Reviews

ATI’s New Drivers:Worth the Wait?

Hakan Bayindir at Phoronix writes about ATI’s new drivers, their performance(Non-performance, should I say ?).

It’s been nearly seven months since I wrote my first article about ATI drivers and how they literally crippled my computer and my daily life. Last month, ATI had finally released their latest drivers which contains the new OpenGL component and AIGLX support (AMD 8.42 Linux Display Driver). Was this release worth the amount of hype and did it solve everyone’s problems? For me, simply, no. After seven months of waiting, updating, and struggling, things are not good for me, in every possible feature of the ATI Linux driver I use.

ATI released six drivers since the first article I wrote at Phoronix and I have installed and used all of them. While some of the drivers showed some improvements over my problems, nothing has fully recovered. I am still having some problems, which can be grouped as follows:

· Hardware issues
· 2D acceleration & video playback issues
· 3D acceleration & AIGLX issues

Before talking about the issues, I want to give specifications of my computer to give you an idea about the hardware:

Processor: AMD Athlon64 3700+ (2.2GHz, Stock)
RAM: 2GB DDR400 at 200MHz (400 DDR)
Motherboard: ABIT AN-8 Ultra nForce 4 Ultra (non-SLI)
Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon X1650XT 256MB
Storage: 2x SATA II + 1x PATA 133 Samsung HDD
Optical: Optiarc AD7173A 18x DVD +/- Writer
Power Supply: Tagan 700W power supply
Other: SB Audigy2 PCI sound card
Operating System(s): Debian Lenny & Windows XP Professional SP2.

It’s worth mentioning that I am using Linux primarily both in personal and professional life (I’m lucky :)) and using Windows just for playing Half-Life 2. On the other hand, it’s interesting that ATI’s Windows drivers don’t show any of these problems. Another interesting note is that Sapphire’s X1650XT is a bit overclocked by factory to 600 MHz (Core) / 700 MHz (Memory).

Continue Reading the Article at Phoronix

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