Originally Posted by jess_nc
+ Why I don't experienced this problem with DRI despite I use only free depots?
+ Is there any solution to use the performances of my ATI's graphic card without using non-free programs?
Until recently the microcode was built into the kernel driver and no separate package was required... so you've always been using it. What changed is that the microcode was moved out of the kernel driver into a separate package so you would be more aware of its presence.
Some GPUs have their microcode burned into the chip; others require that the drivers load or patch firmware at startup, as is done with your CPU. Your R300 happens to be one which requires the firmware to be loaded at startup.
You should be able to run XAA acceleration without the firmware on an R300 GPU, and I *think* you can get video playback through the overlay, but you won't be able to use EXA acceleration, Textured Video or 3D acceleration.