Linux News Today: AMD Video Cards Are Still a Problem for SteamOS
SteamOS has been out for quite some time, and now we also have Steam Machines in the wild, but it looks like AMD video cards continue to be a problem for this platform.
If we take a look at the Steam Hardware Survey, we’ll see that AMD users are at about 26%, Nvidia at 54, and Intel at about 18. AMD lost a lot of ground in the past couple of years, and the trend doesn’t seem to change in their favor. The fact that their support for the Linux platform is not all that good is also a contributing factor.
AMD and Linux never got along, despite the efforts for the people who really want to use their hardware. The support was (and is) rather poor, the driver releases are few and far in between, new drivers don’t usually fix much, drivers lack support for newer kernels, and sometimes AMD doesn’t even provide a changelog.
To top it all off, Linux users can even get stuck with a Beta release for a particular driver for months. It’s not all that surprising that AMD is also not working good with SteamOS and that Valve needs to keep an open topic on their forums.
AMD users will get upset
There are a lot of AMD users who will say that they never had a problem or that Nvidia is not doing a good enough job either, and they are somewhat right to think so.
The truth is that we never see a game launched on Steam or any other channel that has a warning that it won’t work with Nvidia, but we’ve seen plenty that didn’t work with AMD or Intel, at least not at first.
There are at least three issues that have been posted on the Steam forum by one of the Valve developers for more than a year, and they haven’t been fixed. “Black or flickering screen when fullscreen mode is enabled in certain games. Lower performance and hitching in games compared to desktop distributions. Crackling sound over HDMI.”
It’s not like AMD doesn’t know about them. Valve is putting a lot of effort and money into SteamOS, and it’s not getting a lot of cooperation from either Nvidia or AMD. Unfortunately, the latter is not really keen to provide proper Linux support.