Last week brought some upgrades* which I stopped hoping for long ago:
1. The Radeon open source driver started working on my computer, this means I unedited xorg.conf from using Radeonhd and that now I have some 3D. This is a Radeon HD 3470 (RV620). I would rate the 3D performance at 10 to 25%** of my old video card on Windows (Radeonh 9250, RV280)**.
2. Suspend to RAM worked more than 20 times in a row.
3. The wireless card initialises in about 5 seconds, which is similar or better than on Windows. Previously it would take 15-30 seconds.
4. NetworkManager started to support PPPOE decently, so now I can connect to RDS with 100% chances of success without going to the root terminal.
These days I have also noticed some decrease in the cooling fan usage, but this may well be an effect of using the Radeon driver.
*I update quite often, that’s why this is a surprise.
HD3470 on Linux (average 2008 laptop):
Alien Arena, all settings low, 50 fps, but jerky;
TORCS with low resolution and small horizon distance, 30 fps and smooth
KWin effects run decently.
9250 on Windows (average 2005 desktop):
Half Life 2, medium quality settings, no AA, no reflection, full resolution, 20-60 fps and smooth
X2: The Threat, medium quality, no AA, full resolution, 30 fps and generally smooth.
I still have to find some information, to see how these cards compare on a hardware level.