- +1. You can move it. Make sure to leave a clear notice to remove catalyst stuff before install ATI driver. -- Fengchao (talk) 00:28, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
KMS -- do we have to do anything at all to enable it?
The KMS sections says it's on by default, should we even have to put radeon in MODULES any longer? If not, the intro to that section should probably mention that "you can skip the rest of this section if 'dmesg|grep modesetting' shows 'radeon kernel modesetting enabled'.
I don't know how others feel about this, but my preferred setup is to put options radeon modeset=1 in modprobe.conf and then to include modprobe.con along with the radeon module in mkinitcpio.conf. This way KMS is enabled once for both early and late start. Also, in the event of problems, radeon.modeset=1 can still be added as a kernel option to the bootloader. --piezoelectric
Enabling video acceleration
~/.bashrc is the wrong place for setting this environment variables. This file is not consulted when starting i.e. firefox from the gnome shell. As it is a hardware dependent setting that is reasonable for every user on this box, i created a file in /etc/profile.d/ to accomplish this.
Setting this variables makes a difference when using flashplayer for youtube videos. When set, flashplayer reports accelerated rendering enabled at home with my ati hd3200 onboard graphics and rendering is faster in full screen mode.
It works now no more worse than under windows.
Radeon vs. Catalyst
The ATI and Catalyst pages state that Catalyst performs better for 3D. As most of you may have experienced, the Catalyst driver is clunky and very badly optimized for Linux. Gaming performance is usually worse than on Windows. Catalyst and Nvidia drivers do not uses Unix interfaces properly (Linux kernel and Xorg), a big part of it is just a bunch of hacks. See what the nouveau folks think. It's probably a matter of syncing development between different platforms, so adapting the driver as less as possible from Windows is probably more profitable. The lack of respect for interfaces has one major issue: the compatibility with Xorg and Kernels is extremely fragile. Besides, a lot of features or simply not reliable (or at least a real pain to setup) with these drivers, such as dual head / external output, custom kernels, hibernation...
It would be a great relief for the Unix communities to finally have a free, full-featured and top class 3D graphic driver.
AMD did a very good thing when they decided to release the specs of their cards. FOSS radeon driver is now lightyears beyond nouveau in term of OpenGL implementation. The FOSS radeon driver seems like the ideal future of Unix graphics to me.
Since version 9.0.* from late 2012 and January 2013, OpenGL implementation has moved several steps forward as you can see on the feature matrix. In fact, I've tested several games (native or Wine) and radeon performs much better than catalyst most of the times.
For performance and Unix-frendliness, I suggest we should encourage Unix users to choose radeon over catalyst. Too many people are held up in their switching-to-Unix because of the terrible, infamous catalyst, even if all they need is average 3D graphics.
Since this revolution is brand new, it requires support from the community. We also need concrete data that states the progress, the support and the performance of radeon compared to catalyst.
I suggest we create a benchmark page for that. Should we create a new page? I'll begin it below for now, but we shall move it in the future.
To be continued.