ATi & Intel graphics

Roland Smith rsmith at
Thu Aug 14 18:43:45 UTC 2008

On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 02:03:38PM -0400, Jim wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 3:34 PM, Roland Smith <rsmith at> wrote:
> > The last ATI chip with full open-source 3D accelleration support is the
> > 2950 (RV280), but 3D and accelleration support for newer chips is
> > actively being worked on. ATI is even going to provide the developers
> > with documentation (could be that that has happened by now?).
> Last I heard they got the documentation for card initialization and (I
> think) power management. No acceleration docs yet. It still came to
> over 900 pages. Hopefully there's been more since.

Looking over the articles on the phoronix website it seems that
accelleration on the R300 is supported, R5xx is shaping up and R6xx has
just started but needs extra docs.

The DRM driver in FreeBSD also needs updating, which is in the works,
see other posts.

> > The driver that you want for ATI cards is xf86-video-ati. But for the
> > most features you'll have to compile it yourself from the code in a git
> > repository. You'll probably need an updated DRM driver as well.
> ok, it looks like the radeon (no HD) driver is part of the
> xf86-video-ati driver, and by the size of the file, I'm
> guessing most of what does is access and control the access
> of radeon_drv, correct?

Not sure, but I guess so.
> I wonder why there's no cutoff for the 3D functionality in the ATi
> driver's man page. It just lists all supported cards without mention
> of which have 3D implementations (try `man radeon`).

It could be more clear. Maybe you can submit a bug report or a patch?

But further down it says:

       Option "RenderAccel" "boolean"
              Enables or disables hardware Render acceleration.   This  driver
              does  not  support  component alpha (subpixel) rendering.  It is
              only supported  on  Radeon  series  up  to  and  including  9200
              (9500/9700  and  newer  unsupported).   The default is to enable
              Render acceleration.

For the record, my Radeon HD 3450 (RV620)  works, but without accelleration at
the moment.

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