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Old 01-02-09, 06:18 PM   #25
mschwartz
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

@Nevion,

You miss a key point simply focusing on numbers and not sales/revenue. Believe me, I have run my own business and have worked in the healthcare/tech related sector for almost 30 years.

A database like Smolt presents a biased snapshot of a very small segment of the marketplace. You need to have some context on who is reporting to Smolt, who is not (called "survey non-response") and what the numbers mean within the context of the larger market.

A million users may seem like a lot, but in business, the allocation of resources is based upon dollars and not on users.

If those million users are each paying me $50 versus $500 dollars, I make very different decisions as to how many people I can afford to hire.

Especially in a business like this one, where distribution costs are in effect minimal, since the drivers are distributed electronically using a pull model. Nobody is shipping CD/DVD updates for drivers and there are no field sales/support people going on site. There is no Linux related marketing going on and it is reasonable to believe that there is no or extremely minimal Linux specific hardware development taking place either.

Thus, the per user overhead is relatively small since this is largely a commoditized business model.

Contrast the business model for a company like Dell with a company like Cray. You can then understand why marketshare and total market opportunity becomes key. You are either selling a lot of widgets with a small margin or a small number of widgets with a large margin.

Take a look at any of the key finance figures for tech companies and you will see ratios for revenue per employee and net earnings per employee.

Those are some of the key figures in determining the health of a company within their sector and industry, not the ratio of clients to employees.

It is the per-industry/per-sector targets for revenue per employee that drives company efficiency and company hiring practices, since labor costs are the largest part of any company's expense base. For tech companies, it is the R&D and tech support components that are typically the largest part of the organization. In the company that I now work for, 2/3 of the employees are within those two areas.

At 0.85% share for Linux, I can easily justify, based upon other figures available, around 30 employees at nVidia focused on Linux driver development and support. That is based upon nVidia's total revenue (~$4B), revenue per employee (~$800,000) and some assumptions as to how much total revenue may be directly or indirectly associated to Linux related sales.

If the actual marketshare of Linux is higher, then the justification for employees goes up proportionally.

As you note, I doubt that there are 15 employees at nVidia dedicated to Linux development and support. Thus, even at 0.85%, we are getting the short end of the stick. At higher percentages, that deficiency becomes even more profound.
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Old 01-02-09, 06:51 PM   #26
nvpro
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

I have to say I'm quite satisfied. I have a GeForce 7050, 8600 GT and 9600 GT running perfectly fine. VDPAU is starting to work well too, with the newest patches! And with the 180.xx series 2D performance has been great so far; better than ATI/AMD or Intel.

But please, NVIDIA, it seems like under certain circumstances you can suffer from very strange extreme 2D slowdown, freezes or PowerMizer problems. Please fix the remaining bugs before adding more features.
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Old 01-02-09, 07:46 PM   #27
mschwartz
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

@Robster:

You won't get my wrath. If you are satisfied, great. I was up until about two years ago, when the trend in decreasing performance and increasing glitches began to occur. My problem, as is the case for most laptop users, is that I can't just go out and buy a new GPU every year or two. I have to live with my hardware for three or four years, which is in reality, two full generation cycles under Moore's Law.

I can only presume that the resources at nVidia are not sufficient to keep up with the progress curve for the Linux kernel and for Xorg and they are falling further behind in supporting existing cards, given the increasing number of new cards that they need to support. Combine that with what appears to be a focus on adding new features rather than stabilizing existing ones, and you have the making for the current situation that many of us face.

That is why I have focused on numbers here, because if my assumptions are correct, things will continue to get worse, not better, as the finite number of nVidia folks become more consumed with only being able to provide fractional levels of support to the community.

That is also why I raise the revenue issue, because Linux does generate, directly and indirectly, substantive and profitable revenue for nVidia. It may only be a fraction of a percent of their total revenue and profits but it does exist.

If it all went away, would it hurt nVidia financially? Likely not, but it would certainly hurt their image in the community and put the focus of opportunity on the two other vendors.

At the end of the day, I am not threatening to go to another vendor. I am one person and I have no notion that my opinion will have any effect at all on what happens internally at nVidia. I can only attempt to analyze the situation, based upon reasonable and available data and reach a hopefully reasonable conclusion. That's what I do for a living and it's hard to break out of that approach.

Neither ATI/AMD nor Intel are viable options at this point for me. In fact, it is darn near impossible to find a high end laptop these days that does not have an nVidia card in it.

My only reasonable option is to leave Linux after a number of years, given my lack of confidence for the foreseeable future with a critical area of performance and productivity. I am unwilling to gamble several thousand dollars based upon the realities of my current experience.

nVidia will actually make more money on my next purchase, since the new MacBooks have two nVidia GPU's in them, not just one.

If as rumored, Apple announces a quad core 17 inch MacBook Pro at MacWorld next week, to include the other modifications made back in October to the 13 and 15 inch models, I'll be all over one.

If they don't, I'll still be moving to a MBP in the very near future, which BTW, quite a few of my colleagues (outside of my company) have done, most of whom were previous Linux users. Apple's switch to Intel from PPC opened the door for many to consider the Mac platform, which they would not have previously.
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Old 01-05-09, 08:24 AM   #28
seenxu
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

for most situation, I am quite satisfied with what the lastest nvidia driver brings to us. but for website like "www.sina.com.cn", the browsing experience with firefox is still too laggy if you scroll with the mouse!
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Old 01-05-09, 09:03 AM   #29
kernelOfTruth
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

@topic:

of course NOT !
I'm satisfied with my 7600GT which seems to work perfect now

BUT I'm definitely NOT with the 8400M GS, there's still memory leaking from X and/or the driver (X suddenly is reaching 300-400 MB after certain workloads - don't ask me what exactly that is, it's everyday work like firefox, openoffice, gnome, kpdf / okular, ...) and getting slower and slower over time and still not as fast as my 7600GT (is it supposed to be that fast ?)

and also still doesn't seem to reach the snappiness of an old mobility radeon x600 (it already reaches the same fps in glxgears)

Quote:
Originally Posted by seenxu View Post
for most situation, I am quite satisfied with what the lastest nvidia driver brings to us. but for website like "www.sina.com.cn", the browsing experience with firefox is still too laggy if you scroll with the mouse!
hm, not for me,

try using firefox 3.1 beta2 and running flash with nspluginwrapper, then if you don't need it kill it via

killall -9 npviewer.bin

also disable smooth scrolling,

there might be other tweaks needed ...

YMMV depending on which hardware you use:

e.g. with my 7600GT everything seems to be smooth, with the 8400M GS it's not quite the same (to say the least: it's not there yet)
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Old 01-05-09, 09:45 AM   #30
seenxu
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kernelOfTruth View Post
hm, not for me,

try using firefox 3.1 beta2 and running flash with nspluginwrapper, then if you don't need it kill it via

killall -9 npviewer.bin

also disable smooth scrolling,

there might be other tweaks needed ...

YMMV depending on which hardware you use:

e.g. with my 7600GT everything seems to be smooth, with the 8400M GS it's not quite the same (to say the least: it's not there yet)
I am running firefox 3.1 beta3 on ubuntu 8.10 amd64(8600gt), after upgrade to 8.10, I don't manage to make the 32bit flashplayer to work with nspluginwrapper, so have to use the native 64bit flashplayer instead, and the smooth scrolling is always disabled.

PS. I also use the adsblock plus and flashblock addons to filter out all ads on that site, but it won't help.
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Old 01-05-09, 10:00 AM   #31
queen6
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

kernelOfTruth why nspluginwrapper? Native 64bit flash is much more stable than nspluginwrapper ever was.
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Old 01-05-09, 10:02 AM   #32
queen6
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seenxu View Post
I am running firefox 3.1 beta3 on ubuntu 8.10 amd64(8600gt),
hmm.. interesting. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html still reports beta2 as the latest one.
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Old 01-05-09, 11:44 AM   #33
seenxu
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

Quote:
Originally Posted by queen6 View Post
kernelOfTruth why nspluginwrapper? Native 64bit flash is much more stable than nspluginwrapper ever was.
at least for me, the performance of nspluginwrapper 32bit flashplayer is much better than 64bit native one, esp while fullscreen playback and HD flash video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by queen6 View Post
hmm.. interesting. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html still reports beta2 as the latest one.
I am using a backport from fta, they even have firefox 3.2 beta.
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Old 01-05-09, 12:12 PM   #34
txf
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seenxu View Post
I am using a backport from fta, they even have firefox 3.2 beta.
You mean firefox 3.1 Beta
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Old 01-05-09, 12:25 PM   #35
seenxu
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Default Re: Is everyone satisfied?

Quote:
Originally Posted by txf View Post
You mean firefox 3.1 Beta
I mean they have both 3.1beta3 and 3.2beta
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