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Gamers and the problem of open source drivers

Discussion in 'Computer & Technology' started by slowmo, May 14, 2014.

  1. slowmo

    slowmo Well-Known Member

    Gamers and the problem of open source drivers

    Open drivers are what Linux needs to be a gaming platform. Yet the people who make the video cards are not too particularly interested in doing a bang up job of providing good drivers.

    For the makers of the cards, what is at issue here is patents and using that as the hammer to drag in the bucks. Once you have a patent, no one else can infringe on that patent without serious penalties should one be taken to court over patent infringement and be successful. The penalty is 3 times the damage per incident. You make several million video cards and the drivers infringe, you are facing a serious penality to pay.

    The other part of this is the make money part for card makers. Nivida was found some time back to be charging one heck of a lot more for cards to be used by graphic artists than for cards used by gamers. Someone hacked their drivers and software only to find out the only difference between the two cards were the drivers and what was disabled by the software. The hardware was always there and was the same card for both. A hack was provided at the time to demonstrate this. I remember seeing it.

    Nivida has the best testing facility for cards of all the makers, bar none. Yet it has almost no support for the open g/l and open c/l. What it does offer is buggy beyond belief. Nivida is not really interested in providing Linux a platform due to the nature of the restrictions on Open Source coding. Part of that says you are free to use the coding of Linux but you must provide the source code for any changes you make. It is this that they are objectionable to. They want to cash in on those changes and don't feel like they can if anyone can examine the source code.

    AMD does do some open driver software. It too is buggy but they do attempt to provide some drivers. If you want to do 3D it is pretty much a given you will have to go with AMD in order to find drivers for Open G/L and Open C/L. Lots of the graphic software wants to see this hardware support in the form of drivers.

    Now if there is a problem with the drivers, you are at the mercy of the card makers as to if they will provide a driver that is adequate for your needs. Tee them off you will never see those drivers.

    This has been one of the major hold backs for why Linux is not an already widely used gaming platform. Both the willingness to provide adequate drivers as well as the low quality when you can get them, means Linux has been left out to do without.

    Every maker would like to use the low cost Linux base as code but no one wants to live up to the open source policy of showing their code. Many have tried and gotten nailed for doing it. So this is why Linux has so little gaming support along with having to publish DRM code should they use it.

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