Sandy Bridge GPU article online

Article: Intel's Sandy Bridge Graphics Architecture
By: Groo (charlie.delete@this.semiaccurate.com), August 10, 2011 7:32 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Arcadian (no@thanks.com) on 8/10/11 wrote:
---------------------------
>Groo (charlie@semiaccurate.com) on 8/10/11 wrote:
>---------------------------
>Charlie, I have a nVidia GTX 460 card and a Core i7-2600K, and I'm able to load
>up both a Sandy Bridge graphics driver, as well as the nVidia driver (at the same
>time). It just requires that I switch the video cable. In order to save power,
>I can disable the 460 driver and switch the cable over to integrated graphics.
>I save about 30W in idle, as measured by my UPS, and that's material to me.
>
>The driver quality is quite good, and I can even play a few games on the integrated
>graphics, including Civ V. It's also quite easy to switch back if I'm playing a more intense game.
>
>You say the drivers are useless, but I have yet to run into a single problem.
>
There still aren't Linux drivers that accelerate things like, oh, the desktop, in most major distros. When the chip was released, there weren't functional drivers, period, for Linux, and it stayed that way for months after release. There are several good writeups on Phoronix about it, and Linus went in to a good amount of detail here, but I am too lazy to look it up now.

Short story, unless you are a Linux guru, and know how to pull drivers from the source tree, compile them and dependencies, and put them in to your install, you are SOL. It was embarrassing at launch, and still is. I am honestly shocked that Intel would not only regress so badly on Linux, but lie about it publicly that I really don't know what to say.

On the windows side.....
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=99&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=16

I don't really use windows any more, so I can't say if things have gotten much better since, anyone know? Has anyone tried anything other than the major benchmarks that worked?

Last, back to Linux, there is no driver package available from Intel. The only thing I can say is, "Really?". When asked, they do a BS song and dance about open vs closed, and if they put out a .DEB, they would have no other choice but to close the drivers. I got the speech 2-3 times and my jaw hit the floor. If they believed their words, they should be fired for incompetence. If they didn't, they were lying again.

I am not sure which one it was, but it shouldn't have happened, period. Intel has the resources, and they are trying to be taken seriously as a software company, but you can't view the IDF site with your own OS. You also can't run said OS on Sandy with anything put painfully slow and buggy performance. The drivers are crap, and have been for years. Sandy is a MAJOR regression on that front, and when asked.... see above. It shattered my small but growing confidence in Intel, and kept me from a Sandy Laptop.

On the flip side, AMD's drivers may not be great, but they worked from pretty close to day 1. Sandy is now 8 months old and still doesn't have a way for a Ubuntu user to get working drivers without jumping through hoops that 99.9% of users can't accomplish. It is a simple problem to solve, but Intel won't. The difference between the two companies is about as much of a polar opposite as one could imagine.

As I said several times in the past, Intel should be embarrassed by Sandy and graphics. The hardware may be fine, but the software is a joke.

-Charlie
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TopicPosted ByDate
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        Sandy Bridge GPU article onlineIntelUser20002011/08/11 02:17 AM
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    You're rightDavid Kanter2011/08/19 08:16 PM
      Fixed (NT)David Kanter2011/08/19 08:30 PM
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