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Old 10-16-2008, 02:59 AM
Hal Martin
 
Default State of ATi drivers in Linux -- IMO, it's horrific...

Volker Armin Hemmann wrote:
> On Sunday 28 September 2008, Hal Martin wrote:
>
>> Hello all,
>>
>> I am contemplating building a new computer with an AMD/ATi graphics
>> card. I've been following the subject of ATi driver quality in linux for
>> a while, but I realize that the experiences I read on Google search
>> results are, shall we say, biased, as many people who have perfectly
>> working cards don't go out and comment on how great their drivers are.
>>
>> So, do any of you have newer (HD series) AMD/ATi graphics cards?
>>
>
> HD3870
>
I just picked up the HD3850, which is a nice card by all measures.
>
>> What drivers (AMD closed source, or open source) are you using?
>>
>
> fglrx - the closed source ones.
>
I installed these drivers (from portage) and tried them.
>
>> Are they stable?
>>
>
> yes. Switching between vt and X works, and restarting X too - but the ati
> scripts in /etc/acpi have to be removed.
> With desktop effects turned off 2d is fast and snappy and video is ok.
> With desktop effects turned on 2d is fast except manually resizing windows and
> xv-video sucks. Luckily kde 4.1 makes it easy to switch - and I don't need
> xv
>
I had a horrid time with the fglrx drivers. I use two displays, and
while it was a breeze to setup (even easier than on an NVidia card) the
result was horrid. I can't drag windows from one display to another, the
windows wrap within the display. The fglrx_gears program renders
something that I don't believe heralds from this planet; while glx_gears
renders the same thing I get on my NVidia card only 10% slower (which is
expected given the performance difference between the 7900GTX and the
HD3850.)

Trying to exit X11 causes a complete system lockup, requiring a hard reset.
>
>> How is the performance?
>>
>
> very good. I play ut2004 and vegastrike 0.5. With a but. See above.
>
I couldn't get any Wine apps that use 3D to work. Call of Duty 4 refused
to start, citing that the video card didn't support alpha blending.
>
>> Any noise issues with your card when it's idle? Under load?
>>
>
> the fan is very quiet in KDE or playing games. Only in the menus of ut2004 or
> on a vt it turns up - but is still very bearable.
> aticonfig --odgt
>
> Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 3870
> Sensor 0: Temperature - 51.00 C
>
My card is incredibly, nay, unbelievably loud until you throttle the fan
manually from aticonfig, which, I might add, is absent from the Catalyst
control centre gui. After throttling the fan down to 3% the card settles
around 45.00C and is quiet enough to bare.

My attempt to uninstall the portage based ATI drivers (which are
slightly dated,) and install the official drivers from ATI proved to
wreck my system beyond comprehension. 'eselect opengl list' no longer
includes ATI, only xorg-x11. I have no ability to start X11 anyone, and
no fan control, meaning I now have a jet engine residing in my computer.

There must be something I'm doing wrong. I've heard that ATI drivers
aren't supposed to lock up your system when you exit X11, is this still
the case? Was this ever the case with two monitors?

Is there any way to get the ATI driver to automatically set a reasonable
fan speed, or must I do it manually?

I've switched back to my original NVidia card, and the kind folks on the
#gentoo channel helped me restore my NVidia drivers to their original
state. I don't know when I'll attempt to try the ATI card again, as this
experience has shown me just how bad things can get. The fact that the
Gentoo Wiki dealing with ATI drivers is outdated and references AGPGART
so many times I actually began to think that my system had AGP on it.


Does someone have a better guide on how to setup an ATI/AMD graphics
card in linux using the drivers provided in the portage tree? If I can't
run two monitors off the card and keep my system stable, then there's no
point, in my mind, of even keeping the card. Also, and I don't know if
the Gentoo list is the proper place to voice these concerns (I doubt it
is, actually) but *what* is with the fan speed control? It's non-existent!

My experience with ATI drivers today remind me of the state of NVidia
drivers 3 years ago, it's horrific!

-Hal
 
Old 10-16-2008, 07:11 AM
Neil Bothwick
 
Default State of ATi drivers in Linux -- IMO, it's horrific...

On Wed, 15 Oct 2008 22:59:21 -0400, Hal Martin wrote:

> The fact that the
> Gentoo Wiki dealing with ATI drivers is outdated and references AGPGART
> so many times I actually began to think that my system had AGP on it.
>
> Does someone have a better guide on how to setup an ATI/AMD graphics
> card in linux using the drivers provided in the portage tree?

The Wiki is not official Gentoo documentation, it relies on users keeping
it up to date. Try http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/ati-faq.xml for the
official line.


--
Neil Bothwick

I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
 
Old 10-16-2008, 07:37 AM
Volker Armin Hemmann
 
Default State of ATi drivers in Linux -- IMO, it's horrific...

On Donnerstag 16 Oktober 2008, Hal Martin wrote:
> Volker Armin Hemmann wrote:
> > On Sunday 28 September 2008, Hal Martin wrote:
> >> Hello all,
> >>
> >> I am contemplating building a new computer with an AMD/ATi graphics
> >> card. I've been following the subject of ATi driver quality in linux for
> >> a while, but I realize that the experiences I read on Google search
> >> results are, shall we say, biased, as many people who have perfectly
> >> working cards don't go out and comment on how great their drivers are.
> >>
> >> So, do any of you have newer (HD series) AMD/ATi graphics cards?
> >
> > HD3870
>
> I just picked up the HD3850, which is a nice card by all measures.
>
> >> What drivers (AMD closed source, or open source) are you using?
> >
> > fglrx - the closed source ones.
>
> I installed these drivers (from portage) and tried them.
>
> >> Are they stable?
> >
> > yes. Switching between vt and X works, and restarting X too - but the ati
> > scripts in /etc/acpi have to be removed.
> > With desktop effects turned off 2d is fast and snappy and video is ok.
> > With desktop effects turned on 2d is fast except manually resizing
> > windows and xv-video sucks. Luckily kde 4.1 makes it easy to switch -
> > and I don't need xv
>
> I had a horrid time with the fglrx drivers. I use two displays, and
> while it was a breeze to setup (even easier than on an NVidia card) the
> result was horrid. I can't drag windows from one display to another, the
> windows wrap within the display. The fglrx_gears program renders
> something that I don't believe heralds from this planet; while glx_gears
> renders the same thing I get on my NVidia card only 10% slower (which is
> expected given the performance difference between the 7900GTX and the
> HD3850.)
>
> Trying to exit X11 causes a complete system lockup, requiring a hard reset.
>
> >> How is the performance?
> >
> > very good. I play ut2004 and vegastrike 0.5. With a but. See above.
>
> I couldn't get any Wine apps that use 3D to work. Call of Duty 4 refused
> to start, citing that the video card didn't support alpha blending.
>
> >> Any noise issues with your card when it's idle? Under load?
> >
> > the fan is very quiet in KDE or playing games. Only in the menus of
> > ut2004 or on a vt it turns up - but is still very bearable.
> > aticonfig --odgt
> >
> > Default Adapter - ATI Radeon HD 3870
> > Sensor 0: Temperature - 51.00 C
>
> My card is incredibly, nay, unbelievably loud until you throttle the fan
> manually from aticonfig, which, I might add, is absent from the Catalyst
> control centre gui. After throttling the fan down to 3% the card settles
> around 45.00C and is quiet enough to bare.
>
> My attempt to uninstall the portage based ATI drivers (which are
> slightly dated,) and install the official drivers from ATI proved to
> wreck my system beyond comprehension. 'eselect opengl list' no longer
> includes ATI, only xorg-x11. I have no ability to start X11 anyone, and
> no fan control, meaning I now have a jet engine residing in my computer.

never ever install drivers without an ebuild. If you need the latest driver
just copy&rename one. That eselect stopped to work is the logical conclusion.
Deinstall the driver, change an ebuild, try again.

>
> There must be something I'm doing wrong. I've heard that ATI drivers
> aren't supposed to lock up your system when you exit X11, is this still
> the case? Was this ever the case with two monitors?

for some people it locks up, for others it doesn't (like with nvidia). I
solved the lockup issue for myself by removing the ati scripts from /etc/acpi.


> Is there any way to get the ATI driver to automatically set a reasonable
> fan speed, or must I do it manually?

It does for my card.
 

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