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  • NVIDIA Issues An Open-Source Driver Update

    Phoronix: NVIDIA Issues An Open-Source Driver Update

    NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner has just announced the release of the xf86-video-nv 2.1.14 driver, but does it have anything in store? Not really. The NVIDIA open-source X.Org driver update brings support for a couple of new ASICs, fixed mode-setting for some NVIDIA GPUs, and other fixes, but nothing too exciting.....

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzM2MQ

  • #2
    I really wish nVidia would de classify the specs for some of their older hardware so that users out there who still had the older stuff could get drivers made for their wares.

    I like open source but I understand the need for nVidia to keep it's secrets hidden away from the likes of intel and ati. They have a right........ in light of competition.

    I know I wouldn't bother to sink a bunch of money into a new technology if I couldn't use it as an advantage against my business rivals.

    But for the older stuff, say two or three generations back, it should be fine.

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    • #3
      AFAIK the Utah-GLX devs had Nvidia docs under NDA for the Rivas and early Geforces. Wonder what happened to those.

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      • #4
        In a perfect world this would be really fine. But i don't think that will happen soon. The oss driver provides basic 2d acc and xv - the same you get now for ati r600/r700 gpus. For full speed you are forced in both cases to install binary drivers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kano View Post
          The oss driver provides basic 2d acc and xv - the same you get now for ati r600/r700 gpus.
          That is not entirely accurate, the xf86-video-nv driver has xv acceleration only for older chips. It will probably never have xv on current and future generation chips. See this thread for details. OTOH, xf86-video-ati/radeonhd support xv on all Radeon GPUs.

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          • #6
            I don't know anybody who does not install the binary driver anyway. I made a script to do so that even works in live mode with Debian/Ubuntu live images - on hd install of course too. I guess that's easy enough.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by curaga View Post
              AFAIK the Utah-GLX devs had Nvidia docs under NDA for the Rivas and early Geforces. Wonder what happened to those.
              They're still there for the taking over at the SourceForge repository.

              But the codebase was for the Riva series of adapters- and you'd have quite a bit of work to re-work the drivers, especially without the docs, to work under DRI/Mesa or Gallium3D/Mesa as they're rather specific to Utah-GLX and you'd have to know what the code was doing to be able to crib from it and it's not useful past the Riva series.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by halfmanhalfamazing View Post
                I like open source but I understand the need for nVidia to keep it's secrets hidden away from the likes of intel and ati. They have a right........ in light of competition.

                I know I wouldn't bother to sink a bunch of money into a new technology if I couldn't use it as an advantage against my business rivals.

                But for the older stuff, say two or three generations back, it should be fine.
                Your argument doesn't really hold water... AMD opened their specs for their latest and greatest GPUs - did that put them into a competitive disadvantage? I'd say it did the exact opposite: buying AMD hardware makes more sense now that we are not dependent on the whims of the closed-source binaries.

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                • #9
                  You have to be really lucky when your ATI hardware still working when the driver is in such a good shape with full 3d support, GLSL and all for a current r600/r700 GPU. My X700 cards just died when all major bugs have been solved, well speed was maybe 50% or less and GLSL did not work.

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                  • #10
                    GLSL support for r300-r500 is not finished yet.
                    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                    I don't think the current r3xx-r5xx shader compiler implements all of the IR opcodes needed for GLSL, but it's probably 2/3 of the way there.
                    But it appears that the progress is quite good.
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    I don't know anybody who does not install the binary driver anyway.
                    Many people now use the open source nouveau driver. It offers XRandR 1.2 support and has very good 2D performance. You can stop by #nouveau @ freenode IRC if you wish to give it a try.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by curaga View Post
                      AFAIK the Utah-GLX devs had Nvidia docs under NDA for the Rivas and early Geforces. Wonder what happened to those.
                      Intel and Microsoft jointly threatened to sue them for releasing documentation about licensed IP they were using at the time. I'm not sure about the details exactly, but I understand that nvidia pulled the documentation, and then canceled the plans for the open driver. I believe it was at that time that nVidia decided to go whole hog on its own closed driver.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kano View Post
                        I don't know anybody who does not install the binary driver anyway. I made a script to do so that even works in live mode with Debian/Ubuntu live images - on hd install of course too. I guess that's easy enough.
                        I do, but you don't know me

                        I must admit I once tried to install fglrx on my desktop, but as far as I understand, it completely locked my machine on X startup because of a problem between my mainboard (p5k I think) when using 4Gb of RAM with a 64 bit kernel. Something about bad mtrr (whatever those are). So fglrx will never work with this machine.

                        But I have both my desktop (2600HD) and laptop (X700) using the ati driver.

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                        • #13
                          Usually BIOS updates from the mobo mfg will fix issues with 4GB or higher.

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                          • #14
                            No such bios update for this motherboard.
                            I suppose the radeon driver will have the same problem as the fglrx one as soon as 3D accel will be there. At this point I guess I'll just change the mobo.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kano View Post
                              In a perfect world this would be really fine. But i don't think that will happen soon. The oss driver provides basic 2d acc and xv - the same you get now for ati r600/r700 gpus. For full speed you are forced in both cases to install binary drivers.
                              In official releases yes, in the development trees there's drivers for r600/r700 some people can already play OpenGL games with. And it's getting better all the time.

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