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Re: ATI Linux Driver Packages

On Sun, Jun 01, 2003 at 09:42:10PM -0500, Chris Cheney wrote:
> Are these drivers much better then than XFree ones or is there a reason
> to be promoting nonfree drivers? I orginally packaged up the nvidia ones
> in the way they are done due to the fact the XFree ones had no 3d
> acceleration at all and that it was illegal to distribute nvidia's
> binaries directly.  Also binary only drivers will taint the kernel and
> can cause the user to have trouble getting help with kernel related
> issues. I got rid of my nvidia cards (some poor sucker took them) and
> now use only ATI cards. 8)

I think you might be the "sucker". :) [ok, it's not a flame thing].
Does the radeon driver support 3D accel for cards beyond the R1xx level?
ie. something like Radeon 7500. I don't think that Radeon 8500, 8800, etc..a
are supported since they use the former FireGL GPU. The drivers from
ATI fill the gap to support FireGL, and yes they are better. They
can be used with Maya etc.. [at least it says that on ATI's site.]

BUT, ATI doesn't have any drivers for new cards like Radeon 9800 and I 
do not think they will have any Linux drivers.

On the other hand, I installed Debian for a frried and he had a 
GeForce 4 MX card. The driver from nVidia worked perfectly.
Futhermore, I think that they only distribute the X driver that's 
precompiled. The kenrel part has to be compiled by hand (which is good).

Futhermore, I believe that nVidia have _much_ better support in X
from nVidia than radeon ever had from ATI. The free 3D driver
hacked together does not give good performance as does nVidia's
propriatory driver. Frankly, I very much prefer that nVidia has
in-house support for their cards while ATI has none (the ones for
Radeon 8500, 8800, etc.. are just FireGL drivers).

Of course if you only use 2D stuff, you can stick with some $20 card
and be fine.

- Adam

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