I think you just made baby Intel cry
Under Windows, most people use the official proprietary driver of each brand.
Under Win, to the best of my knowledge, its a 99.999% closed source binary drivers from the official source world…there has also been fringe driver releases from those who are knowledgeable enough to somehow hack the prop. binary to provide a feature or two, typically desired by the gaming community members for enhanced performance
Under Linux, there’s a choice for both: The Linux version of the proprietary driver, and** the** open source driver
its plural … as in, the OSS drivers that can be used to, well, drive a particular graphics adapter
created by the community with support from other companies and chipset documentation.
in some cases there has been zero docs, zero support
For Nvidia, that open source driver is called Nouveau
that’s one of them, albeit, pretty much the best/most capable of the lot.
while for ATI it’s called radeon or radeonhd.
those are two of them, albeit the radeon is the best/most capable of the lot … do note that the radeonhd is an older, effectively dead, driver.
Also note that the entire graphics adapter driver stack is quite complicated, and is composed of several pieces, each with its own name. “radeon”, “nouveau”, etc are really just particular components (i.e. the DDX (Device Dependent X code)) within the stack.
I chose to go with ATI during the last 10 years, and my desktop has a Radeon HD 6800 card while my laptop a Mobility Radeon HD 5470. So my choice is between the open-source radeon driver and the proprietary ATI driver (which has Catalyst Control Center). openSUSE detects my card and automatically installs this radeon driver, which I assume is the FOSS driver everyone is talking about
no, that’s the old radeonhd … you want to be using the radeon driver (contained in the video-ati package… see: “man ati”)
In my case however, I have to install the proprietary ATI driver instead of staying with that, which there’s thankfully a functional version of on the geeko repository at this day.
The reason is that although the open-source radeon driver runs things like desktop effects properly, nearly no 3D game will work with it.
as above, you are not running with the correct/modern/optimized driver
Whereas in Nvidia’s case, Nouveau is said to be even faster in games than the proprietary Nvidia driver.
I highly doubt that
I tried several games with the radeonhd driver pre-installed by openSUSE… some games would not start up at all (or crash the system if trying to), others would have corrupt graphics and a mess of polygons and textures all over the place, while others would start up but work at abysmal performance (2-3 FPS where the proprietary driver yelds beyond 150 FPS). Although the proprietary ATI driver makes games work well on openSUSE, I don’t like it over the default one… since it has its own issues and most of all is proprietary (not nice to need a close sourced driver to play open source games on an open source OS).
Its impossible for me to say (without other info) why the antiquated radeonhd driver is being used by default as opposed to what should be used instead; radeon. I will add, however, it is often because of user error – i.e. installing with the nomodeset boot option.
My question which remains unsolved is when / if will there be an opensource ATI driver that can run all games at full stability and acceptable performance (even if not exactly as fast as the proprietary one)? I’m hearing that the radeon driver is slowly getting to that, but last time I tried it games would barely even start up.If it’s a different one than what’s distributed with openSUSE, where do I get it from? What’s missing from the FOSS driver, and when will it be ready? Will ATI users who play games be stuck with the proprietary driver forever? I’d like to know all info that exists on this if possible.
Too many questions, not enough time. In pt. form:
- you already have the correct driver installed on your system (see above). You only need configure your system properly to enable it. I provided a big hint about that already (i.e. get rid of the nomodeset boot option)
- the aspect of the driver stack you are most interested in, given your adapters, is the r600g … it is indeed improving, with many very recent code additions bringing about very healthy gains…the driver stack available to you in stock openSUSE, of course, will not feature such improvements – you would have to switch to a recent kernel and Xorg and Mesa code bases, and enable a few variables
- the website Phoronix quite often runs comparisons, so you should check over there to get some idea … note that while the OSS has come a long way, and is most certainly very stable and more then plenty for the typical desktop usage, when it comes to gaming, though, in some games it is stlll blown clear out of the water by the prop driver’s performance.
- what’s missing? Meas website likely provides a list of missing feature sets…
- when will it be ready? … well, this gets back to the biggest missing component: capable developers willing to spend the time and contribute. IOW, there is no time frame for such things. Stuff gets done when stuff gets done. As it is, the primary contributors to this “community” code has been from AMD employees paid to work on the OSS graphics stack
- will ATI users be stuck with the prop driver forever? No, simply because ATI/AMD will drop support for your adapter in the prop. driver in the near future and then your effective choice will only be the OSS drivers.