ATI graphics

Are there still problems relating to using ATI graphics cards with blender or have they been fixed? I’m looking at buying a laptop so i’d like to know if an ATI card will be any problem.

I’m currently using an ati radeon 4870 and I don’t have any problems as far as I know with blender. The current drivers don’t give me problems, so you shouldn’t have any problems, however keep in mind that stuff that uses cuda won’t be available to you (probably stating the obvious, but thought i should mention anyway).

5870 without a problem here

Some Onboard-ATI (don’t know exactly): No problem with Windows, unusable slow with Ubuntu.

From what i heared, the linux ATI drivers will perorm horribly on older ATI cards.

It’s quite difficult because ati completely drops old card support from their drivers :smiley:

If you have an old ati card you must use open redeon under Linux, which work awfully with Blender.
If you want to use proprietary ati driver in order to have decent performance with old videocard you must stick with a two years old version of X server —> two years old Linux distribution —> two years old catalyst driver.

As for new ati videocards, if you are a windows only boy you should not have problems using Blender.
If you plan to use Linux too in the future, then ati is not such a smart choice, you should seriously consider to buy a videocard from Nvidia.

I use a relatively new onboard Radeon chipset. I’ve tried both ATI’s catalyst drivers on GNU/Linux and also XOrg’s free ATI drivers.

Here’s the problem, proprietary drivers are a pain because you have to stick to a certain linux kernel version and Xorg server version, which means you cannot upgrade your distribution. Another problem with proprietary drivers is that they’re unsafe and often poorly written code, a little seemingly simple change in configuration or an app trying some GL tricks could easily kill your Xwindows session, not to mention hangs/lock-ups and crashes. As it’s already mentioned these work only as long as the company supports them. If they disown their own product which they do very often, then you’re in big trouble. I’ve had my share of hangs/lock-ups and some spectacular crashes.

Just like free network chipset drivers, Linux needs free video chipset drivers too. A big reason why Linux/FreeBSD/etc work great as servers is because of good network chipsets with free/opensource drivers that are thoroughly tested. This hasn’t yet happened on the multimedia front, especially with video chipsets.

Now, I’ve been using the new Xorg free ATI drivers, and I must say they work pretty well. There is decent direct rendering support and pretty usable 3D support too, especially for a new set of drivers. There are some issues, but I’m hopeful that in due time and some continued support from ATI, we’ll have really good free drivers that Blender can use.

Couple of useful links:

Inmare, It’s possible you’re running an unsupported chipset with Linux. Could you post the output of this command “lspci |grep VGA” which you can run as root user.

Also, try changing the System->Window-Draw-Method in Blender’s User Preferences from ‘Automatic’ to ‘Overlap’ or ‘Overlap Flip’. And try a range of different builds, including the ones and the official binary builds from

01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon HD 3200 Graphics

Ah… finally the ATI problem is solved… AMD is dropping the “ATI” brand name ;-).

Been using an HD 5770 and have no problems. And the CUDA stuff can wait since you can use ATi Stream for the OpenCL stuff, like Small Lux GPU.

dual hd4770 in crossfire, no problems in windows (ubuntu runs fine, too)

I run a 3850 on my desktop w/o any problems. I used my brothers laptop with Blender @ QCon, it has an onboard ATI 3xxx or 4xxx. Not sure which, but it ran as expected (even produced content down there!)

radeon 4870 here.

works without bigger problems.

on linux upgrading to the most recent drivers can be tedious (e.g. when a new xorg revision gets stable and the driver doesn’t support it yet). but with most distributions this isn’t a big problem.

compositing (desktop effects) didn’t work with maya/blender, so i never used them. maybe things changed since i tried it, but i don’t know.

GPU rendering (with SmallLuxGPU) does work too, but OpenCL isn’t very stable at the moment. i had to use the AMD stream SDK 2.1, because the most recent one(2.2) didn’t work.

i keep my 2 cents :slight_smile:

Much to my dismay I noticed that ATi is dominating the 600-800 eur laptop market, I know I am basing my gut feeling on experiences in the (long gone) past. But, I have not seen anything that would undo that feeling (like opening the drivers, opengl sponsorship etc)
So, for now my main choices are:
Asus K52JC EX 090V: 4gb mem/i3-350M/1366x768/GT 310M/ ca 675 eur
Acer Aspire 5741 436g64m: 6gb mem/i5-430m/1366x768/GT 320M/ ca 800 eur
Asus N71JV TY078 V: 4gb mem/ i5-430M/1600x900/GT 325M/ ca 888 eur
Dell Vostro 3600 4gb mem/ i5-450/1600x900/GT 330M/ ca 925 eur

To me it looks like an Acer/Asus shootout and I’m thinking I need to go for the asus, I’ve been told the build quality is better, they give 2yr P&R warranty, but some ex-colleagues have had an asus die on them suddenly (power issues).
Does anybody else have some insight in this ?

thx wzzl

Get over your ATI hang-ups, especially if you are running a laptop. An AMD processor and ATI graphic chip inside a laptop is probably the best choice for budget system as they have designed by the same company. My Acer Aspire 5534 has an HD3200 and can run Blender and the more OpenGL demanding DAZ Studio without any problems.

What is your OS ?