AMD and libre drivers

18 respuestas [Último envío]
lanun
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/01/2021

I was wondering why is it that a given AMD GPU is better supported by libre drivers when integrated, as opposed to when coming with a dedicated card. In both cases, proprietary firmware is used.

Does it mean that there is some specific in-house magic on dedicated cards that AMD would rather withhold from public eyes? Something about the way the video card talks to the motherboard, as a wild guess?

Or is it just AMD not seeing any benefit from a broader access to its products for GNU/Linux distros, and thus not wanting to put more resources into it, further than trying to match Intel's integrated graphics for those blobbed distros?

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

The integrated graphics in AMD APUs are as bad as its discrete graphics cards. If you build an AMD APU-based desktop, you'd better forget the integrated graphics and install an Nvidia card (up to first-generation Maxwell).

It is true that AMD have contributed lots of free/libre drivers for their GPUs, but we won't appreciate them, as they don't work without non-free firmware.

lanun
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/01/2021

> The integrated graphics in AMD APUs are as bad as its discrete graphics cards.

Ah yes, thanks. I am now under the impression that users' experience might vary, but all in all it is rather crappy stuff, with any OS.

Anyway, as you say, there are many better Nvidia options for a desktop. For a laptop, I guess I will fallback to Intel integrated graphics.

I have now found another larger retailer selling OS-less machines at better prices.

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

According to my experience, neither discrete Radeon cards nor those integrated in APUs correctly detected display resolution when I used GNU/Linux distributions no worse than Debian.

For Nvidia graphics, we could tolerate up to 1st-gen. Maxwell. For desktop, up to GTX750Ti or Quadro K2200. For laptop, up to GTX940M or Quadro M2000M.

You can try to visit Wikipedia to see details of Nvidia graphics by searching something like "GeForce 900 Series" or "List of Quadro Graphics". We could no longer access Wikipedia Chinese/Japanese versions since 2015 and any language version since 2018 from China, so we couldn't verify these information. Feel free to correct them should I made any mistake.

andyprough
Conectado
se unió: 02/12/2015

> We could no longer access Wikipedia Chinese/Japanese versions since 2015 and any language version since 2018 from China

It's very funny that Wikipedia, which sports profoundly pro-CCP editing of articles, is banned in China by the CCP.

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

Some friends told me that their GeForce 950M and 960M were also GM107 based, like 940M.

If you don't want Losedows preinstalled, you could try one of Clevo's barebones. I purchased a Terrans Force X411 (the only new computer I bought) with Intel Iris Pro graphics.

lanun
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/01/2021

Thanks for the additional info.

I think the retailer I mentioned is probably using Clevo's barebones, under his own brand and under the MSI brand.

After reading the smallprints at the bottom of the page, I found that they say something about it not being possible to install W7/8/8.1 on these machines. Why would that be? I do not really feel sorry for WC users not being able to install anything else than W10, but I hope this is not yet another trick to prevent installation of GNU/Linux distros based on older versions of the kernel.

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

Because Microsoft forbids OEMs to provide drivers for Losedows 7/8.x, therefore it's impossible to install Losedows 7/8.x.

lanun
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/01/2021

Thanks. I thought as much, let them eat their own customers the way they wish.

This is very good news anyway, these are decently priced new laptops to install Trisquel on.

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

Starting Losedows Vista, the drivers are required to be signed. So many hardware developers are still supporting Losedows NT/2000/XP, because they're having difficulties obtaining the certificates for digital signature. They are being robbed by Microsoft, too.

Cyberhawk

I am a translator!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/27/2010

I believe I read somewhere, AMD won't make fully free drivers, because the blobs they choose to keep manage DRM stuff. Some cards which can decode/display TV signal need that DRM, so the code to do that is in the firmware.

lanun
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/01/2021

That could indeed explain the differences in "compatibility" with those blobbed GNU/Linux distros. Thanks for the hint.

One more reason to avoid AMD graphics, I guess. For now I was specifically looking at laptop options, so Intel integrated graphics seem to be the best choice. Maybe an AMP CPU plus one of the Nvidia cards mentioned above would be a good compromise for a desktop.

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

The drivers themselves are free/libre, but they won't work without non-free firmware. Just like non-Atheros wireless NICs.

Since 2nd-gen. Maxwell cards, Nvidia become evil too. They require signed firmware (some kinds of "Secure Boot"), making it impossible to reverse engineer them.

Cyberhawk

I am a translator!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/27/2010

Wasn't nvidia evil all the time? They don't cooperate at all with GNU/Linux community, except for providing proprietary drivers for Ubuntu

nadebula.1984
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/01/2018

Nvidia was way better (less evil) than ATI/AMD. Until 1st-gen. Maxwell, Nvidia cards worked fairly well without any non-free firmware.

By contrast, ATI/AMD's free/libre drivers are pointless, just like that free/libre drivers for non-Atheros wireless NICs are pointless. Our lab disused any ATI/AMD graphics a decade ago, and replaced them with Nvidia ones, so we could finally obtain the correct resolution of our monitors.

GrevenGull
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/18/2017

> worked fairly well without any non-free firmware

What is fairy well?

How would an AMD Radeon HD 7990 compare to an Nvidia GeForce Titan on Trisquel?

Do you know anything about their differences as companies? Do you know if either AMD or NVIDIA is better than the other at providing Losedows drivers for old cards?

lanun
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/01/2021

What is your point about AMD vs. Nvidia? Do you have any extra information to share with us on that topic?

> What is fairy well?

I always thought it is where fairies get their water from, deep in the magic forest of wonderland.

GrevenGull
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/18/2017

> What is your point about AMD vs. Nvidia? Do you have any extra information to share with us on that topic?

I'm asking in the hopes of getting information.

lanun
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/01/2021

I see.

> Do you know if either AMD or NVIDIA is better than the other at providing Losedows drivers for old cards?

I have a feeling this might be slightly off-topic, though.