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ATI's Radeon Linux drivers no longer supported? 666

Posted by Hemos
from the back-tracking dept.
SuperBug writes "After viewing the previous story on Slashdot about the Radeon 9800 vs GF FX 5900, I checked out ATI's web-site which seems to have been re-designed relatively recently. It seems strikingly similar to nVidia's site regarding the driver selections. I thought "great, ths should be much better to find my drivers now. At least a little simpler." To my surprise. I found this message for Linux Graphics Drivers "Not Supported". Thinking this had to be a mistake, I took a look at the "Discontinued Products" list under the customer care link and lo and behold. Just about every recent card is there. I just wanna know, what gives?"
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ATI's Radeon Linux drivers no longer supported?

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  • possible answers? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sweeney37 (325921) * <mikesweeney@gma i l . com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:19AM (#6330441) Homepage Journal
    Looks like they answer a lot of Linux questions in the FAQ [ati.com].

    Mike
    • Re:possible answers? (Score:5, Informative)

      by wowbagger (69688) * on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:23AM (#6330470) Homepage Journal
      Funny, in the FAQ they say they supply binary drivers for accelerated 3D.

      They no longer have them on the web site.

      The FAQ is old, and has not been updated.
      • Re:possible answers? (Score:5, Informative)

        by subsolar2 (147428) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:26AM (#6330523)
        ATI has only ever "Officially" supported Linux Drivers for their FireGL series of products. These drivers "unoffically" support the 8500 and beyond consumer grade products.


        Nothing new here ... please move along.

        • Re:possible answers? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by pVoid (607584) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:53AM (#6330769)
          Even further: ATI has never officially supported many NT/XP/2k drivers either...

          I had bought a TV tuner card about 2 years ago, (it was brand new at that point)... the drivers went from beta to discontinued. The beta drivers were a hunk of shit. It took me hours to install them: there was no installer provided, just the drivers with .inf files, there were 6 distinct drivers for one physical card, and unless you found the exact sequence to install them in, they would BSOD the computer *during installation*. (I had to go through quite a few permutations). UN-F*CKING-ACCEPTABLE!

          That is why I swore to myself that I would never buy an ATI card again (and I won't).

          • Re:possible answers? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:55AM (#6330789) Homepage
            I went through the same thing, probably with the same card. ATI is permanently on my WNC (Will Not Consider) list both at home and at work.
            • Re:possible answers? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by chef_raekwon (411401) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:34AM (#6331140) Homepage
              the humour here is that every post above this level has a story about crappy ATI drivers/products...my story is no different, except that I had problems with an Xpert@play card about 5 or 6 years ago -- and they did the same thing to me then. I have yet to buy another card from ATI, and probably never will. It appears, from your posts, that some things never change.

              Good Luck to those who need it.

              To the rest, I say - go buy Nvidia, and save yourself the hassle.
          • Re:possible answers? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Grandpa Jive (302600) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:04AM (#6330863)
            I know what you mean. I avoid ATI's products specifically because they have a reputation of having really crappy drivers for *any* os.

            I bought [and use] an ATI TV Wonder VE. The way this thing gets installed is kludgy at best, and under XP I get some crazy lines going all over the place randomly. They have some beta drivers for it, but using them made this card worthless as it never worked. pretty much had to reinstall after that.

            and under linux theres no way to actually capture audio when you do a video capture under linux.. its a known issue. I got this for cheap which is the only reason why I got this.. but really. If I paid full price I would have taken this back and wrote ATI a letter.
            • Re:possible answers? (Score:5, Informative)

              by Ishin (671694) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:21AM (#6331022) Journal
              I also have an ATi TV wonder VE (in addition to a radeon 9700pro, but that's neither here nor there, as I agree on their driver support being crap) and use these [sourceforge.net] open source drivers. They work great under windows 2000 on my dual athlon machine. They also worked fine in windows98se in my past experience.

              hopefully this will solve your problems.

          • My experience with ATI is that they seem to have shabby driver management. One day I was upgrading the drivers on my system, sound, video, scanner, etc. I downloaded the latest version from ATI that had been released not more than 2 days earlier. I installed it and restarted my computer. My video was shot. I had to start in safe mode just to see anything. I uninstalled the new version and reverted back to the old version and everything was fine.

            When I went to inform them of this problem, I couldn't f

          • by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot@@@monkelectric...com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @11:20AM (#6331519)
            As a university SysAdmin, we had a couple computers with ATI "all in wonder" cards. Students needed to be able to do video capture for their research. Long story short, in 98 the ATI drivers crashed the machine non-stop. The Win2k drivers were a little better -- but every 2 months or so, the drivers would just *quit*. The machine wouldn't capture. The first time it happened, I furiously worked on the machine, reinstalled drivers, manually deleted them and their reg keys, did a PNP reset ... NOTHING did any good. The only thing that fixed the card was reinstalling the OS! *and THAT* only lasted another 2 months until the drivers gave up again! It got to the point where the students would walk up to me and say "It happened again", and after that, they stopped even bothering me, and they just reinstalled 2k themselves!

            Would you like to start a ATI hate group together ?

            • by nurd68 (235535) on Monday June 30, 2003 @12:12PM (#6331935) Homepage
              Look at what we see: broken nVidia drivers, broken ATI drivers.

              Let us suppose, just for a minute, that ALL DRIVERS SUCK.

              They are all broken, in some way or another. All companies push stuff that isn't ready out the door, especially "stuff that can be fixed in software".

              I look at it this way - I would rather have an honestly broken, open-source driver with a public buglist, than a closed "oh, it's ready to ship" driver that you can get no help on at all.

              At least then I can work on it in my spare time, to try and get it to play nicely.

              I just bought a Radeon 9800. Why? Because I think that when you take away nVidia's driver cheats, ATI has the superior hardware. Can I use it right now? Nope. But, I have a spare box with an AGP slot, source code for the R200's, and some free time. Maybe I can get it up and running and help out a bit. The kernel stuff should already work fine, considering that the ATI drivers don't require a kernel patch to work.

              So, in short - all software sucks; open OS's just give me the ability to make it suck less, and that's why I prefer them.
        • Re:possible answers? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by iamnotaclown (169747) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:18AM (#6330993)
          When the 3D effects company I work for finally made the switch from SGI Octane2s to PCs, we decided to go with the ATI FireGL 8800. ATI support assured us that Linux support was excellent. At the time, their Linux support actually WAS actually better than nVidia's.

          After a year of frustration involving daily machine hangs, GL glitches and many cursing animators, we switched to nVidia Quadro cards (not sure which one). Since then, we've had almost zero crashes. There are still GL glitches in both Maya and Houdini, but the drivers are of MUCH higher quality.

          Even when ATI "officially" supported Linux, that support was in name only. So they're finally dropping even that? Big fuckin' deal.

      • Re:possible answers? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Endareth (684446) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:54AM (#6330778) Journal
        One thing found from digging through the ATI web site, while it is obviously in need of an update (note several references to the Linux drivers being available in the drivers section), there is mention of DRI Radeon drivers available at the Direct Rendering Open Source Project [sourceforge.net], with Linux Intel x86 drivers dated 2003-06-30.
        • Re:possible answers? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by AstroDrabb (534369) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:21AM (#6331027)
          The DRI supports ATI cards with 2D and some 3D. On my laptop I have an Radeon Mobility M7 LW [Radeon Mobility 7500] that works well with DRI. I was playing the Linux version of RTCW last night. However there are a few "proprietary" features that the DRI does not support because ATI does not release the specs. The NVidia cards on the other hand, have a common driver core. So any feature under the ms-windows driver will be present under the Linux driver. While I prefer open source, I don't mind if a manufactuer releases closed source drivers such as NVidia if they are of good quality. The NVidia drivers are just great IMO and I will only purchase from them in the future.
    • Re:possible answers? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:25AM (#6330511)
      Well the FAQ still states

      Full-featured and optimized XFree86 drivers are available on the ATI website for the following product families ONLY:
      • RADEON 9700
      • RADEON 9000
      • RADEON 8500
      • FireGL Workstation products
      The FireGL drivers are still listed if you go through the drivers page [ati.com]

      Now having said all of this, ATI never supported the Linux drivers anyway. They provide documentation and tell you where to find drivers for Linux, but the drivers themselves are actually external to ATI. ATI generally provide patches to E.g. XFree86 but they do not maintain the drivers themselves. So whats new?
    • by mahdi13 (660205) <icarus.lnx@gmail.com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:35AM (#6331145) Journal
      WOW! That is a great FAQ!

      Looks just like the one they put up last Fall!
      Oh wait...it is!
  • Maybe.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Graemee (524726) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:20AM (#6330448)
    The guy who wrote them got hit by a bus and they didn't find the source code.
  • by phoxix (161744) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:22AM (#6330467)
    Get your binary only ATI drivers right here:

    http://www.schneider-digital.de/html/download_ati. html [schneider-digital.de]

    ATI's Alexander Stohr still works on these drivers (and is a lurker of the dri-devel mailing list.)

    Lastly, why don't slashdot editors do some sort of background checking. What are they being paid for?

    Sunny Dubey

  • by Rinikusu (28164) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:22AM (#6330469)
    All of their FireGL cards still seem to "be supported", so just fork out the additional $600 or so and grab one of them. :)
  • by termos (634980) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:23AM (#6330475) Homepage
    Check here [sourceforge.net] for more information. I am not sure though.
  • by CaseyB (1105) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:23AM (#6330477)
    "Discontinued products" simply means they aren't manufacturing them any more, i.e. anything that isn't in the current "Products" section.
  • by Raul654 (453029) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:24AM (#6330494) Homepage
    ...before someone else does.

    CONSPIRACY! I say conspiracy! Microsoft is paying ATI to cut off support for the linux drivers. They secretly made a large cash payment in a bag with a big '$' on it, probably made the drop somewhere in Daily plaza. This is their new strategy -- paying blood-money to other companies to get them to cut off support for our beloved linux. It's world-wide, dammit! Why won't anyone believe me?
    • Almost, there is no direct payment of money involved; this is just one big plot around the new GPU for the XBox II. Yeah, that's why they are doing this! "Look Bill, no linux shit on our site."
  • ATI Linux Drivers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Surak (18578) * <surak@mai[ ]ocks.com ['lbl' in gap]> on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:25AM (#6330506) Homepage Journal
    ATI XFree Drivers have always been written by third parties. ATI does not support them and never has. They merely provide specs to open source developers who in turn write drivers. nVidia, OTOH, actually writes drivers, but keeps the source closed.

    So you have to decide the between the lesser of two evils, I guess.
    • by phoxix (161744)
      ATI XFree Drivers have always been written by third parties.

      Their 3d drivers are written in-house. (Download the package and see the random @ati.com email addresses you will see).

      Sunny Dubey

    • You are wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Marx_Mrvelous (532372) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:35AM (#6330603) Homepage
      ATI themselves "used to" provide an XFree86 driver themselves. you could download it from their own website, and it came with a very nice program that would auto-generate the correct Xfree86-4 config file. It looks like they're dropping support for it, now.
  • vendor asshats (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:26AM (#6330524)
    It sucks when a vendor won't consider supporting their products in OSes that don't have massive market share, but it sucks worse when they stop supporting them after they've started. Many people using Linux don't have nearly as many choices for hardware as it would seem initially.

    As a group, people should email or write to ATI and ask for drivers. If they've already written them, it shouldn't be too much trouble to get them to post them again. If they still decide not to provide support, we just stop using their products.

    I know that the ATI Radeons are the new hotness of the video scene. Remember though, Number9, Rendition, 3dFX, and many others have held that title, only to be almost completely out of business by now (or completely, in some cases).
    • by mofochickamo (658514) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:58AM (#6330805) Homepage Journal
      It sucks when a vendor won't consider supporting their products in OSes that don't have massive market share...

      Welcome to my world.

      Steve Jobs.

  • by Rapsey (241302) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:27AM (#6330537)
    http://www.slo-tech.com/clanki/03032/03032en.shtml
    • by Erris (531066)
      Richard Huddy: ATI gives Linux drivers quite a high priority - but there's just way too much intellectual property exposed in the low level chip interfaces so we don't put that into the public domain. ...

      What is perhaps most impressive is how fast Microsoft have innovated with DirectX. They're produced a new version about once per year for the last six years, and they've now achieved the impressive step of releasing DirectX 9 which has support for all of next year's hardware already built in!

      In bed with t

  • NVidia vs. ATI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Matrix272 (581458) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:27AM (#6330538)
    I've been a fan of NVidia for a long time... since the Riva TNT2 came out back in the day. One of the major things that contributed to their success (in my opinion) is their driver support. For Windows, there's only 1 download for all of their graphics cards. Granted, it's about 30mb, but it works. With Linux, they've always been forthcoming with drivers, even when the kernel supports the cards (in the most basic way).

    With the release of the Radeon 9800 and above, ATI is (arguably) finally catching up to NVidia in terms of quality graphics cards... it almost seemed a matter of time until something broke, and I guess the Linux drivers were the first thing. I just hope they keep their All-in-Wonder cards coming. If I ever save up enough money to buy another video card (holy crap, $400 for a modern one these days?), I'll definitely get one of those (I have a GeForce 4 Ti4600 right now).

    I still like NVidia, I just hope their next card is better (and quieter) than the GeForce FX.
  • Section "Device"
    Identifier "ATI Technologies, Inc. Radeon Mobility M6 [LY]"
    Driver "radeon"
    Option "AGPMode" "4"
    Option "AGPFastWrite"
    Option "EnablePageFlip"
    EndSection
    With the above settings under XFree86 4.3.0-0ds4 (Debian), the 16MB SDRAM card on my IBM Thinkpad R40 Celeron R40 + 256MB RAM can pull a maximum of 260 fps in glxgears.

    Does anyone else think this is just woeful performance? I haven't been able to get those stupid ATI binary modules to load either, so ATI better get off their arses and give the DRI project a hand or play catch up to Nvidia with their closed Linux driver support. If I can't squeeze anymore performance out of my ATI soon, I'll be voting for Nvidia with my wallet for my next desktop upgrade.

    • Hmm....

      Please give the output of glxinfo and ensure you are actually using DRI.

      A "properly" installed DRI does not use 0666 so you may not have permission to access the DRI devices, in which case your glxgears run is testing your CPU.

      A Dell Inspiron @800MHz with a Mobility M3 (R128 model) pumps out 450-500fps on glxgears, but only 180 without DRI.
  • by cacheMan (150533) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:44AM (#6330702)
    Interesting...

  • by emo boy (586277) <hoffman_brian.bah@com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:44AM (#6330704) Homepage
    Will 3dfx's Voodoo2 12MB be able to run Half-Life 2? That's all I'm wondering...
  • by alriddoch (197022) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:45AM (#6330707) Homepage
    A search round the driver page reveals that Linux drivers are still available for the FireGL series of pro cards, and as the latest Radeon cards are based on FireGL technology, Radeon 8500 or later are supported by the driver. If you download the latest driver rpm for "FireGL X1, FireGL X1 128MB, FireGL Z1, FireGL 8800, FireGL 8700" then the package description lists "ATI Radeon 8500, 9700, Mobility M9 and the FireGL 8700/8800, E1, Z1/X1" as supported cards. Hopefully ATI will continue to produce updated versions of this driver, with new extensions, support for new versions of glibc and new versions of XFree86. It would be much better if they could list this driver in the standard section so that users would know it was available and supported Radeon cards.

    I am using this driver currently with my Radeon 9000 Pro, and have had excellent results.
  • by YodaToad (164273) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:46AM (#6330714)
    I used to have a Radeon 9700 pro (until my new motherboard decided it didn't want to work with it... it's a Gigabyte GA-SINXP1394 fyi) and I used it under linux using the ATI drivers. The thing is, with the newer r300 based cards (starting at the 9000 I believe) the interface is so similar to the FireGL cards that under linux you use the FireGL drivers, not some r300 specific drivers. I looked on the ATI site and the FireGL drivers are still available under linux. Sorry, I don't remember which FireGL drivers they were (I haven't used them in awhile), but I'm sure somebody else here knows.

    In a related note: Maybe ATI just hasn't had the time to move the linux driver section to the new design? Sure, that would be the wrong thing to do, but nowadays in the "release now, fix later" world it happens all the time. Just don't go bashing ATI until there's official word on the subject.
  • by supabeast! (84658) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:49AM (#6330744)
    I've given up on ATI because of their crappy drivers. Sure the drivers are no longer the huge bottleneck that they once were, but it's all still a big mess on Windows, and they are real bastards about just being upfront and posting decent Linux drivers for download. Since buying my Radeon 9700 Pro I have had numerous problems trying to run games on it under Windows XP and Mandrake Linux, and at this point, I'd rather just lose some performance and go back to running Nvidia cards with detonators.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:51AM (#6330756)
    The "Discontinued Products" page has nothing to do with Linux drivers. "Discontinued Products" simply means everything except for the current line-up (Radeon 9800, 9600, and 9100); these are no longer being manufactured, but they are still supported.

    The removal of the binary-only Linux drivers (not to be confused with the "radeon" XFree driver) is news to me, though.
  • Open Source drivers (Score:3, Informative)

    by bigjnsa500 (575392) <bigjnsa500@yahoo.cBALDWINom minus author> on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:57AM (#6330803) Homepage Journal
    Just because ATI doesn't have drivers, doesn't mean its a bad thing. Just look at the GATOS project [sourceforge.net]. I have been using these drivers for years with excellent performance. Even my TV Tuner in my old Rage128 AIW works good and I can capture to MPEG.

    Now I don't know (or have I tried) anything about their Radeon support. I simply don't have a Radeon card. But if it works as well as the Rage and AIW, then these are definitely the drivers for you!.

  • by fobbman (131816) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:05AM (#6330869) Homepage
    Before you post stories to Slashdot and stirring up the masses, why don't you try to contact ATI customer support either through email [ati.com] ? That seems to be much easier, and much more productive, than taking up front page space.

  • by wiresquire (457486) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:05AM (#6330870) Journal
    The lack of support by vendors makes it real difficult for people to really have confidence in Linux, and makes them keep that partition with that other OS on it.

    Just over the past month, I've got a digital camera that isn't supported. Actually, I think I nearly fried it trying to get it to work, but that's another story. Then I went looking for a 6 in 1 adapter for it. As I was browsing through the store and on the net, I was thinking to myself "If just *one* of these dang things said it supported Linux, I'd buy it!".

    There's a market for vendors for people who don't want to compile major parts of an operating system like the kernel, X etc.

    Hey vendors, this is a growing market! Come on in, the water's fine!
    • by SomeOtherGuy (179082) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:50AM (#6331280) Journal
      I have always found hardware that is supported fine in Linux for each category. The problem being, that by the time Linux supports it -- the product is no longer available at the stores, because it has been replaced with a new model. This is a vicious cycle. The memory reader is a perfect example. When I bought a USB CF reader I did much research and found that the SDDR-61? worked perfectlly on Linux -- and about 40 others did not work at all. I was lucky to find one in the close out bin at my local best buy. I used it for 2 years and was perfectlly happy. Then one day I bent the pins on it and decided I needed a new one. Again I did my research on what current CF readers were supported under Linux. Guess what, the same as the first time I had checked 2 years previous. You can walk into any store and find at least 20-30 different card readers....but guess what, try finding one that was manufactured 3 years ago....Damn. Same goes with webcams, digital cameras, video cards (to some degree), etc. This is frustrating. At one time (about 3 years ago) I had carfeully purchased all my external paripreals to ensure that everyone worked on Linux. And now that some of these things are wearing out, I am finding it very difficult to replace them without going "dumpster diving" on ebay..... You would think with the increasing popularity of Linux that hardware support would be getting better -- not worse.
  • Microsoft (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stephenry (648792) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:08AM (#6330899)
    Isn't ATi lined up to produce the graphics hardware for the X-box? Maybe, Microsoft gave them an incentive to support Windows, and Windows only?
  • by Sammich (623527) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:12AM (#6330936)
    Coming in a late to the thread but . . .
    Slo-Tech: When will ATI provide open source (Linux) developers with information about yours hardware so that they will be able to write drivers instead of reverse engineer them?

    Richard Huddy: ATI gives Linux drivers quite a high priority - but there's just way too much intellectual property exposed in the low level chip interfaces so we don't put that into the public domain. I'm amazed that people can really reverse engineer drivers from our binaries - but I guess that shows just how keen the Linux community is to get the best out of their machines. Sorry I can't offer more on this!

    Article Here [slo-tech.com] Dj
  • xbox (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hpavc (129350) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:12AM (#6330944)
    perhaps this may be the price they pay for being a part of xbox?
  • Opposite problem. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyt0plas (629631) * on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:19AM (#6331002) Journal
    I have the opposite problem. I just installed Windows Server 2003 [microsoft.com], and I can't get my nforce-based sound working. I have to boot into linux to get my hardware working, nvidia won't support my Windows OS.
  • ATI rep interview (Score:4, Interesting)

    by frieked (187664) * on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:20AM (#6331009) Homepage Journal
    AN ATI support/promotion guy said this in an interview regarding linux:
    Richard Huddy: ATI gives Linux drivers quite a high priority - but there's just way too much intellectual property exposed in the low level chip interfaces so we don't put that into the public domain. I'm amazed that people can really reverse engineer drivers from our binaries - but I guess that shows just how keen the Linux community is to get the best out of their machines. Sorry I can't offer more on this!
  • by borgdows (599861) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:23AM (#6331046)
    "They have pulled off Linux support at our request.
    If they had continued to offer Linux support, we would have sued them for IP infringement about using Linux to develop drivers for the illegal Linux platform."
  • by qtp (461286) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:27AM (#6331089) Journal
    The Xfree86 status page for ati shows accelerated support for the newer ati chips. [xfree86.org]

    Maybe ati sent them the specs?
  • by treat (84622) on Monday June 30, 2003 @10:31AM (#6331117)
    What AGP video card with TV in and out DOES have decent Linux support?
  • Funny.

    I was curious, and tried their website, which is much better than it used to be, now it is like nvidias.

    Lets see-----Graphic Drivers, Linux, 8500.

    Funny, their are drivers there. Sure, they are a little old, but whatever, ATI always has old drivers on their site.

    Then, lets see. Where I usually go---

    Fire GL, Linux, FireGL 8800

    The new drivers---> Both packages above are the fglrx drivers. Both unofficially are supported on the Radeon 8500 through the Radeon 9700.

    Get a life, people. ATI driver support has not changed. They have always unofficially supported linux in this fashion--->if their drivers cost you $10,000 in hardware, thats your problem. I'll bet that NVIDIA's 'official' support, however, has a liability wavier associated with. The only difference is that NVIDIA supports their card, if their driver fries it, while ATI will not.

    But, I've never seen any device's driver fry the hardware from its manufacturer.

    Besides, which of these two manufactures releases the specs on their cards? Which of these two manufactures has active open source drivers in development? ATI has been MUCH better to the linux community than Nvidia.

    Even if their hardware/drivers are slightly buggier.
  • by pantropik (604178) on Monday June 30, 2003 @01:15PM (#6332488)
    Normally I don't post in threads like this, which mostly consist of every user with a functional keyboard doing his best to shout down everyone else.

    I've read through this thread and read "ATI is great and you're a moron" and "ATI sucks and YOU'RE a moron" ... I must say, it'd almost be amusing if the people saying this crap didn't come across as being so serious.

    Let's review:

    ATI's website has been revamped. Completely replacing a website this large in place is, one would expect, nontrivial. We can expect a few glitches here and there. It's not like some guy at GeoCities unveiling his new "Pamela's Yummy Tits" website. It's certainly NOT worthy of this level of discussion (term used VERY loosely) when the simple fact is, as you're about to see, it's all about ... NOTHING!

    After reading all about the horrors facing innocent Linux-using high-end Radeon owners, I did the unthinkable: before posting ANYthing I visited the site for myself. I know, I know, the ancient Greek method of simply thinking about something and then expounding on it rather than actually sullying ones' self by investigating ... it's ugly. But I never claimed to be perfect. Next thing you know I'll actually start READING THE ARTICLES BEFORE COMMENTING ... god help me.

    First I went here [ati.com].

    Then I clicked the big link called "DRIVERS". That brought me to here. [ati.com]

    In the left pane I clicked "Graphic Driver". The pane to the right of that then presented an array of choices. I chose "Linux" and then from the pane just to the right of that I chose "RADEON 9700 PRO".

    And what did I find after clicking the little red and quite intuitive "GO" button?


    Driver Download and Installation
    Before you start, please read these installation tips.

    Download this driver bundle if you are having issues with your ATI product, including those mentioned in the "Fixed in this driver"
    ATI Linux Driver Version 2.5.1:
    Install the Driver Package for XFree 4.1.0 OR Install the Driver Package for XFree 4.2.0.
    Xfree86 Version Driver Version
    4.1.0 X4.1.0-2.5.1
    4.2.0 X4.2.0-2.5.1

    Posted: November 29, 2002
    Released/Not Supported

    Driver Release Notes (HTML)

    This version supports only Linux/x86 versions based on libc 6.2.
    To find out which library you have, download the script 'Check.sh' and run it.
    This bundle contains the necessary files for any X86 version of Linux based on libc 6.2 (glibc 2.2)
    Submit feedback on this driver to our ATI Linux Driver Feedback

    Further Linux and XFree86 information on ATI products is available from the ATI website.


    And there you go. Emergency over. After reading all the pure CRAP in this thread I must say it was a bit of a letdown.

    And for those a bit braver, beta drivers for X 4.3 can be found HERE [schneider-digital.de] If you want to know what the deal is with these drivers (which are much newer than the ones on the main ATI site) just head over to HERE [rage3d.com] and you'll find lots of comments made by people who have (*gasp!*) actually USED the drivers instead of just making uninformed and mostly WRONG sweeping statements about them on Slashdot.

    I apologize. I don't normally post things this mean-spirited but watching this thread unfold just kind of disgusted me. So many people ready to spout whatever bullshit pops into their minds, so FEW people who take a look at what's actually going on ... and you know what else?

    Mod me down all you want. In this case I really, really very honestly don't care.

  • by Quixadhal (45024) on Monday June 30, 2003 @03:02PM (#6333462) Homepage Journal
    Well, how many linux games have come out... recently... as a product that makes money? ATI has to spend alot of money on things like chip design, fabrication plants, board layout, espionage to see what NVidia is up to, counter-intelligence to make NVidia think they're further ahead than they are, bribes to magazines to publish rave reviews, and of course bribes to benchmark authors to get details about what will make their cards work faster in those benchmarks.

    That's alot of cash! They expect ROI, and nobody out there will buy the bleeding-edge 3D graphics card with vibrating codpiece cooling system if the best they can do is run TuxRacer, or 2 year old ports of Unreal Tournament.

    If you want hardware which supports linux, you have a few options.

    (1) Reverse Engineer and write them yourself... excpet that's now illegal.
    (2) Haul Microsoft up on monopoly charges so competition can flourish... oh wait, that's been done.
    (3) Ummmm, convince the RIAA that there's a new Windows-ONLY file sharing protocol that uses the latest video drivers to convert mp3's into explosion graphics?
    (4) Setup a windoze machine to play games on, and keep it quarenteened off in its own DMZ
    (5) Play games using WineX and software drivers and enjoy how solid and uncrashable solitare is!

    I chose option 4 and just pretend it's an old Atari 2600 -- pretend that the reboot between games is the tube-type TV warming up!

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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