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Re: [K12OSN] good, cheap pci video card?



On Thu, 2005-11-03 at 10:13 -0800, Quentin Hartman wrote:
On Thu, 2005-11-03 at 09:17 -0800, Rob Owens wrote:
> I have 2 thin clients with significantly different
> performance, and I was thinking it was due to the
> different video cards (but maybe I'm wrong).  The
> faster thin client has an AGP card (1x, I think).  The
> slower one has a PCI card with, I think, 2 MB RAM.  
> 
> On the slower thin client, simple things like quickly
> dragging a scroll bar in OpenOffice or Nautilus
> results in choppy video (the screen jumps instead of
> scrolling).  If I've got a 2MB PCI card, is this the
> best performance I can hope for?  Or will getting a
> better PCI video card help?  Or perhaps my problem is
> in the network hardware, and not the video card...

Replacing the video card is a good place to start. Non-accelerated 2d
video can be a big drain on the client's CPU. I had a similar situation
in the temrinals I mentioned earlier in this thread. Moving them to the
Matrox cards improved screen re-draw speed significantly.


Seconded, Quentin.  The terminal I'm running right now is a Pentium II-233 with a Matrox Millenium G400 AGP card in it (can we say, "overkill"?), and this thing, naturally, just flies.  ZZZOOOOMMMM!!!!!!

My favourite PCI-based video chipset for LTSP, though, isn't the Matrox G400 (too pricey); it's actually the ATI 3D Rage Pro.  There are several models of card that use that chipset; a few are as follows.

ATI Xpert Work
ATI Xpert Play
ATI Xpert98
Any generic video card using the 3D Rage Pro chip

These cards, with either 4MB or 8MB video RAM, can be had for $5 if you shop halfway decently.  They're fast, they're cheap, they're plentiful, and they're very well supported by X11.

If you can't find those, though, then any video card based on the Rage 128 (e. g. Xpert 2000) or Radeon (up to and including the Radeon 7500) are excellent choices.  They might cost a few dollars more, though.  If you only need a couple, then you might as well go for the Radeons just for the coolness factor.  :-)

The S3 Trio64 chipset, I've found, is another chipset that, while certainly outperformed by the 3D Rage Pro and later, is still quite sufficient for LTSP work.  This is the one used on the venerable Diamond Stealth64.  Generic Trio64V+ and Trio64V2 boards are actually what most of my terminals have; all have 2MB of video RAM.  The acid test that I generally use for a chipset is TuxType; if that game plays well on it, then I consider it good for LTSP.

STAY AWAY FROM THE ORIGINAL ATI MACH64!  IT IS A S--L--O--W--W--W DAWG!  (sorry to be so subtle here)

--TP
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