Linux users who own ATI’s Radeon HD 7000 series videocards (or above) can celebrate, as AMD have released the base driver for AMDGPU. This driver is essential to make the jump to the new video cards, belonging to the line R9 285, which are also going to work with an only ATI driver, at least when it comes to Linux. What does that mean, exactly?
There are two types of ATI drives for video cards on Linux. The Radeon Open Source (that means, anyone can download and improve them) developed by the free software community and the ones developed by ATI themselves, called “Catalyst“. These are both completely isolated and different. With these newly released AMDGPU drivers, AMD intend to make them use the same base driver starting from the moment the Linux 4.2 Kernel releases. This would also improve the OpenGL 3.3 support, which are the video APIs necessary to run 3D games on Linux – which have been releasing officially via Steam once the gaming giant decided to support this OS creating their own version of it, “SteamOS”, and advertising huge incoming titles such as Batman: Arkham Knight.
All of this is happening on top of ATI’s permanent support of free video technologies such as Vulkan (a series of APIs for 2D and 3D multiplatform development), FreeSync (a technology to improve tearing on LCD screens), OpenGL (the most popular API for development in 3D) or OpenCL (a programming framework).
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