State of ATI and NVIDIA drivers in Linux

Do any of you know what the current state of Linux graphics support is from ATI and NVIDIA? From my own personal experience, I'd say that NVIDIA's Linux drivers subjectively rate somewhere between "OK" and "good", but I am not sure how they compare performance-wise to the windows drivers. I know there have been some comparisons on www.phoronix.com but sometimes its not clear if Linux support is improving or not. As for ATI graphics, I had heard ages ago that ATI was sponsoring some open source drivers, but they seemed to be competing with another open source drivers effort? Also, have their open source drivers reached parity with their windows drivers? Or have they at least reached parity with their fglrx drivers? Also, if anyone here using ATI cards could tell me if installing their fglrx drivers has gotten any easier, I'd appreciate it. I remember spending HOURS with Linux_0 trying to get the damn things to work, but that was years ago so I'd hope that things have improved by now.

Thanks.

--Zorak
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  1. I yield the floor to MU.

    :)
  2. They're that difficult to set-up??
  3. audiovoodoo said:
    They're that difficult to set-up??


    Please bear in mind this was back in 2005/06 when i first started out using Linux. For some reason, I had one major bitch of a time trying to get the fglrx drivers working under Fedora (I don't remember which one it was at the time, perhaps version 6?), but I am hoping that the quality and ease of installation have improved since then.
  4. My FGLRX drivers pretty much installed themselves in Ubuntu. Not sure if that's any help to you, but I figured I'd throw it out there :)
  5. From a long-term perspective, my ranking is

    open-source 3D drivers (including Intel) > NVIDIA proprietary driver > ATI proprietary driver.

    Of course, open-source drivers are only best if they provide full 3D support for your card (and this is not always the case, for example "radeonhd" driver may have full/partial/no 3D support depending on the graphics card). Also, recently there have been a lot of issues with the Intel drivers (see http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20090817#feature). Lastly, YMMV depending on the kernel, X.org version, and other things used.

    Having said that, ATI has gotten better over time but I still have more issues on ATI systems than on systems with Intel or NVIDIA graphics. Personally, I was spared by the recent Intel fiasco.
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