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(Softpedia)   Guy wonders why AMD won't do the dirty with Linux. Turns out there is not much money to be made in Linux   (news.softpedia.com) divider line 101
    More: Obvious, AMD, linux, SteamOS, system requirements, graphics cards  
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2754 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 May 2014 at 2:29 PM (16 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-25 12:40:03 PM
You can make money if you obfuscate your API well enough and charge an arm and a leg for support.
 
2014-05-25 12:49:07 PM
FTFA: "It's a mystery why AMD chose to provide such poor support the users of their hardware and to blatantly ignore the fact that people might be using something else than Windows, but something has to change."

Here, I'll solve the mystery. AMD is struggling to stay in business. Resources tend to be tight in such situations and the game market (from the HW side) isn't anywhere near as big as people think.
 
2014-05-25 01:06:35 PM

b2theory: FTFA: "It's a mystery why AMD chose to provide such poor support the users of their hardware and to blatantly ignore the fact that people might be using something else than Windows, but something has to change."

Here, I'll solve the mystery. AMD is struggling to stay in business. Resources tend to be tight in such situations and the game market (from the HW side) isn't anywhere near as big as people think.


The PC gaming market is pretty big, but it's dominated by PCs running Windows.  AMD did get their chips into the PS4 and XBone, so, they're obviously willing to create custom implementations when there's a market case for it.

Linux is just a very small niche when it comes to gaming, and it will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future.  If that changes and there's a business case for it I'd expect to see AMD ramp up driver support quickly.
 
2014-05-25 01:23:03 PM
The software side of both the PC and console gaming markets are gigantic. The hardware volumes are tiny.

For example, the XBOX 360 took almost a decade to sell 80 million units. The PC market is over half a billion units annually. That doesn't include servers, laptops, tablets, or phones.
 
2014-05-25 01:43:48 PM
Uh, nVidia's support ain't so hot either, but hey, nothing like a good circlejerk, so let's keep it going.

/Matrox was the only videocard developer to ever give a shiat about *nix
 
2014-05-25 01:56:42 PM

b2theory: FTFA: "It's a mystery why AMD chose to provide such poor support the users of their hardware and to blatantly ignore the fact that people might be using something else than Windows, but something has to change."

Here, I'll solve the mystery. AMD is struggling to stay in business. Resources tend to be tight in such situations and the game market (from the HW side) isn't anywhere near as big as people think.


GOSH
So you are saying that the company provides support to the major OS platform. Color me SHOCKED.

Hmmmmmmm
Let's pretend that you were going to write your own operating system.
And you wanted to support as much of the available existing hardware as possible.
Option 1) require new drivers for every piece of hardware in the universe
Option 2) write your OS to work with the existing drivers

/of course option 2 would be difficult. but no more difficult than option 1
/why yes, I have a degree in comp sci and have written and modified operating systems.
/yes yes I know that everyone in the universe should compile their own custom version of linux so we can totally destroy M$!!!
/lol
 
2014-05-25 01:58:51 PM

bhcompy: Uh, nVidia's support ain't so hot either, but hey, nothing like a good circlejerk, so let's keep it going.

/Matrox was the only videocard developer to ever give a shiat about *nix


Wow, I havent thought about Matrox in a long time.
We really have come a long way when it comes to video cards.
 
2014-05-25 02:04:32 PM

namatad: bhcompy: Uh, nVidia's support ain't so hot either, but hey, nothing like a good circlejerk, so let's keep it going.

/Matrox was the only videocard developer to ever give a shiat about *nix

Wow, I havent thought about Matrox in a long time.
We really have come a long way when it comes to video cards.


How about S3?  I had one of their Savage 2000 cards in my computer back in the day, I seem to remember Unreal Tournament having a special optimized mode for it
 
2014-05-25 02:15:03 PM

TuteTibiImperes: namatad: bhcompy: Uh, nVidia's support ain't so hot either, but hey, nothing like a good circlejerk, so let's keep it going.

/Matrox was the only videocard developer to ever give a shiat about *nix

Wow, I havent thought about Matrox in a long time.
We really have come a long way when it comes to video cards.

How about S3?  I had one of their Savage 2000 cards in my computer back in the day, I seem to remember Unreal Tournament having a special optimized mode for it


S3 had Metal .  UT was Glide optimized for 3dfx, not sure about Metal.
 
2014-05-25 02:33:50 PM

bhcompy: TuteTibiImperes: namatad: bhcompy: Uh, nVidia's support ain't so hot either, but hey, nothing like a good circlejerk, so let's keep it going.

/Matrox was the only videocard developer to ever give a shiat about *nix

Wow, I havent thought about Matrox in a long time.
We really have come a long way when it comes to video cards.

How about S3?  I had one of their Savage 2000 cards in my computer back in the day, I seem to remember Unreal Tournament having a special optimized mode for it

S3 had Metal .  UT was Glide optimized for 3dfx, not sure about Metal.


It did support S3 MeTaL, it and Glide were the only supported way of using detail textures for a while (and there were also the special S3 compressed textures).
 
2014-05-25 02:44:28 PM

bhcompy: Uh, nVidia's support ain't so hot either, but hey, nothing like a good circlejerk, so let's keep it going.

/Matrox was the only videocard developer to ever give a shiat about *nix


Not sure if you just don't consider Intel to be doing "graphics cards", but they've had first-class support for their integrated chips, which are decent performers now, for several years.
 
2014-05-25 02:46:04 PM
Why would any company spend money supporting less than 1% of the market?
 
2014-05-25 02:55:12 PM

Herr Flick's Revenge: Why would any company spend money supporting less than 1% of the market?


Obviously every case is different, but if your product has already saturated the mainstream market, entering support for the tiny remainder could be a relatively straightforward way to increase your profits by a non-trivial amount.

It's why most industry-dominant Windows-only software eventually makes its way to Mac, or iOS-only apps eventually made it to Android (even when Android was smaller), or XBox 360 exclusives eventually were released for PS3 (even when PS3 was smaller).
 
2014-05-25 03:19:36 PM
Valve clearly decided who they want to be the market winner for SteamOS so no particular shock here that AMD isn't trying real hard to help a super small niche Linux market who might be interested.
 
2014-05-25 03:26:05 PM
Yeah, so I finally got a hold of a copy of Windows 8.1

Jesus farking Christ. I was lamenting how they have slowly tried to make Windows stupidproof and by doing so made things more difficult ( I had a DX problem...you used to uninstall DX, uninstall your drivers and reinstall both but you can't anymore)
But Holy fark 8.1 is a farking nightmare. It's like some had the idea if they make a bunch of useless little button to push and make it take 8 clicks to do anything the average user would think they were smart.

//never needed support for a video card, what kind of dumbass would you need to be?
 
2014-05-25 03:38:53 PM
Because the Year of the Linux Desktop will never arrive. And who wants to write drivers for hundreds of different Linux distros?

Like Google taking the Linux kernel and making something actually polished and functioning, a company other than Red Hat needs to produce a polished and functional desktop OS for the masses.
 
2014-05-25 03:39:50 PM
When AMD was founded, they essentially took a gamble that things were about to level out in terms of the demands of programs, and decided to "beat Intel" by focusing on production efficiency while minimizing the research re-investment that is most of why Intel's shiat tends to be more expensive.

This turned out to be both a good and a bad gamble.  Processing power demands  did level off into a much shallower slope... but about three years later than AMD pulled the plug on their research.

As a result, in cases where a few years of tech  do matter, like a lot of mobile hardware, they're getting thoroughly railed by the competition they thought they'd left behind by undercutting on price.
 
2014-05-25 03:41:12 PM

Herr Flick's Revenge: Why would any company spend money supporting less than 1% of the market?


Why is 99% of this thread worried about gaming? Nvidia supports Linux GPU architcture (although 6 months behind the current typically). If your biggest concern is about gaming, stay with Windows. AMD supports many Linux distributions.
 
2014-05-25 03:44:53 PM

Your Hind Brain: Why is 99% of this thread worried about gaming?


Well... you could read the article. Might find your answer there.
 
2014-05-25 03:46:25 PM
didnt amd fire like all of the ati driver coding staff when they bought them out?
 
2014-05-25 03:47:52 PM

Herr Flick's Revenge: Why would any company spend money supporting less than 1% of the market?


Considering how large the market is, then 1% is huge.

But it isn't 1%. Linux users aren't the ones buying fast graphics cards. If they wanted to play games, they'd use Windows.
 
2014-05-25 03:48:05 PM

skinink: Because the Year of the Linux Desktop will never arrive. And who wants to write drivers for hundreds of different Linux distros?

Like Google taking the Linux kernel and making something actually polished and functioning, a company other than Red Hat needs to produce a polished and functional desktop OS for the masses.


There are many more distros than there are actual kernels for Linux. It really isn't as difficult as you claim.
 
2014-05-25 03:50:12 PM

MrEricSir: Your Hind Brain: Why is 99% of this thread worried about gaming?

Well... you could read the article. Might find your answer there.


Because the article seems to concern gaming.
 
2014-05-25 04:42:30 PM

chrylis: bhcompy: Uh, nVidia's support ain't so hot either, but hey, nothing like a good circlejerk, so let's keep it going.

/Matrox was the only videocard developer to ever give a shiat about *nix

Not sure if you just don't consider Intel to be doing "graphics cards", but they've had first-class support for their integrated chips, which are decent performers now, for several years.


Nah. even the best intel stuff is 'about okay to play world of tanks on lowest settings if you are desperate to play and only have a laptop and dont really care what it looks like' level.

In fact marginal even for that
 
2014-05-25 05:14:45 PM
Nah. even the best intel stuff is 'about okay to play world of tanks on lowest settings if you are desperate to play and only have a laptop and dont really care what it looks like' level.

In fact marginal even for that


You know, even as early as a few years ago I would have agreed with you.  However, recently I built my gf a new PC.  The only game she gave a crap about was the Sims 3, but that's not exactly a lightweight graphically.  I let the salesperson talk me into an intel HD integrated solution figuring I could buy a beefier gfx card later if need be.  That said, I'm really impressed.  Long a laughingstock, the new generation intel integrated stuff really does perform pretty well.  It runs Sims 3 on high flawlessly, video is great.  The lighting and aliasing are a little rough around the edges but for the price you really can't beat it.
 
2014-05-25 05:19:40 PM

Your Hind Brain: If your biggest concern is about gaming, stay with Windows


I'm not going to build a Windows box just to game, nor am I going to waste a huge swathe of HD space for an OS only suited to playing games. Some of us do like to use our computers for both work  and play.
 
2014-05-25 05:25:12 PM

cretinbob: //never needed support for a video card, what kind of dumbass would you need to be?


You don't need driver support for video cards? Do you write you own? If you do, could you please call AMD and offer your services?
 
2014-05-25 05:37:59 PM

Your Hind Brain: There are many more distros than there are actual kernels for Linux. It really isn't as difficult as you claim.


Yet it still can't find a market that doesn't make you think "awww... that's cute."
 
2014-05-25 05:41:50 PM

RoxtarRyan: market

share

FTFM
 
2014-05-25 05:42:52 PM

bhcompy: How about S3? I had one of their Savage 2000 cards in my computer back in the day, I seem to remember Unreal Tournament having a special optimized mode for it

S3 had Metal . UT was Glide optimized for 3dfx, not sure about Metal.


UT (eventually, I guess) had a second disc with extra high-res textures using the S3 texture compression.
 
2014-05-25 05:45:57 PM

t3knomanser: Your Hind Brain: If your biggest concern is about gaming, stay with Windows

I'm not going to build a Windows box just to game, nor am I going to waste a huge swathe of HD space for an OS only suited to playing games. Some of us do like to use our computers for both work  and play.


And I think that is quite okay!! Computers are just tools, are they not? Going back to TFA and this thread now, there seems to be a lot of concern about gaming working with Steam, Valve, etc. and that teh Linux sux because AMD "will not do the dirty" with Linux. What defines "work and play" for you? Do you use a Windows machine to do sysadmin/DBA/compiling while neeeding the abiity to play the latest Blizzard/EG games silmulatiously? AMD works quite well with the Linux kernel and I'm pretty sure that was by design.
 
2014-05-25 07:14:29 PM

spawn73: Herr Flick's Revenge: Why would any company spend money supporting less than 1% of the market?

Considering how large the market is, then 1% is huge.

But it isn't 1%. Linux users aren't the ones buying fast graphics cards. If they wanted to play games, they'd use Windows.


Or they already make os x drivers, which is unix-how hard could Linux port be?
 
2014-05-25 07:22:08 PM
There's plenty of market for Linux - but not much of it involves gamer desktops.
 
2014-05-25 07:23:00 PM

Herr Flick's Revenge: spawn73: Herr Flick's Revenge: Why would any company spend money supporting less than 1% of the market?

Considering how large the market is, then 1% is huge.

But it isn't 1%. Linux users aren't the ones buying fast graphics cards. If they wanted to play games, they'd use Windows.

Or they already make os x drivers, which is unix-how hard could Linux port be?


I have no clue.
 
2014-05-25 07:25:28 PM
In the server world, the largest percentage of them are running Linux.  So whomever says there is no money in Linux is an idiot.
 
2014-05-25 07:45:34 PM

OgreMagi: In the server world, the largest percentage of them are running Linux.  So whomever says there is no money in Linux is an idiot.


Why do you need a high end graphics card in a server?
 
2014-05-25 07:48:28 PM

OgreMagi: In the server world, the largest percentage of them are running Linux.  So whomever says there is no money in Linux is an idiot.


and they still use 20+ year technology for the video aspect.
 
2014-05-25 08:07:21 PM

OgreMagi: In the server world, the largest percentage of them are running Linux.  So whomever says there is no money in Linux is an idiot.


Herr Flick's Revenge: Why do you need a high end graphics card in a server?

bhcompy: and they still use 20+ year technology for the video aspect.


Shows you... I don't even use a monitor. 80x25 for life.
 
2014-05-25 08:14:30 PM

thurstonxhowell: cretinbob: //never needed support for a video card, what kind of dumbass would you need to be?

You don't need driver support for video cards? Do you write you own? If you do, could you please call AMD and offer your services?


I download them, install them and they work. No support needed.
Of course the latest driver download is 450+ MB, wtf is up with that?
 
2014-05-25 08:15:20 PM

Herr Flick's Revenge: OgreMagi: In the server world, the largest percentage of them are running Linux.  So whomever says there is no money in Linux is an idiot.

Why do you need a high end graphics card in a server?


You don't. You don't even need a video card and monitor.  I ssh into all my servers.  I'm responding to the headline which says nothing about video.
 
2014-05-25 08:43:23 PM
AMD had a chance to get ahead of linux a few years ago, the first dual or quadcore processor I believe, then they dropped the ball with sluggish manufacturing for a few years until Intel blew them out of the water.

Haven't checked the market lately, but last time I went shopping I seen only one AMD processor period vs a dozen intel I-5 and I-7 chips as well as combos for Intels.

I stopped giving a crap when AMD dropped the ball a few years ago, this has been my first Intel machine in over 10 years (been an AMD fan) - still have both PC's running AMD chipsets even though they are hurtfully outdated and sluggish.
 
2014-05-25 08:54:31 PM

Misconduc: AMD had a chance to get ahead of linux a few years ago, the first dual or quadcore processor I believe, then they dropped the ball with sluggish manufacturing for a few years until Intel blew them out of the water.

Haven't checked the market lately, but last time I went shopping I seen only one AMD processor period vs a dozen intel I-5 and I-7 chips as well as combos for Intels.

I stopped giving a crap when AMD dropped the ball a few years ago, this has been my first Intel machine in over 10 years (been an AMD fan) - still have both PC's running AMD chipsets even though they are hurtfully outdated and sluggish.


Well, the article is more about GPUs than CPUs, though AMD has been really pushing integration of GPU cores on the same socket as CPUs.  Intel is doing the same thing, but right now Intel has a strong lead in CPU performance, while AMD's integrated GPUs are a bit better.

AMD took the performance lead in CPUs for a while due to a combination of factors, the biggest being Intel committing themselves to a processor line that didn't pan out the way they expected it to.  Then Pentium 4 'Netburst' architecture was all about maximizing clock speed.  The pipeline on the chips was long, which reduces performance per cycle, but generally allows the chip to be ramped up to a faster clockspeed.  Intel had planned to have the Pentium 4 hit 10Ghz within a few years of launch, but a number of technical problems kept that from happening.  AMD took the route of increasing performance per cycle and was able to snatch the performance lead with lower clocked chips.

Intel ended up being saved by their Israeli unit which was working on the Pentium M mobile architecture, which was designed to do basically what AMD was doing at the time - increase performance per cycle and performance per watt instead of chasing high clockspeed numbers.  The technology behind the Pentium M led to the Core series and all of Intel's chips since.

Intel has a huge advantage over AMD in terms of fabrication technology, even more so since AMD has spun off their fabs into a separate company.  Intel also has a lot more money to pour into R&D than AMD does.  AMD taking the lead for a while was just perfect timing for them - they hit a home run while Intel was busy chasing down a dead end.
 
2014-05-25 08:55:34 PM

skinink: Because the Year of the Linux Desktop will never arrive. And who wants to write drivers for hundreds of different Linux distros?

Like Google taking the Linux kernel and making something actually polished and functioning, a company other than Red Hat needs to produce a polished and functional desktop OS for the masses.


From your statement, I get the impression you don't use a Linux distro or, if you do, it's just been RHEL.  There are multiple "polished and functional desktop OSs" based on Linux.  A couple of months ago a co-worker of mine expressed a desire to keep his WinXP laptop going beyond the XP support cutoff.  I installed Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop.  It was very recognizable to him from his XP perspective.

Oh, and though it's already been addressed, one doesn't need to support "hundreds of different Linux distros" with a driver.  One must only support specific kernel versions (and by specific, I mean x.y, don't need to worry about .z).
 
2014-05-25 09:00:14 PM

cretinbob: thurstonxhowell: cretinbob: //never needed support for a video card, what kind of dumbass would you need to be?

You don't need driver support for video cards? Do you write you own? If you do, could you please call AMD and offer your services?

I download them, install them and they work. No support needed.
Of course the latest driver download is 450+ MB, wtf is up with that?


I'm not sure you know what people mean when they say "driver support".

Herr Flick's Revenge: Why do you need a high end graphics card in a server?


I don't see a point in even having a GPU based compute server without graphics cards. I mean, why would we even call it that? I would think a render farm would have a similar need, though I have less direct experience.
 
2014-05-25 09:39:38 PM
I'd be surprised if the SteamOS push doesn't result in AMD devoting a bit more resources to Linux driver development.  Let's face it, their chips are perfect for a budget-oriented Steam machine, and there's already been quite a few vendors announcing AMD-based Steam Machines.  That's business AMD can't afford to lose at this point.
 
2014-05-25 09:41:49 PM
Linux is free if your time has no value.

/linux is only good on the server side
 
2014-05-25 09:53:37 PM

bhcompy: OgreMagi: In the server world, the largest percentage of them are running Linux.  So whomever says there is no money in Linux is an idiot.

and they still use 20+ year technology for the video aspect.


...or don't use video hardware at all.  I suspect the vast majority of new Linux server installs are in virtualized environments where the "video" consists of running a VNC server on the VM guest.
 
2014-05-25 09:56:34 PM

gingerjet: Linux is free if your time has no value.

/linux is only good on the server side


Video games are $50+ if your time has no value.
 
2014-05-25 10:08:52 PM

Your Hind Brain: Video games are $50+ if your time has no value.


Video gaming is a form of entertainment.  50 bucks is nothing.

/works for a video game company
//ironically our platform runs on BSD
 
2014-05-25 10:12:34 PM
As someone who runs a Linux gaming podcast. The binary BLOB drivers are rubbish but the open source Radeon drivers work surprisingly well. They even run Metro LL.
 
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