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GeForce And Radeon Take On Linux

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 12, 2006 10:09:07 AM

Graphics technology makes quantum leaps on a regular basis, but Windows isn't necessarily everyone's darling. We tried Fedora Core 5 to check the "state of the Linux union".

More about : geforce radeon linux

July 12, 2006 1:23:10 PM

I can't imagine anyone would spend $400 on a graphics card for a Linux system. The thought of SLI on a Linux system seems like a wasted expense as well.

I tried Cedega, Wine, etc. They are novel almost-solutions at best.
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July 12, 2006 1:52:18 PM

Quote:
I can't imagine anyone would spend $400 on a graphics card for a Linux system. The thought of SLI on a Linux system seems like a wasted expense as well.

I tried Cedega, Wine, etc. They are novel almost-solutions at best.


I agree - until PS3 games are available, there is not enough games to justify that expense.... (yes PS3 games/software is written in linux - google it)....
July 12, 2006 2:29:44 PM

Just because it is written in Linux doesn't mean it'll run in Linux, since it'll be compiled for the PS3/Cell instruction set, not Linux/x86.

Even with the Cell's surposed ability to compile any code into it's own native code using just-in-time compilers, that's still going to mean a performance hit so I don't see games developers making 'use' of this feature.
July 12, 2006 2:35:19 PM

Quote:
I can't imagine anyone would spend $400 on a graphics card for a Linux system. The thought of SLI on a Linux system seems like a wasted expense as well.

I tried Cedega, Wine, etc. They are novel almost-solutions at best.


I agree - until PS3 games are available, there is not enough games to justify that expense.... (yes PS3 games/software is written in linux - google it)....

Well, I would never purchase a Sony product either.

Laitainion is correct, though. One parallel I like to draw is that games for the Sega Genesis were developed on Amiga systems since the hardware was similar. Just because the IDE exists on one platform for a game system doesn't mean that that platform can also make use of the developed games.

As a software engineer myself, I would much prefer writing games for the Xbox/Xbox360 since they use DirectX/Windows functionality. It would make porting games to the PC a no-brianer.
July 12, 2006 2:45:20 PM

Quote:
Just because it is written in Linux doesn't mean it'll run in Linux, since it'll be compiled for the PS3/Cell instruction set, not Linux/x86.

Even with the Cell's surposed ability to compile any code into it's own native code using just-in-time compilers, that's still going to mean a performance hit so I don't see games developers making 'use' of this feature.


If the PS3 games needs an emulator to run on linux someone will write one.... Unlike the windows game emulators this one should work on all PS3 games.... Yes there will be a performance hit, and it will not be as fast as an actual PS3 - unless PCs and Video cards get faster....
July 12, 2006 3:34:44 PM

I bought a 6800GT just for my Linux box, I'm tired of wasted time scanning for scumware and constant WGA/Security updates, I wanted a game box to Play Quake3 and Quake4. Id has ported both to Linux, I have them both flying on my rig. BTW, the money I saved on software made it possible to buy better hardware.
Additional Software for Windows:
MS Office
Photoshop
Illustrator
etc. = more $$$ (to support basic functions beyond Paint and Wordpad)

Office alone almost saved enought to fund my display adapter. All these funtions can be done on Linux without buying expensive software.
NVIDIA support is pretty good these days, installs and configures quite easily
compared to what was available just a few years ago.
July 12, 2006 4:03:44 PM

I liked this artical all in all. But I think they should have put in a Doom 3 benchmark as well. I would have liked to seen the differances between ATI and Nvidia with the current drivers under doom 3.

Soon Croteam will finish porting Serious Sam 2 for linux. I wonder what kind of performance differences will be between linux and windows for that game.

system:
Mandriva 2006
Athon XP 2800
nvidia 1.0-8762
FX5950 Ultra
July 12, 2006 4:55:01 PM

I thought i'd share my experiencies of ati on 64bit-linux and nVidia on 32-bit linux: Go for nVidia!

That my sound harsh, but after struggling with ati-drivers for 10's of hours i'm quite fed up. Let me tell you the story from the beginning:

In January i bought a laptop (a HP nx6125 ml-40 with an ati X300). Fine, i had heard that ati was hard to live with, but at first the driver wouldn't even recognize my card (this isn't really only ati's fault, HP edited some versionstring that is used to identify the card :(  ), so i could not use any hardware acceleration at all.

ATI then released an updated driver, which recognized my card. That was pleasing, but the performance was dreadfull, and it never got any better with the updates from ATI. Then came an update to Xorg, and ATI's drivers are incompatible with it and have been for some time now :( 

I now use xorg-x11 opengl-implementation and open-source drivers (xf86-video-ati with mesa). Imagine the chock when i tested the performance now, it was better than with ATI's own drivers. I tested with glxgears at 1440x1050: ATI's drivers deliverd at most 750fps and the open-sourced driver delivers 1100fps! This still is really bad numbers, as a comparison my geforce4 4600ti delivers ~5000 fps

Furthermore, with the open-soured driver I can now change the brightness level of my display while in X via the hardware-buttons, which i couldn't do with ATI's drivers (i could change brightness in the console).

My old desktop uses the above mentioned geforce4 4600ti (p4 2.53ghz, 512mb PC2100), and there have never been a problem with the nVidia-drivers. And as someone before mentioned, i have it running Xgl ;)  My friends all looks quite stunned when i play a movie in a window placed round the corner of the cube ;) 

That's my story on ATI and nVidia on linux.

Best regards
andrnils
July 12, 2006 6:01:38 PM

Oh, that's right, I run Doom3 too!
Doom3 rocks on this system. In my opinion Nvidia has much better support at present, I've worked with both and found Nvidia is much more user friendly and much less problematic.

I also have XGL on my Geforce 448Go powered laptop. Was pretty easy to install on Suse 10.1 from Novell's write-up, 10.0 is a little more tricky.


8)
Athlon 3800+ X2
MSI NX6800GT
1 GB Ballistix PC4000
200 GB SATA-II Seagate
Abit AN8 Ultra
July 12, 2006 6:47:47 PM

Quote:
I bought a 6800GT just for my Linux box, I'm tired of wasted time scanning for scumware and constant WGA/Security updates, I wanted a game box to Play Quake3 and Quake4. Id has ported both to Linux, I have them both flying on my rig. BTW, the money I saved on software made it possible to buy better hardware.
Additional Software for Windows:
MS Office
Photoshop
Illustrator
etc. = more $$$ (to support basic functions beyond Paint and Wordpad)

Office alone almost saved enought to fund my display adapter. All these funtions can be done on Linux without buying expensive software.
NVIDIA support is pretty good these days, installs and configures quite easily
compared to what was available just a few years ago.


I have been 'linux only' since 2000.... And have never once missed windows - so I know what you are saying.... I am obviously not a big gamer, so I have no need for windows.... I grew out of that phase of life a long time ago....
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2006 7:23:40 PM

Quote:

If the PS3 games needs an emulator to run on linux someone will write one.... Unlike the windows game emulators this one should work on all PS3 games.... Yes there will be a performance hit, and it will not be as fast as an actual PS3 - unless PCs and Video cards get faster....


You know you can also develop in a windows environment, eh?

They are using Cg and OpenGL-ES-P, and with Cg you could code in either Linux or Windows and then export quite well. One of the advantages of using such interfaces is the ability to easily export to other platforms.

And since the PS3 is not just another PC running Linux, but actually a proprietary adaptation, don't expect that you'll get an emulator any time soon, nor easily.

I suspect the emlator will be hard to make and take a very long time at best, but like the PS2 and Xbox (could emulate Halo on huge servers using AIX, but that's not practical now is it).
July 12, 2006 7:51:24 PM

I tired Fedora 5 and it dindnt work for me :?

I coudnt find a good guide about how to install the Nvidia drivers

You have to see what linux kernel ver you have, install the kernel for your GPU, some headers and the driver it self.

I tired for several days but i couldnt install it properly


I would like to see something in linux like "add or remove programs" just like in windows

And you should only need to worry about the driver and no more

I dont like windows but at least is more easy to use.

Cmon! You even need to dl some files to make mp3s work (at least on fedora)
July 12, 2006 8:14:06 PM

Well, ubuntu has a really nice package manager, you may want to try it out, see here for more details.

Myself i use gentoo, but thats a little bit trickier according to some... But i like the control i have there ;) 

I can't remeber that nvidia-drivers were that hard to install. I remember it as (the manual way):
Download the installer, run the installer, add 'nvidia' to /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6, do as root 'modprobe nvidia' and edit the 'device'-part in /etc/X11/xorg.conf like so [code:1:9c45a4cb99]Section "Device"
Identifier "SomeName"
Driver "nvidia"
EndSection
[/code:1:9c45a4cb99] and the restart X. It's possible that Red Hat has changed the paths to these files, but slocate should find them for you ;) 

By the way: That you have to download some files to play mp3's is thanks to some ruleing in an american court, i think they face rather sever consquences if they include these files...

Best regards
andrnils
July 12, 2006 8:14:46 PM

I'd like to second those that had problems with the ati driver. I can't get my M9 mobility radeon to work with 3-D acceleration in Fedora Core 5, and it worked fine with Fedora Core 3.

Linux drivers still have a way to go in my opinion (ATI's fault, not linux). I think the article could have been improved if there was some discussion on success/failure rate on installing drivers (a quick poll on fedora forum would have been edifying).
July 12, 2006 8:21:32 PM

Such a poll would be interesting but predictable,... and why only on the feodora forums ;) 

Personally i never liked feodora, i never got the feeling of control i do on my gentoo installs, and i feel 'lost' as where to find files in feodora (most of this goes for ubuntu too, but ubuntu at least has a decent package mangager ;)  )

andrnils
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2006 8:44:16 PM

Quote:

Linux drivers still have a way to go in my opinion (ATI's fault, not linux).


Yep, it's the red-headed step-child of graphics, only getting luke warm support from anyone.

Quote:
I think the article could have been improved if there was some discussion on success/failure rate on installing drivers (a quick poll on fedora forum would have been edifying).


Not really. It would be like posting an Ati vs nV or AMD vs Intl poll here, not imperical data, just op-onion of a small cross-section, and usually more representative of people's current choices.

And if it weren't a graphics specific section within the fedora forum of people knowledgeable i the field, you end up with old news and stereotypes. How manyh n00bs here in this specialized forum still base their driver discussions on things 5 years ago?

Polls are for politics, not for reviews, unless it's to find out what people are using right now, not what works/doesn't.
July 12, 2006 9:11:47 PM

I could certainly be wrong regarding a poll, but I was thinking questions such as "have you tried to install your proprietary ati/nvidia driver, and if so:

a) nvidia
b) ati

Was the driver install:

a) straightforward
b) i can't get the damn thing to work."


Granted it's still subjective, and forum uses aren't necessarily a true cross-section, but it does avoid asking for opinions on ati vs. nvidia.

I just suggested fedora forum because the article was on FC5. I'd definately be interested in the experience of others' distros.

But I'm happy Tom's is doing linux articles, as "StrangeStranger" pointed out. I hope future hardware reviews will consider linux compatibility.
a b U Graphics card
July 12, 2006 9:22:38 PM

True something along that line would be better, and avoid the AvsB scenario more.

The funny thing is I was all for Linux in the early yeara (heck I was an Xwindows, AIX, VMS guy in University in Mtl), but really it just became more hassle than it was worth (not saying I like windows :evil:  ). Heck right now I love surfing for something small (like movie times, or BestBuy price on item in store) on my PSP, because by the time I've found the information and shutdown again, my PC hasn't finished booting up.

I agree I like seeing the Linux reviews, because I'd like to do dual boot in the future once I ge tthe dual-core laptop, and then I'd like to get back up to speed on Linux again, this helps.
July 12, 2006 10:44:10 PM

Quote:
I tired Fedora 5 and it dindnt work for me :?

I coudnt find a good guide about how to install the Nvidia drivers

You have to see what linux kernel ver you have, install the kernel for your GPU, some headers and the driver it self.

I tired for several days but i couldnt install it properly


you could have typed 'yum install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia*'

OR used add/remove software, but you would have to have know what your were looking for.... If you use fedoraforum.org you would get all the answer you need.


Quote:
I would like to see something in linux like "add or remove programs" just like in windows


like I said above it has an add/remove software - you missed it somehow?

Quote:
Cmon! You even need to dl some files to make mp3s work (at least on fedora)


that I can not defend(only fedora does).... but you just have to type in a comand or go to add/remove software....

Give fedora another chance.... It has a learning curve just like windows did...
July 12, 2006 11:26:59 PM

Quote:
I bought a 6800GT just for my Linux box, I'm tired of wasted time scanning for scumware and constant WGA/Security updates, I wanted a game box to Play Quake3 and Quake4. Id has ported both to Linux, I have them both flying on my rig. BTW, the money I saved on software made it possible to buy better hardware.
Additional Software for Windows:
MS Office
Photoshop
Illustrator
etc. = more $$$ (to support basic functions beyond Paint and Wordpad)

Office alone almost saved enought to fund my display adapter. All these funtions can be done on Linux without buying expensive software.
NVIDIA support is pretty good these days, installs and configures quite easily
compared to what was available just a few years ago.


Whatever 'free' alternatives you're running on Linux are more than likely available for Windows. So, the only thing you 'save' on software is by not purchasing Windows itself. But, if you bought an OEM PC, more than likely you would get a 'free' copy of Windows XP anyhow. I have checked around and a DVD copy of a decent Linux distro (I prefer SuSE) is nearly the same price as a copy of Windows XP from a cheap software house.

Linux supporters always exaggerate the cost of ownership .. but when cost is the only advantage, I guess you have to take what you can get. Why don't Linux users ever slam Apple for having inordinately expensive products?

Anyhow, sorry for digressing. From my experience, I was able to get both ATI and Nvidia drivers working fine. Although this was with older cards (Radeon 8500 and Gefroce Ti4200 respectively). Counter Strike worked fine on Cedega/Wine as well, but at about ~ 20 fps less than the Windows equivalent ..
July 13, 2006 2:24:32 AM

Firstly, great article.
Second, here's my experience:

Started with a TNT card and Suse 9.1 (but never bothered with a graphics driver, no good bundled games anyway). Put Suse 10.0 on the beginning of this year. Thought i'd follow the "SuSE users: please read the SuSE NVIDIA Installer HOWTO before downloading the driver." from the nVidia website. yeah, great. someone forgot to metion on that page that "old" cards weren't supported (at least now there's a link to "latest legacy driver", wasn't before).

So after downloading the "nVidia driver patch" through YAST, i sat and waited and nothing happened. tried again, still nothing. after intense googling and reading (all using w3m, somewhere told me to shut my X down to install drivers).
Eventually i just downloaded the pure driver from the normal place, installed some kernel source, and had me a driver within minutes.

after a while, i came across two "new" cards. a TNT2 Vanta and a Matrox G450. As the Matrox had a twinhead, i thought i'd try it first. X wouldn't even start after booting. In went the TNT2, not only did X start, the 3d support was still there, didn't have to reinstall anything.

After more eBaying, i got my "newest" card, a GeForce 4 MX 440, 64MB. power down, unplug old, plug in new, power on, works great. (and my Tuxracer FPS went from 25-30 @800*600 to 100-130@1024*768, even on the old driver).
After a while, i got bored, and since this card was supported by the newest driver, i thought i'd try the YAST driver update again. still didn't work.
so back to the normal method. got the latest driver a lot easier this time (download, stop X, run .sh file, restart X). couldn't be easier.


So, after all of this, the moral of the story?
- Suse users, just install kernel source from the cds and run the .sh like any other distro (click 'no' to try to download precompiled, compile your own, it's easier).
- Even though i've never tried with an ATI driver (or ever owned an ATI card), i'm sticking with nVidia for my new AM2 or conroe system, because i know the system, and the system works (ditto staying with Suse, although i may try another distro at some point)

Also, question time:
- given the age of my hardware (should be in the siggy), can someone reccomend some good lingames? all i've got are the ones that come bundled with SuSE 10.0, and i'm getting bored with FreeCiv and Tuxracer.
- or is there an easy way to play my existing wingames on my linbox without VMing, WINEing or dualbooting? (unreal, blood2, half life, mechwarrior3, need for speed3, etc)
- on the overclocking front, the article mentioned that NVclock was only for GeForce fx/6/7. is there any way to overclock older cards?
- also, i think my TVout isn't working (but haven't properly investigated fully as my tv is now busted). do i need to do anything special to get TVout working?
July 13, 2006 3:18:24 AM

Quote:
I bought a 6800GT just for my Linux box, I'm tired of wasted time scanning for scumware and constant WGA/Security updates, I wanted a game box to Play Quake3 and Quake4. Id has ported both to Linux, I have them both flying on my rig. BTW, the money I saved on software made it possible to buy better hardware.
Additional Software for Windows:
MS Office
Photoshop
Illustrator
etc. = more $$$ (to support basic functions beyond Paint and Wordpad)

Office alone almost saved enought to fund my display adapter. All these funtions can be done on Linux without buying expensive software.
NVIDIA support is pretty good these days, installs and configures quite easily
compared to what was available just a few years ago.


Uh, since when is it a requirement to buy MS office for a gaming rig ?! Photoshop ?! Adobe Illustrator ?! I suppose you never heard of OPenOffice ? Guess what . .. there is a windows port . . .Never heard of Paint.NET either eh ? Its free . . .

The ignorance concerning Windows products now days is truely astonishing . . .
July 13, 2006 3:37:53 AM

Ive tried both ATI, and nVidia products on Linux, console only, and X both. I've had bad experiences with both, sometimes one would work, while the other wouldnt. While I'm not really a linux guru, my distro of choice is Debian, never tried Fedora core x, and only have limited experience with slackware, and Redhat (including some Mandrake experience from years ago). Anyhow, I was never able to get OGL working correctly, even though I DID like the self compiling module from nVidia (even though for some reason it would not persist from reboot, to reboot, I must have done something wrong, and got tired of messing with it).

I can see how nVidia product would prevail in *NIX since they always have seemed stronger in the OpenGL arena. As for gaming on Linux . . . I dont really see the point, I mean I can understand the need for feeling free with your OS, but if you're a serious gamer, Windows is the only real way to go. Otherwise, you'll end up compromising on what titles you play, and how you play them.

Linux is very good as a server, and I can see running it on a dev box neither of which really needs all that fast of a graphics card. Now, I can also see using Linux being used to render models etc (when was the last time you had a rendering farm using windows machines?) I recall reading about The Lord of the Rings movies being rendered on 1000 dual CPU AMD boxen more than a year ago, you can pretty much bet they didnt use Directx / Windows to do this . . .
July 13, 2006 3:40:43 AM

Quote:


you could have typed 'yum install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia*'

OR used add/remove software, but you would have to have know what your were looking for.... If you use fedoraforum.org you would get all the answer you need.


I did that, infact i used several yum install bla bla bla
But later i found out that if you use diferent repostris (?) you may have troubles


Quote:
like I said above it has an add/remove software - you missed it somehow?


I didnt see it but in WinXP you just need to unstaill driver-> reboot->double click on the installer -> reboot and thats it

On fedora is a nightmare, myabe i just had bad luck

Quote:


that I can not defend(only fedora does).... but you just have to type in a comand or go to add/remove software....

Give fedora another chance.... It has a learning curve just like windows did...


Ill give a nother try to linux but with another distro. No more fedora for me

Now the question i have is if i reformat the part in which fedora is installed will my pc boot again?

My hd is partitioned in 2, fedora and winxp

Every time i turn it on a fedora-like window ask if i wish to star fedora or "other os" in this case WinXP
July 13, 2006 3:47:52 AM

Quote:

Ill give a nother try to linux but with another distro. No more fedora for me

Now the question i have is if i reformat the part in which fedora is installed will my pc boot again?

My hd is partitioned in 2, fedora and winxp

Every time i turn it on a fedora-like window ask if i wish to star fedora or "other os" in this case WinXP


Well according to the people I do know who use Fedora (again, I never used it myself) it has the most complete support for the latest hardware, so you may want to re-think 'never using Fedora again' . . .


[EDIT]

If you think Fedora core x is hard, Debian would probably toss a monkey wrench or three at ya. Also, adding hardware modules is nearly as easy a it gets concerning the advanced stuff to be done in Linux (I call it advanced, but it really depends on what you add), re-compiling you're own kernel from scratch, compiling openMosix (or the like) wil most likely take you weeks to figure out how to do properly in any Distro. I think if you're having issues with Fedora, you'll most likely have issues with any distro, might as well stick with what you're uising now, because atleast you have some experience with it already . . .
July 13, 2006 10:26:42 AM

What about FreeBSD running on an amd64 platform? Any hope of beeing supported by ATI and Nvidia ?
July 13, 2006 12:14:53 PM

Hey I'm not slamming anyone. I later added a second hard drive with WinXP to play Half-Life2 and handle other apps not supported by Linux at this time.

OS's are like Golf clubs (One for every situation)

It seemed like you were asking a valid question, I didn't realized you were looking for an argument.

Sorry my mistake. :?
July 13, 2006 12:37:56 PM

Quote:

aonhagen:
Ill give a nother try to linux but with another distro. No more fedora for me

Now the question i have is if i reformat the part in which fedora is installed will my pc boot again?

My hd is partitioned in 2, fedora and winxp


Your PC should boot fine, just not to Fedora (Invalid pointer from boot loader)If you have a Windows98 Startup disk, boot to it then type:
fdisk /mbr
This will clear the boot sector and remove whatevers there Ex: GRUB, LILO etc.
I use SUSE now, I used to use Red Hat Linux but switched when Fedora started. If you would like to give it a try you can get it here.
http://www.opensuse.org/
July 13, 2006 1:51:22 PM

Quote:

Ill give a nother try to linux but with another distro. No more fedora for me

Now the question i have is if i reformat the part in which fedora is installed will my pc boot again?

My hd is partitioned in 2, fedora and winxp

Every time i turn it on a fedora-like window ask if i wish to star fedora or "other os" in this case WinXP


Well according to the people I do know who use Fedora (again, I never used it myself) it has the most complete support for the latest hardware, so you may want to re-think 'never using Fedora again' . . .


I agree - The best advice I can give is to join fedoraforum.org.... You can get all the answers you need very easily.... You don't usually even need to ask anyone a question.... just do a search - becasue odds are someone else has already asked any question you have....

OH, and make sure you are using the KDE-desktop NOT gnome(even though fedora pushes gnome as default).... Maybe that is why you couldn't find the add/remove software....
July 13, 2006 3:08:55 PM

I am using Kubuntu, which is ubuntu with the KDE desktop. (I prefer KDE because all the configuration can be done through the GUI, and since I learned computing on Amigas and Macs I feel more at home with the GUI than the CLI) It has a nifty little program call synaptic which allows me install and remove programs, drivers, codecs, etc. I find it easier to use than the windows add/remove programs.

I have a 6600GT and the nVidia drivers are in the Default non-free repository so to install it all I have to do i click the search button for nVidia click on the little box next to the driver click the apply button and restart the X windows and it's all good to go.

The biggest problem is the media codecs, but you can find them in repos and everything will work fine.
July 13, 2006 3:49:29 PM

Quote:
I am using Kubuntu, which is ubuntu with the KDE desktop. (I prefer KDE because all the configuration can be done through the GUI, and since I learned computing on Amigas and Macs I feel more at home with the GUI than the CLI) It has a nifty little program call synaptic which allows me install and remove programs, drivers, codecs, etc. I find it easier to use than the windows add/remove programs.

I have a 6600GT and the nVidia drivers are in the Default non-free repository so to install it all I have to do i click the search button for nVidia click on the little box next to the driver click the apply button and restart the X windows and it's all good to go.

The biggest problem is the media codecs, but you can find them in repos and everything will work fine.


I have always used redhat/fedora, but I have been thinking about downloading the kubuntu LIVE cd(which lets you try it before installing it), just to check it out....
July 13, 2006 9:08:46 PM

Try it, all it takes is the time to download it and a blank cd to burn it on. One great thing about live cd's is you can check to see how the distro will work with your hardware.

Another distro to look at would be PClinuxOS. I used this a bit but couldn't get it to work with my scanner properly, kept croping the images wierdly. But besides that it was great, and may be a bit more familiar since it's based on mandrake, which I do believe it has it's origins in redhat. It's a live cd with install option so you can run it to see if you like it, and if you do you can install it without a reboot.
July 13, 2006 10:20:31 PM

If you want decent package management take a look at portage, apt-get, and smart.
July 13, 2006 10:32:28 PM

Quote:
If you want decent package management take a look at portage, apt-get, and smart.


Are you a gentoo man?
July 13, 2006 10:37:13 PM

Quote:
I bought a 6800GT just for my Linux box, I'm tired of wasted time scanning for scumware and constant WGA/Security updates, I wanted a game box to Play Quake3 and Quake4. Id has ported both to Linux, I have them both flying on my rig. BTW, the money I saved on software made it possible to buy better hardware.
Additional Software for Windows:
MS Office
Photoshop
Illustrator
etc. = more $$$ (to support basic functions beyond Paint and Wordpad)

Office alone almost saved enought to fund my display adapter. All these funtions can be done on Linux without buying expensive software.
NVIDIA support is pretty good these days, installs and configures quite easily
compared to what was available just a few years ago.


Uh, since when is it a requirement to buy MS office for a gaming rig ?! Photoshop ?! Adobe Illustrator ?! I suppose you never heard of OPenOffice ? Guess what . .. there is a windows port . . .Never heard of Paint.NET either eh ? Its free . . .

The ignorance concerning Windows products now days is truely astonishing . . .

Ingnorance?
That's like saying I'm unaware of right handedness...
Never heard of CodeRed,Nimbda,MSBlaster or Claria either....
BTW, you left out Putty, GIMP, Inkscape, Firefox, Thunderbird,7-Zip, SPybot S&D, AdAwareSE, AVG.....so on so forth etc. etc.

All kidding aside,
I was sharing my thoughts on a question requarding Graphics drivers for Linux. I was not telling anybody what to do, just describing what I did and why. The games I play run on Linux so it made sense, but if you play Half-life or Generals this will likely not be your best option. I see now looking back how my initial post may have been taken the wrong way. Sorry folks didn't intend it that way.
BTW
I use lots of Microsoft software, but your right I'm ignorant when it comes to Windows products... Is Windex the best or what....? :p 
July 14, 2006 12:00:34 AM

Quote:
What about FreeBSD running on an amd64 platform? Any hope of beeing supported by ATI and Nvidia ?


just go to nvidia.com, click on download drivers, then linux/bsd/solaris drivers.
There's only FreeBSD x86, no x86-64, but it will still work fine (no 64bit might cut one or two FPS off your gaming, but why would you be using BSD for gaming anyway?)


ps, i got no idea about ATI, but if their linux support is minimal, i don't think they'd have much BSD support. i'd love to be proven wrong though...
July 14, 2006 12:31:22 AM

Quote:
I bought a 6800GT just for my Linux box, I'm tired of wasted time scanning for scumware and constant WGA/Security updates, I wanted a game box to Play Quake3 and Quake4. Id has ported both to Linux, I have them both flying on my rig. BTW, the money I saved on software made it possible to buy better hardware.
Additional Software for Windows:
MS Office
Photoshop
Illustrator
etc. = more $$$ (to support basic functions beyond Paint and Wordpad)

Office alone almost saved enought to fund my display adapter. All these funtions can be done on Linux without buying expensive software.
NVIDIA support is pretty good these days, installs and configures quite easily
compared to what was available just a few years ago.


Uh, since when is it a requirement to buy MS office for a gaming rig ?! Photoshop ?! Adobe Illustrator ?! I suppose you never heard of OPenOffice ? Guess what . .. there is a windows port . . .Never heard of Paint.NET either eh ? Its free . . .

The ignorance concerning Windows products now days is truely astonishing . . .

Ingnorance?
That's like saying I'm unaware of right handedness...
Never heard of CodeRed,Nimbda,MSBlaster or Claria either....
BTW, you left out Putty, GIMP, Inkscape, Firefox, Thunderbird,7-Zip, SPybot S&D, AdAwareSE, AVG.....so on so forth etc. etc.

All kidding aside,
I was sharing my thoughts on a question requarding Graphics drivers for Linux. I was not telling anybody what to do, just describing what I did and why. The games I play run on Linux so it made sense, but if you play Half-life or Generals this will likely not be your best option. I see now looking back how my initial post may have been taken the wrong way. Sorry folks didn't intend it that way.
BTW
I use lots of Microsoft software, but your right I'm ignorant when it comes to Windows products... Is Windex the best or what....? :p 

Well, I was mainly making fun of your NEED for all those apps on a gaming machine to begin with . . . Of course, I suppose not everyone can be blessed with 5 PCs such as myself (most of which are outdated). So having more than one machine at my disposal, I have a couple of workstations, a server, and a gaming rig.
July 14, 2006 8:11:03 AM

i would just like to mention that NVClock is not the only way to overclock a NVIDIA card in linux, the recommened way is to use NVIDIAs tools, you first enable overclocking in your xorg.conf by turning on Coolbits, that is what NVClock was complaining about, it enables overclocking through the official nvidia drivers

/etc/X11/xorg.conf
[code:1:6bbfb64855]...
Section "Device"
...
Driver "nvidia"
Option "Coolbits" "1"
..
EndSection
...[/code:1:6bbfb64855]

the next step is to do the overclocking using nvidia-settings, run it, and there is now a new option, "Clock Frequencies", check the enable box and your given a will void warrenty warning, then there is options for your RAM/GPU clocks when in 2D and in 3D, there is also a buton to try and autodetect the max

normally you just run `nvidia-settings -l` at login to keep your settings, but it will not remember the settings in its config and they are lost when the Xserver restarts, the solution is to put in commands to adjust the overclocking that run on login by running nvidia-settings and manually set each overclock value, i forget the exact command, but you can just search the forums that the driver download page links to
July 15, 2006 5:33:55 PM

Quote:

... But, if you bought an OEM PC, more than likely you would get a 'free' copy of Windows XP anyhow. I have checked around and a DVD copy of a decent Linux distro (I prefer SuSE) is nearly the same price as a copy of Windows XP from a cheap software house.

Linux supporters always exaggerate the cost of ownership .. but when cost is the only advantage, I guess you have to take what you can get. Why don't Linux users ever slam Apple for having inordinately expensive products?


With regards to getting a "Free" copy of Windows, with your OEM PC, thats not quite true. The cost of Windows is factored into the price of the PC and while it is cheaper than buying it off the shelf, you are still paying for it. Its also known as, "The Microsoft Tax".

I'm a bit confused as to why you are not just downloading a version of Linux. Just about every distro I have ever used, going all the way back to Yggdrasil Linux in the early to mid-90's could be downloaded off the net. Perhaps you are still on dial-up? I'd ask a friend who has broadband to pull the ISO images for you.

As for cost of ownership, it is cheaper. I never have to purchase a copy of Linux, and there is more to it than just being "Free" as in beer, its also "Free" as in speech. Unlike Microsoft, when I get my copy of Linux, I can also get ALL of the source code along with it. Now, I know, that a vast majority of people out there will never care about getting the source code, but there are several people who do.

Think about when flaws are found in Windows or Linux. You may or may not know for quite sometime there is a flaw in Windows because Microsoft may not release the info months, yes months after it has a patch. The Linux community, and I include all distros, have a MUCH faster turn around rate with patches and such. Typically, I've seen 24 to 48 hours. Since I use a Debian based distro (Ubuntu64) I get notified anytime there is an update.

I have to agree with you, that I think Apple's pricing is a bit high. But like any other product if you don't like it, buy something else or nothing at all.

I do use Windows, and it has its place. For me that place is a glorified gaming console. I keep a partition with Windows for games, and games only. My other two machines are both running Linux.

My wife's laptop also runs Windows, but thats not really my machine.

Just my two cents.
July 16, 2006 7:13:33 AM

Sorry, folks, but I've struggled for too long with ATI and their (un-)support. I was starting to support TH and their reviews as reasonably fair and unbiased.

After spending nearly four pages discussing the cons of the ATI solution and only two pages deliberating on the pro's of the Nvidia I'm frankly abashed at the reviewer coming out and saying that the two are "essentially the same".

I would agree with that statement on the MSW side of the house. I've used both Nvidia and ATI rigs for years and there seems to be a neck-and-neck race for both of these two firms to come out with "newer/better" features for MSW products.

On the Linux side of the house, while Nvidia may lag behind it's MSW cousins in the other cubes, the Linux folks at ATI haven't even shown up for work yet.

I'm all for minimalism, KISS, and who needs bit-flipping controls on each individual pixel anyway!

To date, I have never, repeat never(meaning not once) had a clean install of ATI Linux drivers on any system, be it desktop or laptop.

While ATI may have the heart and pocket of many a manufacturer, I choose Nvidia for ease of install, less buggy drivers, frequent updates, release notes, breadth of Linux platorm support, etc.

I don't work for either company, neither company paid or provided me any thing for free or otherwise.

Just based on hardnosed experience.

Thanks and y'all have a great day!
July 17, 2006 3:55:13 PM

I respect your input, but some of your statements lack any basis. I found the ATI drivers to install just as easily as the Nvidia drivers. Indeed, ATI may not install as cleanly, and swapping between driver sets on the same system creates a massive conflict of interest with respect to graphics libraries and X configurations. Have you tried the latest ATI installer? It's remarkably simple.

To say that more attention is given to ATI cons, less to Nvidia pros, then wind up with the conclusion that they are "essentially the same" is non-sequitur at best. The similarities go to performance under UMark, not the installation process.

Obviously the Linux development is behind the curve--that's what the article states.
July 17, 2006 4:27:07 PM

Thanks for the response. When I said, "essentially the same" I was refering to the position that the Reviewer was making. Not myself. I do not feel that the two platforms are essentially the same. I have not tried the new ATI installer for Linux. My past experience prevented me from that pleasure.

I do think both installation and configurability should also play into the total performance picture. And that, I guess, is my biggest concern. I agree that on the GPU performance level, the two units as tested are on a par.

To use an analogy, driving off the lot in a fully tweaked Porsche Carerra with access to the onboard computer to tweak the performance is infinitly better that having to build a Porsche in the car lot and drive off with a timing light and a tachometer intact.

Extreme, yes, but then so has been my experience with ATI and Nvidia. FWIW, I will try the new ATI installer and let you know.

Fair deal?

And thanks again for your positive post reply!
July 18, 2006 6:47:07 AM

I've yet to get either product playing nice in X (on Debian) with OGL accelleration. Could be the holes in my knowledge concerning hardware modules (I know a bit, but not everything). I've also never ever had sound working in Linux either, but thats more or less, because I didnt feel it important enough to persue the matter. I'd much rather be learning the more interresting things such as compiling openMosix into the kernel, setting up Samba / SMB client, or playing with ethernet channel bonding, etc.

I suppose, I tend to view Linux as a very powerful toy, and if I'm unable to do something right away, I can always run home to Windows. Lets face facts though, comparring these two OS's, Windows is in fact the toy, even though, driver support / looks and feel, its my belief Windows still has Linux beat, well , that, and I still preffer coding in .NET (under Windows). :) 
July 18, 2006 7:57:56 AM

Quote:
If you want decent package management take a look at portage, apt-get, and smart.


Are you a gentoo man?

I use gentoo/xubuntu on a regular basis.
July 18, 2006 8:17:33 AM

Quote:
I've also never ever had sound working in Linux either, but thats more or less, because I didnt feel it important enough to persue the matter.


There are usually two common problems when trying to setup sound.
(1) You don't have the right kernel modules compiled. ac'97 ICH, emu10k etc.
(2) If you have both a sound card and onboard sound, you need to set the default sound device. Can be done in ~/.asoundrc

Quote:

I suppose, I tend to view Linux as a very powerful toy, and if I'm unable to do something right away, I can always run home to Windows. Lets face facts though, comparring these two OS's, Windows is in fact the toy, even though, driver support / looks and feel, its my belief Windows still has Linux beat, well , that, and I still preffer coding in .NET (under Windows). :) 


It's like comparing chalk and cheese. These two OS's have completely different mentalities. Windows likes to control you (the user). With linux you (the user) has all the control. Of course with this amount of control comes additional reponsiblities.

There aren't that many devices these days that don't have either direct driver support in some way or another. Hardware is also becoming more standardized as the industry matures.

I also code in #c, although i use mono as my platform. Thats the good thing about .net, it's quite easy to port to other OS's. I also code in c/c++/asm/java. I however much prefer cli (gcc/gdb) based coding/compilation rather than IDE
July 18, 2006 9:03:37 AM

While writing games for the PC and porting to Xbox indeed made sense, the Xbox360 is a completely different beast: it's PowerPC-based, and its DirectX will be completely different from the one used in Vista - meaning you'll need to program it twice.

As far as I know, due to Linux being programmed in ANSI C, software correctly programmed to compile on any type of machine would compile and run barely modified on another similar system - meaning that programming a game in C/C++ for a POSIX system and using OpenGL and OpenAL will run on PC/Linux, PPC/Linux, PPC/MacOS X, PC/MacOSX, Cell/Linux => PS3 almost out of the tarball. As a matter of fact, chasing bugs out of this for portability would make the game more stable in the long run, reducing support costs.

As a matter of fact, the game's engine could just be open-sourced and the game resources files copyrighted - that's what Id Software does, and it seems to work just fine. Advantages:
- the game can be ported by the community to a platform of choice with no cost to the manufacturer, who doesn't have to support the new platform - but it ends up covering it anyway (and could choose to support it with the game's sequel)
- the engine would be extensively debugged and expanded through community-programmed extentions (happened with the Quake engine) which could be merged into the main trunk

Which won't be the case with MS-based games.

Nintendo is out there due to its very specific hardware specs and radically different philosophy.
July 18, 2006 7:20:52 PM

Quote:
While writing games for the PC and porting to Xbox indeed made sense, the Xbox360 is a completely different beast: it's PowerPC-based, and its DirectX will be completely different from the one used in Vista - meaning you'll need to program it twice.

As far as I know, due to Linux being programmed in ANSI C, software correctly programmed to compile on any type of machine would compile and run barely modified on another similar system - meaning that programming a game in C/C++ for a POSIX system and using OpenGL and OpenAL will run on PC/Linux, PPC/Linux, PPC/MacOS X, PC/MacOSX, Cell/Linux => PS3 almost out of the tarball. As a matter of fact, chasing bugs out of this for portability would make the game more stable in the long run, reducing support costs.

As a matter of fact, the game's engine could just be open-sourced and the game resources files copyrighted - that's what Id Software does, and it seems to work just fine. Advantages:
- the game can be ported by the community to a platform of choice with no cost to the manufacturer, who doesn't have to support the new platform - but it ends up covering it anyway (and could choose to support it with the game's sequel)
- the engine would be extensively debugged and expanded through community-programmed extentions (happened with the Quake engine) which could be merged into the main trunk

Which won't be the case with MS-based games.

Nintendo is out there due to its very specific hardware specs and radically different philosophy.


Well first, Vista will ship with two versions of Directx, Directx 9L, and Directx 10.

secondly, I think you'll find that people who create crossplatform programs tend to do a better job than someone who writes a program for an OS, and later intends on porting it over. I've seen this countless times with Linux apps ported to Windows, and the sad part is, the programmers tend to blame Windows for being a crappy OS (where in fact its the coders ignorance of windows, thats the problem).

Lastly, I think you'll find ALOT of programmers out there will not make thier code availible to the public, and if you ask me, with good reason. If the world was a better place, then yeah I couldnt see why not, but as it stands, you have script kiddies running amok, using any code they can find, to hurt other computer users, etc. Also, lets not forget about how much time it takes to write something of this nature. We're talking years, if you're working on anything serious, and people need to support themselves. These two reasons alone are a large part of why my code will never make it public, people that hire coders from rent a coder, is another.
I refuse to release Intellectual rights period. For the OSS movement maybe, but im not letting some jackass pay me 5 bux for something I've spent weeks on, and he gets the rights to it ?!

</rant>
July 18, 2006 8:23:51 PM

Hey, I think you have some valid points. I'm not a programmer anymore. But I think the old Donald Knuthism remains valid; "Data structures plus algorithms equals programming." No mention is made of any particular language or workbench.

To me, good code comes from good coders. Good code is self porting. One builds the code in pseudocode and then parses it into whatever language and platform best fits the application. "Best fit" meaning you really don't want to be doing entertainment software(re: Games) in COBOL! Nor an accounting system in machine code.

what's interesting to me now is the title of the article. In this, it's hardware takes on software. Not the other way around.

And I think Nvidia has done a much better, more robust and inclusive role than ATI when it comes to "taking on" Linux.

Wouldn't it be nice if each company opened up their codebase to the GPL?

Hmmmm...
!