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Thread: ATi Open drivers are coming of age... :)

  1. #1
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    ATi Open drivers are commmming of age... :)

    - deleted redundant data 24-August-10. Added Gallium link 26-October-10. Added Fan Control 15-November-10. Power Management how-to re-added on 22-November-10. Refined the Ubuntu Stuff how-to & updated due to progress on the North Island GPU 13-3-11. Made note of the acceptance of Gallium as the default open-source AMD driver stack, & added link to benchmark & discussion on the topic - 9-June-11. Updated text, added a links which provides detailed Catalyst removal instructions; courtesy of Temüjin - 11-June-11. Over the last couple of months I've picked up about 400fps in (the not a benchmark) glxgears, on my HD2600 Pro, which is nice - 24-August-11.

    For anyone interested in seeing just how the open-source support is coming along for the various ATi cores, this is the easiest way to get the picture:

    http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature


    The following link is available on the above page but here is the Gallium stuff anyway:

    http://www.x.org/wiki/GalliumStatus

    [edit:] Now that the Gallium driver stack has taken over, the information on the "Classic Mesa" stack is basically redundant for the many.

    Following is a link to a very worthwhile read from the Phoronix site. At the current time of writing, it brings us up to date:

    May 2011: Gallium3D vs. Classic Mesa vs. Catalyst

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...d_mesa_mai2011
    _________________________


    I thought that I probably should put the following information out here in a dedicated thread, for those that aren't aware of what is going on with the AMD/ATi open-source drivers:

    Because AMD/ATi's Catalyst drivers have been so unreliable, it has caused & is causing a great deal of work to go into the ATi open-source drivers & associated packages.

    The oft neglected reality, is that AMD have been releasing technical info' on the ATi GPUs, & contributing some code. Without AMD having done this, the open-source ATi drivers would not be developing at the rapid rate that they currently are. So in this regard, gratitude to AMD is most certainly in order.

    The current open-source ATi GPU drivers are giving many people the best 2D performance they have ever had on their ATi GPU's, I can verify this because I'm one of them. At this stage the 3D is working well but still too slow for games with sophisticated 3D graphics & lots of movement. Though the quake engined games play quite well with the open source packages.

    Since AMD released the tech' info' for the Evergreen & now the (current) North Island series of GPUs, work has been moving fast & now at last the open-source support for the current ATi GPUs is starting to manifest.

    Ubuntu 11.4. is using the Gallium driver stack, the classic Mesa is now deprecated.
    For users that want to use later versions of the kernel &/or the Gallium driver stack, there is a simple how-to in the "Ubuntu Stuff:" section further down the page.
    ___________________________

    I'll continue to put any links that I find to be useful on this topic here:



    X.org:

    http://www.x.org/wiki/GalliumStatus

    http://wiki.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature

    http://wiki.x.org/wiki/RadeonProgram


    Arch stuff:

    Arch ATi how-to from the wiki, quite informative:

    http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ati#


    Ubuntu stuff:
    ========================================
    For Ubuntu users, this is a how-to for upgrading your kernel & the rest of the driver stack so you can use the latest git versions, which usually offer added features & better performance than those supplied in the most current Ubuntu version.

    This how-to is now followed by another for getting Power Management working courtesy of a post in this thread by Untitled_No4:

    Do the following in the order listed:

    1. System -> Hardware Drivers -> Deactivate any ATI drivers and restart. (If you need more detailed instructions on this go here.)

    2. Go to http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/
    & pick the version of the kernel you want to use, (I am on Arch & using the current kernel .**-git & the -git versions of the other required packages with no problems. So keeping an eye on the last parts of this thread should let you know if there are any current problems).

    3. Download and execute the following (in this order, switch to 64 if need be)
    - linux-headers...all.deb
    - linux-headers..generic..i386.deb
    - linux-image....i386.deb

    4. Restart

    5. Add the xorg-edgers PPA (https://launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers/+archive/ppa)

    6. update & upgrade:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    7. Reboot.

    8. Profit.


    Power Managment:
    ========================================


    With KMS:
    There are two sys-files in /sys/class/drm/card0/device:
    power_method: Here you can switch between dynpm and profile method.
    power_profile: If you have enabled profile method you can choose between default low, high and auto (select between low and high based on ac/dc state)
    For example: echo profile > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_method

    Without KMS:

    In your xorg.conf file, add 2 lines to "Device" Section:
    Option "DynamicPM" "on"
    Option "ClockGating" "on"
    --------
    If the two options are enabled successfully, you will see following lines in /var/log/Xorg.0.log:
    (**) RADEON(0): Option "ClockGating" "on"
    (**) RADEON(0): Option "DynamicPM" "on"
    ......
    Static power management enable success
    (II) RADEON(0): Dynamic Clock Gating Enabled
    (II) RADEON(0): Dynamic Power Management Enabled
    --------
    If you desire low power cost, you can add an extra line to "Device" Section of xorg.conf:
    Option "ForceLowPowerMode" "on"


    Thanks to Perry3D at the Arch forum for the above.
    ________________________


    A Free Way to Cool OFF Your Stock ATi/AMD GPU:

    http://forums.amd.com/forum/messagev...VIEWTMP=Single

    (thanks to tomazzi & olof_ for bringing the above to my attention )
    ____________________


    About/identify your AMD/ATi GPU:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ocessing_units


    This page contains information about Radeon chipset naming, and some other, possibly outdated information:

    http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/ATIR...6ebab238532abe
    Last edited by handy; August 23rd, 2011 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Updating links & info'

  2. #2
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    i got a new laptop with a hd4330 and the binary drivers are horrid, really just horrid.

    i'm considering going back to the open source drivers. but i hear the power management is poorer on these. What are your experiences?

  3. #3
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    Unfortunately I still have awful performance with the FOSS drivers - OpenGL is completely unusable.
    Website | Blog | The Arch Hurd Project

    If you want to ask about something I posted, send a PM, as I don't watch many threads

  4. #4
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    I'm certainly curious to see where this leads. I've got one NVidia box and an ATI laptop and I have intel machines at work so I want to see excellent drivers on all. At 9.04's release I'd say only NVIDIA was any good. The intel drivers were reliable and you could play Wine games on them but they were slow (and still are).

    The ATI situation is interesting though. I downloaded and installed the new drivers directly from ATI and found a massive improvement in quality, reliability and performance, obviously your mileage may vary. Now if that's rocking and the open-source drivers are getting good too then that's a winner for all of us. So, all we need is better intel drivers and we'll have very high quality across all 3 platforms.

  5. #5
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    I'll jump ship when things get where they need to be for ATI drivers to provide all the power the HW is capable of...

    By then it may be time to upgrade my Nvidia cards.
    OpenGEU 8.10 Luna Serena 64bit
    AMD Athlon-X2 6000+ / 8gb DDR2-800 RAM / Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H / Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT / 640gb HD
    Acer Aspire 6530 : AMD Athlon X2 / 3gb DDR2-667 RAM / ATI HD3200 / 250gb HD

  6. #6
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by xir_ View Post
    i got a new laptop with a hd4330 and the binary drivers are horrid, really just horrid.

    I'm considering going back to the open source drivers. but I hear the power management is poorer on these. What are your experiences?
    Sorry man, I'm no expert on the open-source ATi stuff. I don't use a notebook so I can't comment from personal experience. It wouldn't surprise me if the power management wasn't up to par, it is very likely (to my mind anyway) one of the things you would deal with later rather than earlier.

    To find out about what is being worked on, on the cutting edge on this subject is not an easy thing to do on the web, if you have a look at this site it may be the easiest solution, if you do I'd head for the last 5 pages or so:

    http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=57084&p=1

    Quote Originally Posted by Barrucadu View Post
    Unfortunately I still have awful performance with the FOSS drivers - OpenGL is completely unusable.
    It has very recently got great for 2D for many cards, 3D is just starting to happen for many cards, as those who are using packages from .git are finding. I think it would be a good idea to keep an eye on it Barrucadu as it is changing quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by stwschool View Post
    I'm certainly curious to see where this leads. I've got one NVidia box and an ATI laptop and I have intel machines at work so I want to see excellent drivers on all.
    Intel see their major market being in Asia, so their graphics hardware is middle of the road at best. Though they are offering better Linux driver support lately.

    Quote Originally Posted by stwschool View Post
    The ATI situation is interesting though. I downloaded and installed the new drivers directly from ATI and found a massive improvement in quality, reliability and performance, obviously your mileage may vary.
    The way it is with the AMD/ATi Catalyst drivers, is that you take pot luck every time a new Catalyst version is released; sometimes they are better, other times they are worse...

    Quote Originally Posted by stwschool View Post
    Now if that's rocking and the open-source drivers are getting good too then that's a winner for all of us. So, all we need is better intel drivers and we'll have very high quality across all 3 platforms.
    The open-source drivers are getting better & really quickly lately. Intel will get better as their perceived market in Asia demands/can afford it.

    The bottom line is that people with ATi GPU's should keep an ear to the ground as the FOSS people have got some momentum on for you at the moment.
    Last edited by handy; August 12th, 2009 at 05:30 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Barrucadu View Post
    OpenGL is completely unusable.
    Same here. The driver isn't very good if it's treating your card as an expensive 2D overlay. You might as well stick a s3 Trio 64v in there, it's just as good.
    I USE THIS SMILEY because im a rocker!!! \m/ pantara and nerveina roles!

    also yo-yo ma is great.

  8. #8
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    It seems to be getting better and better but by the time some decent 3D appears it'll probably be a good 6-12 months before a distro has it, as we have to wait until the next Mesa build and then hope it comes in the Ubuntu right after that.

  9. #9
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    Thanks for the update handy, from what I've been reading on Phoronix, for a next build I'd gamble on a full AMD platform. I could live without 3d for a bit

  10. #10
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    Re: ATi Open drivers are comming of age... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by handy View Post
    It has very recently got great for 2D for many cards, 3D is just starting to happen for many cards, as those who are using packages from .git are finding. I think it would be a good idea to keep an eye on it Barrucadu as it is changing quickly.
    As soon as another kernel (or whatever) upgrade breaks Catalyst again I'll check out the git version
    Website | Blog | The Arch Hurd Project

    If you want to ask about something I posted, send a PM, as I don't watch many threads

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