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Thread: A Nouveau 3D Driver That Works For Old NVIDIA Hardware

  1. #1
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    Default A Nouveau 3D Driver That Works For Old NVIDIA Hardware

    Phoronix: A Nouveau 3D Driver That Works For Old NVIDIA Hardware

    While there is now DRM support in the Linux 2.6.33 kernel for the Nouveau driver that carries the bits for kernel mode-setting, 2D (EXA) acceleration, and other fundamental functions on NVIDIA graphics processors, the Gallium3D driver still is incomplete. Prior to focusing solely on Gallium3D for their OpenGL acceleration, the Nouveau project was working on a DRI driver for classic Mesa, but that work was dropped in 2008 to focus entirely on Gallium3D support...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzk1NA

  2. #2
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    Believe me when I say I know people that still have a geforce 2 mx 440 I'm always, always happy about these news. Linux must support everything, from the beginning to the end. This is why I also love wine.. where microsofts interrupts support for a program to run on a specific windows version, wine does the trick. Freedom, future compatibility , these are the things I love.

  3. #3
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    Old or not, these are great news and asbullext said, I now a lot of people with legacy NVidia cards.

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    BTW too many good news from the open graphics world during the last days... Let's see if it stays in that way

  5. #5
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    Very nice news. I have an old Twinhead P14 laptop with a Geforce4 440 GO or so. Very cool machine!

  6. #6
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    *raises hand*
    I still have some Geforce 2 and a Gef. 3 floating around. The Geforce 3 was once the most expensive part of my own box I used (and still use) but I replaced it later with a less energy hungry Geforce 2 low end model that I bought cheap off ebay.
    So nice that these old things will fly again.

  7. #7
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    Default Error in article

    NV20 covers the Geforce2 and Geforce4MX card families; Geforce3 and Geforce4 (not MX) are the NV30 families.

    The Geforce3 added fixed function shaders acceleration over the Geforce2 (it's a DirectX8, or OpenGL1.3, card). The Geforce4MX used a Geforce2's engine (DirectX7, or OpenGL 1.1), but with a revamped memory controller, making it much faster than Geforce3 on shaders-less applications.

    The Geforce4 added a few shaders functions (DirectX 8.1 or OpenGL 1.4) and a new memory controller to the Geforce3. Still, with a good preprocessor, you can run programmable shaders somewhat on those cards - making them eligible for Gallium3D support, while all shaders have to be supported entirely in software on Geforce2 and Geforce4MX - making them useless in Gallium.

    It has been a long discussion on Nouveau's mailing list about whether programming a Gallium3D driver for NV20 and lower was actually worthwhile. Seems like they decided it wasn't.

  8. #8
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    when this branch will be merged to mesa-master ? I need it asap...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitch074 View Post
    NV20 covers the Geforce2 and Geforce4MX card families; Geforce3 and Geforce4 (not MX) are the NV30 families.

    The Geforce3 added fixed function shaders acceleration over the Geforce2 (it's a DirectX8, or OpenGL1.3, card). The Geforce4MX used a Geforce2's engine (DirectX7, or OpenGL 1.1), but with a revamped memory controller, making it much faster than Geforce3 on shaders-less applications.

    The Geforce4 added a few shaders functions (DirectX 8.1 or OpenGL 1.4) and a new memory controller to the Geforce3. Still, with a good preprocessor, you can run programmable shaders somewhat on those cards - making them eligible for Gallium3D support, while all shaders have to be supported entirely in software on Geforce2 and Geforce4MX - making them useless in Gallium.

    It has been a long discussion on Nouveau's mailing list about whether programming a Gallium3D driver for NV20 and lower was actually worthwhile. Seems like they decided it wasn't.
    NV30 are GeForce 5. The highest GeForce 4 code number is the NV28, the 4200 TI. The thing is, as you said, anything below NV30, with supposedly pixel shaders, requires some effort to use them. They are the first attempts for a programmable pipe and are thus crude implementations. Even GeForce 3 has pixel shaders (the nFinit FX engine), but it's pretty much useless. I was surprised to see GeForce 4 (non MX) cards being mentioned as Gallium3D friendly. I have an NV28M and anything involving pixel shaders that I've tried has failed. Maybe it's drivers related...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitch074 View Post
    NV20 covers the Geforce2 and Geforce4MX card families; Geforce3 and Geforce4 (not MX) are the NV30 families.
    NV20's, NV25's and NV30's plus the tests the guy did was with a GF4 card.

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