Features

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Screen Rotation

On Catalyst 8.9 and later ATI drivers now support RandR rotation. After configuring your ati card as usual enter the following command:

aticonfig --set-pcs-str="DDX,EnableRandr12,TRUE"

Then restart X11. Your xrandr should work.

2010-10-27: xrandr works on my Mobility Radeon HD 5730 with Catalyst 10.9 driver without needing to run the command above. I just tried
xrandr --orientation left
and the screen rotated onto its side.

Note: Using this command on a Radeon Xpress 200M made Xorg unable to start with some weird error in the amdxmm module. Using this command with FALSE instead of TRUE helped afterward. Note: I also had a problem with that option with a 4850, I couldn't get Xorg to start after setting that option.

Q: Is rotation hardware accelerated? How does performance compare to non-rotated?

R: On 10.12 (probably sooner), rotation is fully hardware accelerated. Either video buffering or 3d rendering show no slowdonws even across rotated and non-rotated screens.

Open Source Drivers

ATI Radeon cards 8500,9000,9200 and 9250 working with open source drivers provide OpenGL 3D graphics acceleration.

Proprietary Drivers

Proprietary drivers can be used instead, if so desired, although it is not necessary to use these for the cards listed above.

2D

X server

  • XFree86 and X.org support

Xaa

  • X Acceleration Architecture

Xv

  • One Hardware or OpenGL overlay

TV Out

  • NTSC and PAL support

TV In

  • No support for the built in tuner in "All-in-Wonder" cards.

3D

OpenGL

  • Provides some OpenGL 2.0 commands

BUT NOT the OpenGL 2.0 version of the shading language.

The ATI driver uses a version of the shading language called the ARB extension. The ARB extension was used before OpenGL 2.0 was finished.