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AMD Dropping R300-R500 Support In Catalyst Driver

Mar 05, 2009, 19:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

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"Linux customers affected will be encouraged to use their open-source driver stack (xf86-video-ati or xf86-video-radeonhd and Mesa) or stay with the Catalyst 9.3 driver.

"Catalyst 9.3 is due out later this month and it will be the last unified release that supports the all Radeon GPUs going back to the R300 series. After that point, only the Catalyst driver that is updated monthly will only support the R600/700 series (and future ASICs). This move is beneficial to AMD by having their Catalyst developers focus primarily on their newer products and by stripping out the support for older cards so there is less code to maintain and hopefully better quality code as a result. Ideally we will see speedier and more reliable adoption of graphics processors to be released in the future. To the customer, this is a good move, permitting you are an owner of a Radeon HD 2000 graphics card or later (or an RS690/RS740 IGP, but the RS780 will remain supported). With developers being able to just focus on the newer hardware, you should see new features faster and greater reliability. If you are bound to R500 hardware or older, well, you have vintage hardware and hopefully the current Catalyst driver is good enough or you can use ATI's open-source stack. This move is similar to what happened to the R200 series support back with the fglrx 8.28.8 driver, but at that time the hardware was three generations old and the R600 series was nearing its introduction."

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