First let me qualify this post by saying that I'm merely trying to pass on relevant information and I am by no means the final authority on any of this stuff. FFS, I don't even have an AMD64 - nor am I particularly familiar w/ the architecture. That being said...
Originally Posted by kot
1) I don't have PCI Express. I have a "server" motherboard with AGP and PCI-X. What's the excuse for there not being a driver for these?
C'mon bro, no one is making excuses here... we're looking for reasons. In any case, I'm under the impression that the cause is the same. That is... "FreeBSD's kernel doesn't provide some things needed for an amd64 driver to be feasible."
This statement doesn't mention AGP, PCI-X, PCI express, or any other bus for that matter - it simply says the FreeBSD kernel needs enhancements to make an AMD64 driver feasible. Thus, I would have to assume that all Nvidia cards (and quite possibly all high-performance graphics cards) on FreeBSD for AMD64 are adversely affected.
Originally Posted by kot
2) Which John?
I think the John you are looking for is here: http://www.baldwin.cx/~john/
But I'm not 100% sure.
It's my opinion that the most important thing mentioned in the communication is to "have patience". Nvidia clearly likes freebsd users (after all, we do have an i386 driver) and the FreeBSD project certainly has quite a number of capable developers. It should just be a matter of time.
Remember, the AMD64 platform isn't exactly "mainstream". A conservative guess is that x86 machines outnumber AMD64 machines by 100:1
Can we really expect the FreeBSD folks (or the Nvidia folks for that matter) to make this their top priority? If you really really want to use spankin' new hardware you're almost certainly better off running Windows or Linux. Of course, being an early adopter of any new technology has it's drawbacks. So, even though the Windows and Linux communities are much more zealous about supporting the "latest and greatest", I wouldn't be surprised if there were hic-ups in those environments too. I believe this to be caused by the [relative] infancy of the [AMD64] platform more than anything else.
I prefer giving credit to placing blame. As such, I have to take my hat off to Nvidia as well as FreeBSD because the i386 driver is pretty darn good IMHO. If this is any indicator, the AMD64 driver should be pretty darn good too (when it's released).
It's easy to point the finger at Nvidia and at the FreeBSD folks for the missing functionality. Unfortunately, it is also very easy to point the finger at the user who prematurely purchases a piece of hardware without investigating whether or not that hardware is supported in their operating system of choice.
Good things come to those who wait and I'm sure when/if AMD64 becomes more popular and moves further along the lifecycle it will be more broadly supported. Then again, AMD64 may lose the 64-bit battle to ia64 or sparc64 or who knows... alpha may make a resurgence. It's my belief that the jury is still out on this one, so putting your eggs in the AMD64 basket might not be such a good idea at this stage of the game.
Then again, I can be awefully pessemistic sometimes, and we just might see the precious AMD64 nvidia driver sooner than we think - cross your fingers!!