DH Editorial: "Unsupported and bitter"

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles Discussion' started by HardwareHeaven, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. HardwareHeaven

    HardwareHeaven Administrator Staff Member

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    It has been a while but Pete has finished his latest editorial in his open source journals and he details with some passion his frustration with ATI's current (lack of) Linux driver support.

    "ATI's stance in the whole subject reminds me of the whole SLI debate when it was re-introduced by nVidia, also known as burying your head in the sand. At first, ATI tried to downplay its importance, telling people left and right that it is practically useless, that they don't believe it will catch on, or that it will interest/benefit consumers. Do you know what happened after one year? - Crossfire. ATI saw the market, saw nVidia walking away with an easy victory, regrouped, and presented an alternative. Well ATI, guess who's walking away with an easy victory in the Linux front for the past years. Guess which company is preferred by people who are interested in running Linux, not only as their main operating system mind you, but even as a casual alternative in a dual-boot system."

    read his latest journal entry over here and discuss in this thread in our forums.
     
  2. BWX

    BWX get out and ride

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  3. Partizan

    Partizan Fun loving criminal

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    As Windows XP is my last Microsoft OS and I was thinking of completely migrating to Linux, it is obvious my next card will be a Geforce if ATI won't do something about it.


    Regards, Partizan
     
  4. No_Style

    No_Style Styleless Wonder

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    Could it be that they've dipped their toes into too many different waters and are not able to properly support them all? That's how it appears to me.

    Well written article Pete, hopefully it'll rattle a few cages over at ATI.
     
  5. SFOSOK

    SFOSOK 939 Goin Strong

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    I don't use linux, if I did though I would be pissed too with a 500$ card that doesn't do what it should.

    ATI just seems behind lately.
     
  6. BWX

    BWX get out and ride

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    Yeah I have been a huge ATI fan for years.. lately in the past year or so, I just don't know what to think.
     
  7. Rasta Monsta

    Rasta Monsta Just an Average Joe...

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    Well, I hope everyone who accuses us of running a fanboy site get a chance to read that.

    rasta
     
  8. madmatty

    madmatty *****side

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    well the way i see it, you not gonna spend $500 on a graphics card just for linux since theres no software or games that could possably take advantage of it (ok so theres q4,doom3,ut ... that it?) . Maybe ati doesnt really care about linux users, it is a very minority os after all (in comparison to MsWin). Its highly likely a linux user has a dual boot setup anyway so that there is an os that can take full advantage of the card. Its far easier to support the mainstreem os and even easier as its a full desktop envoronment. Linux is just ..well just a kernal. The linux os is what ever the user makes of it with so many distrubutions and so many possible combinations and various dekstop environments, how can ati support em all 100%. Sure they can choose a specific linux setup , but then that makes other users unhappy. Sure it can be done, nvidia did it, but it must be a pain in the rear for the devs to support everything which is maybe why they have so many driver issues under windows as they try to keep all things equal. ;).

    These are just my thaughts and not ment to rattle any cages. im no linux pro, only messed with lindows, debian,redhat and knoppix distrobutions, but i dont feel any of them is really a windows replacement (although knoppixcd is very handy for when windows decided to hose it self).
     
  9. finite

    finite New Member

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    They only need to write a driver for the X server. That doesn't change from distro to distro. And they already have an installer that works on all distributions.

    Linux would have a much larger user base if it actually had better hardware support from manufacturers. That's my number one issue with the OS.

    The stance that ATI and other companies take leave us with a catch 22. (Low user base = no support. No support = low user base.) Of course, the other solution is nVidia. It'd be nice if ATI woke up to that fact.
     
  10. swimtech

    swimtech Well-Known Member

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    Right along with your journal entry Pete, a quick check reveals that ATI is missing the boat as well for Apple (Unix based...). ATI doesn't sell a X1xxx card for the Mac, and Apple offers PCI Express Nvidia cards (right on up to the 7800GT) exclusively for their latest Mac G5 Dual and Quad towers. The cards ATI does offer for the Mac are not PCIe, AGP 8x Pro slot only.

    Hmmm...
     
  11. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

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    I'm no Linux user but the situation still irks me. Good article.
     
  12. Netrat33

    Netrat33 New Member

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    Hah. What like 6% now? Linux ISN'T the everyday man's system.

    Completely disagree with the article saying Linux users effect decisions and word of mouth. Most people don't search a forum! They go to sites like Driverheaven, Hardocp, Tom's hardware, bob's reviews, the review review site, game magazines (get the point) Joe Public doesn't give a crap, nor even KNOW of linux most likely.

    You can tell me all you want about how linux is better this and that. I'M not switching due to it's simply easier. And it's SO not affecting me either due to lacking priority game support. And I KNOW someone is going to want to insult me. Save your breathe (er...type)

    As far as I'm concerned: Sorry Linux users. These are gaming cards. I wouldn't mind seeing them completely pull those 5 programmers and putting all dedication for more speed/image/stability for xp.
     
  13. zerodamage

    zerodamage New Member

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    How I see it is this. If you want a gaming system; do not use Linux. It doesn't matter if you are using Nvidia or ATI. Most games run on Windows; not Linux. Most of the support is available on Windows, not Linux. If you are foolish enough to buy a high end card for gaming and are using Linux, then you should have done your research. These types of rants and whining articles just annoy me. There is no secret that Linux has a small market share and that very few games actually run on it. So why in the hell are you using it to play games knowing the support for it sucks and then go off and cry about it?

    I know that ATI said that there would be drivers BUT you should also know that driver support for linux has been nearly non existant to begin with. Add that with the fact that few games support the linux os. I really do not know where the big surprise is.
     
  14. Sandok

    Sandok New Member

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    Same here... I used to defend ATI alot but lately, as you can see if you search my posts, I've really been giving NV kudos for their 7 series... And ATI has been getting nothing for their X1k series from me :p
     
  15. BWX

    BWX get out and ride

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    For me it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion.. as far as the software goes. Sure there are great points to some of it, but in general.. it's like watching a train wreck. Just look at the vivo/aiw/mmc software fiasco. That alone makes me think twice about what card to buy next. Hope they can get some things straitened out soon. I still think their hardware is top notch.
     
  16. The_Neon_Cowboy

    The_Neon_Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Since where on the topic I offer an opposing view from the windows side
    of the fence:

    I’m already aware of most of what kombatant has said here. I do believe
    Linux deserves some level of support. Meaning they should at lest have
    Drivers available for their use. As many of you know already ATI has made
    efforts to improve thier linux support.In this regard they have gotten better
    but don’t think Linux users are really seeing the kind of movement they wanted.

    Beyond that the debate begins. But as bitter as this may sound, we have
    to face facts windows is and for the foreseeable future continue to be the
    dominate OS. Taking this into account the user base of Linux is usually
    the advanced or specific user. Where is their setting up severs, corporate
    environments, system critical systems. So the mass majority of this minority
    is doing nothing much to do with video, gaming, and graphics lest from what
    I’ve seen. I don’t pretend to be any sort of expert on this topic but having
    tried Linux in the past it not for the faint of heart. Nothing like going from
    feeling you could tackle anything an old an OS can throw at and “old hand”
    to Linux where you feel like a new user born just yesterday.

    Until there’s more software support by game makers, developers etc.. I don’t
    see Linux moving too much. Until we see a “windows like” levels of Linux
    flavored OSes. With as simple ease of use and installation I don’t see the every
    day user going “I’, switching to Linux”. I’m not the every day user and self
    learned windows back in the days of windows for work groups 3.11. and
    learned as I went along all the way up to the current OSes. I’ve tried Linux
    several times along the way. Thought it’s come leaps and bounds I still can’t
    get it down. I usually end up with an unbootable OS and some sort of kernel
    panic. It almost like it needs someone to teach you how to use it. Cause when
    you start learning it like you already need to know so many things.

    Not to mention in that market share % this isn’t “one OS” where are talking
    about either there are many distributions they are quite different. There is no
    ones take all. Though we have all herds of the big players there are hundreds
    of deferent distributions (well over 400) some being general so being purpose
    specific. I’m sure these different distributions many are based off other but these
    changes. Could mean trouble and massive challenges in way of providing driver
    support. I’d like to see one distribution raise to power among the Linux crowd
    and it get all the Linux support. As windows has in the desktop world.

    As you said you self windows have gaming which is the primary thing
    a good 95%Are shelling out the big bucks for. Also find it interesting
    that so many linux users seem to run a dual boot configuration with
    windows. Which is primarily used for video and gaming etc. So many
    of those “Linux users” also count as “windows users” regardless of which
    is their primary OS.

    I do see why windows steals the line light and I’, sure you do to. Also Like
    Any company when you look at the numbers and windows is where it’s at.
    Do you think that people would be willing to pay even more money for their
    shiny new hardware so that they can have extra money to spend on Linux
    support? No! Do you think the windows users would like receive less support
    in exchange for Linux getting more support? No! So this is a preverbal “catch 22”
    where you can’t win for losing. There is only so much time, money, and
    resources available. So their by the numbers, approach to where resources
    are dedicated makes since. I think a big part of it may come down to what
    their competitors doing as well.Windows is going to be the one who get the
    most attention it just the way things work. Since after all the mass majority
    of their user base is using a flavor of windows. Don’t get me wrong Like
    I said before I do believe Linux deserves some level of support. But other
    then that is clearly debatable.

    Well that my two bits, (be gental) ;)
     
  17. RIV@NVX

    [email protected] Freedom is a feature.

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    I can play almost all games I care about on Linux: Quake III (http://icculus.org/quake3/), NWN, UT2004, AAO (...) work natively, while Diablo II, StarCraft, WarCraft 3 work over Wine. It may not be gaming platform, but it is certainly possible to play games.

    However, there is one more thing - ATI doesn't support anything other than Linux. Look here - it also mentions FreeBSD and Solaris drivers. I know these are not gaming platforms at all, but hell, you can play Quake III on both with proper drivers.
     
  18. Kombatant

    Kombatant Active Member

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    I won't be gental, just gentle :p You are right about Windows having a dominant grip on the OS market. But, as I already said in the editorial, this is not just about what's going on now. Look at where Desktop Linux was 3 years ago, and where it is today. The progress is amazing, and there's no visible sign of it stopping anytime soon. At some point, there needs to be some forward-thinking on ATI's side of the fence. Desktop Linux is here to stay, and people will use it more and more as time goes by. The SLI paradigm I brought up in my article is there for a reason: SLI is used by even less people, and ATI thought it could get away by not supporting a multi-card solution. You saw what happened though, and it was "forced" to respond with Crossfire.

    For the current situation I blame, not only ATI, but us journalists as well. Most journos who are dealing with graphics cards are totally clueless as far as Desktop Linux is concerned; which means that ATI can have a lousy ATI driver and actually get away with it. If more journalists reported ATI's inefficiences (and nVidia's, the "green" driver is far from perfect), we would be in a much better state of affairs right now.
     
  19. Al_Vampyre

    Al_Vampyre Well-Known Member

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    Its one of those vicious cycle situations isn't it, I mentioned in a thread yesterday that I would love to be able to game in Linux and then I could hose XP altogether. Don't get me wrong, I think XP is prolly MS best OS to date, but when you see the direction Vista is going and the fact that I will now no longer buy certain games I want because I would need to carry my discs about if I want to game on my laptop there needs to be a viable alternative.

    Lack of competition slows development, if the other OS's disappear altogether there is no need for MS to continue to make Windows better, and the day we wake up and discover that we can't do something we used to be able to do with our PC's because MS says we can't/shouldn't will be a sad day for all of us.

    If hardware companies like ATI and NVidia don't provide alternative OS drivers for high end components then we will never be able to game on anything else other than windows and at that point you might as well give in and buy a console!!
     
  20. bug77

    bug77 New Member

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    Eh, Ati's stance is typical "we can't make money out of it, we don't care about it". No article in the world is going to change that.
    Of course they'd be selling more cards along with proper driver support, but apparently a few % more doesn't equal the cost of them actually writing drivers...
     

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