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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"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.

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ndrw Member since:

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.

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Lennie Member since:

What I found amazing is that the Nouveau driver is made without any help from NNidia and they are still making as much progress as they are.

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