Subject: General Tech | October 8, 2013 - 07:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, dirty pool, linux, open source
Rebranding existing hardware with fancy new model numbers is nothing new to either AMD or NVIDA. Review sites catch on immediately and while we like to see optimizations applied to mature chips we much prefer brand new hardware. When you release the Q-1200000 as the X-2200000 the best you will get from review sites is a recommendation to go with the model that has the lower price, not the higher model number. Most enthusiasts have caught on to the fact that they are the same product; we do not like it but we have come to accept it as common business practice. Certain unintentional consequences from designs we can forgive as long as you admit the issue and work to rectify it, only the intentional limitations are being mentioned in this post.
This is where the problem comes in as it seems that this intentional misleading of customers has created a mindset where it is believed that it is OK to intentionally impose performance limitations on products. Somehow companies have convinced themselves that a customer base who routinely tears apart hardware, uses scanners to see inside actual components and who write their own OSes from scratch (or at least update the kernel) will somehow not be able to discover these limitations. Thus we have yesterday's revelation that NVIDIA has artificially limited the number of screens usable in Linux to three; not because of performance or stability issues but simply because it might provide Linux users with a better experience that Windows users.
Apparently AMD is not to be outdone when it comes to this kind of dirty pool, in their case it is audio that is limited as opposed to video. If you are so uncouth as to use a DVI to HDMI adapter which did not come with your shiny new Radeon then you are not allowed to have audio signals transferred over that HDMI cable on either Windows or Linux. There is a ... shall we say Apple-like hardware check, that Phoronix reported on which will disable the audio output unless a specific EEPROM on your adapter is detected. NVIDIA doesn't sell monitors nor is AMD really in the dongle business but apparently they are willing to police the components you choose to use, though the causes of AMD's decision are not as clear as NVIDIA's for as far as we know Monster Cable does not have the magic EEPROM in their adapters.
If your customers are as talented as your engineers you might not want to listen to your salespeople who tell you that partnerships with other companies are more important than antagonizing your customers by trying to pull a fast one on them. We will find out and it will come back to haunt you. Unless the payoffs you get from your partnerships are more than you make selling to customers in which case you might as well just ignore us.
"For some AMD Radeon graphics cards when using the Catalyst driver, the HDMI audio support isn't enabled unless using the simple DVI to HDMI adapter included with the graphics card itself... If you use another DVI-to-HDMI adapter, it won't work with Catalyst. AMD intentionally implemented checks within their closed-source driver to prevent other adapters from being used, even though they will work just fine."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 143: Steamy news from Hawaii
- 4GB DDR3 contract prices to rise by double digit percentage in October @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft unveils enterprise cloud solutions @ DigiTimes
- AMD's SeaMicro: 'We're the mystery vendor behind Verizon's cloud' @ The Register
- Intel HD Sandy/Ivy Bridge Linux Graphics Performance On Ubuntu 13.10 @ Phoronix
- Club3D Radeon R9 280X royalKing 3GB Graphics Card Giveaway @ eTeknix
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