'ati' video driver and older cards (no RadeonHD), a little question...

Steve Grace sgrace at pobox.com
Sun Apr 26 15:38:49 UTC 2009

Faizan Kazi wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 7:34 AM, Steve Grace <sgrace at pobox.com 
> <mailto:sgrace at pobox.com>> wrote:
>     Vincent Trouilliez wrote:
>      > I am using an nbidia card, for a few years now, running the
>     proprietary
>      > driver, by necessity (to get 3D). The problem I have been having
>     since
>      > day one, is that this driver makes DDC calls fail, meaning my monitor
>      > can not be recognized, I have to work xorg.conf by hand. If I go to
>      > System->Preferences->Screen Resolution, it doesn't list all the
>      > resolutions the monitor can handle, and it offers silly refresh
>     rates:
>      > 51, 53, 55, 56, 61.. something like that, instead of 60/75/85 like it
>      > should. This weeks I upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04, and the problem got
>      > worse : the Gnome Display tool now just plain refused to start ! It
>      > redirects me to the nvidia utility tool, which doesn't work (it fails
>      > to read/parse xorg.conf). So this is all starting to get on mly
>      > nerves ! ;-/
>      > Seeing as there is no reason to believe that the situation will ever
>      > improve, I am thinking of going back to an ATI card, since they have
>      > the free 'ati' driver, which, if I remember my old Radeon 9250 I
>     used to
>      > own, worked perfectly, and let my monitor be detected, so the Gnome
>      > tool offered the appropriate resolutions and refresh rates,
>      > automatically. Sadly, although this driver was bug free and "just
>      > works", 3D was so slow that I had to give up on it and move to
>     Nvidia.
>      > But I hear that recently the ati driver saw lots of work, and that 3D
>      > performance has been much improved. So the ati driver and the
>     cards it
>      > supports, now appeal to me again.
>      >
>      > I looked at the ati driver projects page:
>      >
>      > http://www.x.org/wiki/radeon
>      >
>      > it says that for all the older card (prior to the modern 'HD'
>     range of
>      > cards), everything just works.
>      > So I am thinking of buying one of these cards. My motherboard doesn't
>      > have an AGP slot though, only PCI Express (1.0), so I guess I am
>      > looking only at the more recent of the old cards, the Radeon 'X'
>      > something.
>      >
>      > Questions:
>      >
>      > 1) out of the PCI Express X**** cards, do they all really work
>      > perfectly, or are there any specific models that have little glitches
>      > that don't look tidy ? Like flickering, artefact, anything the eye
>      > could notice and that I don't want to see, or any other kind of
>      > problems one would like to avoid, given the choice.
>      > I also remember that the VGA output (what I am using) of the ATI
>     cards,
>      > was better than Nvidia. So if some ATI card is known to be better or
>      > worse than others, in this regards, I am interested in knowing.
>      > I am also looking for a fanless card, if that helps suggestions.
>      >
>      > 2) Could people confirm (or infirm, hopefully not), that using the
>      > free 'ati' driver (not fglrx), the Gnome Display tool was able to
>     offer
>      > all the expected/appropriate resolutions and refresh rates that the
>      > monitor supports, without having to fiddle manually with xorg.conf ?
>     I'm using an X1650 card with the "ati" driver; it seems to work fine.

 > hey steve... did you install the ati proprietary driver already? and
 > youre saying it works fine?
 > (im a little surprised, i thought it wasnt ready yet, because they made
 > a lot of changes to jaunty)

The "ati" driver I'm using is not proprietary. As noted above, the 
proprietary driver is "fglrx".

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