April distribution release: radeon or radeonhd for r500 / r600 cards?

Adam Williamson awilliamson at mandriva.com
Wed Mar 5 18:11:39 PST 2008

Hi, all. We are releasing Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring in early April. For
my sins, I maintain Mandriva's graphics card -> driver mappings (a big
list of PCI IDs with matching drivers, more or less).

Question is this: should we use radeonhd or radeon as our default free
driver for r500 / r600 chips? Now r500 / r600 support has been added to
radeon I am unclear on the picture here. Are these two efforts competing
or collaborating? Is one or the other clearly the sensible choice?

I understand the difference in approach between them - the use of
AtomBIOS - but what we're principally interested in is the sheer
practical question of which is going to produce the most usable results
for the most r500 / r600 owners, in the version in which we ship them.
The decision is purely for this release and can easily be changed in
future if the situation changes.

As things stand we would ship with version 6.8.0 of ati (radeon). We
currently have a January 27th git snapshot of radeonhd; depending on
some feedback I'm waiting for from users, and / or the response I get to
this post, this snapshot could be updated.

I don't have any r500 / r600 cards here. I have asked all MDV
development branch users with such cards for their feedback, but that's
not really comprehensive and the results so far give no clear indication
in favour of either driver.

Thanks for any input anyone can offer.

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