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Re: ATI Linux Driver Packages

On Sun, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:16:12PM -0500, Adam Majer wrote:
> 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.]

As I understand it XFree86 4.3.0 supports 2D/3D for the following:

rv100	-	Radeon 7000
r100	-	Radeon 7200
rv200	-	Radeon 7500
r200	-	Radeon 8500/Radeon 9100/FireGL 8700/FireGL 8800
rv250	-	Radeon 9000
rv280	-	Radeon 9200

XFree86 4.3.0 has 2D support for the following:

r300	-	Radeon 9500/Radeon 9700

XFree86 4.3.0 doesn't support the following at all:

rv350	-	Radeon 9600
r350	-	Radeon 9800

It is bad news that ATI hasn't released the documentation for the
R300/R350 chipsets yet. :< I hope they haven't decided to imitate
nvidia now they finally have beaten them on windows benchmarks. If this
is the case it needs to become more apparent to users that they are no
longer the company to buy from to help support OSS friendly companies.

> 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).

Nvidia's drivers have been notorious over the years at causing crashes.
>From what I have heard recently this is still the case. If it doesn't
crash for you then you are lucky. When I still had my nvidia card it
crashed under any strain with the nvidia binary driver.

> 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).

Don't forget that binary only drivers are likely to have rendering
cheats such as the one found that nvidia did on 3DMark2003, so your
better performance may come at quality loss (sometimes noticable). Both
ATI and Nvidia have been caught previously doing rendering cheats on
the windows platform. Also some things can't be included in an open
driver like patented S3 Texture Compression.


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