A Video Card Upgrade HOWTO (Linux Journal)
Posted Aug 19, 2005 10:07 UTC (Fri) by tialaramex
In reply to: A Video Card Upgrade HOWTO (Linux Journal)
Parent article: A Video Card Upgrade HOWTO (Linux Journal)
In some ways we're actually catching up. This isn't through any particular technical wizardry, it's just that a few years ago each new year's cards meant a new feature set with huge changes (improvements) across the board, and now it means incremental upgrades...
ATI had big architectural changes in 2000 (R100, Radeon) in 2001 (R200 aka Radeon 8500) and 2002 (R300 aka Radeon 9700), then nothing but more pipelines, smaller die sizes and faster clock speeds until now in 2005. The R400 codename is essentially meaningless, at least as far as drivers go. We don't know for sure whether the new cards released this year are/ will be architecturally different, but even if they are it's the first change in almost 4 years.
My guess is that in five years time 3D cards will be worth no more fuss than soundcards. You'll probably be able to buy one that doesn't work with Linux, or provides binary only x86-64 drivers for kernel 2.6.25 only, but why would you? The cheap on-board 3D will be good enough for most people (and of course it will easily run the GPL'd Doom 3 engine that might be available by then) and the rest will buy from a reputable vendor with solid Free software drivers.
Meanwhile please support the R300 project if you have any chance to do so.
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