is pathetic

I was just wondering if you could elaborate on your problems with the NV cards? I've been running Gentoo for years, and don't pay much attention to the problems on the other distros, so I don't know what the problem with compiz, NVidia, and Fedora is. But it works very, very well for me. So, I suspect that it's Fedora related, not nvidia-driver related.

As far as performance goes, the 5200 is an antique now; I believe it was released in 2003. I have no idea how old that Intel chipset is; I've never owned an Intel GPU. Is it possible that the Intel hardware is just faster? I get about the same framerates in Windows as in Linux with my 7800 GS, and would never have said that the Linux drivers have performance problems.

I suppose I should comment on TFA: Much like everyone else. I plan to switch to ATI when the OSS drivers start to mature. I've been an NVidia user since I ditched my 3DFX Voodoo card for a Riva TNT, but this is a big enough deal to make me switch.

Reply Score: 1

Imagine the Fusion in the future
by andyleung on Wed 5th Sep 2007 19:48 UTC
andyleung
Member since:
2006-03-24

Linux + Fusion, omg...sweet...can't wait for that...Another light that I see from the tunnel is the solution to laptop users!!!

Reply Score: 1

bimbo
Member since:
2006-05-09

I didnt believe it in spring, but maybe there actually is something to it. Ah well, my T60 is sold and the Latitude I got for it is that much more silent it was still worth it ;)

Reply Score: 1

Bah!
by Ventajou on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:12 UTC
Ventajou
Member since:
2006-10-31

I guess I'll be stuck with the binary driver for my 9600 then... that's a pooper!

Basically you have to buy a new card to benefit from their move... hopefully the open source driver developers will learn useful information from those specs that will let them improve performance for the older cards as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bah!
by joelito_pr on Wed 5th Sep 2007 23:13 UTC in reply to "Bah!"
joelito_pr Member since:
2005-07-07

I believe there's already an open driver(xorg radeon) that works for that card(r300) but still needs improvements.

Reply Score: 2

Now What do I do
by asupcb on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:14 UTC
asupcb
Member since:
2005-11-10

I was planning to buy a new AGP card for my aging PC to give it another year or two of life but now I might just wait and buy a new laptop in the Spring and turn my old PC into a file server.

Reply Score: 1

I will believe it...
by hackus on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:16 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

When I see it.

Seriously.

All this secrecy over a display adapter is ludicrous.

There has to be something going on here because it doesn't make sense to not provide a product that customers want based on some sort of "secrecy" issue. Besides, if your competitor wants to he/she can re-engineer anything another fellow human being produces.

ATI must be getting cash from SOMEWHERE to NOT make open source drivers.

So must Nvidia.

What is the single largest application of desktop computers?

GAMES.

What is the largest gaming platform in the world?

WINDOWS.

What would happen if a different platform got decent graphics drivers that is technically superior to Windows?

???????

So who is giving them money???

Am I being too obvious here?

-Hack

Reply Score: 5

RE: I will believe it...
by Wes Felter on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:28 UTC in reply to "I will believe it..."
Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

What would happen if a different platform got decent graphics drivers that is technically superior to Windows?

Nothing? When technical superiority goes up against inertia, I bet inertia wins.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I will believe it...
by SReilly on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:29 UTC in reply to "I will believe it..."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I am one of the first to shout out about MS's abuse of it's virtual monopoly, but this? You have got to be kidding me!

Just look up some of the documented cases of NDAs involved in producing any form of technology not pertaining to software (and including allot of software to boot) and then re-read your post. I'm sorry, but it's utter hogwash.

A wise man once said 'look close enough and you'll find a conspiracy anywhere.'

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I will believe it...
by cyclops on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:24 UTC in reply to "RE: I will believe it..."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"A wise man once said 'look close enough and you'll find a conspiracy anywhere.'"

I'm only vaguely interested, but the conspiracy theory that was quite popular...but people forget.

Is that certain previously open to Linux manufactures suddenly got a little more cold after certain hardware for consoles was selected.

The bottom line is *there* is real abuse by Microsoft all the time. It is just a waste of time concentrating on those that are "handshakes behind closed doors", when open abuse like that of OOXML goes unpunished, and the cover-up even more so.

A wiser man once said "Microsoft is accountable to nobody"

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: I will believe it...
by BluenoseJake on Wed 5th Sep 2007 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I will believe it..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

The bottom line is *there* is real abuse by Microsoft all the time. It is just a waste of time concentrating on those that are "handshakes behind closed doors", when open abuse like that of OOXML goes unpunished, and the cover-up even more so.

A wiser man once said "Microsoft is accountable to nobody"


An even wiser man said "This couldn't be any more off topic." ATI's drivers have nothing to do with MS, except that it's always cheaper to develop for 94% of the market. As far as OOXML goes, that's even more off topic

Edited 2007-09-05 23:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

v RE[4]: I will believe it...
by cyclops on Wed 5th Sep 2007 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I will believe it..."
RE[3]: I will believe it...
by SReilly on Thu 6th Sep 2007 00:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I will believe it..."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

A wiser man once said "Microsoft is accountable to nobody"


I'm sorry but again, total hogwash!

MS is accountable to it's share holders. Nothing you say will ever change that. Sure, one situation could be construed as some form of strong armed tactics, but it seems to me more like simple economics.

When dealing with a paying partner, especially as lucrative a partner as MS, you generally do much in the way of boosting that relationship as far as solidarity goes. Everybody knows Linux is a thorn in the side on MS, doesn't mean MS asked nVidia to suddenly change it's Linux support plans just to concrete a deal.

nVidia, which makes the vast majority of it's money from gamers, is not going to make a bomb out of Linux any time soon. For them to hang up a tiny venture for the sake of sweetening as large a deal as a gaming console is, frankly, a no brainer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I will believe it...
by cyclops on Thu 6th Sep 2007 02:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I will believe it..."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"total hogwash!"

Lets get one thing straight. Microsoft is openly Corrupt. It acts in its own best interest. How they have acted with EU is a great example.

I have shown the conspiracy(sic), is it true. I don't care. I said as much. It wouldn't surprise me, and its not out of the realms of possibility.

What I did say is that rather than concentrate on what happens behind closed doors...you should look how they have been shown to be corrupt.

OOXML is just one extreme example. Of where they have corrupted 11 counties. They have even been caught out, and yet haven't been held accountable. It was covered up.

So the bottom line is its an unsubstantiated rumor about a company *know* for this kind of behavior.

Reply Score: 0

RE: I will believe it...
by renox on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:41 UTC in reply to "I will believe it..."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Being paranoid doesn't mean that you're right you know: the risk of being sued for using software patents may be enough for ATI or NVidia to closing their sources.

And contrary to what you've said as video cards evolve from fixed function hardware to GPUs the importance of the drivers have increased a lot, so 3D drivers of videocards are really complex.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I will believe it...
by BluenoseJake on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "I will believe it..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

When I see it.

Seriously.

All this secrecy over a display adapter is ludicrous.

There has to be something going on here because it doesn't make sense to not provide a product that customers want based on some sort of "secrecy" issue. Besides, if your competitor wants to he/she can re-engineer anything another fellow human being produces.


They just did.....

ATI must be getting cash from SOMEWHERE to NOT make open source drivers.


ATI just opened up their drivers, and is going to release an optimized, properly fuctioning Linux driver. Just because you're a cynical, jaded, pessimistic individual who can't be glad that ATI/AMD did the right thing, doesn't make it untrue.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I will believe it...
by Oliver on Wed 5th Sep 2007 23:36 UTC in reply to "I will believe it..."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

That's nonsense, they are using licensed technologies in their software, so they cannot just "open" their drivers. They can perhaps give the specifications, but they aren't fond of free drivers, because sometimes you can press people to buy new hardware - guess why? New operating system, new drivers, but for the latest hardware only ;)

It's that easy. So why is AMD doing this? Because they have a problem with their CPUs and graphics cards, at the moment Intel and nVidia rule the market.

It's a good step indeed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I will believe it...
by cyclops on Wed 5th Sep 2007 23:45 UTC in reply to "RE: I will believe it..."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"That's nonsense, they are using licensed technologies in their software, so they cannot just "open" their drivers."

This has been disproved lots of times. You should read some of the blogs and entries of the open source drivers.

Open source drivers for the r500 already exist.http://airlied.livejournal.com/?skip=20

"So a marketing dude said something about open drivers for AMD/ATI gpus and working with the community.

Can people get excited when AMD/ATI actually do something rather than showboat for media headlines?

Like ATI won't let me release my r500 source because I shouldn't have used a utility they gave me under NDA on those cards, now the thing is I done the correct thing and contacted them asking if I could release the code, so far this has just been stonewalled by their Linux driver management and their "legal" department, this isn't the action of a company trying to interact with the community or one that gives a rats arse about community.."

Reply Score: 1

RE: I will believe it...
by Soulbender on Thu 6th Sep 2007 06:34 UTC in reply to "I will believe it..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"ATI must be getting cash from SOMEWHERE to NOT make open source drivers. "

Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I will believe it...
by dagw on Thu 6th Sep 2007 10:39 UTC in reply to "I will believe it..."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

ATI must be getting cash from SOMEWHERE to NOT make open source drivers.

Or they (and NVIDIA) could just believe that the time and money it would cost upfront to open source their drivers won't be made up in increased sales and decreased development costs. They could also be afriad that important trade secrets would be revealed in the source code, giving their competitors a leg up.
But that would be to obvious.

Or to flip it around. Do you seriously believe that open source graphics drivers will bring more games and gamers to Linux or even away from Windows? One of the big problems is DirectX and OS drivers won't make any difference there. Could you please explain how OS drivers would help?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I will believe it...
by apoclypse on Thu 6th Sep 2007 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE: I will believe it..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Directx is prevalent in the game dev community but so is opengl especially with cross platform titles and most devs are developing across different platforms due to the console wars at the moment. Only Xbox 360 uses Directx as its backend, Sony uses Opengl(or a subset of) and has done so for years. Gaming in linux has been held back becasue their hasn't been any demand for graphics hardware on the platform due to subpar drivers and no competition. Another factor is that the toolkits ar eassembled in an easy access package like directx, where interfaces, graphics and sound can be accessed in a kind of uniform manner. SDL is pretty interesting and is somtimes considered the cross platform Directx but. What linux users need to do is show the companies that gaming is important for linux, the way we do that is to have game development companies sprout around creating games for linux and use linux as the primary development platform. You also have great projects like OGR3d that are really professional quality projects that are only lacking tools to be accessible by the average user. There are a couple of engines that use OGRE3d that if ported (some are windows only) and tailored to the OSS community would actually be great to develop games with. Also a goo Mod community would help go a long way.

Reply Score: 2

No hope for me
by TaterSalad on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:40 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have an R200 card. No 3d support is available for it, and if they are opening only for R500 and later then I have no chance at having 3d.

Reply Score: 3

RE: No hope for me
by adamk on Wed 5th Sep 2007 20:49 UTC in reply to "No hope for me"
adamk Member since:
2005-07-08

Your card is very well supported by the current open source driver. Indeed, nearly all the 3D functionality of the card is supported by that driver (hyperz, pixel shaders, transformation and lighting).

Reply Score: 5

RE: No hope for me
by viton on Wed 5th Sep 2007 21:00 UTC in reply to "No hope for me"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

>>I have an R200 card. No 3d support is available for it
http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html

Reply Score: 2

RE: No hope for me
by WereCatf on Wed 5th Sep 2007 21:13 UTC in reply to "No hope for me"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I have several R200 cards, all of which work just perfectly out of the box. And yes, with open-source drivers. And even yes, Beryl et al do work too. As a new X.org release was just announced they even mentioned the open-source drivers now support TV-out too..So yes, your card is actually very well supported and works just fine under Linux.

Reply Score: 4

RE: No hope for me
by joelito_pr on Wed 5th Sep 2007 23:17 UTC in reply to "No hope for me"
joelito_pr Member since:
2005-07-07

And I just use the open source driver that's installed automatically in my Distro.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No hope for me
by jpsalova on Thu 6th Sep 2007 08:27 UTC in reply to "No hope for me"
jpsalova Member since:
2007-09-06

And if you want that extra performance, you don't even have to use open drivers - fglrx 8.28.8 supports older cards. Get it from ati's site. It's only after that version that they stopped supporting r2* in later versions.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No hope for me
by TaterSalad on Thu 6th Sep 2007 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE: No hope for me"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

I admit I goofed up. I could swear a couple of months ago that the r200 was not supported with 3d. I tried everything under the sun to get it to work. Then after everyone's suggestions, especially you who linked to ati's driver site, i downloaded the new drivers and did in fact have 3d support. I was actually shocked that it worked. All previous attempts left me with a blank black screen. So I tested out the opengl screensavers, and downloaded penguinland racer (apparently tux racer no longer exists?) and was playing in 3d accelerated mode. Thanks everyone! ;) Again, I admit that I goofed up.

Reply Score: 2

Nvidia
by jboss1995 on Wed 5th Sep 2007 21:02 UTC
jboss1995
Member since:
2007-05-02

Please don't forget that Nvidia was the first to support Linux. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. It may discourage other vendors from showing Linux favor. I'm am glad that ATI did what they did but don't turn on your old friend. Or at least don't voice it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nvidia
by apoclypse on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:13 UTC in reply to "Nvidia"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

I don't think that Nvidia was the first to support linux. In-fact I think it was ATI back with the rage pro. Also they had opened their specs before with the R200 line of chips (which is why the OSS drivers work as they do). Its why I never understood why they turned their back on us through the R300/400 series. I'm glad to see that AMD has finally gt rid of those bums at ati who were calling the shots and have finally gotten up to speed. Its funny how everybody hated on ATI now the tables have turned and its Nvidia who are the bad seed. We know that AMD updates their drivers monthly, Nvidia doesn't update their linux offering nearly as much. We now know that the new drivers will actually outperform Nvidia's which is a surprise to say the least. I thought they were going to be comparable in speed, not better, thats a real shocker. So I'm thinking that the competition between the two card makers will spill onto the Linux side soon enough, and this time it will be about the drivers, and not so much the hardware. With better Linux support chances are we will see better game support in Linux, since the lowest common denominator is no longer as low as it was (meaning anything ati) it also may mean that we won't see a huge delay in support for the latest hardware as was once the case, since he drivers are no longe the impediment to functionality.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Nvidia
by jboss1995 on Wed 5th Sep 2007 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Nvidia"
jboss1995 Member since:
2007-05-02

Sorry, with commercial drivers. Any way lets not discourage anyone who has helped linux in the past. That was my point.

Edited 2007-09-05 23:43

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nvidia
by Jondice on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "Nvidia"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

I'll be sticking with Nvidia for some years yet I imagine. It'll take at least that long for ATI to come close to catching up in the drier area, and by then Nvidia may have already open sourced its drivers.

This is still great news though, as it not only will make ATI viable for many platforms in the future, but put some pressure on Nvidia to follow suite.

Reply Score: 1

Wow
by smitty on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:13 UTC
smitty
Member since:
2005-10-13

50-90% performance increases this month, AIGLX support next month, and an open 2D driver by the end of the year (with all the specs as well?). I've been an optimist that AMD was going to improve their ATI acquisition, but I never expected all of this to happen so suddenly.

Reply Score: 2

Wicked!
by BluenoseJake on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:15 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

I'm very happy about this

Reply Score: 1

Very nice...
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 5th Sep 2007 22:17 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Honestly, I expected with all the whining from free software advocates, and with the absolutely horrid drivers ATi has come up with, that this would happen... eventually. Add to that, the fact that Intel has some of their integrated graphics chips' drivers open, although I doubt that had near as much of an influence on this decision.

As for me... well, I'm actually quite happy with nVidia's hardware and their Windows/Linux drivers for now. With ATi already opening up, and pressure being put on nVidia by open source users to do the same, I expect nVidia to eventually cave in as well.

Maybe in five years, if nVidia's drivers are *still* closed and ATi's make some huge improvements, then I'll switch. Till then, I'll be patient.

Reply Score: 1

Oh a word from a fan.
by judgen on Thu 6th Sep 2007 00:32 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

I LOVE amd, amd has been my chiose for every machine ive ever built until today .(except for the comany ofcourse wich was most AMD.) I was one of many to call the THG bluff about amd processors and to made countervideos, if you can still find them (use google "amd counter video")

I hope ATI and AMD will forever be there to counter prices so "we " the consumers will benefit from whatever IT will bring us.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I will believe it...
by elanthis on Thu 6th Sep 2007 01:32 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

This has been disproved lots of times. You should read some of the blogs and entries of the open source drivers.


No, it hasn't. The Open Source drivers have absolutely in no way anything to do with the legality of releasing the source code to the proprietary driver. The proprietary driver including code written by a third-party is irrelevant to whether the hardware driven by either ATI's or the third-party's can be reverse engineered by the OSS driver developers.

Reply Score: 0

RE: RE[3]: I will believe it...
by WereCatf on Thu 6th Sep 2007 11:38 UTC in reply to " RE[2]: I will believe it..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

No, it hasn't. The Open Source drivers have absolutely in no way anything to do with the legality of releasing the source code to the proprietary driver. The proprietary driver including code written by a third-party is irrelevant to whether the hardware driven by either ATI's or the third-party's can be reverse engineered by the OSS driver developers.

Oh stop talking out of your rear end already, will ya? ATI/AMD are NOT releasing the source code to their drivers! They are releasing the programming specs for their cards so that people can implement open-source ones. Two COMPLETELY different things. And if you think they will not do it...Well, they have done it already in the past for R200 chips! That time they only had to leave out the TV-out part of the specs cos it was licensed from someone else but that was not a crucial part anyway, although useful. This time around they may not even have to leave that part out either.

Reply Score: 1

Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Yeah... I only imagine them leaving out the HDCP related specs in the R600 cards. Thats not something that could legally be exposed.

However, I hope we get proprietary HDCP support at some point, so that HD-DVD and BluRay movies can play on Linux without resorting to a huge, cracked movie rips.

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

However, I hope we get proprietary HDCP support at some point, so that HD-DVD and BluRay movies can play on Linux without resorting to a huge, cracked movie rips.

Maybe this could be solved by making the driver load a specific binary-only HDCP blob, either into the kernel or into the driver itself if the need arises? That way the driver could be open-source and only the DRM part could be binary? This was just a suggestion, and I'm sure someone finds flaws in it..

Reply Score: 1

siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

That kind of thing might be supported in proprietary drivers. Now that both players have in fact same OpenGL driver running on Vista/XP and Linux, we can say that Linux caught up in terms of OpenGL performance.

MS unfortunately controls DirectX API and it seems to be slowly pushing out OpenGL games out of the Windows market (even in FPS niche), while it's highly unlikely that we'll see DX becoming cross platform (with exception of X360 of course), unless Wine and DRI folks continue making miracles.

Of course MS supports the still irrelevant Silverlight on Linux, how convenient. strange that they don't think about opening and porting some more important API's.

Reply Score: 0

Hmm
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 6th Sep 2007 02:01 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Mot only open specs but the new drivers themself seem like a breakthrough: up to 90% performance improvement? That pretty much brings them up to par with the Windows drivers--performance wise. AIGLX and R600 support is nice too.

Of course I might not benefit much with my ancient Radeon 9600 but this news does increase incentive to buy ATI/AMD in the future rather than Nvidia.

Reply Score: 2

Good News
by rockmen1 on Thu 6th Sep 2007 02:09 UTC
rockmen1
Member since:
2006-02-04

Although I guess this is due to the resources limitations for AMD to develope drivers both for Windows and Linux, it finally opened!!!It is good for all users, other competitors may follow this some day in the future.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good News
by apoclypse on Thu 6th Sep 2007 02:26 UTC in reply to "Good News"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

They are still developing drivers fro Linux. The open specs let them not have to worry about other OS's such as Haiku and BSD, but from the looks of it linux is an important platform for AMD and they are stepping up to the plate to take the crown.

Reply Score: 2

A bit too late
by nekoruru on Thu 6th Sep 2007 02:22 UTC
nekoruru
Member since:
2007-01-02

Already switched to nvidia here

Reply Score: 1

WOW
by graigsmith on Thu 6th Sep 2007 03:14 UTC
graigsmith
Member since:
2006-04-05

OMG YAY

Reply Score: 1

this is a huge leap forward
by pixel8r on Thu 6th Sep 2007 03:16 UTC
pixel8r
Member since:
2007-08-11

if NVIDIA dont follow suit I will happily buy an ATI card next!!

although I do hope this move will pressure NVIDIA into doing the same. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Great
by IvoLimmen on Thu 6th Sep 2007 06:38 UTC
IvoLimmen
Member since:
2005-07-06

This means my next card will also be an ATI...

Reply Score: 1

hell froze over
by cg0def on Thu 6th Sep 2007 07:54 UTC
cg0def
Member since:
2006-02-12

may this makes me a real happy camper as I am currently stuck with ati on my laptop. It is a fairly nice chip and performs very well under windows but the linux support is more than lacking. But it seems like I'll finally be able to run beryl without screen corruption and at a decent frame rate. Very smart decision AMD ... very smart. Now if nvidia would follow we would really be making progress on the OSS front.

In reality fully functional oss ati drivers are at least 6 months away so we won't get to reap the benefits for at least one more year. But with KDE 4.1 being an year away too it looks like by the end of 2008 my linux as a desktop dream might finally come to a realization. I might not have to go the os x way after all ...

Reply Score: 1

Seeing for believing
by asdx24 on Thu 6th Sep 2007 08:39 UTC
asdx24
Member since:
2007-05-17

This has been said already but nothing happened, so release it and i'll beelieve it.

Reply Score: 1

2d only?
by sadangel on Thu 6th Sep 2007 09:14 UTC
sadangel
Member since:
2006-11-04

Just how much is being released? If it's 2D only, that's nothing to celebrate. 2D can and has been fairly easily reverse engineered. It's the 3D portions where the magic happens. Frankly, I'll celebrate the day the 3D docs are published. Until then, it's all talk.

Reply Score: 1

RE: 2d only?
by apoclypse on Thu 6th Sep 2007 13:43 UTC in reply to "2d only?"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

The SPECS will be available with 2d reference drivers to show how to interface with the cards. The OSS community has only been asking for clear and complete specs for the hardware so that they can write their own drivers. What you want AMD to spit shine your shoes too? They didn't have to open up the specs to the hardware and when they do actually do it some in the oss community complain because the driver is still closed. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. They gave you what you asked and now you want more? Besides that you should read the article it outlines everything pretty clearly and yet we have people stating the drivers are going to be open or that they are only releasing opensource 2d drivers. The important part are the specs, screw the reference driver.

Reply Score: 2

Thank god....
by andyleung on Thu 6th Sep 2007 15:06 UTC
andyleung
Member since:
2006-03-24

Finally...for years I just love ATI cards but hate it as well just because of its sucky drivers no matter it's for windows or linux, it just sucks so bad. Besides, the driver version gets me confused so much that I rather buy nVidia even though sometimes ATI outperforms nVidia in some benchmarks and cheaper.

Now I am doing serious development and business, onboard video is always my choice, I just wish to have a good onboard video driver from ATI so I can have more choices other than just nvidia or intel chipset.

Reply Score: 1

cool
by netpython on Thu 6th Sep 2007 18:11 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

deal

Browser: Links (0.98; FreeBSD 4.10-RELEASE-p2 i386; 160x64)

Reply Score: 2

Bah
by siki_miki on Thu 6th Sep 2007 18:41 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

It seems though that docs will be released under the NDA only, so not everyone will be able to work on a driver.

AMD will, though, sponsor development of the open source driver, maybe even assign some of their own employees. I don't expect miracles, but at least cards will be properly supported on a common graphical interface, while enthusiasts will still have a binary driver for better performance and some high-end features.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bah
by smitty on Thu 6th Sep 2007 19:54 UTC in reply to "Bah"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

It sounds like they have no intention of letting the free driver actually compete against their proprietary one, they just want something that will be able to run a 3D desktop without any problems. That can be the default all the distros ship with, and then if the user wants to game or do anything that requires high performance they'd grab the official one from AMD.

Which honestly is fine with me.

Reply Score: 3

bench
by Bounty on Thu 6th Sep 2007 19:08 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

On Phoronix site they bench a 6600gt 128MB v.s. a 800xl 256MB.

The 800xl increased by 40% with the new driver. Meaning they were really broke before.

The 800xl now beats the 6600gt by 7% in linux.

In windows the xl is 20-30% faster = Nvidia drivers are still better, just in case anyone was confused.

I'm just talking performance wise. I'm all happy that they are opening up n stuff.

Also looked at the 8600 v.s. 2900 article on Phoronix site. Same thing.
2900 beats 8600 in linux by 67% But in windows by 175% (see tomshardware) These cards are not in the same class, not even close. I'd like to see phoronix bench a 8800gts 320OC (280$) v.s. a 2900XT (380$)

Reply Score: 1

RE: bench
by smitty on Thu 6th Sep 2007 19:58 UTC in reply to "bench"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

That 2900 seemed to be cpu limited on that linux test - it went from about 94fps at low res, low quality, to 92fps at max resolution, max quality on Quake4, and never even changed on the Doom3 benchmark. So I don't think looking at the performance delta there is useful.

Your xl comparison is much better - but remember that this driver was specifically tuned for the 2xxx series and the one coming out next month is supposed to have a bunch of tweaks for older cards. I assume some of them are performance related and not just bugfixes.

There's no question the older drivers were absolutely terrible performers. One of the tests on the Mobility X300 showed performance going from < 1fps to over 43. That was a 5400% increase.

Edited 2007-09-06 20:10

Reply Score: 2

Corporate backing
by re_re on Fri 7th Sep 2007 09:00 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe this has already been posted, I did not have time to read through all the comments.

I think that even with the spec's opened up it will be a while before we start to see solid open 3d drivers for ATI (AMD) graphics cards. This could of course be wrong, especially if some of the corporate Linux backers toss some full time paid developers at developing this driver.

Dell, HP, and IBM, all could benefit from allocating a small number of developers to speed the development of stable 3d drivers.

In addition to all that, Dell and HP with their new Linux offerings would really benefit in the pr department with the Linux crowd which would jump start their Linux PC sales.

Reply Score: 2