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wrong place for this, but yes AMD has stated they will produce better Linux drivers for the ATI card lines. i will not hold my breath and will make a judgment only once the drivers are out and working as good or better then the drivers for windows.
If ATI had given me a dollar for every promise they have made since I bought one of their cards only a year ago, I would now be writing this from my hammock on sunny Hawaii.
To be fair, at one point ATi stated that it would never release drivers for Linux. It's only since AMD took over that we've seen a rather half hearted effort. When taking over a company like ATi, I don't think anyone can really expect instant changes. It seems to me like this time AMD really mean it, and hopefully over the next year we should see some real changes.
But the main point of my initial comment is that no matter how I think about this, there are no negative points and only good ones:
The fact that AMD / ATi even discuss Linux drivers in ways such as this suggests that Linux is getting ever more popular, otherwise it wouldn't be worth talking about
Even if you're an nVidia owner a one-horse-race can't be good for innovation, even in the Linux world. If this promise is carried out there should be some healthy competition between ATi and nVidia in the Linux world, which can only be good for all Linux users.
And look how far they have come. I installed my ATi card in openSuSE10.2 using these instructions, and I get framerates in fgl_glxgears of around 2050. For a Radeon 1900XT that's quite poor, but a couple of years ago it was unheard of. Using Cedega I can play Morrowind, although it's a little choppy. Again, not great since it's an old game now and should work better, but a couple of years ago Linux users could only dream of running games like that under Linux at all, let alone with no problems apart from choppy graphics.
Perhaps at this point open-source drivers are a little too much to hope for. Most ATi users will have seen the point-and-click type script that ATi drivers have been using lately. For me it didn't work, but with some development and effort it could be as good as the Windows equivalent. Would it be so bad if we had to download the drivers and click on a self-installing script after installing a Linux distro? For some it probably would, but Windows users have been used to that for years.
Last edited by khinch; 09-07-2007 at 06:04 AM.
Reason: Forgot to add link address
look up at what khinch stated, he beat me to it. in short prior to AMD taking over ATI they refused to put anything more then 4% effort into Linux drivers and even for a while flat out refused to do anything for Linux support of their hardware.
FYI, if you will note the time frame that ATI stated they were no longer supporting Linux is about the same time that Microsoft chose ATI over Nvidia for official hardware support for Vista while still in beta. coincidence i think not.
now that AMD, and friendly to FOSS users, there is a chance that things will be better. and the other day AMD announced they were going to open the drivers up for the NEWER ATI chips to come out. do not know if they will open up the hardware and driver info for their exsisting and older cards.