C'mon man! Do you really think your technically inclined customers aren't going to catch on?

Subject: General Tech | October 8, 2013 - 07:59 PM |
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.

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"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."

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Source: Phoronix

October 8, 2013 | 09:22 PM - Posted by ea1985 (not verified)

Could they be planning on peddling the adapters now that the output config on the new cards have changed? Still makes no sense.

Do the older AMD-shipped adapters have the EEPROM or only the newer ones going forward?

October 8, 2013 | 10:08 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Just don't lose the one they gave you or just don't mix it up with all the other ones you have. Not nice amd, really.

October 8, 2013 | 10:48 PM - Posted by Fetzie (not verified)

So use a display port to HDMI adapter instead; the cards all have at least one DP output.

October 8, 2013 | 11:31 PM - Posted by BukkakeShampoo

Now this is a rant I can get behind.

October 9, 2013 | 12:12 AM - Posted by snook

My question is who is paying you off this time Jeremy? hehehehe INTEL!

October 9, 2013 | 04:55 AM - Posted by lima (not verified)

I'm certain AMD doesn't make money on this adapters so there must be something else here. It doesn't make much sense, what AMD got from this?

October 9, 2013 | 05:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here is a thread form AVSForum.com dated 31/10/08

Hey guys, i'm just tidying up my first HTPC build and with my current cabinet setup i had been looking at using a DVI to HDMI cable to connect my Sapphire 4670 to my Sony HSS1300 Speakers as I dont have alot of space so needed a compact solution.

Obvioulsy just jumping straight in I bought a 1.3 spec DVI to HDMI cable and swapped out my current DVI Dongle to HDMI cable and thats when I realised i was getting no sound.

I've done a bit of trawling round the t'internet and found out that the supplied dongle is actually special in a sense that it specifically enables the sound to be passed out and without using it a standard DVI to HDMI cable will not work.

I was just wondering if anyone knew exaclt what the dongle did and would it be possible to adapt a standard DVI to HDMI cable or is there some special hardware in the Dongle? I'm hopng its just a cross wiring of one of the pins.

October 9, 2013 | 08:06 AM - Posted by ea1985 (not verified)

EEPROM = 'special hardware'

October 9, 2013 | 05:54 PM - Posted by Andrew (not verified)

Are they insane? I've got sound through an ordinary DVI->HDMI cable from Amazon going from an nVidia-based card to a TV. What possesed them to make it difficult? Have nVidia patented the idea of passing sound to the output device through a simple cable?

October 10, 2013 | 11:50 AM - Posted by praack

aww crud, i never can get them right- it better be bright orange and red with flashy lights

because otherwise it will be on another card

or i will have to stop buying amd.....

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