Amd vga no firmware

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Amd vga no firmware

Postby freespirit » 2019-09-24 17:01

I'm looking for a vga that work well on debian @1080p out of the box that don't need closed firmware to run. Almost all newer vga need this closed firmware, what amd family can run without it?
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Re: Amd vga no firmware

Postby stevepusser » 2019-09-24 20:43

Exactly none, as far as I know.
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Re: Amd vga no firmware

Postby CwF » 2019-09-24 22:16

The only way I know of a useful 1080 desktop without firmware is a beefy intel with nvidia nouveau, or some server graphics like ASpeed. MGA comes close.
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Re: Amd vga no firmware

Postby stevepusser » 2019-09-25 00:36

Even some Nvidia hardware requires firmware-misc-nonfree with nouveau. :?
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Re: Amd vga no firmware

Postby freespirit » 2019-09-25 05:14

Could you talk me more about aspeed? there is any pcie aspeed? do this chip have 3d accelleration? i don't need complex stuff, just play video at fullhd
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Re: Amd vga no firmware

Postby CwF » 2019-09-25 13:03

Nouveau has basic 2d covered without the firmware. I've confirmed a gp107 (750Ti) runs on Buster without the firmware, drives 3-4 HD desktops in a semi acclerated mode. An ancient FX1500 will drive 2 HD desktops almost better, and does not have anything in firmware-misc-nonfree as far as I see. I mentioned in another thread the nouveau errors and delay booting into Buster without the firmware (750Ti), and also have mentioned the performance needs lots of cpu.

ASpeed is a similar 2D only experience, and single VGA built onto server oriented motherboards. No pci-e add-in cards are available.
The bonus of ASpeed or MGA server graphics is when a PCI-e card of some flavor borks the installation and yields a blank screen, the VGA port still has a functional terminal. Months ago I was sorting out amdgpu issues (19.0.1-1) and used the vga terminal to get it right. For the interested, this means the server vga is enabled with the pci-e card selected as boot priority. The OS will not boot the desktop to what is effectively the secondary gpu, but we do get a terminal, kind of like an unconfigured multi-seat setup, very useful for debugging things.

Bottom line is there is no 3d fully accelerated GPU's in Linux without firmware. Furthermore 3D needs a clear definition since you can do it with cpu's. I might take a closer look at that old FX1500, my notes say it is faster than the 750Ti and it shouldn't be, so maybe some older nvidea gpu's have some genuine acceleration without any firmware. I suspect newer 960+ nvidias' may require the firmware, I don't intend to find out. I have tested AMD HD 5400-7900 and server variants and they all need firmware to simply function beyond standard vesa.

Why avoid the firmware?
I do avoid it on my hypervisor desktop for simplicity, no theoretical points, just nothing installed to need it. I have fully accelerated VM's when needed. Recommendations vary, but an intel i-gpu with firmware is probably the best choice. Add cost and power, an AMD with firmware is the next best choice. Nvidia with firmware is next. Nvidia without firmware is dead last. Even though that's what I'm running, it's not exactly intentional.

Also note, playing HD video is one kind of acceleration, 3D of many kinds is another. Nvidia's will push HD video without firmware WITH sufficient CPU power. I'm sure most complaints against nouveau are due to weak cpu's.
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Re: Amd vga no firmware

Postby freespirit » 2019-09-26 06:38

CwF wrote:Nouveau has basic 2d covered without the firmware. I've confirmed a gp107 (750Ti) runs on Buster without the firmware, drives 3-4 HD desktops in a semi acclerated mode. An ancient FX1500 will drive 2 HD desktops almost better, and does not have anything in firmware-misc-nonfree as far as I see. I mentioned in another thread the nouveau errors and delay booting into Buster without the firmware (750Ti), and also have mentioned the performance needs lots of cpu.

ASpeed is a similar 2D only experience, and single VGA built onto server oriented motherboards. No pci-e add-in cards are available.
The bonus of ASpeed or MGA server graphics is when a PCI-e card of some flavor borks the installation and yields a blank screen, the VGA port still has a functional terminal. Months ago I was sorting out amdgpu issues (19.0.1-1) and used the vga terminal to get it right. For the interested, this means the server vga is enabled with the pci-e card selected as boot priority. The OS will not boot the desktop to what is effectively the secondary gpu, but we do get a terminal, kind of like an unconfigured multi-seat setup, very useful for debugging things.

Bottom line is there is no 3d fully accelerated GPU's in Linux without firmware. Furthermore 3D needs a clear definition since you can do it with cpu's. I might take a closer look at that old FX1500, my notes say it is faster than the 750Ti and it shouldn't be, so maybe some older nvidea gpu's have some genuine acceleration without any firmware. I suspect newer 960+ nvidias' may require the firmware, I don't intend to find out. I have tested AMD HD 5400-7900 and server variants and they all need firmware to simply function beyond standard vesa.

Why avoid the firmware?
I do avoid it on my hypervisor desktop for simplicity, no theoretical points, just nothing installed to need it. I have fully accelerated VM's when needed. Recommendations vary, but an intel i-gpu with firmware is probably the best choice. Add cost and power, an AMD with firmware is the next best choice. Nvidia with firmware is next. Nvidia without firmware is dead last. Even though that's what I'm running, it's not exactly intentional.

Also note, playing HD video is one kind of acceleration, 3D of many kinds is another. Nvidia's will push HD video without firmware WITH sufficient CPU power. I'm sure most complaints against nouveau are due to weak cpu's.


Thanks for your reply

Vga that don't require firnware do javebit build it into the chip instead of loading from linux or they just do work without?
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Re: Amd vga no firmware

Postby CwF » 2019-09-27 15:43

freespirit wrote:Vga that don't require firnware do javebit build it into the chip instead of loading from linux or they just do work without?


?? Without the firmware some special functions are not available to the driver. Some work can be done by the cpu as a fallback, if that is built into the driver. If not, the function is simply not available. One example is nouveau can access extended modes beyond standard vesa modes without the firmware, amdgpu cannot. Another example, mpeg (any video) can be preferably accelerated by the gpu, if not available it can be done by the cpu.
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