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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Location: Lund, Sweden
So I've been running Debian Lenny on my T43 for a while, but recently decided to upgrade to Squeeze as things like the web browsers etc are lagging too far behind. The real cold shower however was that the fglrx video driver which has given me superior 3D performance (running Minecraft for instance) no longer supports the ATI Radeon X300 video card in the T43. So, when running Squeeze I have to resort to the Radeon driver which does not have at all as good 3D perfomance it seems. So what to do ... leaving the machine at Lenny feels like it'll slowly die from lack of useful software, and upgrading to Squeeze results in inferior graphics performance. This is something that only would happen with proprietary software; there are enough T43 users out there to warrant keeping an open-source driver alive.

Using an older Xorg version which would allow me to use an fglrx version which supports X300 might be an option, but I fear that will cause a ton of other problems in the dependency area.

Has anyone else given this a thought?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:57 am 
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You should be running Squeeze. Lenny doesn't get security updates.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:58 am 
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You answered your own question. There is nothing you can do. You are under the power of ATI in that respect.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:50 pm 
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zenlunatic wrote:
You answered your own question. There is nothing you can do. You are under the power of ATI in that respect.


Sadly this is pretty much true. There's a reason why I avoid ATI hardware like the plague when choosing Linux/BSD boxes, and this is it.

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Need help with Linux or FreeBSD? Catch me on IRC: I'm ThinkRob on FreeNode and EFnet.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:23 am 
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Well, quite frankly, I've been quite happy with the open source driver until recently when I discovered that some games would run quite well with the fglrx video driver which seems to provide very good 3D acceleration. So it's not a big loss. And for other reasons it's time to move on and find something more modern, no matter how much I love my trusted T43. But a bit of schock as I'd never would have thought that this would have become a problem in the Linux world. Of course, the ATI driver isn't free so we're not in Kansas anymore...


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:53 pm 
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ricard wrote:
But a bit of schock as I'd never would have thought that this would have become a problem in the Linux world. Of course, the ATI driver isn't free so we're not in Kansas anymore...


Intel is the only one of the big three GPU makers that seems to have a true interest in producing high-quality open source GPU drivers. NVIDIA produces fast drivers, but the drivers aren't terribly good in terms of doing things "the right way" and they're definitely not open source. ATI releases specs and pays people to work on open source drivers, but they don't really seem to have the same commitment that Intel does.

In my experience the radeon driver is generally usable, but not terribly fast (and the power management tends to... uh... well it sucks.)

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