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AMD Displays Graphics Software Linux

AMD Intentionally Added Artificial Limitations To Their HDMI Adapters 256

An anonymous reader writes "NVIDIA was caught removing features from their Linux driver and days later Linux developers have caught and confirmed AMD imposing artificial limitations on their graphics cards in the DVI-to-HDMI adapters that their driver will support. Over years AMD has quietly been adding an extra EEPROM chip to their DVI-to-HDMI adapters that are bundled with Radeon HD graphics cards. Only when these identified adapters are detected via checks in their Windows and Linux Catalyst driver is HDMI audio enabled. If using a third-party DVI-to-HDMI adapter, HDMI audio support is disabled by the Catalyst driver. Open-source Linux developers have found this to be a self-imposed limitation and that the open-source AMD Linux driver will work fine with any DVI-to-HDMI adapter."
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AMD Intentionally Added Artificial Limitations To Their HDMI Adapters

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tip of the Iceberg.

  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:34AM (#45069193)

    Seriously, AMD, Why?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hypotensive ( 2836435 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:38AM (#45069249)
      Because scumbags.
      • Off with thier heads!
        • Re:Why? (Score:4, Funny)

          by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:50AM (#45070065)

          Off with their heads!

          Since they weren't using them anyway, I don't think removing their heads would change anything... It you want to lop off something they will respond to, it should be their bottom line that gets axed. That means steering people away from AMD overall. I don't know about you, but every time someone I know wants a new system or tech toy, they ask my opinion before buying. I'm happy to take a few minutes to research something for them and often suggest better alternatives... AMD is now off the menu...

          • And to who? There are only two companies left for high-performance graphics, and neither is particularly good. Same as there are only two companies left for high-performance x86 processors.

            • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:29AM (#45070659)
              Hey, I'm not wild about it either, but in the ass hat run off AMD has pulled out in front... Intel I am kind of liking at the moment, but I'm sure they will do something to change that opinion. Same with Nvidia. It's kind of like having a dog. You have to expect them to act like a dog... short term interests almost always dominate their behavior. Something smells good in the trash, they get into the trash. The thing is that our purchasing power is the only real "rolled up newspaper" that we have when it comes to corporations crapping on the rug that is our beloved tech...
      • Insightful, really? Since they signed an NDA with Intel to be able to support HDCP on their chips for all we know its just another hoop Intel forced on a competitor to make their lives a little harder. After all it wouldn't be the first time Intel fucked AMD, remember the 1.2 billion dollar payout to AMD to sweep their market rigging back into the closet? It also wouldn't be the first time Intel fucked a competitor when it came to graphics, remember Nvidia having to use a slower PCIe 4x line to get Optimus

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:45AM (#45069319)
      Indeed. Doing something like this only makes sense if you TELL people about the limitations. "Buy our adapters and you WILL be able to fully use your HDMI cable for audio!"

      If it's a surprise, you're just annoying customers and not making any money off of it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        It was to be announced at the Developer Summit on Monday. As you know, the CEO loves surprises.

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jonsmirl ( 114798 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:12AM (#45069617) Homepage

        Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily? Much more likely that this is caused by some idiotic DRM requirement for for HDCP 'protected audio path' or working around some idiotic patent. Likely reason - a DRM requirement to stop people from plugging in devices that strip HDCP.

        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:15AM (#45069667)

          Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily? Much more likely that this is caused by some idiotic DRM requirement for for HDCP 'protected audio path'. Likely reason - a DRM requirement to stop people from plugging in devices that strip HDCP.


          You can bet that the RIAA/MPAA cartel had something to do with this

          • "You can bet that the MAFIAA cartel had something to do with this"

            FTFY. (MAFIAA - Music And Film Industry Associations of America)
        • Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily?

          Ignorance probably. I don't work in anything related. Your theory makes more sense than mine of "marketing gone horribly stupid."

        • But we want to see a particular attack against Linux from a company, not some silly licensing reasons that while my disagree with, make sense.

        • by Thaelon ( 250687 )

          Then why didn't they say something?

          Because greedy scumbag (lawyer)s.

          The longer and harder I look at (particularly American) society, the more I think that a bunch of paper tiger (lawyers) are the front line that corrupt society for their benefit, and the benefit of their plutocrat owners. Maybe this isn't new, but it needs to end. And the only thing I think has any power to end it are brilliant guys like Snowden coupled with the Internet which circumvents the plutarchy's media oligopolies.

          Don't let lawyers

        • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:13AM (#45070417)

          Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily?

          Because there is no evidence to indicate otherwise. Anything else is in the realm of speculation and conspiracy theory.

        • Why do you assume that AMD did this voluntarily? Much more likely that this is caused by some idiotic DRM requirement for for HDCP 'protected audio path' or working around some idiotic patent. Likely reason - a DRM requirement to stop people from plugging in devices that strip HDCP.

          HDCP doesn't rely on cable behavior (aside from good-enough-for-signal-integrity performance) between sources and sinks to enforce DRM. So, for a mere physical pinout adapter, there should be nothing that a 'malicious' cable could do (unless that 'cable' were a full-fledged HDMI sink baked into a line lump, which would be physically possible but wouldn't really be a 'cable' anymore), nor would there be anything (save blocking the audio entirely) that a 'trusted' cable could do to control a malicious HDMI si

    • Re: Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by _0xd0ad ( 1974778 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:59AM (#45069455) Journal

      Same reason as the newer RealTek sound drivers have disabled/removed the Stereo Mix recording device: DRM.

      • God that one annoys me tremendously.

        • Re: Why? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:43AM (#45070865)

          It shouldn't, since it's ridiculously easy to work around.

          Don't install the Realtek drivers.

          Remember, Microsoft provides the Stereo Mix utility of the audio subsystem, and in order to pass WHQL certification, the drivers have to meet the minimum spec defined by Microsoft. So Realtek may have agreements with whoever-it-is (and it's not Microsoft) to remove the Stereo Mix from their drivers, but the WHQL certification process requires that it be enabled.

          So don't install the drivers that have Stereo Mix disabled, and let Windows Update install the WHQL certified ones instead. I have Realtek audio in my system, and the Stereo Mix path works fine. It can take a bit of work to find how to activate it in Windows 7, but it's there, and it works.

        • The fact that I cant pump out two audio streams out of my computer is a direct result of the media cartels influence. Its insane how much we let content affect technology.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:09AM (#45069573) Homepage

      Because DVI isn't supposed to carry audio.

      I suspect there's a licensing agreement somewhere saying they must conform to the DVI spec, including its lack of audio support, but if they count the HDMI adapter as a part of the whole system, they're just using a DVI-like connector in the middle of an HDMI system.

      Another cause could be avoiding liability. If they send out audio by default and it breaks some other device, they're at fault. If the other device asked for it (by the presence of the special chip), it should be able to handle it just fine.

      As yet another possible reason, the audio-over-DVI system could have been designed as a feature, that AMD simply abandoned. Since they've done the work implementing it in their chips and adapters, it costs almost nothing more for them to keep using it, probably even costing less than it would to support separate product lines with and without the capability. However, they may not want to run the extra expense of publishing and supporting yet another standard, when HDMI is already showing wide adoption as the next standard for everything.

      • This! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:51AM (#45070075)

        This is exactly what's happening. Reading the summary, my first thought was that it was incorrect and my second thought was that the writer was clueless. After all, DVI doesn't support audio so how can DVI out provide audio to a DVI - HDMI adapter? The answer is; only by breaking the standard.

        So, if you break the DVI standard and send audio out what happens? There are no adverse effects, at all, ever, even when the connection is DVI - DVI? It seems to me that they are simply adding a safety feature to their non-standard implementation. 'If we don;t know for absolute certain that the end point is HDMI, don't send audio out the DVI interface.'

        • EEE - Embrace Extend Extinguish

          Why not just publish their audio extensions to the DVI standard so everyone can use them? No, instead, let's Embrace a standard, Extend it for a feature, and Extinguish those that all of a sudden find themselves unable to cope with the extension.

          • Okay, let's publish instead.

            First, we'll hire a new engineer to figure out exactly what the effects of our years-old design are. Then we'll have to hire a tech writer to write the documentation, a lawyer to make sure we aren't opening ourselves up to licensing or patent disputes, a customer service rep to answer questions about whether this will work with regular DVI gear, and a librarian to keep track of all the bullshit standards that have better alternatives before they're even published. Of course, all

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      because moar expensive.

      maybe they had some other extended use in mind for the connector, but totally forgot about that while in production.

      or they wanted to copy apple. you know, benchmarking as a business term as explained in dilbert. doing what some other business is doing only totally fuckedly uppedly. I mean, where the fuck would I even find their adapter from for sale, how the fuck would I know that the audio works with their adapter and isn't just broken on the frigging card?

      ati(amd) has probably had

  • Why do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:34AM (#45069201)

    Do they make that much on adaptors that they care?
    Since when?

    • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brit_in_the_USA ( 936704 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:40AM (#45069267)
      I'm also struggling to see a reason for this.

      The only thing I can think / guess is that some patent, licence and/or DRM limitation was identified by AMD that restricts (in legal terms) audio over DVI, but allows it over HDMI. Again, my best guess at this time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        I guess, because they give the adaptors away.
        I can't even see it being DRM, just some sort of patent stupidity.

        • Could it be simplifying their tech support somehow?

          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            I can't imagine that to be the case. Are there that many non-functional DVI to HDMI adaptors?

          • Could it be simplifying their tech support somehow?

            Not if they start getting a thousand calls a day about this, after this article...

          • let me get this straight: they add code to their driver to 'do things' if the eeprom is or is not there. they add cost to the passive (!) dongles and now create unseen classes of type-a and type-b dongles (my terms, not theirs). and you think this makes stuff EASIER for support, this way?


            • Hey, I'm as much at a loss as you guys are. I'm trying to think like management might. It sounds weird, but I actually had to trick my soul into leaving my body for a second (my soul loves candy corn).

      • Why do phone manufacturers lock bootloaders? Companies add huge technical complexity for trivial reason all the time and rarely take the cost of unexpected failures and consumer outrage into account.

      • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:48AM (#45069347) Homepage

        So that they can choose when their hardware becomes obsolete.

        One of the biggest unspoken threats of Linux is the added longevity hardware picks up. People can use much older hardware because Linux has a much more broad range of support for hardware than any one version of Windows. Why is that? You could argue that supporting device X under all versions of Windows is expensive or some crap like that. But at the end of the day, Linux does this because it's just there... in the kernel source somewhere. But when hardware makers want to push new high-end devices, they sometimes encourage upgrades by disabling features, decreasing performance and all manner of dirty tricks.

        If people were wondering why AMD and NVidia have been holding back so hard on their Linux support, I think this is a much more plausible reason than "we outsourced development of the drivers and they patented and/or copyrighted stuff."

        • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:53AM (#45069399)

          With the rise of tablets and consoles for gaming, I'm thinking those Linux/Steam installs are starting to look a little more profitable.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          It's not really true though, is it? Windows will run fine on ancient graphics cards, just without full acceleration. The same is true of Linux - if you run a really old card it won't be fully accelerated in modern windowing systems, but will work.

        • I'd be more inclined to believe you if not for the hordes of people who rush out to buy the newest iGadget even when their old one still works fine. Hardware companies have no problem marketing to people who already have a perfectly functional product.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Given how much legal bullshit is involved with HDMI (adapters are allowed, but adapter cables not; Anything-to-HDMI is allowed, but HDMI-to-something else isn't), I wouldn't be surprised if this was some legal requirement. Sounds stupid enough for it, at any rate.

        • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Informative)

          by marcomarrero ( 521557 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:07AM (#45069547)
          I think you're right, and I also think sending audio through DVI is a ugly non-standard proprietary hack, so it's logical it only works with their adapters.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dannydawg5 ( 910769 )

            We've been sending audio over DVI for at least 5 years. It is not a hack. It is part of the DVI-D / DVI-I standard.

            It is the go-to choice for small business manufacturers not wanting to pay expensive HDMI license fees.

            • Re:Why do this? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by JeffAtl ( 1737988 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @01:42PM (#45072603)

              Are you sure audio is part of the DVI standard? I'm not challenging you, but just curious where audio is located in the standard. Everything I've found indicates that the Digiital Visual Interface (DVI) is designed for visual interfaces. I'm aware of some devices that utilize audio over DVI, but aren't those extensions of the standard?

        • adapters are allowed, but adapter cables not

          I can find various HDMI adapter cables from stores (to DVI or mini-HDMI, for example). Unless you meant something else.

    • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:17AM (#45069683)

      My guess is because the DVI standard doesn't actually have an audio transport channel, so they only switch it on when a DVI connection that they recognize as a DVI-to-HDMI adaptor is attached. They can only do that when one of their adapters is attached. Otherwise, they see a DVI device so they output a proper DVI signal. It's sticking to the DVI specifications very precisely (perhaps a bit too precisely).

      Of course, I don't know enough about the specs to say for sure if that is why, or if there would be a better way (I strongly suspect there is, but am not sure).

    • Are the adapters typically sold separately? It's just more artificial scarcity / defective by design / DRM BS. Sounds like something the MPAA/RIAA goons would eat up with a spoon. Fuck this. Just make good hardware. Open the damn drivers so we can use the hardware to its full capabilities; We don't pay for drivers, we pay for hardware. If you want to put secret bullshit in the card, do it in the card. I guess this explains why the adapter I gave my friend wouldn't work. Guess what? They returned t

      • Every single AMD card I've bought in the past 4 years has come with the adapter I'm the box. I have at least 6 of them laying in my room right now. I think one didn't, and a quick call to XFX got them to ship me one out for free.
  • by Elbart ( 1233584 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:36AM (#45069223)
    If companies would dedicate only 1/10th of their let's-screw-with-our-customer-resources to actual improvement of their products, *gasp*, I would be so happy.
  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:36AM (#45069229) Homepage

    It's crazy that companies go through all this trouble to protect a revenue stream from something as inexpensive and generic as a DVI to HDMI adapter.

    Really, if they want to make a little more money, why not charge an extra dollar for the card itself and be done with it?

    DVI/HDMI don't even carry power, so you can't use the "it might fry the device" excuse that Apple uses with their lightning plugs.

    • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:45AM (#45069311)

      It's crazy that companies go through all this trouble to protect a revenue stream from something as inexpensive and generic as a DVI to HDMI adapter.

      Not only that, but I wouldn't even know where to start to find a their branded version except in the box of a graphics card (and typically all those things when I get them just get tossed into a drawer - of the umpteen bazillion of them in there I doubt I know which goes with which).

      My guess though is that the actual sales they're trying to protect here are those to the card makers rather than end users. If the companies making cards using their chips have to buy the adapters from AMD instead whatever the cheapest source in Hong Kong is, then I'm guessing it adds up. The end-user is just collateral damage.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:41AM (#45069279) Homepage

    It was practically designed by the copyright industry so that they can control everything. I mean they have just about ruined the spec preventing it from being useful. Why does it need an encrypted signal? It kind of ticks me off. I recall troubleshooting and actually putting my amp system into the shop TWICE at the manufacturer's suggestion because they didn't recognize (or admit) that the problem I was experiencing was all about HDMI. (And to think all I wanted to do was play a video game through my amp and to the TV... what copyright interest is there in that?!)

    • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:16AM (#45069669)

      Yeah. I have a Sony TV and a Sony Blu-Ray player - both less than 2 years old. The crypto negotiation takes about a second, with blank screen and audible pops. On most Blu-Ray discs it happens at least twice before you get to playing the movie. With DVDs it sometimes takes place 4 times. I swear that an old CRT TV and a VCR were faster to cold-boot to a visible, playing movie, with inclusion of loading the tape, than the current generation of HD gear. It says something when a system that could, theoretically, be up and playing in 5 seconds from power-up is almost a factor of magnitude away from what the hardware allows it to do. It really takes the cake when such a system is about as "fast" as an electromechanical variant. Yeah, VCRs are nowhere near the quality of even DVDs, but still.

      • Sage wisdom my friend...
        I continually troubleshoot my LG TV / Onkyo Receiver / Sony BD/DVD. I'm always amazed at how slow and klooodgy this high tech setup is... Once it is working, it works great though. I love the roundabout I have to take to get audio to play from USB via Receiver AND watch over the air TV simultaneously. Yea, I know, I need a universal remote.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It makes even less sense on DVI->HDMI. AFAIK, DVI is less encumbered than HDMI, so you'd kind of expect it on an HDMI->DVI adapter. But moving from a less to more encumbered connection? That makes no sense.

      As much as I dislike the DRM aspects of HDMI, it is a lot less annoying from a cabling perspective to be able to get HD video and digital audio on a single, relatively sturdy cable.

      Before my gear was HDMI capable it was a major annoyance to cable everything together -- component video cables (3

    • Let's correct what you wrote -

      It was designed by the copyright industry so that they can control everything. It has an encrypted signal.

      It really is that simple. The people that would be offering the content designed the spec for the cable and port for the express purpose of restricting and preventing you from freely using it. Instead of bitching about something, research it and look it up. Your hypothesizing if something that was designed [] by the media cartels and the tech companies for the express purpose

    • To clear up the role:
      DVI came first. An unencrypted digital video link designed to replace VGA as a computer-to-monitor interface, not for consumer electronics. This is why it didn't use encryption or carry audio.
      HDCP was then introduced as an encryption-and-authentication to DVI, adding the DRM.
      Finally, HDMI was introduced. A new physical connector more CE-friendly (No super-delicate pins), but electrically the same as DVI. While electrically compatible, it also requires support for HDCP under the licensin

    • by hamjudo ( 64140 )
      I have a monitor hooked up to my ComCast cable box in the exercise room. After I exercised for a while, I would get the stupid HDCP warning and/or the video would just cut out. I switched cables, I switched HDMI - DVI adapters, I switched monitors. It seemed like every time I started exercising, the video would stop.

      It got worse recently, making it easy to diagnose. It got to the point where the video went away within a second of starting the treadmill. It is an EMI issue. Either the treadmill is emitting t

  • Competition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:49AM (#45069353)
    Remember back when there was all kinds of competition in the video chipset\card market? 3DFX, Rendition, S3, Matrox, etc... Now we are down to two choices and they are both screwing us over... I guess that's what happens when competition is limited. What to do?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:59AM (#45069463)

      Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

      • that, and "nvidia killed the radio star"

        or, something like that....

        both ATI and NV are evil. it really is a kang/kodos kind of choice.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @09:52AM (#45069383) Homepage
    this is a normal part of a functional modern consumer capitalism. planned obsolescence, crippled interoperability and limited features are all things corporations adopt in order to drive profit and increase sales yearly. its why your cellphone doesnt have expandable RAM anymore and your game consoles and processors routinely change size, shape, and pin count. The problem is not AMD, its the notion that any economic system constructed on a finite level of resources can questionlessly and consistently achieve percentages of growth regardless of demand. well built, creative and useful products serve no purpose, but are sometimes accidents of fortune in the creation of a product. once its established, each iteration becomes a steady descent into nothing more than a means to achieve what you had, and define yourself based on unrealistic expectations set by advertising and product research teams.

    this problem cannot be fixed, because we would have to stop purchasing the product. we cant stop, because the product is the standard by which we esablish our likes and dislikes, as well as our perception of everything from uniqueness to wealth and success. Put your TV on the curb, download a copy of adblock plus, and in six months this entire article will seem the very definition of the hedonistic treadmill.
    • Put your TV on the curb, download a copy of adblock plus, Ghostery, NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, TrackMeNot and in six months this entire article will seem the very definition of the hedonistic treadmill.

      There, fixed that for you.

  • I value the freedom to do what I want with what I own so I don't use it. I'm perfectly happy with my DVI displays and will be for years to come.

  • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:04AM (#45069521)

    Terribly sorry for not RTFA, but when did AMD try to add this to the Linux driver? When was it noticed? When was it corrected? And can I shove this in the face of windows fanboys who say that anyone could submit anything they want to Linux and you don't really know what's in there?

  • by asicsolutions ( 1481269 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:06AM (#45069533) Journal
    gpl-gpu kickstarter launches tomorrow. A fully LGPL 2D/ 3D graphics accelerator written in Verilog. Currently running in an Arria IIgx. GPLGPU Kickstarter []
  • I wasn't aware that DVI could carry audio. Of course, most of my available DVI output display doesn't have audio. And if I have audio-out with DVI, I probably also have HDMI. So basically the only time that this is a problem would be if I had a DVI only display with audio and I needed audio.

    • Re:Didn't know that. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:37AM (#45069907) Homepage

      It can't. The complaint is that a non-standard feature is only enabled for known non-standard adapters. The story is flamebait.

    • solution is to NOT bundle a+v together. its a stupid idea, the way its done now, anyway.

      carry your audio over spdif (opto or coax). its standard that way! you can run into YOUR dac of choice for audio and also into your spdif opto port on your typical avr receiver.

      you won't get blueray 2496 audio - it will be 48k audio at 16bits (maybe 24; spdif has no problem with 24bit audio even at 48k sampling) but for movies WHO THE HELL CARES. redbook is and always has been good enough for movie use. and dd5.1 an

    • The adapter in question allows you to plug a HDMI cable into the DVI connector on the video card. My 4850 card from ASUS had two DVI connectors and no HDMI connector, so I would have to use the adapter to plug it into a TV for example. The card came with one. My later 6850 card has HDMI and DisplayPort and didn't come with one.

      Since the 4850 card has two DVI ports, I wonder if the idea was something as simple and stupid as if there are two DVI to HDMI adapters plugged in, only activate HDMI audio on one, a

  • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:23AM (#45069741)
    While I didn't try sound over my third-party DVI-HDMI cable, I did have issues with the open source Radeon driver and these cables. Once Linux booted, the monitor would keep dropping the video signal and then re-establishing it. At first I thought X was in a crash loop, but the keyboard and mouse seemed to remain responsive. Rather than mess around with it, I just used a VGA cable, but that definitely left a sour taste in my mouth and had me longing for the days when cables just shoved whatever data was pushed to them.
  • by Rhipf ( 525263 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @10:43AM (#45069987)

    I guess I'm missing something here. What is the big deal if HDMI audio is turned off when using DVI since DVI doesn't carry an audio signal anyway?

  • Well at least I know now my next GPU upgrade will be Nvidia.

  • An automobile maker cannot require that only their own brand of gasoline (or, say, tires) is to be used by their cars.

  • Haven't they realized by now that one tiny little reason to make a customer buy their competitor's products will cause them to do so? Here it is. Mandatory, proprietary, overpriced crap is why Dell fell off a cliff in the business world. Why buy that $3 replacement fan when you can get a $40 one from dell because one one little plastic tab? Customers gave them a big, fat "fuck it, we're buying Lenovo" and jumped off that train like it was on fire. Good luck with that one, AMD.
  • by Lucky75 ( 1265142 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @11:34AM (#45070745)

    Do people really think this is to screw with their customers? AMD makes pretty much zero off their adapters. They clearly aren't doing this to protect revenue streams. It's obviously some workaround hack for something, or some end case that wasn't initially considered in the design, or conforming to the dvi spec somehow. I'm really not sure why people think this is malicious. Really? THIS is what's going to make you not buy AMD?

  • by gmarsh ( 839707 ) on Tuesday October 08, 2013 @12:10PM (#45071239)

    If AMD put HDMI ports on their video card, they'd have to pay licensing/royalty fees to HDMI Licensing, LLC. By only putting DVI connectors on their video cards, ATI doesn't have to pay the fee. But for the small percentage of customers who *want* HDMI, they sell the adapter and pay for the licensing costs with that instead. Since they sell far fewer adapters than cards obviously, the overall license fees paid become much less.

    Presumably the EEPROM is in there because the HDMI Licensing lawyers aren't complete idiots, and required the card to make sure the adapter is licensed. Tossing a 10-cent 24LC01 or something in there with a magic byte on it probably didn't break the bank.

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