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pd1986
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Hesitating to move to opensource graphic drivers,Questions. Reply with quote

Hello,

I am running xfce4 on my laptop. the graphic card is ATi HD Radeon mobility 4570. I heard that ati open sourced drivers doesn't have power manager, so it will be unpleasant when it is unplugged with AC adaptor. That's why I chose fglrx and have been using this until now. All go very well.

Today, I got some news. From catalyst 12.6, my card won't be supported by fglrx. The bottom line is Radeon 5xxx. In addition, I am trying to use cairo-dock with opengl, but it sucks. I've confirmed that it is due to the graphic card, either the hardware, the drivers or cairo-dock's code for this part,. So I start thinking of moving to use the open sourced driver. But I still have some questions.

First one and of course the important one is whether the open sourced drivers have improved the power manager. Does it do well in economizing the power when I use battery?

Heard of weak performance if we compare it with the fglrx drivers, but is the gap so big? For the record, I don't use software with high demand for graphics card. But I always watch HD videos, 720p even 1080p.

I hope someone could offer some ideas.

Thanks.
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't if it is appropriated to post it here.
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Hesitating to move to opensource graphic drivers,Questio Reply with quote

pd1986 wrote:
I don't use software with high demand for graphics card. But I always watch HD videos, 720p even 1080p.

I hope someone could offer some ideas.

Thanks.

If you're not running compiz-fusion and graphics intense games, you should be fine with xf86-video-ati.

I don't know about the power management aspect - this is a desktop.

I caught wind about two months ago that ati was dropping support for some older graphics cards, mine included, so I migrated to the open source drives.

Best bet is to avoid ati graphics in the future - that's what I plan to do.

Good luck :wink:
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Hesitating to move to opensource graphic drivers,Questio Reply with quote

BillWho wrote:
pd1986 wrote:
I don't use software with high demand for graphics card. But I always watch HD videos, 720p even 1080p.

I hope someone could offer some ideas.

Thanks.

If you're not running compiz-fusion and graphics intense games, you should be fine with xf86-video-ati.

I don't know about the power management aspect - this is a desktop.

I caught wind about two months ago that ati was dropping support for some older graphics cards, mine included, so I migrated to the open source drives.

Best bet is to avoid ati graphics in the future - that's what I plan to do.

Good luck :wink:


Oh. Frankly, I may try compiz fusion one day, but just for curiosity. This trick does nothing but attract some girls. :lol:

what do you mean about the power management?
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Hesitating to move to opensource graphic drivers,Questio Reply with quote

pd1986 wrote:
First one and of course the important one is whether the open sourced drivers have improved the power manager. Does it do well in economizing the power when I use battery?

I haven't looked into power management since this is a desktop. I didn't even look into it with the ati-drivers - no need to :)
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Hesitating to move to opensource graphic drivers,Questio Reply with quote

BillWho wrote:
pd1986 wrote:
First one and of course the important one is whether the open sourced drivers have improved the power manager. Does it do well in economizing the power when I use battery?

I haven't looked into power management since this is a desktop. I didn't even look into it with the ati-drivers - no need to :)


ah, ok, understood.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Desktop Environments to Kernel & Hardware as OP's request.

- John
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John R. Graham wrote:
Moved from Desktop Environments to Kernel & Hardware as OP's request.

- John


Thanks.
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tholin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Hesitating to move to opensource graphic drivers,Questio Reply with quote

pd1986 wrote:
First one and of course the important one is whether the open sourced drivers have improved the power manager. Does it do well in economizing the power when I use battery?

I don't know if it has improved but it's definitively not as good as the fglrx drivers.

pd1986 wrote:
Heard of weak performance if we compare it with the fglrx drivers, but is the gap so big? For the record, I don't use software with high demand for graphics card. But I always watch HD videos, 720p even 1080p.

It's really big. I usually get about 5 times as high framerate with fglrx. The open source drivers doesn't have hardware decoding for videos yet. Maybe for mpeg2, I don't know.
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Hesitating to move to opensource graphic drivers,Questio Reply with quote

tholin wrote:
pd1986 wrote:
First one and of course the important one is whether the open sourced drivers have improved the power manager. Does it do well in economizing the power when I use battery?

I don't know if it has improved but it's definitively not as good as the fglrx drivers.

pd1986 wrote:
Heard of weak performance if we compare it with the fglrx drivers, but is the gap so big? For the record, I don't use software with high demand for graphics card. But I always watch HD videos, 720p even 1080p.

It's really big. I usually get about 5 times as high framerate with fglrx. The open source drivers doesn't have hardware decoding for videos yet. Maybe for mpeg2, I don't know.


Thanks for your opinion. So in this case, I will keep the driver supporting my card for ever.
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VoidMage
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@pd1986:...and that will help you...not a bit.
If xorg-server breaks the ABI (as it often does), the old binary driver tends to get useless.
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VoidMage wrote:
@pd1986:...and that will help you...not a bit.
If xorg-server breaks the ABI (as it often does), the old binary driver tends to get useless.


I am sorry, I haven't noticed your reply and I didn't get any notice by email about your reply.

what do you mean about the it? breaks the ABI?
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keenblade
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,pd1986.
I use open sourced drivers with almost the same (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5400 Series) on my laptop. I am extremely happy with it.
I don't know what level of hardware decoding for videos is available, but I watch HD videos, 720p, 1080p with no problem.
I think the open sourced drivers have really improved, since I begin to use.
Also power management is available. I use laptop-mode-tools to control it. It can control whether it is plugged or not and change the power profile for the card. Also it can control the brightness.
Even I can play games with it. I have to say, open sourced drivers is extremely stable. I can't remember a time it crashed for a long time.
Maybe not all these features are in the level of binary driver, but definitely works fine.
I just suggest you try the open sourced drivers, and make your decision yourself.
I use driver in kernel-3.6.0-rc6 and xf86-video-ati-6.14.6-r1 and mesa-9.0_pre20120918.
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keenblade wrote:
Hi,pd1986.
I use open sourced drivers with almost the same (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5400 Series) on my laptop. I am extremely happy with it.
I don't know what level of hardware decoding for videos is available, but I watch HD videos, 720p, 1080p with no problem.
I think the open sourced drivers have really improved, since I begin to use.
Also power management is available. I use laptop-mode-tools to control it. It can control whether it is plugged or not and change the power profile for the card. Also it can control the brightness.
Even I can play games with it. I have to say, open sourced drivers is extremely stable. I can't remember a time it crashed for a long time.
Maybe not all these features are in the level of binary driver, but definitely works fine.
I just suggest you try the open sourced drivers, and make your decision yourself.
I use driver in kernel-3.6.0-rc6 and xf86-video-ati-6.14.6-r1 and mesa-9.0_pre20120918.


I will try and compare the battery use time between the two drivers one day.
Frankly, besides some particular use in linux, I don't see the need of high performance graphic card.
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Hu
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pd1986 wrote:
VoidMage wrote:
@pd1986:...and that will help you...not a bit.
If xorg-server breaks the ABI (as it often does), the old binary driver tends to get useless.

what do you mean about the it? breaks the ABI?
At some point, the X server will change its interface in such a way that the graphics drivers from before the change will cease to work. When that happens, you must switch to a graphics driver that has been adjusted for the change. If you use a driver which is no longer maintained, then no adjusted graphics driver will be made and you will be forced to retain a legacy X server or switch to a different driver.

According to your first post, you expect that newer versions of the proprietary driver will not support your card. If that is correct, then you will be left with these choices:
  • Use a legacy X server and legacy proprietary ATI drivers.
  • Use a modern X server, modern proprietary ATI drivers, and be unable to use your video card.
  • Use a modern X server and modern open graphics driver that supports your card.
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pd1986
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hu wrote:
pd1986 wrote:
VoidMage wrote:
@pd1986:...and that will help you...not a bit.
If xorg-server breaks the ABI (as it often does), the old binary driver tends to get useless.

what do you mean about the it? breaks the ABI?
At some point, the X server will change its interface in such a way that the graphics drivers from before the change will cease to work. When that happens, you must switch to a graphics driver that has been adjusted for the change. If you use a driver which is no longer maintained, then no adjusted graphics driver will be made and you will be forced to retain a legacy X server or switch to a different driver.

According to your first post, you expect that newer versions of the proprietary driver will not support your card. If that is correct, then you will be left with these choices:
  • Use a legacy X server and legacy proprietary ATI drivers.
  • Use a modern X server, modern proprietary ATI drivers, and be unable to use your video card.
  • Use a modern X server and modern open graphics driver that supports your card.


That means I will be forced to migrate to open source very soon if I want to use new xorg. Very well.:)
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roravun
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Best bet is to avoid ati graphics in the future - that's what I plan to do.

What? It is the reverse: At all costs avoid NVidia not ATI. AMDs supports open source driver development. I can comfortably use my thinkpad with open source drivers. Have I had NVidia gfx card I would be screwed, since nouveau is almost useless and NVidia is not supportive if not hostile towards any form of supporting open source drivers.

pd1986,

Quote:
Heard of weak performance if we compare it with the fglrx drivers, but is the gap so big? For the record, I don't use software with high demand for graphics card. But I always watch HD videos, 720p even 1080p.

With my x1300 mobility I can watch 1080p vids without any fuss. Basic blender modeling is not a trouble.
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