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Old 05-30-07, 12:58 PM   #7
gfxdrone
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 74
Default Re: Satisfaction / dissatisfaction with nvidia

satisfied/dissatisfied is far too black and white. Is nVidia driver support better than something that doesn't even exist, ATI support? Of course, but that's not saying anything meaningful.

Do nVidia drivers work better than the current crop of ATI drivers? Since ATI currently doesn't even have a single driver that works with xorg 1.3 type identifying xorg, again, no question, nvidia is doing the job very well, and continues to do a very good job.

But after that it gets far less black and white. Personally, after reading these forums for a while, I see the entire project of trying to provide working non-free, binary blob drivers for the linux kernel as doomed to fail long term.

And the issues like nvidia drivers requiring reinstalls after every xorg update also point to problem areas, in this case conflicts with the packaging systems of the distro, debian and all its derivatives, for instance.

Then the inability to function with things like paravirt_ops, without doing gpl violating hacks, again, not a recipe for long term success. In this case, for example, we have to release new kernels with less than full features enabled to allow them to work with nvidia drivers.

So I really don't envy nVidia employees at all, they are faced with what is really not a realistic long term task, but they can't do anything about it, since the decision to open the drivers is not their's to make, so they have to deal with what they can handle on their end. And in that limited field, they do a very good job.

But the moment that AMD/ATI comes out with an open driver, if they actually do follow through on their hint that they might do that, nvidia will fast lose all relevance in the Linux market place. Already, for non-gamers, choosing a Intel mobo based video chipset, for it's free/open driver xorg support is becoming a no brainer if you can find an adequate system re price/performance/features. The binary blob driver is not going to survive as a Linux kernel business model long term, there's almost no question about that in my opinion.

But for now, nobody comes close to nVidia in the current Linux kernel non-free binary blob driver marketplace, their drivers continue to 'just work', release after release, they are easy to handle, they do not fail for our users, and they cause me almost zero headaches, month after month, and for that I really have to say a big thanks, with the above qualifications.

(I didn't vote, because I can't say I either am or am not satisfied, some things are good, some aren't, so to vote satisfied would ignore the problems, and to vote dissatisfied would fail to give credit for the good work nvidia does do on an ongoing basis.)
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