Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1839 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] latest kernel update breaks ATI binary driver
  • From: "David C. Rankin" <drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 17:03:28 -0500
  • Message-id: <4C9D2030.8010307@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 09/23/2010 05:24 PM, jsa wrote:

I can't speak to all cards, but in my case their driver does not exist
for my Mobility Radeon x1400 card any more and I had to use their
package to built RPMs and then install those for the last several
versions of opensuse.

See this ARchives thread of yesterday:

I can't go to AMD and download anything.
masterpatricko site, quoted in above archive message works for 2.6.33
but not 34.

This a well know and unfortunate issue that I raised on the factory list in
April '09, well before 11.2 was released. See:

[opensuse-factory] Plans and Issues for ATI fglrx Driver for 11.2?
(there are some 30-40 replies)

It is the direct result of a decision made by AMD/ATI to *screw* all of their
existing customers with pre-2400 series graphics card by discontinuing all Linux
driver support in March 2009. (many of those in laptops less than 18 months old
at the time) All pre-2400 series card suddenly became "Legacy Cards"

The 9-3 driver is the last driver to support pre-2400 series cards and supports
nothing past xorg 7.4. The only "legacy" drivers to support 11.1 (xorg 7.4) were
the 10-8 through 9-3 drivers and 10-8 through 9-2 would cause my box with a
RS690M (x1250) card to spontaneously reboot on xdm start. The 9.3 driver gave
roughly 50% the performance the 8-9 driver did.

I don't know the technical reason why somebody much smarter than I am can't make
the fglrx driver build on later versions, but I can tell you many smart people
have looked at the issue and we still have no driver option for pre-2400 series
cards post 11.1.

Bottom line for legacy cards is if you are lucky enough to have an RS6xx card,
the radeonhd driver offers some advantages over the radeon driver. The bad news
is performance and heat load issue suck compared to the fglrx driver. So if you
need graphics performance with recent releases or distros - it's new laptop

Always remember the corporate good-will AMD showed all it existing customers
when it dropped Linux support for them and re-branded their cards "Legacy
Cards". Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice shame on me --> Buy nvidia or
intel gpus from now on.

David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
Rankin Law Firm, PLLC
510 Ochiltree Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
Telephone: (936) 715-9333
Facsimile: (936) 715-9339
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