Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:13 UTC, submitted by Michael
Linux "Now that the kernel mode-setting page-flipping for the ATI Radeon DRM kernel module has been merged into the Linux 2.6.38 kernel and the respective bits have been set in the xf86-video-ati DDX, we're in the process of running new open-source ATI graphics benchmarks under Linux. Our initial results (included in this article) show these latest improvements to cause some major performance boosts for the open-source ATI driver as it nears the level of performance of the proprietary Catalyst driver."
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RE: great
by lemur2 on Fri 14th Jan 2011 03:45 UTC in reply to "great"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

i'm not trolling but this means that in a few years ati drivers will be as good as nvidia drivers. Hope the driver will be for older cards too, cause i'm running latest nvidia driver on a onboard geforce 6150 and works great


You may be interested to learn that the "latest nvidia driver" (presumably you are talking about the closed-source proprietary driver for Linux which is actually written by nvidia) won't ever run KMS or kernel memory management (because the kernel guys won't accept driver code which is only a part of a driver), and hence will never be able to run Wayland or rootless X.

BTW, this article is not about ati drivers (namely fglrx, aka Catalyst), but rather it is about the open source drivers for ATI/AMD GPUs. This open source driver, named xf86-video-ati, is an entirely different driver, and it does not belong to AMD/ATI.

http://wiki.x.org/wiki/radeon

Just like the proprieatry closed-source nvidia driver, so to the proprieatry closed-source fglrx driver will never be able to run Wayland or rootless X.

However, open-source drivers can run Wayland and rootless X, and in fact already do for beta versions. Open-source xf86-video-ati drivers for ATI/AMD GPUs are just recently beginning to include optimisations, such that as this article attests, their performance is approaching the closed-source drivers.

Not only are open source drivers the more capable (being able to run Wayland and rootless X, for example), but also there is promise they may soon become the best performing.

Edited 2011-01-14 03:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: great
by WereCatf on Fri 14th Jan 2011 08:04 in reply to "RE: great"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Not only are open source drivers the more capable (being able to run Wayland and rootless X, for example)

That's not really what I would have in mind when talking about capabilities. The open-source drivers -- both Nouveau and Radeon -- lack things the hardware supports and you get those only with the proprietary driver. And this "the open-source ones will soon catch up to proprietary ones" is nonsense. That's been touted for years and years and they're not even close. Sure, I'd _love_ them to actually catch up both in performance and in features, but I simply do not see that happening.

Now, with Ubuntu and several others moving towards Wayland ATI/NVIDIA users are getting screwed as they lose a bunch of features, and speed even more so.

Meh, I'm just annoyed. I recently ditched Linux on my desktop. It makes a great OS for the average user or for servers, but it simply doesn't suit me. There is always something that's broken or needs a bunch of extra steps or something and it really gets tiresome, and as I am a gamer the fact that my games don't work is already enough.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: great
by lemur2 on Fri 14th Jan 2011 09:14 in reply to "RE[2]: great"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

And this "the open-source ones will soon catch up to proprietary ones" is nonsense. That's been touted for years and years and they're not even close.


Actually, the original article has some games for which the open drivers are already close:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ati_r500_pflippe...

and even a couple where it is ahead:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ati_r500_pflippe...

This is only after the first "low hanging fruit" optimistaion effort, there is a lot more improvement to come.

As for the contention that there are "missing features" ... the only one that is missing now is an API to the hardware video decoder dedicated circuitry. Even that can be overcome via use of GLSL instead.

OpenGL support is a bit thin for some GPUs also, but that will rapidly improve.

Linux may not suit your particular uses, fair enough, I wouldn't argue otherwise. However, that is no reason to dismiss it in general. It can be a perfect fit for some uses ... for example, I am stictly NOT a gamer but I do like to browse the Internet and I do not want my machine to be used as part of a botnet, or as a colection device for my Internet banking passwords.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: great
by smitty on Fri 14th Jan 2011 08:47 in reply to "RE: great"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

won't ever run KMS or kernel memory management (because the kernel guys won't accept driver code which is only a part of a driver), and hence will never be able to run Wayland or rootless X.


This story that proprietary drivers won't work with Wayland is incorrect. It won't CURRENTLY work, but the Wayland devs have already stated that it would be simple to add another backend which could call into the proprietary drivers. The KMS interface in Wayland could easily be extended by NVidia and AMD, just as they are already extending parts of X now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: great
by lemur2 on Fri 14th Jan 2011 09:18 in reply to "RE[2]: great"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"won't ever run KMS or kernel memory management (because the kernel guys won't accept driver code which is only a part of a driver), and hence will never be able to run Wayland or rootless X.


This story that proprietary drivers won't work with Wayland is incorrect. It won't CURRENTLY work, but the Wayland devs have already stated that it would be simple to add another backend which could call into the proprietary drivers. The KMS interface in Wayland could easily be extended by NVidia and AMD, just as they are already extending parts of X now.
"

KMS and kernel memory management are dependencies for Wayland support. The kernel developers will not accept KMS and kernel memory management pieces if the rest of a graphics driver is a binary blob. Wayland might be a different matter, but as it stands the graphics driver binary blobs will never be part of the kernel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: great
by Gusar on Fri 14th Jan 2011 10:21 in reply to "RE: great"
Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

You may be interested to learn that the "latest nvidia driver" (presumably you are talking about the closed-source proprietary driver for Linux which is actually written by nvidia) won't ever run KMS or kernel memory management (because the kernel guys won't accept driver code which is only a part of a driver), and hence will never be able to run Wayland or rootless X.

Wrong, pretty much every point. Nvidia does modesetting in the kernel and has done so forever. Same for memory management. They don't use KMS and TTM/GEM, but these are merely implementations, and Nvidia doesn't use them because they have their own.
Second, the Nvidia driver doesn't need root, and this is also nothing new. All it needs is access to the /dev/nvidia* nodes, which is usually done by putting users in the video group, where they need to be for open source drivers too (to access the /dev/dri/* nodes). It's other stuff in X itself that right now still requires running it as root. Once the X people take care of that, the Nvidia driver will continue to work without modifications.
And third, there's only a very tiny adjustment in Wayland necessary to make the Nvidia driver work with it. I'm too lazy to search for links where developers explain this, but if you really want, I will. It's somewhere on the Phoronix forums.

Edited 2011-01-14 10:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1