Opinion: NVIDIA drivers are a BAD Thing [tm]

Jon Shorie jshorie at medinaco.org
Wed May 19 20:08:25 UTC 2004

On Wednesday 19 May 2004 15:25, Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Wednesday 19 May 2004 12:10, 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.
> Hummph!  When did they start putting links to downloadable stuff for
> linux on their web page?  I, after seeing that so-called press
> release a couple of years ago, bookmarked the page and checked it
> ocasionally. A few months later when I was playing space patrol in my
> mozilla bookmarks, I wiped it because there had not been any links
> visible up to that point, so its been a year or more since I looked.
> Based on that experience, methinks their 'support' is more PR than
> fact.  Particularly when you waste your $10 (daytime LD rates here in
> the states) on hold listening to elevator muzak waiting for tech
> support as I related way back then, and basicly got told by someone
> who almost doesn't speak english that "we don't support linux".  If
> they in fact do, somebody forgot to tell tech support.  My opinion of
> ATI has not changed.
> >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.
> /sarcasm-rant mode on
> Good for you Jonathon.  Did you write your own drivers?  I'm sorry,
> but they burnt me to the tune of about 200 dollars the last time I
> entered their territory.  Part of that was for a commercial driver
> that was supposed to drive that card, bought from the same x.org that
> everyone is so friggin enthusiastic about now that XFree86 has
> licensed themsleves out of business.  When it didn't work (ati had
> changed the chipset without printing a new box to sell it in), they,
> x.org, refused to refund my money since I did indeed have a copy of
> the code.  The fact that it didn't work wasn't worth a bucket of warm
> spit to them.  I'm still surprised that Keith Packard, whom I respect
> greatly, ever connected with these people.
> Yeah, I'm gonna be a virtual thorn in ATI's side, they deserve it.
> /sarcasm-rant mode off
I am not sure why you have a problem with ATI.  I have only had one minor 
problem with ATI's driver support in linux.  This is with the IGP 320 onboard 
video card on an FIC AT31 motherboard.  There is not an opensource driver 
that fully supports this video card.  

Instead I ran it as an ATI Radeon 7500 and it works well (including 3d 
acceleration) except for some minor artifacting occassionally.

At work, I currently have 6 linux desktops with ATI cards in them (Radeon 7000 
and Rage 128 Pro) as well as 10 servers with ATI cards.  All are running 
either Redhat or Fedora Core 1 or 2.  They all work very well.  

At home, I have a Fedora Core 1 box with a radeon 7000 in it.  It works 
extremely well.  My main use on this is to play Loki games such as 
Civilization Call To Power, Railroad Tycoon, Alpha Centauri as well as basic 
internet apps such as web browsing and email.

I do not have any problems with the graphics on any of these games.

All of the systems at either home or work are running the open source driver.  

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