Solved nvidia - fonts and refresh problem

multix

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Hi,

I am running Xorg on 9.3-RELEASE-p21 on a Nvidia vanta (which is a TNT ):
Code:
[  996.823] (--) NV(0): Chipset: "Vanta"
[  996.823] (==) NV(0): Depth 24, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
[  996.823] (==) NV(0): RGB weight 888
[  996.823] (==) NV(0): Default visual is TrueColor

As can be seen from this snipped I use the standard nv driver, not the binary proprietary Linux-burdened one. It always provided enough speed for me.

Everything seems fine and it worked for years. Acceleration is decent for 2d. But? Well.. after a certain "upgrade" of port packages certain fonts do not draw properly anymore.. no text can be seen.
Windowmaker menus... or emacs. Moving a window causes a refresh and the text appears perfectly, but this is quite inconvenient.
"xterms" display perfectly.

I updated several times, hoping the problem would go away, but nothing. Actually, it started under 8.x, but it continued under FreeBSD 9, even with a total port rebuild. I believe there is a bad interaction of a font display library and the video driver.

I played with the driver options (ShadowFB, HW and SW cursor...) but no help. The only thing which fixes the problem is NoAccel. But well, that is a total loss of speed that makes a desktop unusable.

Any hints on how to diagnose further or on how to tweak the driver?
Dumping Nvidia in favor of ATI is not an option because I have a low-profile card which are pretty hard to find in AGP.
 

protocelt

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Hi!

Unfortunately that card is no longer supported by Nvidia and the nv driver hasn't been updated in quite some time so it wouldn't be surprising to me if it has issues with recent X versions.

Is it possible for you to find a low profile PCI(not PCIe) card to use in the PC instead? That may be your only option in this case if you need 2D/3D graphics acceleration.
 
OP
multix

multix

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Hi,

So, you say that the nv driver is bitrotting and the only alternative would be the proprietary Nvidia driver which not only doesn't support my card but also requires Linux emul? In case, really not a nice situation. I thought that the nv driver would still receive some care.

It appears thus that Nvidia is a dead end here. Nvidia support quite "sucks" in open source.

On Ebay I found out that while used little for workstation, the small form factor was used in several server cards thus I could get a cheap one. I need a passive cooled one too, since the small box is crowded. What would you suggest (considering only 2D performance):
1) NVidia Quadro 2, Geforce4, etc: I fear that again we will have a driver card, even if it is a better card than my own
2) AtiRage 128: they seem to be abundant and cheap
3) Matrox, Millennium, G450: I remember them as good cards, but are the driver still working?
4) Sil, Silicon image: never heard of them

Wanting to avoid Nvidia... I'd go for 2) or even 3) if the driver is a decent one. I never heard of these SIL cards
 

SirDice

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so, you say that the nv driver is bitrotting and the only alternative would be the proprietary Nvidia driver which not only doesn't support my card but also requires linux emul?
The NVidia driver doesn't require the Linux emulation, you can switch it off. The driver works fine without it. The option is only used to provide 2D/3D acceleration for Linux applications running on the emulation layer.
 
OP
multix

multix

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The NVidia driver doesn't require the Linux emulation, you can switch it off. The driver works fine without it. The option is only used to provide 2D/3D acceleration for Linux applications running on the emulation layer.

In understand. Still, since protocelt says my card would be unsupported with the proprietary driver, I need to change card anyway. Wanting to avoid Nvidia now and caring only about 2D performance (xterms, development, coding and web browsing) what would you suggest: older ATi Rage, Matrox or Silicon Image? which has the best X driver essentially.
 

protocelt

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In understand. Still, since protocelt says my card would be unsupported with the proprietary driver, I need to change card anyway. Wanting to avoid Nvidia now and caring only about 2D performance (xterms, development, coding and web browsing) what would you suggest: older ATi Rage, Matrox or Silicon Image? which has the best X driver essentially.
I know some users here have reported having had decent luck with some older ATI/AMD cards, though I haven't used any ATI/AMD or any of the other cards you've mentioned myself, so can't speak from experience.
 
OP
multix

multix

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I bought a Radeon 7000 card and it seems to work quite well and it solved the font and refresh problem and it also feels a little bit snappier too.
I think something is running with a weird gamma or color mapping, since the brighter colors look wrong, but that is a totally different issue than this thread so it is off-topic.

"fixed by replacement" :)
 
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