Opinion: NVIDIA drivers are a BAD Thing [tm]

Robin Laing Robin.Laing at drdc-rddc.gc.ca
Wed May 19 19:45:58 UTC 2004

Jonathan Gardner wrote:
> On Tuesday 18 May 2004 12:05 pm, alan wrote:
>>Until a vendor that makes a fast 3d video card decides to open source
>>drivers, we are pretty much stuck with the situation.  (Unless someone
>>wants to reverse engineer the chipset.)
>>I don't see it happening soon.
> Apparently you've never heard of ATI. Their Linux drivers are all open 
> source and it appears that they are actively cooperating with the community 
> and trying to push X and Linux integration forward. While they aren't 
> disclosing trade secrets they aren't at liberty to disclose, they are 
> giving enough information legally that the developers can figure out those 
> secrets or develop their own solutions.
> I have been using ATI cards for several years, and as long as I use older 
> hardware (7000 series nowadays), Linux works fabulously with them, even 3D 
> acceleration. Today, you can buy ATI cards for cheap from Taiwanese and 
> Chinese manufacturers. I think they pay ATI for the right to either make 
> the chip themselves or to sell the card with their chipset on it. They sell 
> well because frankly they are more than sufficient for business machines 
> and my home linux network.

You haven't looked at the ATI site lately.

Their drivers are not opensource.

Frequently Asked Questions about the ATI Proprietary Linux Driver

I use a 7500 at work and it works great with the XFree drivers.  I had
a 9600 and it wouldn't work with the drivers available in January.  At
least 3d wouldn't work.

My nvidia worked with the default nv driver in XFree86 but it was a
basic setup.  Downloading the Nvidia driver worked like a dream.  As I
said in another post, less than 30 minutes from purchase to working 3d

Of course my much older Mach ATI card isn't supported by XFree86 to
full spec either.

My opinion is that ATI has crap support for Linux and this is based on
recent experience.

Robin Laing

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