Friday, July 4, 2008

ATI Radeon HD 4870 with Linux Driver

I root for ATI. They are doing a lot of good stuff for the OSS communinty right now, and AMD.ATI can be a really good combination if ATI doesn't shoot itself in the foot. I read the review of the new ATI card (with a Linux driver shipped on the CD) over at Phoronix (linked in the title, above) and was discouraged for the first few pages of the benchmarks, but then ... well ... I think Phoronix says it best:
When using anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, the Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 had an immediate and significant advantage over the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX competition and the earlier Radeon HD 3870. Like the Radeon HD 4850, when the HD 4870 wasn't using advanced rendering techniques, it had fallen behind the 9800GTX. With id Software's Doom 3 with 8x AA, the Radeon HD 4850 was almost 30% faster than the GeForce 9800GTX. When it came time to test the Radeon HD 4870 in the same configuration, it was over 50% faster than the GeForce 9800GTX. The biggest performance delta was with Enemy Territory: Quake Wars where the Radeon HD 4870 was 68% faster than the 9800GTX and 25% faster than its Radeon HD 4850 sibling. In the open-source Nexuiz game even, the Radeon HD 4870 was 32% faster than the 9800GTX. When turning on both 8x AA and 16x AF, the Radeon HD 4870 remained on top in every test with a striking lead.
Wow. We'll wait for the new NVidias to arrive, but I certainly like a market of multiple, linux-compatible cards with great performance.

And I don't even game!



You're kidding, are you? ATI linux drivers are the worst ones I ever had.

Regarding switchable vga cards, which are a pretty thing, the fglrx drivers of course do _not_ work.

Regarding windows, they might work - but not on linux.

Anonymous said...

I spent 2 days trying to get the ATI drivers up for my ATI 4870 in Jaunty (Ubuntu) and either the 3d rendering didn't work or the xinerama didn't. They were unstable and essentially unusable.


I have had a good experience with the ATI drivers until I try to run Enemy Territory then it just freezes. If you are just doing desktop things fine but using a 3D game poops out with my aging 3850 (AGP)

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