Actually this one is supported by the xf-video-ati open source driver but it goes in the ceiling and the fan becomes noisy if you disable dynamic power management (blinks observed when dynpm is enabled). Maybe my install was not extremly clean enough? I had to remove mny xorg.conf else crashes crashes and crashes again.
fglrx (12.1 so far) has no official support for the card or at least my version of the card (XFX) although AMD download page gives you Catalyst 12.1. However you can use it is works very nicely and the card remains very silent. Be prepared to rewrite your xorg.conf from scratch or exhume and old backup because aticonfig refuses to do anything since the GPU is not supported yet. Followed that procedure: http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Fglrx#Installing. altough a big "Unsupported hardware" watermark appears in the bottom right corner of the screen. However is seems possible to remove it: http://askubuntu.com/questions/25519/ho … the-driver
In terms of power consumption: With a Sandy Bridge 3930K idle + GPU idle with fglrx = 140W With open source drivers and Mesa classic: 200W idle.
EDIT: Above hint to remove the watermark works, if you are in the AMD64 world just change the file for /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/fglrx_drv.so
I've used the open source radeon driver for my Clevo P150HM (Intel Huron River Platform with HM65 chipset), and ATI/AMD Radeon 6970M Mobility GPU since last summer and I never liked the screen blinking while using the dynpm profile either. I suppose it's something one has to live with as it's part of the driver design, explained as follows, (quoting from this section, of this webpage);
The "dynpm" method dynamically changes the clocks based on the number of pending fences, so performance is ramped up when running GPU intensive apps, and ramped down when the GPU is idle. The reclocking is attemped during vertical blanking periods, but due to the timing of the reclocking functions, doesn't not always complete in the blanking period, which can lead to flicker in the display. Due to this, dynpm only works when a single head is active.
I always opted to use the mid power profile because it keeps the GPU at around 40c and because I never really do anything GPU intensive. Having said that, my laptop runs quiet, although I've never tested the power draw differences between radeon and fglrx. BTW, one of the things I noticed, (and don't miss), is that when I switched from fglrx to the radeon driver in my previous laptop, I had to get rid of the xorg.conf file completely. I've never gone back, because everything has been working satisfactorily since then. Anyway I like the idea of running the open source driver on my laptop, and I'm just happy that the devs have gotten things working this well.
Last edited by jasn (2012-04-07 15:11:47)
When it comes to gfx drivers just use the drivers from the manufacture...if... it's not amd. Amd can not write drivers. But Nvidia's open source driver is horrible, but it's the opposite with amd.
Make sure your install the latest version, you will usually have to unmask the package.