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Old 08-13-03, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Small fonts seem murky on a Ti4200

I've recently upgraded systems, from a venerable p3-800 to a new p4-2400 (some board based on the 865PERL chipset), including a Ti 4200 card (my old system had a GeForce 2 GTS card).

The standard XFree nv driver dealt with the old card well enough but not with the new one; so I downloaded and installed 4496. Everything seems to be working correctly except small fonts: they seem murky, muddy unclear.

This is especially visible with my standard xterm setup (-bg black -fg white and -fn 9x15, which is plain fixed, 15pt) and in mc (which uses a blue background and white foreground). Using a black foreground and grey/white background however, alleviates (or perhaps just masks) the problem.

The configuration is a copy (except of course, switch to the "nvidia" driver) of the one I used on my old machine where the small fonts looked perfectly.

I've tried disabling accelration but with no effect on the fonts. Looking with "xmag" the pixel seem all right; there's no strange anti-aliasing kicking in. I've tried adjusting various monitor settings as Brightness/Contrast/ColorTemp but it doesn't look any better.

The video cable I use is the same as before; the monitor as well (Philips 21, 1600x1200, 85Hz).

I'm not really sure where else to look: any suggestions?

This is all running under Debian unstable, using XFree; the /proc files say:

NVRM version: NVIDIA Linux x86 nvidia.o Kernel Module  1.0-4496  Wed Jul 16 19:03:09 PDT 2003
GCC version:  gcc version 3.3.1 20030626 (Debian prerelease)

Model:           GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X
IRQ:             16
Video BIOS:
Card Type:       AGP
Erwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-03, 03:31 PM   #2
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When you want top quality in sharpness a Matrox card is a better choice.
They are still the champion in RAMDAC and post-DAC filtering.

Linux drivers are another topic, obviously... but if you only want xterms it will work OK.

(I have recently swapped my vintage Matrox Millennium for a GeForce FX 5200 card and indeed the reduction in font sharpness is noticable)
pe1chl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-03, 04:28 PM   #3
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Have you tried different fonts? Linux is not know for it's superior fonts. True type fonts are "usually" better. What distro are you using? Have you added ttf's?
phlunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-03, 08:46 AM   #4
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I'm using the same setup that I used with my Geforce 2 GTS, where the small fonts were crisp and clear. Generally the fonts look decent, but white on black (my xterm setup) and white on blue (midnight commander) look horrible in 14pt (I'm using the jmk font neep generally for my non-proportional needs).

It's rather disappointing that upgrading to a newer, more expensive card from the same manufacturer causes such a severe loss in quality.

Is the Ti4200 a chipset that sacrified 2D quality in order to wring out a few more FPS for the latest 3D shooter? Or can the particular maker of the card (in my case it is a "Daytona" card) somewhat skimp on some components and cause such problems?
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