I just bought myself a new graphics card, since my old GF4 broke down; an MSI NX7600GS AGP, and I've been having some problems with freezing upon startup of X.
I did some testing with both Linux and Windows drivers, and came to the conclusion that it works as long as I don't load any AGP drivers, both in Windows and Linux. This is on an nForce board (an Asus A7N266-VM, to be exact. And yes, I know it's ancient, but I don't have the money to get a new one, as I'd have to get a new CPU too).
In Linux, I've figured out that it seems to run fine with AGP enabled as long as I don't run any programs that try to render a lot on their own (opera, aMSN, dillo, GDM, etc), but once I do, it seems like the drivers lock up. I can't do anything (although I was able to move the mouse with HWcursors enabled), but the "magic SysRq" key still works to reboot. I don't get any error messages in the logs or anything that I can see, it just dies.
If I run with "NvAGP" set to "0", everything runs without any crashes as far as I've seen. It also seems that it fails to load AGP if I try to force it to use agpgart (NvAGP=2), so that doesn't seem to be an option.
I'm currently running Gentoo (with the newest nvidia-drivers, currently 8774), but I tested it with Ubuntu too (with their 8762 drivers), and the exact same problems happen there.
Since I wasn't sure if this was my hardware, or just the linux drivers, I tested in Windows too. In Windows the card seems to work fine (as far as not crashing goes) until I install the nForce GARP drivers. When those are installed, Windows goes through the bootup (with the loading bar and stuff) and then the screen just blanks, and I can't do anything but hit the reset button on the machine. If I then boot into "VGA mode", it still runs, until I try to change resolutions (I think this changes from the VGA drivers to the nVidia ones). This happens both with the forceware drivers and the vendor-supplied ones.
My card seems to run the latest BIOS (at least the MSI utility seems to think so), but my mobo isn't all the way updated (I currently don't have a floppy drive in the machine, so I can't flash it yet, I'm working on that).
So, I'm wondering, could this be a driver problem, either in the nForce AGP drivers or the Geforce ones, or could this be a hardware one? Do the linux drivers even support my card yet? (I noticed that the Windows drivers JUST got support for it, and I don't know whether the linux ones are ahead or behind
) Is this a known problem? (I did search before posting, couldn't find much of relevance really...)
I don't really mind running without AGP, as I don't really game much nowadays, but I really feel better with my stuff running as well as they can.
Attached is the bug-report log while running without AGP, I think I could produce one while running with AGP enabled if that's needed too (just have to be careful not to start something that will cause it to freeze