Re: current state of ati graphics

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On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 14:09:22 +0000,
  Ian Malone <[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card and for the past few
> iterations have gone with Nvida, mostly because they provided a
> working linux driver with 3D acceleration; most people I knew with ATI
> chipsets had problems with their drivers at one time or another (and
> for a long time only older cards were supported).  Since AMD have
> apparently released the specs needed to write an open driver for them
> I thought it might be worth supporting them this time around, but I'm
> not sure what the current state of ATI support looks like. I'd guess
> there has been long enough for an accelerated driver to make it into
> the kernel, but I see that there is also a recent release of their
> proprietary driver.  What are people's recent experiences with ATI?  I
> wouldn't be looking for the highest end card, just something that can
> happily run compiz and flash videos 1280x1024.  The nvidia I'm
> considering are around the 8500 / 9400 mark.

I have an rv280 based card and an rv530 based card that I am using in
rawhide. Things are currently changing often. When things are working
well I get significantly better frame rates out of glx gears than previously.
(About 1000 fps on the 280 and 3000 on the 530.) But when things don't
work correctly things don't work or are very slow. Usually changing whether
or not I use the nomodeset parameter fixes things. I also see lockup problems
with the 280. It is common to need to do a C-A-BS or several to get a display.
leaving glxgears running for about a minute will generally lock up X in a
way that requires a reboot (I don't know if the kernel is dead, it might
just be X) to fix things.

With a lot of active development going on it's hard to say how things will
look for F11 final. My guess is that things will really be nice around F12
time. I don't usually use compiz or flash, so I don't have specific info
about those.

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