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AMD Graphics Linux

XBMC Developers Criticize AMD's Linux Driver 212

An anonymous reader writes "It's not only the NVIDIA Linux driver that has been publicly slammed over lacking support; the AMD Catalyst driver is now facing scrutiny from developers of the XBMC media and entertainment software. The developers aren't happy with AMD due to not properly supporting video acceleration under Linux. The AMD Linux driver is even lacking support for MPEG2 video acceleration and newer levels of H.264. AMD reportedly has the support coded, but they're refusing to turn it on in their public Linux driver."
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XBMC Developers Criticize AMD's Linux Driver

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  • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @01:36PM (#40413893) Journal

    Problem is , many of the bits required for writing a driver are unreleased/undocumented. We couldn't write a driver if we tried when the vendor won't give us the specs required.
    Wireless cards are an issue too, with their binary blob drivers.

  • Blame DRM (Score:3, Informative)

    by CityZen ( 464761 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @01:46PM (#40414027) Homepage

    Their video acceleration hardware has DRM built into it. The reason they can't release the specs is most likely because their lawyers said not to, for fear of breaking some DRM-related legal contract(s).

  • Re:Their wishlist (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @01:54PM (#40414149)

    What kind of piss-poor cpu can't decode mpeg2 in several times realtime?

    An Atom struggles to play 1080P MPEG-2, and you can forget 1080P H.264. Whereas my Xbmc box with an Atom and Nvidia Ion chipset has no problem with anything we've thrown at it.

  • Re:Oh No (Score:5, Informative)

    by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @01:57PM (#40414211)
    Mod parent up. I have computers with graphics cards from each. An older NVidia, a 5800 Radeon, and an Intel 3000. The intel open source (released by intel) kick ass. No kernel upgrade problems, no video rendering problems, no full screen problems, no multi-monitor problem. They don't include any extra BS software to make their stuff work.

    If you don't need gaming graphics Intel is the place to be in terms of linux support. I know what my next purchase is going to be. I just wish Intel would expand their market and try to compete on the high end. I would love to see chipzilla enter this fight with thier opensource record.

  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @02:04PM (#40414283) Homepage Journal

    That might be true for exceptionally poorly programmed versions of proprietary software, but neither ATI nor nvidia target specific distros with their drivers, they target a couple of revisions of the X server's ABI (and a few more for the kernel, which is a simpler task), and current distros pretty much all use the latest available at the time of release (minus one or two for Debian Stable). You're making it at least 100x more complicated than it really is.

  • by Strider- ( 39683 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @02:13PM (#40414415)

    I'm running XBMC on an Asus EeeBox 1021P (Atom 510 w/ Nvidia ION2 graphics). Built the thing up with Debian, running Diskless no-less, and it is a fantastic HTPC. It will hapilly play whatever video files I throw at it, be they BluRay rips, high bitrate 1080p video, lower video, etc... The Nvidia closed source drivers, as built by the Debian packages, work well, and VDPAU works great. The great irony is that XBMC seems to draw less CPU time when running a 1080p video than it does displaying its own menus.

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