Saturday, November 20, 2010

XFX ATI 6870 on linux

I got one and its not too bad but not without quirks. I'm using fglrx 10.11 and while there is nothing in the xorg logs that seems to be wrong, only amdcccle works for configuration. That is, aticonfig refuses to work saying:
aticonfig: No supported adapters detected
Most stuff works fine but it can be oddly slow with moving windows or, with compositing enabled, flickery in video (opengl and xv). Gtk doesn't seem to play too well with it either as updates don't occur correctly all the time within such windows. Still, things are working better than my old eVGA 8800 GTS. Oh, btw - what made me choose XFX over eVGA? Warranty.

What's funny though is amdcccle works and aticonfig doesn't and I get that unsupported hardware overlay (which, thanks to some hackery with objdump and sed, has been removed). I'm happy that on an unsupported driver stuff works as much and stably as it does but I think they should've delivered a bit more support given its already been a few months since these cards were released. Anyway, I voted with my wallet and I hope ati will be a better ride in this day and age than nvidia. I'm all for the reduced heat and power usage of the Radeon HD cards. I'm also all for the opensource drivers so I don't have to deal with so many of the quirks and instabilities that proprietary drivers offer. I also hate having to update something out-of-band with linux distros and only partially supported. For such an expensive part of the desktop, we sure do have to deal with alot of bullcrap. Such things aren't put up with on CPUs which has always puzzled me.

OpenCL here I come!


  1. For OpenCL you've got to wait until Stream SDK 2.3 is released though.

  2. Yea, I got a bit of a rude awakening on that one after trying out some examples. What was funny was that the windows side of things had the same problems! I think they were a bit overenthusiastic putting opencl 1.1 supported features if they themselves don't support it yet.

  3. Yep, my Account Manager with AMD told me that the 10.12 Drivers and Stream 2.3 will drop on Dec. 14, containing support for OpenCL and Stream under Linux and Windows.