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Old 06-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
piratesmack
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How has your experience been with ATI graphics on Slackware/Linux?


Me and my brother are going together on a pretty powerful computer.
He'll be running Windows 7 on it and I'll be running Slackware64.

The computer has ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics. I've heard bad things about ATI graphics drivers on Linux in the past, but have also heard that they have improved.

So to all Slackware users with ATI graphics:
How are the drivers working for you?
Would you recommend ATI graphics on Slackware?

EDIT
Also, 3d acceleration isn't that important to me. I'd like maybe KDE desktop effects to work, but I can live without them.

As long as the driver is stable and supports the resolution of my monitor, I'll be happy.

Last edited by piratesmack; 06-07-2010 at 07:32 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
business_kid
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Quote:
How are the drivers working for you?
Would you recommend ATI graphics on Slackware?
They are working, and video quality is improved, if not hugely faster. I have an obsolete (vintage 2008) r600. It's actually a RS690 in what I thought would be the best place - the Northbridge. Actually it's a lousy idea. They made the R600 obsolete in 2008 or maybe 2009. GE zooming drags; glxgears offers 390 fps @ 99% cpu load with
X claiming 46% cpu (Yes, I know, that's nearly 150%, but it is a twin core). My other box has a highly obsolete NV MX-440 (vintage last millenium) with a whole 64MB of ram on agp; It does 2200 fps in glxgears on nvidia's closed source driver.

I wouldn't recommend ATI. I would tolerate them as long as you're not a gamer. Tests probably available on www.phoronix.com, and windows will probably be better.

Last edited by business_kid; 06-07-2010 at 12:55 PM.
 
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:12 PM   #3
octoberblu3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratesmack View Post
Me and my brother are going together on a pretty powerful computer.
He'll be running Windows 7 on it and I'll be running Slackware64.

The computer has ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics. I've heard bad things about ATI graphics drivers on Linux in the past, but have also heard that they have improved.

So to all Slackware users with ATI graphics:
How are the drivers working for you?
Would you recommend ATI graphics on Slackware?

EDIT
Also, 3d acceleration isn't that important to me. I'd like maybe KDE desktop effects to work, but I can live without them.

As long as the driver is stable and supports the resolution of my monitor, I'll be happy.
With the HD3200, you won't be gaming much anyway.

Using the open source drivers that will load by default in Slackware64-13.1, KDE desktop effects work just fine. I have a system with this video chipset running MythTV at home, and it has no problems displaying at 720p or 1080p resolutions.
 
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
piratesmack
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Thanks guys.

Yeah, I don't plan on doing any gaming with this computer.
And I could always upgrade the graphics card later if I wanted to.
The rest of the specs are pretty nice: AMD Phenom II X4 810, 6 GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB hard drive...

I'll mostly be using it for building things that would take a long time on my netbook, like KDE4, the Linux kernel, maybe mess around with Gentoo, LFS, etc.

Last edited by piratesmack; 06-07-2010 at 01:42 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
fibster
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The problems you may have heard about with the ati graphics are not due to any slackware problem. I have the same graphics card as you on a acer aspire laptop that my kids use. They have been playing around with fedora, ubuntu, mandriva etc all the same problem, it was a xorg situation due to xorg not the distro.
 
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:30 PM   #6
mcnalu
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I've used slackware 11 and 12.x with a laptop with the ATI Radeon XPress 200M chipset. To get 3d I went with the flgrx driver and after some fiddling with xorg.conf got it working ok, certainly well enough to use google earth smoothly. Never tried it for gaming.

For contrast: my nvidia graphics driven machines all worked fine, though one did need the proprietary driver to work at all. The intel driver on my asus eee pc 1000H worked out the box, but isn't up to the job of letting me run google earth smoothly, though I know the hardware can do it.

So all in all, my (non-gaming) experience has been good with all chipsets, but not without problems.

Last edited by mcnalu; 06-07-2010 at 04:33 PM. Reason: typo
 
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:59 PM   #7
rmjohnso
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I can't find an iCore based laptop with an nvidia card. The big laptop makers (thinking mainly Dell and HP here) seem to have ATI cards in all of their laptops. This is the main thing holding me back from pulling the trigger and buying a new laptop.
 
Old 06-07-2010, 10:02 PM   #8
SpelledJ
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I bought an HD4670 in October 2008 on the expectation that the open source drivers would be reaching parity with fglrx within a year or so. It's been 18 months, and I've just now been able to get basic 3D with the open source radeon driver. Compositing effects and OpenGL screensavers work fine, but Neverwinter Nights (an 8 year old game) is unplayable. The frame rate is pretty good, but it's full of graphics glitches. I've tried the fglrx (10.5) driver, and it improves games but the desktop is sluggish. Resizing windows is jerky, and compositing effects are constantly stuttering.

I went back to the radeon driver and gave up on games since I wasn't really playing anything anyway. I've noticed a lot of graphics glitches in Qt apps like Konqueror, Okular, and Digikam. When scrolling pages of text, lines or entire paragraphs disappear. In Konqueror (file management), I get these black rectangles that appear when I scroll through the folder tree. Digikam makes a mess of the thumbnails in the main window when I scroll through an album.

I'm about to just buy a basic NVidia G210 for $45 and put the ATI in the closet for another year or more. The NVidia doesn't have the same 3D performance (on paper), but for what I'm using it for it would be fine and lower power consumption too. In practice, it would probably have similar or better performance also. I gave ATI a chance because of all the documentation that AMD released, but I've lost my patience with this card and both drivers. Unless you want to get involved with developing or testing the radeon driver, or you have an issue with NVidia's proprietary driver, I'd avoid ATI for now.
 
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:00 AM   #9
the3dfxdude
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I bought an HD4670 in Feburary 2010, not because I had to, but my system of approximately 7 years was having power supply issues and did so as part of an upgrade. I chose the card because I saw that 3D support looked like it achieved stability in the Mesa driver, and it was the cheapest card for the performance out then. At the time, Mesa 7.8 was nearing release, and I am now on 7.9-dev. The frame rates in the games I have, have increased tremendously, and could play some newer GL 2.0 games that I could not before (in Mesa even!). I have not seen any rendering errors.

I use Xfce with compositing on, and the thing just flies. There are no graphical problems. I tried out KDE4 to see how it was handled there, and while the screen rendering correctly, it was a little slow. I think KDE is just slow.

I am about ready to try 2.6.35-rc kernels for the new power management patches for ATI cards. They are getting this now thanks to the AMD developers and the docs that are available. My hope is that my card will run a little cooler. I am watching what the testers are saying.

If you were to buy an r600/r700 class card, you will get 3D in the radeon open source driver that is stable and decent for casual use. 3D support is good with Mesa 7.9 and kernel 2.6.35 both in development except for demanding 3D games. I really don't get the point of even trying fglrx anyhow.
 
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:50 AM   #10
linuxs64
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The long term issue is drivers and support. ATI is known to stop updating their linux drivers after 1-2 years. I have an ATI card sitting in my drawer due to this.

What it means for me : I can't install the latest slackware or xorg. This has greater significance than 3d performance or games. Unless they pull up their socks on this issue, I won't use their hardware anymore. Use Nvidia for linux, it's headache-free!
 
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:55 AM   #11
adamk75
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nvidia can hardly be called headache free. Just wait till you start getting NVRM XiD errors, and nvidia's only response is to tell you to use the latest drivers (even though you already are) and the latest computer BIOS (even though you already are). That's assuming they respond at all.
 
Old 06-08-2010, 05:10 AM   #12
sjampoo
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Stumbled upon a PC with a ATI Radeon 9200 Pro yesterday. First attempt to get X (slackware 13.1) working failed. Gave up after doing a Google on ATI + linux. ATI (AMD's) website has a 'driver' dating 2006 which fails and fails and fails to install: First discoverd that although I choose x86, I get directed to a 64bit driver downloadpage, after solving that by hand, I got .rpm's or a installer ( .run ) from which the later says ( logged in as root ) I do not have enough privilages..
 
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:51 AM   #13
adamk75
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Errr. Simply installing Slackware 13.1 and running 'startx' should have gotten you working.
 
Old 06-08-2010, 06:33 AM   #14
sjampoo
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Nope. Startx gave me lots-o errors,. which I do not have at hand here, but anyways: KDE showed up, with the harddisk getting from blur to sharp, and then returning me to the console.
( I remember some lines with 'TV' in them, where I think it might be trying the TV out? )
Then I tried xorgsetup, which looked liked it worked, garbled the screen between colordepth choice and keyboard layout, finished, got an xorg.conf ( without any resolutions mentioned, but with a proper detection of my monitor ) and still, startx give me the same 'shit'.

I did a install of 13.0 ( DVD ), update via slackpkg ( incl the nice libata switchover experience ) and then it failed. Will try a fresh and clean 13.1 install if you think this might be a solution.
 
Old 06-08-2010, 06:39 AM   #15
adamk75
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All I can say is that the 9200 has been supported by the open source drivers for many many years. I don't have a radeon GPU that old to test with, so I guess you could have hit a bug in the driver.

Adam
 
  


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