On Catalyst 8.9 and later ATI drivers now support RandR rotation. After configuring your ati card as usual enter the following command:
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 leftand 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 can be used instead, if so desired, although it is not necessary to use these for the cards listed above.
Switching Graphic Chips
Basically two graphics chips on, often on a laptop see AMD Switchable Graphics Technology
Open source drivers support switching from integrated to discrete graphics cards using vga_switcheroo. However, the performance of the chips with the switchable open source drivers may not be desirable.
For example, with the open source driver on the HP DV7-4045ea you can switch between the 4200 and 5650; the 4200 works okay, but although the 5650 does work it does not perform well.
Proprietary AMD ATI drivers do not support switching of graphics drivers in Linux. This mean you cannot switch between the low power consumption of the integrated graphics chip and the high performance of the discrete graphics chip. Some manufactures do not allow switching in the bios. Carefully investigate before purchase otherwise you will not be able to leverage your purchase.
- XFree86 and X.org support
- X Acceleration Architecture
- One Hardware or OpenGL overlay
- NTSC and PAL support
- No support for the built in tuner in "All-in-Wonder" cards.
- 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.
The proprietary driver supports more than two simultaneous outputs on HD5xxx cards having more than two physical independant out.
Default settings starts every monitors in a cloned stage, but you can switch to a multiple display desktop via the Catalyst Control Center.
Be aware that the ATI Catalyst Control Center does not let you fix arbitrary position settings : it only lets you approximately place your monitors on a virtual desktop. It's often best to adjust screen alignement using the "Position +x +y" option in xorg.conf.
EyeFinity support is still messy : As of 10.12, Five display setup on a HD5770 Eyefinity5 edition cannot be used. In any case, at least one display out show a scrambled image (with a neat cursor and correct placement).