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Thread: Nvidia Cards & Linux

  1. #1
    Advisor beezlebubsbum's Avatar
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    Nvidia Cards & Linux

    I have heard that Nvidia cards are really crappy under linux. Is this true? What are the problems that are faced by owners with Nvidia cards and linux? The machine that I am using now has a GeForce 4 MX440 and is running Knoppix, and it seems to be working... so what is all the fuss about?
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  2. #2
    Mentor jro's Avatar
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    I haven't heard about this. I have a Geforce Ti4600 and it works slick with Tux. nVidia's driver installer is the best out there IMHO. It can query Nvidia servers for the most recent version and download and install itself, I like it. As for preformance, the native Linux games (Enemey-Territory, UT2004, Quake3) all run faster on Linux than they do on my Windows partition. Its not like a day and night difference but the FPS don't lie.
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  3. #3
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    When I first started using Knoppix there was tons of problems with the nVidia drivers in the hd install. The live cd would config that nVidia card just fine, try to install Knoppix and it crapped! Same problem with Libranet. With Knoppix 3.4 and Libranet 2.8 (you have to pay attention during the install, there will be a prompt about the nVidia drivers) its a no-brainer.

    It seems that most of this stuff gets fixed before I know there is a problem!

    Where in Australia are ya, mate?

  4. #4
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    I think you were misinformed, nVidia cards are probobly the most well supported GFX cards for linux, the drivers are great (while still closed source, but I am not about to whine about it), the cards are super fast, and I cant think of one problem I have had using any of my nVidia cards with linux since my TNT2 started it all way back when.

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    i'll whine that they are not free software (yes, they are free as in beer, but that's not what i mean). But I seem to be in the minority. They are very good performance wise if that is all you care about.

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    My $0.02 on this: If I remember correctly Nvidia support was *awful* a couple of years ago (around 2000, I believe.) ATI was the way to go for decent driver support on modern graphics hardware. Then, in about 2001, Nvidia came onboard with Linux support in a big way but caused a major stink in the community by making their drivers proprietary. Even Alan Cox has admitted that they have a strong business interest in not open sourcing the drivers since doing so might expose a lot of the underlying technology which is the _whole reason_ they're the top graphics company.

    At this point the nv driver (included in the stock Linux kernel) is the open source alternative to the proprietary drivers. It runs like a charm but doesn't allow acceleration. In English: if you play games, you pretty much have to use the proprietary drivers. If you don't, the open source nv driver works great (it's what I use.)

    And, finally, last I heard ATI's drivers are pretty second rate for Linux.

  7. #7
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    One one hand, I have a closed source (licensed by ownership of my hardware so no additional cost, just not open source) driver that makes my graphics card function to the top of its technical specifications as laid out by the manufacturer allowing me to play all of my 3d games with fantastic quality as well as flawless 2d support. And on the other hand I have a free, open source driver that allows me to view........pictures................What choice would you guys make

  8. #8
    Advisor beezlebubsbum's Avatar
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    Thanks for that everyone, I ended up not getting an Nvidia card, nor a ATI card, but the new S3 Delta Chrome. It was pretty cheap (about the same price as a 9200 or fx5200) but I can get 8128 3d marks under 2001 SE for it. Oh, and it works under linux well too!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZennouRyuu
    One one hand, I have a closed source (licensed by ownership of my hardware so no additional cost, just not open source) driver that makes my graphics card function to the top of its technical specifications as laid out by the manufacturer allowing me to play all of my 3d games with fantastic quality as well as flawless 2d support. And on the other hand I have a free, open source driver that allows me to view........pictures................What choice would you guys make
    the open source driver

  10. #10
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    LoL, why would you forsake the power of your video card (that you already payed for) on the base of not having access to the source code, do you use it? I mean, if nVidia opened the source to the drivers would you really have some major improvement to add or is it just the personalidealism that you have?

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