AMD Provides Legacy Driver for Old ATI Cards

Apr 20, 2009

Contrary to original plans to support the older ATI cards, AMD now wants to provide a legacy driver for them, along the lines of Nvidia.

The AMD chipmaker reported in March that with the release of the Catalyst 9.4 driver they wanted to discontinue support for the Linux and Windows R300/400/500 cards and focus on the new generation instead. Meanwhile AMD has released the 9.4 driver, which also supports Ubuntu 9.04. Now choosing to order the older graphics cards on the AMD homepage returns a notice that they moved to a legacy driver support structure. The new legacy driver supports the following graphics cards (including Mobile and All-in-Wonder variants):

ATI Radeon 9500 Series
ATI Radeon 9550 Series
ATI Radeon 9600 Series
ATI Radeon 9700 Series
ATI Radeon 9800 Series
ATI Radeon X300 Series
ATI Radeon X550 Series
ATI Radeon X600 Series
ATI Radeon X700 Series
ATI Radeon X800 Series
ATI Radeon X850 Series
ATI Radeon X1050 Series
ATI Radeon X1300 Series
ATI Radeon X1550 Series
ATI Radeon X1600 Series
ATI Radeon X1650 Series
ATI Radeon X1800 Series
ATI Radeon X1900 Series
ATI Radeon Xpress Series
ATI Radeon X1200 Series
ATI Radeon X1250 Series
ATI Radeon X2100 Series

The Linux version, however, supports only distros released before February 2009 that have the older Thus the upcoming releases from Ubuntu, Fedora and Mandriva are expected to support the new AMD driver only, at least for the time being. Further details are on the AMD homepage.

Owners of the cards listed who want to run a current Linux distro shouldn't worry too much about switching drivers, however. The free radeonhd driver that the community has greatly improved, mainly through AMD's publishing of reference documentation, supports all cards in 2D mode, including compositing. Besides, the newest version also supports DRI (direct rendering infrastructure) with many of the cards.

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  • Whatever.

    Reply to Kyle: "Instead of posting about how angry we are here we should be using the new ati drivers from the open source community. unless we use it and post our bugs it will never be any better for us ati guys and if we do this the open source drivers will be fixed before our hardware becomes obsolete."

    That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The Linux distros are billing their distributions are production ready, when they are filled with Pre-Alpha to Beta-level applications, drivers, services, whatever.

    Some people have to get REAL WORK done. We don't have time filing bug reports, and we certainly don't want to "waste hardware" to debug broken or performance regressive device drivers for the Linux distrobutions. There are enough Linux fanbois to do that. I wonder why they're still in terrible shape.

    WE aren't the problem. Linux is. It's the only Operating System with such terrible backward and forward compatibility. Solaris fixed that probably before Linux existed, so it is certainly not a general *NIX issue. It's a Linux issue and it's why it's stuck at such non-factor marketshare for consumer desktops and it's why both Hardware Manufacturers and Softare Developers (Game Studios, Adobe, etc.) refuse to port their proprietary applications (which blow any of that F/OSS crap out of the water) to Linux.

    Everyone seen Corel fail with WordPerfect, Borland Fail with Kylix, Loki, etc. etc. and learned their lesson.

    Until the kernel developers AND the distributions get their acts together, Linux is gonna remain a tinkerer's toy - and dead in the water as far as consumer desktops are concerned.

    It's sad to note that Linux existed when Macs were still running System 7-9, but Apple has developed their own UNIX desktop OS and surpassed it by a magnitude, while Linux lays stagnant on the desktop.
  • ATI , Battery, and AC Adapter Scams

    Well for years y'all have put up with the little insults, like AC adapters with unique ends, for a particular electronic, so you have to pay $49.95 for a $10 adapter. A new unique battery in every new cell phone so a replacement costs $69, instead of a generic for $20, or laptop batteries that are unique for $99 instead of a generic off-the-shelf one for $35. So now these big companies just drop support for anything they deem old...the old ATI card just will not work in your PC for that new game. So putting up with the first 3 insults lets the companies figure you are a sucker, and YOU ARE!!!

    Just like WASH DC politicians have been spitting on us for the last 40+ years, it is time to tell these greedy manufacturers that fail to support their products, or design unique power supplies, that enough is enough, and it is time for them to either stop ripping us off, or out-of business you go..

    By the way one of the biggest rip-offs is the $580 AC adapter for one of the Mettler Analytical Balances. No excuse for it just like there is no excuse for the abuses noted above.

    Do nothing, and just wait and see what they pull next...
  • Ati Legacy cards & Linux

    People are missing the point here - why should the legacy drivers NOT work on current Linux releases? It is the Linux community that has created a problem - If I use legacy drivers on older versions of Linux they work, there is not provision as with Windows for using older drivers on updated OS's. Of course my point is limited, you can't use Win9x drivers in Vista etc, but on point release 10.2 , 10.2 etc etc surely there should be a way to maintain driver compatability in Linux (not be forced to use a generic driver 'radeonhd/radeon'). Of course for most of us this would not be a problem if the opensource drivers were fully functional, so maybe ATI ought to release unsupported source code to the community - why not?
  • people will envy linux

    Instead of posting about how angry we are here we should be using the new ati drivers from the open source community. unless we use it and post our bugs it will never be any better for us ati guys and if we do this the open source drivers will be fixed before our hardware becomes obsolete. I have been following the open source driver extremely closely and it has made leaps and bounds since they started working on it about 6 months ago, if we post our bugs then it will be completely fixed for all variants probably within the next 3 months. For me with my radeon 9550 I'm running almost bug free in ubuntu 9.10 (due to editing my xorg and kernel until I forced it to work properly), what happened to the "you cant stop me from enjoying my hardware the way i want" additude we used to have when it came to podzilla and xbmc. If you use the open source driver and post your bugs only good things will come of it, or we could come here and complain where no one is capable of doing anything and stay stuck where we are now, the choice is ours not amd's.
  • Never again ATI or AMD

    It is a big shame that ATI and AMD doesnt keep their support to X1200 up to date. For me its a reason to buy never a product of them anymore, because I dont want this to happen again. Also a good lesson for other potential customers.
  • ATI & AMD

    I was a dedicated AMD and ATI user until I acquired a Toshiba laptop with a Radeon X1200 chip, which ATI promptly declared to be "legacy."

    I will never buy another AMD or ATI product ever again. It's Intel and nVidia all the way from now on.
  • ATI Legacy /Poor Linux Support

    I have XT1650 ATI Graphics card which is a superb grphics card - that has all th edesired performance most people ever need.

    I am working in Win and Linux --- I must admit this policy is pathetetic.

    This is the age of Opensource and Linux - how can a big company ignore these facts.

    My personal approach is -- don't buy any ATI cards if they will not support Linux as smooth as they do all other Win OSes - or NVIDIA does support Linux!!!

    My next HARDWARE purchase surely won't be an ATI card ....

  • ATI is full it!

    I have two machines with their 690G chip set, with X1200 Radion in them. Their "legacy" driver has NEVER worked.

    If they are NOT going to fix the driver, they should release the source so someone with some intelligence can do it.

    I bought the mother boards, ASUS, from Newegg in July of 2008. Less than two years. And they have discontinued support. And their legacy drivers are absolute total crap! I tried a year ago and went back to the default Linux driver! And it was only a year or so before that made a major splash about their new chips with high end Radion graphics.

    Or was Newegg or ASUS dumping because AMD was about to quit producing them?

    So I guess it's time to go Intel and Nvidia from now on.

    But what do I do with the remaining years of life in the hardware? Keep buying add on video cards every year for MORE than the cost of the motherboard?
  • legacy driver support structure

    Fuck you AMD, suck on my hairy orc balls that i buy another product or a damn computer with your shit in it
  • i dis agree!

    so iam very angry for them.. i use ati radeon mobility x1300 and go and buy modern warfare2 i install it and try to play but in main menu the characters are ruined! i try to update my graphic driver but i cant! the web site tell me "legacy driver support structure bla bla bla " its a biig bull shit! so what am i supposed to do am i throwing my laptop so they can sell me a new one.. well i guarenteed this i will never buy a amd stuff any more..
  • I agree...

    I agree with other people here. Thanks for nothing AMD. I'll be replacing the Radeon 9550 in my PC with an NVidia card, and that is definately the LAST EVER ati graphics card I will ever buy.
  • Hence a GOOD REASON to upgrade your older ATI graphics cards!

    I know the reasons which forced AMD to drop support for its older DX9-based graphic adapters. With the advent of Windows Vista and DX10 in 2006 and the upcoming release of Windows 7 (featuring DX11 and Windows Media Player 12) in 2010, AMD has evidently decided to drop its interest for its DX9-based products and focus solely on the new-generation HD series, which are MUCH BETTER in terms of performance and reliability. Very bad news for many of us, but also a good reason to do an upgrade.
  • ATI/AMD Provides Legacy Driver for Old ATI Cards effectively ending support!

    Personally I never did like ATI's Catalyst Control Center much anyway. It has way too much to have to do and learn to enable features that should be automatic for newer games, (and many older games as well), in the first place!
    Why put supposedly, "Valuable," customers through any of this nonsense at all?
    Can't the cards just freakin' work right in the first place or at least be able to update properly the most basic features with what should rightfully be a no-headache/no-brainer to the consumer/customer whatsoever?
    To top it off, ATI then gets eaten up by AMD in the last year or so and now they basically drop support for all of their older products, (and some not so old), pretty much completely?
    Here I am stuck with all this hardware I purchased and some very recently, which was never properly supported in the first place in my opinion!
    Hundreds, yes-even thousands of dollars of product all basically useless in the first place and now all down the toilet for sure as things stand!
    Even if I wanted to learn complicated programming tasks to make my newly purchased products work at least halfway right. This new move will basically, effectively thwart that possibility too!
    Gee thanks AMD/ATI!
    I am angry, yes very angry that this has happened at all. It’s very bad business AMD/ATI and you will loose in the long run!
    Your copyrights and patents on products you choose to effectively drop should immediately expire by law! You should also be required by law to submit/release all pertinent information to the general public any and all relevant information on your discontinued products. Thereby paving a clear way for individuals and smaller third party software companies to come in and make a little cash by picking up your garbage! Or at least be able to freely attempt to get said products to function properly in the first place!
    This is absolutely DISGUSTING!
    But sadly typical behavior from just another one of the many large, faceless corporations of the world that have the rest of us by the so called, “Family Jewels.”
    When are we all going to stand up and demand changes to this type of blatant disregard for accountability from these so called, “Mega Corporations,” that walk all over us on a daily basis anyway?
  • Bad news for ATI owners

    ATI/AMD made my almost new computer useless with this move. That is to say I can't use my X1200 card with the latest ubuntu release. I'll guess I'm not the only one....This is just horrible customer support. This was my first and last ATI GPU. Next time I will make sure my computer will not have ATI inside.......
  • And this is a good thing?

    The note here is very useful in terms of information, but the tone is odd. I'm sorry, but I'm using Linux on my Desktop. I _WANT_ and need full acceleration and 3D support. I want video to work. I want Compiz to be usable. I want my desktop workspaces and cubes. I don't want 2D support. I don't want to guess which specific chips have which specific graphics features supported and twiddle endlessly with xorg.conf files to get things to work half-way.

    I want ATI to support their da** hardware. Again, much of this hardware is sitting in powerful, very usable, relatively new laptops and users, like me, want to actually upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop on my Lenovo T60 with Core 2 Duo Processors, 4GB of RAM, fatty hard drive, etc., etc... It should not be too much of to ask.

    So, it's like kissing your sister. Cool. I can be stuck on an older distro that will quickly become outdated, pray that ATI gets their act together and properly supports my chipset, or get another laptop and never buy their hardware again.

    So, thank for the update. But, ATI and Linux - it just hurts.
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