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NVidia or ATI?

Discussion in 'System Hardware' started by ikbendeman, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. zspider

    zspider Member

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    likewise. unfortunately intel chipsets are very common and you may not be able to avoid them. I used to be a fan of ATI but when on Linux they totally made a mess of the driver support, it would crash the xserver if you tried to install the driver. found Nvidia to be much more supportive of other platforms. Ultimately Nvidia is the best option people. Now that I am aware of intel not working in the future with FreeBSD I will look for Nvidia instead.

    question:
    so what will happen if Nvidia decides to drop FreeBSD support by some chance?
     
  2. wblock@

    wblock@ Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    ATI: open driver works now, but might not work with later releases of xorg because FreeBSD doesn't have KMS. Source is available, so the driver can be updated whether the vendor cares or not.

    nVidia: closed driver works now, but might not work with later releases of xorg (sounds like current drivers don't do KMS). nVidia is under no obligation to release drivers for future FreeBSD versions at all. Source or programming information not available at all, so updates have to come from the vendor.

    Sort of already happened with the 64-bit nVidia drivers, I think. Users had to wait, because without programming information, there was nothing else they could do. As they say, a car with the hood welded shut.
     
  3. zspider

    zspider Member

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    I guess ill have to install that ATI x600 again(I didnt because i was under the impression that it would not work), maybe ill kick ubuntu off the downstairs computer and put FreeBSD on there;)
     
  4. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    The x600 should definitely work, with both 2D and 3D acceleration. You likely won't be able to play doom3 with that GPU, but desktop effects, openarena, nexuiz, neverball, etc. should all be usable.

    Adam
     
  5. DutchDaemon

    DutchDaemon Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    For the record: there are up-to-date binary NVIDIA drivers for 64-bit FreeBSD in the ports tree and on NVIDIA's site. 'Officially beta', but proven stable for a long time now.
     
  6. aragon

    aragon New Member

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  7. davidgurvich

    davidgurvich New Member

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    I'm glad to hear that the linux compatibility is good enough to play with CUDA. Are there any stats on the performance hit?
     
  8. zspider

    zspider Member

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    I can run RTCW at 90 FPS with it, settings all the way up no lag online:) unfortunately that makes trick jumping difficult though.
     
  9. zspider

    zspider Member

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    Sounds good, if it can run Neverball and all that it should have little difficulty running RTCW or Enemy Territory. Makes me feel better that if I got stuck with an ATI chipset in the future that it would still be able to run FreeBSD and reasonably well.:) Dont really wish to give up this fine operating system. Thanks for the heads up.:p
     
  10. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    Just be aware that, at the present moment, HD5xxx doesn't have acceleration on FreeBSD, and there are issues with direct rendering on linux applications on AMD64.

    Adam
     
  11. nakal

    nakal Member

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    Most games are not playable on ATI. If you need games, choose NVidia. Especially Linux emulation is broken on FreeBSD with ATI cards.

    I still stick to ATI, because the quality of the cards is much higher and I have 2 consoles for playing games. I also like AMD's attitude and support them buying their products.

    Earlier I've been testing the 2D-accel code for FreeBSD (libdrm and radeonhd), but a few things have showed me that X.org developers don't give a flying fart about FreeBSD, and even you give them exact hints which lines are faulty and cause kernel panics on FreeBSD, they still ignore you. I don't like this and I'm not testing anymore. They can go to hell with their Linux-centric views.

    All in all, I wished there would be more than 1 developer having influence on ATI's Xorg video drivers.
     
  12. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    That's interesting, because most games I've tried are playable on ATI.

    This is true on AMD64.

    Adam
     
  13. aragon

    aragon New Member

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    My pet peeve with the ATI drivers is that the radeonhd driver has poor 3D acceleration (especially where I need it most, linux emu) and is kinda dead now, but the radeon driver can't reorder its output ports. A seemingly minor nit, but a big deal for a dual screened pedant like me caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. :)
     
  14. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    Why do you need to reorder the output ports? What does that accomplish that using the --primary option with xrandr doesn't do? (This is not meant sarcastically, I'm really curious).

    Adam
     
  15. aragon

    aragon New Member

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    --primary doesn't work with the radeon driver either. :(

    Reordering allows me to set my DVI port as primary. Without it everything defaults to the VGA port where my secondary monitor is connected.
     
  16. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    I use it all the time with my two workstations with radeon GPUs. By default, X sets my right monitor as the primary in both cases.

    Adam
     
  17. aragon

    aragon New Member

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    Is the FreeBSD syntax the same as the man page and Linux examples?
     
  18. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    I've used the same command on both FreeBSD and linux:

    xrandr --output DVI-0 --primary

    Adam
     
  19. danbi

    danbi New Member

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    I have never had complaints with the ATI drivers on FreeBSD. I just don't do gaming ;) (this should explain it, I guess)

    But, here are some things, I don't like about the binary nvidia drivers!

    - until recently, there was no 64 bit driver. That is, if you have fast 64 bit, multicore CPU, you must run it in 32bit mode to use 'powerful' nVidia card. Nice, eh?

    - every time you recompile the kernel with new DRM you must reinstall the nvidia driver. Sometimes this kicks bad.

    So yes, if 3D performance is absolutely a must for you and for this purpose you buy the latest and greatest video cards, and you are willing to be extra careful with your system upgrades, by all means go for nVidia.

    If not, chances are you are buying an nVidia card, which is comparable to an not top-of-the-line ATI card, for which there is support in the radeonhd driver --- I would go for the ATI card then.

    Of course, if you are nVidia or ATI fanboy ... you are asking the wrong question :)

    PS: Bad experience with Intel drivers..
     
  20. jalla

    jalla Member

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    This was valid until ~10 months ago. It's no longer an issue.
    And there's no need for the quotes in 'powerful'. The nVidia cards are every bit as powerful in 32bit as 64bit environments. You're just limited to 4Gb of ram with the former.
     
  21. ikbendeman

    ikbendeman Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys! The biggest use for crossfire wouldn't be for just one video-hungry application but for multitasking. Anyways, I'm glad this is all summaried in one place now, and I think I'm going to go with nVidia.
     
  22. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    SLI, the nvidia technology for linking to video cards, is only of use when rendering a single scene.
     
  23. pkubaj

    pkubaj Member

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    It's kind of OT, but I'm considering buying a notebook with GMA 4500HD. Can you write how it performs on FreeBSD? I have no experience with GMA GPU's other than GMA 500, the unfamous Poulsbo, but it support about nothing whatsoever x(
     
  24. davidgurvich

    davidgurvich New Member

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    The only thing I can say about intel chipsets is that I will be avoiding them unless I hear there has been a significant change or I have experience with a particular chipset. I've had 2 laptops with integrated intel graphics and both cause too much annoyance to configure the graphics for a stable system.

    I had a similar experience about 7 years ago with nvidia chipsets where the only option for a stable system was to use the nv driver. That hasn't been a problem for a few years with nvidia providing better quality drivers for freebsd and linux.

    The ati proprietary driver had the same problems as nvidia in the same time span. I never used the proprietary driver for ati cards if I could avoid it. I've read that the current driver is more stable but is not available for freebsd. The radeon driver was much better for ati cards than the nv driver for nvidia. Now the radeonhd and radeon driver is much better than nouveau so I still haven't used the proprietary driver.
     
  25. pkubaj

    pkubaj Member

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    According to Wikipedia, most of GMA graphics cards are supported on FreeBSD. It doesn't seem outdated as it was updates when 8.1RC was released. So what is the support for GMA on FreeBSD like?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA#FreeBSD