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#1 2013-03-14 14:30:50

Ambrevar
Trusted User (TU)
Registered: 2011-08-14
Posts: 158
Website

Catalyst versus Radeon

ATI users, gamers, and 3D hobbyists, be all ears!

As you may have experienced, the official 'catalyst' driver has an unbelievable amount of bugs and poor Unix integration.
* Poor Xorg support.
* Poor use of Linux's DRI/DRM interfaces, no KMS.
* Wine gaming is a real pain (poor performances, crashes, glitches).
In my opinion, Catalyst is really holding back graphics development (e.g. gaming) in the Unix world. But there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

You may have heard of it: the free 'radeon' driver did tremendous improvements recently, to such extent that high performance with 3D applications can be taken back into consideration. Every new update is a huge performance boost. Yes, we can actually play a lot of games with the free radeon driver now.

This driver is really a gift to Unix, since it means that 3D would finally be available unrestricted for free (speaking of the software). But if you want this to happen, we need to endorse the development, at least by using it and reporting bugs, if not contributing to the source code directly.

I think a benchmark page can help: by showing where radeon performs equally if not better, it would encourage users and especially newcomers to give it a try.
I've started a benchmarking reference on the following wiki page:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ta … sus_Radeon

We need more games and a wider range of hardware. Everyone is welcome to contribute!

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#2 2013-03-14 15:11:50

ChemBro
Member
Registered: 2008-10-22
Posts: 679

Re: Catalyst versus Radeon

AMD user here, because Ati is long dead.

Wine gaming is a pain compared to Nvidia, because Wine devs use the "special" Nvidia shaders, when the "normal" OpenGL shaders are failing or so. And because Nvidia don't see the bugs (because it is working for them), Nvidia gets this special treatment in Wine. And because this is going on for a while, the "normal" (Nvidia-)gamer will say, that AMD drivers suck. Well, they do, but in this scenario, not everything is wrong on AMDs side. I guess, this hurts open drivers as well, but because they are, performancewise, too weak, no one cares atm.

A, benchmarks. I'll contribute to it:

Unigine Valley Benchmark: Doesn't run with radeon driver.

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#3 2013-03-14 15:56:24

Ambrevar
Trusted User (TU)
Registered: 2011-08-14
Posts: 158
Website

Re: Catalyst versus Radeon

You are right about the AMD brand and I guess the Wiki page should be renamed. Strange it hasn't been done yet. Any reason?

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#4 2013-03-14 16:15:56

Ambrevar
Trusted User (TU)
Registered: 2011-08-14
Posts: 158
Website

Re: Catalyst versus Radeon

From what I know about shaders (and from http://wiki.winehq.org/Performance), Wine works much better with Nvidia cards, but I do not know if there is a real limitation on AMD side that prevents Wine from working as good as with Nvidia. Curious to know why.

Last edited by Ambrevar (2013-03-15 12:25:24)

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#5 2013-03-14 16:35:07

andy_v
Member
From: Estonia
Registered: 2012-04-27
Posts: 31

Re: Catalyst versus Radeon

I'm quite impressed by how well the opensource driver performs on my HD5830! smile I'm getting a constant 60 fps in source engine games (TF2 and CS:Source) with video quality settings set to their recommended values (ie high, no AA, filtering mode set to trilinear, hdr set to bloom, running fullscreen - 1680x1050, vsync on, as you might have noticed). I did experience a GPU lockup once (screen went black for for a couple of seconds and resumed shortly after) while playing TF2, not sure what that was about, I will, however, look into it when I have more time.

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