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current state of ati graphics


I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card and for the past few
iterations have gone with Nvida, mostly because they provided a
working linux driver with 3D acceleration; most people I knew with ATI
chipsets had problems with their drivers at one time or another (and
for a long time only older cards were supported).  Since AMD have
apparently released the specs needed to write an open driver for them
I thought it might be worth supporting them this time around, but I'm
not sure what the current state of ATI support looks like. I'd guess
there has been long enough for an accelerated driver to make it into
the kernel, but I see that there is also a recent release of their
proprietary driver.  What are people's recent experiences with ATI?  I
wouldn't be looking for the highest end card, just something that can
happily run compiz and flash videos 1280x1024.  The nvidia I'm
considering are around the 8500 / 9400 mark.

Thanks for your time.


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