Catalyst Changes Advisory

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Saist
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Catalyst Changes Advisory

#1 Postby Saist » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:41 pm

For those unaware AMD is making some changes to the Catalyst Driver Program that do affect downstream users, that is to say, US.

First, to ease some fears, /Linux and /NT OpenGL drivers are still synched. The /Linux Catalyst driver is not being dropped nor is it being moved to it's own code-base.

The Catalyst Driver Program is being taken off of a monthly update release schedule. Driver updates will be rolled out as the drivers are ready. On paper this should help avoid some of the catastrophically bad regression releases the Catalyst Driver has Suffered.

Now for the bad news:

RadeonHD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series support is being dropped from the mainline Catalyst Driver. The 12-4 Driver release is the last -current Catalyst release to support these graphics cards. No further work will be done on Catalyst for these graphics cards.

Before forum visitors start rampaging around: The Catalyst Changes do not affect, Repeat, DO NOT AFFECT the X.org Open-Source AMD driver. Speaking for myself I've been running Mepis 11 on the X.org-AMD driver against a RadeonHD 4650 and a Mobile RadeonHD 2600 for a little over a year and half now. To be honest, I haven't missed Catalyst in day to day KDE usage. So this shouldn't be a big deal.

Secondly: There will be a -legacy release of the Catalyst driver-set updated for Xserver 1.12 support. So yes, if you need the OpenGL rendering speed of Catalyst for RadeonHD 2000 - 4000 series graphics cards, and you are running Xserver 1.12, there will be a driver available.

So no, AMD hardware owners are not being screwed in respect to the Catalyst Driver Program changes.

Now for some (possibly) surprising news:

Since 2010 Valve has been distributing Catalyst for Windows through the Steam Network.

If I understand a deal between Valve and AMD correctly, Valve will be also be distributing AMD Catalyst updates through Steam/Linux. On paper, assuming you installed /Steam as a root user and have an X.org X-server, Valve's Steam -should- be capable of updated and installing the Catalyst Driver against RadeonHD 5x00 series or more recent graphics cards. It has also been mentioned that Catalyst Application Profile updates should also be distributed through the Steam Network.

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lucky9
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Re: Catalyst Changes Advisory

#2 Postby lucky9 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:52 pm

They've done a great job with the open source drivers for the two major chipset manufacturers.
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
--Mark Twain

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Saist
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Re: Catalyst Changes Advisory

#3 Postby Saist » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:06 pm

Kind of an update. I got an response back from one of the Valve developers while trying to confirm a rumor: https://plus.google.com/u/0/11725520394 ... zJdXwEUAtG

This is the first I've heard of this. It took a few e-mails to amd and Steam, but my guess is that they are doing something for the windows side, and some amd person took that to mean we're doing Linux as well.

It's a good idea and we'll look into it down the road, but in all honesty we've got a lot of work to do on native Steam, L4D2, and the drivers. Making everything this smooth will probably be a release or two down the road.


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