Linked by David Adams on Thu 18th Aug 2011 19:09 UTC, submitted by Michael
Graphics, User Interfaces While the BFS scheduler is getting ready to celebrate its second birthday, in just three weeks AMD's open-source Radeon graphics driver strategy for Linux will be turning four years old . . . which has ended up being a game-changer in the Linux world. AMD continues to support open-source hardware enablement on their latest graphics processors and recently even hired more developers to work on the code and documentation. How far have they come though in four years?
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by JLF65 on Thu 18th Aug 2011 20:28 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

"For newer Radeon GPUs, we are also still waiting for the stack to even reach 80% the speed of Catalyst.

Besides the performance, the open-source driver stack still needs to catch up with supporting modern revisions of OpenGL (i.e. OpenGL 3.0+), better power management, and other features being sought after by desktop Linux users."

The whole 6 pages condensed to a couple sentences.

Reply Score: 8

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"For newer Radeon GPUs, we are also still waiting for the stack to even reach 80% the speed of Catalyst. Besides the performance, the open-source driver stack still needs to catch up with supporting modern revisions of OpenGL (i.e. OpenGL 3.0+), better power management, and other features being sought after by desktop Linux users." The whole 6 pages condensed to a couple sentences.


If you do not use your computer to run high-end games, as is the use case for the vast majority of desktop/notebook/netbook computers in actual use, then the performance of the open-source driver stack is already entirely adequate. The open-source driver stack runs a modern composited desktop (such as kwin or compiz) just fine, thanks, with oodles or performance to spare.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

After ATI/AMD has discontinued support for r300 devices I had to switch to open-source drivers in my old laptop. While the performance was adequate, there were quite a few stability issues and my laptop got hotter and noisier. Perhaps by now these issues are all resolved but at the time I didn't like the fact that I was forced to use OS drivers at all.

Now I have a new laptop with a NVidia chip (that's not a coincident). Proprietary driver is better but open-source one (Nouveau) is not far behind and it does a good job in mode-setting, 2D and basic 3D. Considering that things like suspend to memory "just work" with the Nouveau driver, I chose to use it instead of NVidia's one.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"For newer Radeon GPUs, we are also still waiting for the stack to even reach 80% the speed of Catalyst. Besides the performance, the open-source driver stack still needs to catch up with supporting modern revisions of OpenGL (i.e. OpenGL 3.0+), better power management, and other features being sought after by desktop Linux users." The whole 6 pages condensed to a couple sentences.


The features supported by the open source radeon drivers (for AMD/ATI GPUs) is tracked here:

http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature

Apart from memory re-clocking for R300 or older GPUs, all of the "Power Saving" functionality is already in place.

The work to go towards OpenGL 3.0, 3.1 and beyond is listed here:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=OTc3OA

After stagnating for a long time, this work is finally nearing completion and the majority of items in the OpenGL 3.x work are done. Thankfully it is going ahead at an accelerating rate now.

Performance is also improving all the time.

Just for a bit of perspective here ...

Edited 2011-08-19 03:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

It is also important to note that the "older" hardware they used for the test was 6-7 years old I believe, so it's VERY old (in hardware years).

Reply Parent Score: 1