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VIA Graphics & Other Vintage GPUs Still Interest At Least One Developer In 2017

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  • #11
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    Seconded. I would have really liked having SBC-like systems with x86 and a BIOS so I could deal with them as if they were PCs.
    Like these?

    http://www.up-board.org/
    https://up-shop.org/4-up-boards

    UP Core 1GB DDR3 + 16 GB eMMC is only $89. Their GPUs are cut-down versions of the same ones in Intel desktop products, so driver support should be good.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by coder View Post
      Like these?

      http://www.up-board.org/
      https://up-shop.org/4-up-boards

      UP Core 1GB DDR3 + 16 GB eMMC is only $89. Their GPUs are cut-down versions of the same ones in Intel desktop products, so driver support should be good.
      Aah, yissss!!!

      I'll have to find a source that ships in EU, and I hope their ME can be silenced as normal, but those things should do.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
        Aah, yissss!!!

        I'll have to find a source that ships in EU
        https://up-shop.org/content/8-local-resellers

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        • #14
          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
          Really kind of a shame VIA didn't focus more on Linux. Once Intel and AMD became the sole suppliers of their own motherboard chipsets (instead of VIA, SiS, Nvidia, etc also making some) VIA really faded into obscurity, and I don't think they had to. Their own CPU lineup was (maybe not so much anymore) a decent alternative to ARM, where you had very low-power multi-core systems with a small form factor and a decent price. The advantages of VIA's platforms were software compatibility with x86 while still packing their motherboards full of modular features that you couldn't get on ARM. The problem was their CPUs were just too weak for any Windows OS newer than XP, and their GPUs were mostly useless on anything that wasn't Windows. If you just wanted an embedded system, ARM and MIPS were cheaper. So, VIA's market became very niche - PoS machines where the client's software required Windows. Only once have I personally worked on a VIA machine, and it was a cash register.

          If VIA put more attention or effort toward Linux, they probably would've seen a decent revenue increase, and maybe have had an influence on products like the Arduino Galileo, Intel NUC, or the AMD Gizmo.

          Anyway, what exactly is the newest VIA/S3 graphics chip? I haven't heard of any new releases of VIA products for at least 5 years.
          It seems they've been doing approximately every wacky thing they can think of, their website reads a bit like a parody.

          This thing seems pretty cool though, if it's not completely defeated by garbage software: https://www.viatech.com/en/solutions...ia-alegro-100/

          They've also got a D3D11-level graphics chipset which OpenChrome guy doesn't even seem to be aware of https://www.viatech.com/en/silicon/chipsets/vx11/

          For what it's worth, I think they're right to basically ignore Linux on their x86 platforms. The point of these products is to be able to run x86 Windows applications in a small form factor with acceptable performance. Without that x86 license, they would be just another mediocre ARM chipset maker. They don't even bother to say on their website what GPU is in their ARM boards.
          Last edited by microcode; 09-23-2017, 03:16 AM.

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          • #15
            Do you know that Via should have commercialize a chipset named PT960? It should have supported 1333Mhz Fsb and pcie 2.0.

            I've used linux operating systems over PT880 motherboards since the latest few years.
            Last edited by Azrael5; 09-23-2017, 06:53 AM.

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            • #16
              Props to this guy! We need more people like him. It's incredibly cool to be able to continue using old hardware, so that it can take advantage of other improvements found in the latest versions of Linux.

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              • #17
                Is there a point to it? As I seem to recall, majority of the 'vintage' GPUs were part of the systems, which were 32bit tops.
                With the gradual deprecation of i586, all effort put there becomes wasted.. Sooner or later.
                Last edited by aht0; 09-24-2017, 07:07 PM.

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                • #18
                  A proper driver for a 3dfx would be interesting. I still have a Voodoo and the last time fired it up (2010), it still benched faster in 2D than many modern cards made at the time. 3D was another matter, since it ran on AGP.

                  We can thank them for SLI, though NVidia has changed it quite a bit since the Voodoo 5 came around.

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                  • #19
                    VIA is still around and produce a Windows 10 compatible CPU in the Eden Family of CPU's which are popular on cheapo Pico and Mini-ITX boards. They recently remarketed their C7 (Centaur), Nano (Atom competitor) CPU lines for IoT devices.

                    They were supposed to come out with a new ZX series this year using a 16nm fab

                    But what hurts VIA is that they don't have rights to develop advanced Intel compatible chipsets. When Intel developed the Pentium 4, they brought all chipset development in house and threatened legal action if VIA attempted to reverse engineer the design.

                    Their Cyrix and Centaur IP only permits them to design up to a level at or just above a Pentium III. After that they are on their own, With such a low R&D budget for x86, they clearly can't keep pace.

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