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AMD Graphics Linux Business Software Hardware

AMD's OverDrive and CrossFire Come To Linux 82

Posted by timothy
from the first-they-laugh-then-they-create-drivers dept.
twljagflba writes "Since last year AMD has made ATI increasingly Linux friendly by releasing 3D programming guides and helping out the open-source community. At the same time they have been continuing to develop their binary Catalyst driver for the Linux platform and most recently they delivered same-day support for their new graphics cards. Today though they have released the Catalyst 8.8 Linux driver that adds two very important features: CrossFire and OverDrive support for Linux. Linux users are now able to use CrossFire to split the rendering workload between multiple GPUs and they're also able to overclock their graphics cards now using the binary-only driver. Phoronix has a complete run-down on both features — including benchmarks — in their AMD OverDrive on Linux and ATI Radeon CrossFire On Linux articles. Other features were also introduced in this update such as Linux 2.6.26 kernel support, Adaptive Anti-Aliasing, and other fixes."
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AMD's OverDrive and CrossFire Come To Linux

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  • Nice (Score:4, Informative)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @03:26PM (#24679269) Journal

    It's nice to see they are providing both their own driver implementation AND the specs for OSS drivers.

    Once the OSS drivers are done, then even within the realm AMD cards, users will still have some choice.

    At least in Linux. Us FreeBSD users will have the OSS only...

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by StevisF (218566) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @04:16PM (#24680247)

    The motto is, "Working hard now sometimes pays off later, but procrastinating now always pays off now."

  • Re:So wait-- (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lussarn (105276) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @05:09PM (#24681343)

    Nvidia still is the way to go if you want a card that works really good today. I've been using Nvidia cards like forever but now I decided to go ATI for my latest (I want to support the OSS frendliness of AMD/ATI). I bought a 4850 card. Works pretty good, but not nearly as good as Nvidia cards. No OpenGL in wine, no workspace switching when using fullscreen OpenGL apps and some other things. UT2004 works very nice though, 1680x1050 4xAA.

  • Re:Second choice (Score:4, Informative)

    by wild_berry (448019) * on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @05:36PM (#24681825) Journal

    2005 called and asked for their gripe back. The reputation of the most recent ATI drivers is much enhanced from what it was. And whether someone will buy nVidia, Intel or ATI graphics for Linux depends upon their preference for powerful but proprietary binaries, free software compositing and low power consumption or the choice of reasonable performance in ATI's binaries or high-performance free software from the X.Org drivers.

  • Re:And on Windows? (Score:3, Informative)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @08:02PM (#24683461)

    That's completely wrong.

    OpenGL supports all the latest features of graphics hardware. Some of the features are ARB extensions and the like, but you can do anything in OpenGL that you could do in Direct3d.

    Do you honestly think id would be developing their next gen titles with OpenGL, if OpenGL was a crippled shadow of d3d might? No, OpenGL is comparable. OpenGL's main problem is that its really, really crufty because it supports every feature known to man, things Direct3d doesn't. Unfortunately, most of these things are very old.

    OpenGL fixes that problem by cleaning up the API. That's what all the bitching was about last week when Khoronos announced the new specs. All the newbies were bitching about how certain extensions weren't moved to core, which doesn't matter in a practical sense anyway.

  • Re:Second choice (Score:3, Informative)

    by siride (974284) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @08:57PM (#24683973)
    Thank you. I have an x300 in a Thinkpad T43 and while the first year was rough, the OSS drivers have improved markedly. 2d performance is nearly on par with Windows, and is actually quite snappy with xcompmgr running. Compiz is also fairly fast these days, although still slower than a plain old desktop. X is rock solid stable, even using git for the entire X setup (I haven't had a random server crash once). And every week or so, I see a new set of commits that improve performance for r300 or EXA. It just keeps getting better. Meanwhile, I see people on forums complaining about how to get nVidia drivers working, and how the kernel is always locking up etc. Granted, it's not a whole lot worse or better than fglrx generally has been, but for nVidia users, that's really the only option. The OSS drivers are either horribly out of date (nv) or a work in progress (nouveau). I am now glad that I ended up with an ATI card instead of nVidia. It was worth the wait.
  • Re:Second choice (Score:2, Informative)

    by j3tt (859525) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @09:18PM (#24684137)
    I used to have problems with a mobility Radeon on my Thinkpad T40 a couple of years ago but things may have changed ... I currently have Ubuntu Hardy on a Thinkpad T60 with an ATI x1300. compiz ran out of the box. Have not had issues so far.
  • Re:ATI drivers (Score:3, Informative)

    by IBBoard (1128019) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:37AM (#24686537) Homepage

    Strange. On average I've had two Linux and ATI experiences:

    1) Download pre-built RPMs from Livna. Install using package manager. Restart and go.

    2) Give up on waiting for Livna to make new releases. Download drivers from ATI. Compile using built-in "Fedora X" version. Install RPMs. Let RPMs reconfigure my XOrg.conf properly (or just change "radeon" to "fglrx" by hand, because that's all it seems to need). Run with graphical acceleration without a problem.

    The only time I've had a problem is with Fedora 9, and that's just because they're using XOrg server 1.5, which hasn't reached a final release and so isn't supported. That just involved one quick check on the Fedora forums and a downgrade of XOrg to the one shipped with F8.

  • Re:Second choice (Score:3, Informative)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:54AM (#24686869) Journal

    You're joking? I got a HD2600Pro at the end of last year. 3D was still problematic back then, but the 2D ran very well. By this point, it has excellent support. The turn around this year so far has been enormous. I'd definitely recommend ATI cards as having the best support in Linux now because as well as a good (and regular) update program, you have the OSS projects running in parallel. They are also the most OSS friendly graphics card company and I bought ATI rather than NVIDIA for that reason, likewise it's what I recommend to others. ATI, definitely. You're very out of date with your information.

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