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Re: Nvidia drivers



On Sat, 31 Mar 2001, Mike A. Harris wrote:


> *DO NOT BUY VIDEO HARDWARE FROM NVIDIA FOR USE IN LINUX*

This is easier said than done. "Consolidation" (read: other vendors have
gone bust) has taken place in the graphics card industry, and your choice
of affordable video adapters is fairly limited. It's Nvidia, ATi, and
Matrox, basically. 3Dfx is no more, e.g.

Matrox and ATi don't have the 3D performance of Nvidia's cards,
unfortunately.


> Their hardware may have all sorts of wonderful whizbang features
> that work in Windows, but for the most part they are useless in
> Linux.  This is sad because I've seen these cards run 3D
> stuff and they are decent (in other non-Linux OS's).

That's funny, because I've been running Linux on Nvidia cards only. They
don't seem useless to me.


> Some people are happy with the binary driver, but that will
> change the split second something in XFree86 or the kernel
> changes (such as Render above)  and the driver breaks.

Incorrect assumption... the RENDER extension works. I would like Nvidia to
support some more OpenGL extensions though.

What's important to remember is that drivers for video cards are a
"competitive advantage" -- they make all the difference in benchmarks, and
hence, games weenies' buying decisions. I assume that Nvidia doesn't want
to give away all its secrets to the competition. They must get some of the
coding right, because there's a huge performance difference for 3D with
the nvidia driver compared to the XF86 nv driver, which is supposedly
accelerated.




> If *ANYONE* wants *GOOD* hardware that works incredibly well in
> Linux, buy hardware from *ATI* and *Matrox*.  Both ATI and Matrox
> cards are VERY WELL supported in Linux.  ATI is very open source
> friendly.  Matrox is friendly to open source as well.

I don't see anything on Matrox' site apart from note telling people to
check out commercial X implementations as well as XF86... ATi had a devrel
programme -- kudos to them for that.



>
> If high end 3D is what you want, get the ATI Radeon, it smokes,
> although hardware 3D is not available in XFree86 4.0.3 for this
> card, it is available in the XFree86 trunk code which will become
> XFree86-4.1.0 in a few months.  I'll be making alpha packages
> available before long, so it is a damn good buy.  Trond is
> running Radeon 3D right now.

Benchmarks! Compare a GeForce 2 or 3 to the Radeon. I'd be interested to
see the results.

> Feel free to send a copy of this email to anyone who is
> investigating buying a new video card for use in Linux.  It could
> very well save them money, and more importantly frustration.

If you edit the email a bit to correct some facts plus back up your
assertions with hard data, then yes.


-- 
Regards,


Juha

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