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Old 07-07-2004, 11:25 PM   #1
shanenin
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Rochester, MN, U.S.A
Distribution: Gentoo
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mesa dri or ati proprietatry drivers?


I just helped a friend install fedora core 2, it automatically set up direct rendering for his radion 9200se(I think that is the one). I ran the command glxinfo, it said that the direct rendering was being done by mesa dri. Would the proprietary drivers from ati give him a lot better performance?
 
Old 07-08-2004, 05:49 AM   #2
motub
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Registered: Sep 2003
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Distribution: Gentoo (main); SuSE 9.3 (fallback)
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A lot better performance than what? You haven't told us what the performance level is.

Is there a problem with performance? If so, what is it (it might be application-specific, rather than driver-related)?

Does your friend care about Open Source? If so, then he should stick with the kernel drivers and MESA, rather than switching to the closed-source ATI drivers.

Does your friend (or you) have a lot of technical knowledge and experience (oh, I see that you at least use Gentoo, so skip that question on your behalf, but how much time do you want to spend compiling his kernel?), and do you or he enjoy compiling kernels? If not, you probably want to avoid the ATI drivers, which (depending on the mobo and CPU hardware) may require kernel patching to run, definitely require proper kernel configuration to run (meaning that you usually have to recompile the kernel at least once, to turn of DRM, if nothing else), and usually need to be compiled against the kernel source (which means you have to find and install it, and do it again when you upgrade your kernel).

As you see, I use the ATI drivers-- but I have to, being that I have a 9800SE; the 9200 series is the last that can use the "radeon" kernel driver, afaik-- so I'm used to this amount of work to get the proprietary drivers properly installed and running and it doesn't bother me. However, it might bother your friend if he doesn't want to know about this, or you, if you don't want to be running over to his house every time something needs to be adjusted with these drivers or the kernel it's compiled against.

So you really might want to see whether current performance is acceptable before going any further.... or switch him to Gentoo , where emerge ati-drivers is a lot simpler than the process you have to go through under most of the binary distros (though the backend-- meaning the kernel) still has to be properly configured beforehand.

Just my 0.02.

Last edited by motub; 07-08-2004 at 05:51 AM.
 
  


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