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Old 02-22-03, 09:34 PM   #13
goldenchild
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Default Re: agpgart nforce415d no comment....

Quote:
Originally posted by cedric.s
.... I would not buy any more a hardware with the logo nvidia.
That is pretty much where I stand...
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Old 02-23-03, 12:29 AM   #14
kaiser79
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WTF.. from the Software License:

Quote:
2.1.3 Limitations.

No Reverse Engineering. Customer may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the SOFTWARE, nor attempt in any other manner to obtain the source code.

No Separation of Components. The SOFTWARE is licensed as a single product. Its component parts may not be separated for use on more than one computer, nor otherwise used separately from the other parts.
And yet you can clearly download the src rpm.. so thats lame. screw nVidia, steal their code and FIX it so it WORKS.

I am not a programmer and know little about this, but has anyone tried installing the nForce drivers with an nVidia card in the slot and then swapping the card? From my limited knowledge, an AGP driver should follow AGP protocol and be compatible with ANY AGP CARD.

nVidia was a great company not too long ago.. they were willing to take innovative risks and go the extra mile for their customers. what happened?

I will never again purchase an nVidia product.

I encourage everyone to write to nVidia. Also write to hardware reviewers who have close relations with nVidia people. nVidia listens to these guys - they are the voice of the enthusiast community. Encourage them to put pressure on nVidia. Boycotting and refusing to review nVidia products would probably get this issue resolved in a matter of days.
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Old 02-23-03, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
from the Software License:

Quote:
2.1.3 Limitations.

No Reverse Engineering. Customer may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the SOFTWARE, nor attempt in any other manner to obtain the source code.

No Separation of Components. The SOFTWARE is licensed as a single product. Its component parts may not be separated for use on more than one computer, nor otherwise used separately from the other parts.
And yet you can clearly download the src rpm.. so thats lame. screw nVidia, steal their code and FIX it so it WORKS.
The provided source code just provides the "glue" between the nVidia driver and the kernel. The guts of the driver are in a pre-compiled object that gets linked to the portion for which the source is provided. In short, nVidia does NOT provide the source for the portions they want to protect.

Quote:
I am not a programmer and know little about this, but has anyone tried installing the nForce drivers with an nVidia card in the slot and then swapping the card? From my limited knowledge, an AGP driver should follow AGP protocol and be compatible with ANY AGP CARD.
Probably not. The nVidia driver code--AGP and all--is in a single module. It gets loaded and unloaded as a unit. There is a strong probability that the nVidia driver would prevent another from loading, and vice versa. Even if this were not the case, the nVidia driver is unlikely to do anything if it can't find a video card to work with. Last, the AGP portions of the driver may well have some differences from AGPGART, which could cause problems for code written for AGPGART.

From my perspective, it appears that the primary purpose of nVidia's own AGP implementation is to provide an optional way to support problematic or poorly supported hardware. It is probably written strictly to address compatibility issues between motherboards and nVidia cards, and isn't terribly generic (from a video card perspective). Such an effort is commendable and, in general, nVidia would be perfectly justified in keeping this work fairly closed so that it can derive the benefits of its compatibility work.

The nForce is a special case, however. If the motherboard chipset weren't designed by nVidia, I would not blame nVidia AT ALL for not releasing its custom AGP work. However, since the chipset was made by nVidia, it doesn't slide off so easily in this case. It really needs to provide developers with the necessary information to allow for AGPGART support.

In theory, a ccustom, losed-source module also sounds like a solution, but in practice, it would do littel but create headaches for other vendors. Why should video card vendors have to support a different AGP interface from each manufacturer? It is far better to have a set software interface between the motherboard and the video card than to require video card manufacturers to support multiple interfaces.

This makes it sound like nVidia is opposed to releasing this information, but I don't really know whether this is the case or not. I'm not terribly up on active kernel development, but I have not been able to find anything on this one way or the other. My suspicion is that nVidia has refused to provide the information, but I'd really prefer to know rather than suspect.
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Old 02-23-03, 12:05 PM   #16
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What would be really nice is if someone at nVidia would read ESR's The Magic Cauldron, specifically the appendix on Why Closing Drivers Loses a Vendor Money.

This can be applied to both the nForce and video cards. Now I know there may be NDA agreements in effect, but they could just:

Quote:
burn the code into an onboard ROM. Then publish the interface to it.
They'd get a lot of people that would be able to give them much better bug reports, because we'd have access to all the source, we could trace through it, and we could find the problem rather than them. Debugging is parallelizable. They'd very likely get a lot of people that run Linux buying their products, too. I know I'd stay with them permanently; as it is, if someone else comes out with a completely open driver, I'll move to them. They'd get a lion's share of the Linux user (and very likely the BSD user as well) market, because they'd be the first to go completely open.

Wishful thinking maybe, but you never know.
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Old 02-26-03, 04:02 AM   #17
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I'm confused.

Why is it nVidia's fault AGPGART doesn't support nforce2? Why is it nVidia's fault ATI drivers wont run in PCI mode? Why is it nVidia's fault they don't have an AGP module that programs an ATI card? Why is it nVidia's fault ATI hasn't made an AGP module as a workaround for thier GPU's.

If somebody could clear these things up for me in the relation to how the linux kernel actually works, it would be greatly appreciated. Because all I know (which may not be much) the nVidia GPU drivers have to bypass the built in kernel support to use NVAGP at all. How can nVidia expect ATI to write drivers for NVAGP?

Maybe if you guys are really concerned about this subject in everything i've seen stated here, maybe you shouldn't be using linux. Or maybe you should spend some more time over at kernel.org bashing the developers there for the architecture of it all.

I'd just like a simple answer, yes I think the subject sucks and I'm on no sides, but from everything I know about linux, I can't find anywhere how nVidia is supposed to support ATI's GPU drivers without building thier own linux kernel for you to use. (or a patch against the kernel which would be a NIGHTMARE!) THEY CALL AGPGART ALONE!

(by the way, this is not windows, just in case you thought drivers worked like that under linux. Windows is standardized for things like this. Linux, unfortunatly is not. I bet this changes in time, but for the time being, this is how it works.)

maybe this will make it easier to understand, thier GPU drivers NVAGP supports these northbridges.
---------------------------------
The following AGP chipsets are supported by NVIDIA's AGP; for all other

chipsets it's recommended that you use the AGPGART module.



o Intel 440LX

o Intel 440BX

o Intel 440GX

o Intel 815 ("Solano")

o Intel 820 ("Camino")

o Intel 830

o Intel 840 ("Carmel")

o Intel 845 ("Brookdale")

o Intel 845G

o Intel 850 ("Tehama")

o Intel 860 ("Colusa")

o AMD 751 ("Irongate")

o AMD 761 ("IGD4")

o AMD 762 ("IGD4 MP")

o VIA 8371

o VIA 82C694X

o VIA KT133

o VIA KT266

o RCC 6585HE

o Micron SAMDDR ("Samurai")

o Micron SCIDDR ("Scimitar")

o nForce AGP

o ALi 1621

o ALi 1631

o ALi 1647

o ALi 1651

o ALi 1671

o SiS 630

o SiS 633

o SiS 635

o SiS 645

o SiS 730

o SiS 733

o SiS 735

o SiS 745
-----------------------------------------
why would nvidia support all these with thier AGP module if it were SIS, VIA, ALi, AMD, or Intel's problem? And it's only flaky on some systems, not mine which is AMD761.

Last edited by DustSmoke; 02-26-03 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 02-26-03, 07:44 PM   #18
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This is a long response. I will make one point up front: I would not consider nVidia "at fault" if it just said it didn't support Linux. It is their perrogative to make a decision, and while I would be disappointed with that decision, I would have far less argument with that than with claiming to support Linux but not supporting AGPGART.

Quote:
Originally posted by DustSmoke
I'm confused.

Why is it nVidia's fault AGPGART doesn't support nforce2? Why is it nVidia's fault ATI drivers wont run in PCI mode? Why is it nVidia's fault they don't have an AGP module that programs an ATI card?
I didn't necessarily assert that it was nVidia's fault that AGPGART does support the nForce 1/2, but I suspect that's the case. If you look, I think you'll find that most of the hardware supported by AGPGART is supported because the hardware manufacturers provided the information necessary for support to be added. If nVidia hamstrings developers by refusing to release this information, then it is "at fault" for doing so.

To be fair, nVidia is not in any way obligated to provide such information. However, it is at least a little backhanded to claim strong Linux support if the support is not there for the board and you refuse to contribute to getting that support written. In my mind, if you intend to claim credible Linux support, you at the very least need to release the hardware specs necessary for that support to be written. To the extent that a company claims credible Linux support but do not meet this basic (and generous) test, it is lying.

Quote:
Why is it nVidia's fault ATI hasn't made an AGP module as a workaround for thier GPU's.
In short, ATI is not "at fault" for this scenario because it is not ATI's job to write AGP support for the nForce 1/2. One reasonable assumption that a video card developer can reasonably make is that the system to which it will be installed has working AGP hardware with working software support for that hardware. It is not the video card developer's fault if this assumption is not met.

This is not to say that ATI can't put in extra work to support some of the systems that don't meet these assumptions, but this type of effort is "going the extra mile". It's a lot like a mark/grade in school: if you meet the basic requirements, you get a passing, but not spectacular grade. If you far surpass the basic requirements, you get a strong grade. If you don't meet the requirements, you fail.

In not providing its own AGP support for the nForce 1/2, ATI has met the basic requirements, and thus gets a passing grade. However, it has not exceeded the requirements, so the mark isn't particularly high.

In contrast, if you claim Linux support for a motherboard, it is reasonable to assume that the AGP slot has the software support to work with a wide range of video hardware. If you don't meet this requirement, you get a failing mark--you are considered "at fault".

Quote:
If somebody could clear these things up for me in the relation to how the linux kernel actually works, it would be greatly appreciated. Because all I know (which may not be much) the nVidia GPU drivers have to bypass the built in kernel support to use NVAGP at all. How can nVidia expect ATI to write drivers for NVAGP?
Well, in the ideal world, there would be two types of kernel modules used in video support: the AGP module and the video card modules. For the world to remain ideal, any AGP module would work with any video card module, and vice versa. You can almost think of the AGP module and the video card module as gears that have to mesh. To make sure that the gears mesh properly, AGP modules and video card modules need to be interchangeable.

The AGPGART module meshes with all video card modules, so it does its job properly.

In contrast, NVAGP is grafted into the nVidia drivers. As a result, it won't "mesh" with anything else and is not interchangeable. To this extent if fails to meet the ideal.

In short, the answer to your question, "How can nVidia expect ATI to write drivers for NVAGP?", is that they can't. NVidia has written NVAGP as a stop gap for when there are problems with AGPGART. This is extra effor that I commend, and I do not fault nVidia for wanting to retain the benefits of this effort.

However, if it is blocking AGPGART from working with the nForce 1/2 chipsets, nVidia is intentionally trying to make the AGPGART module less interchangeable. In short, nVidia is trying to symie the ideal solution for its own business interests.

While this behavior isn't the worse possible, it is still bad. If you read Foxtrot, you may recall the cartoon where Jason wrote his own flavor of Windows. When his version ("Jasondows") found Netscape, it would respond with the following dialog, "Netscape detected and deleted. Hit this button to apologize." While withholding information needed to update AGPGART is not quite as extreme as this, the intent is similar.

Quote:
Maybe if you guys are really concerned about this subject in everything i've seen stated here, maybe you shouldn't be using linux. Or maybe you should spend some more time over at kernel.org bashing the developers there for the architecture of it all.
While I can't say for sure, it does not appear to be the kernel developers' fault. Telling someone to write support for undocumented software can be a lot like telling someone to get something out of a safe without giving them the combination. The task is not an impossible one, but it takes an awful lot of work, and something (in this case, the hardware) can be broken a few times in the process.

On another note, bashing kernel developers is a pretty silly idea in any case. It would be a lot like walking to somone they should give money to the government above and beyond their taxes. The argument is pretty specious to begin with, and more so if the one doing the talking hasn't made his or her own contributions to open source (ie, doesn't even pay taxes).

You do start with a point that does make sense though: nVidia might be the wrong choice for a dedicated Linux user and vice versa. Many here have already declared themselves more dedicate Linux users than nVidia users and decided to avoid nVidia hardware unless/until their policies change (if they are, in fact, withholding information). It is not as much of an issue for me at this point, since I bought an nForce board and a GF4Ti together and intend to replace them at the same time. However, unless I see improvement on the AGPGART front, I'll likewise go elsewhere when the time for replacement does come.

In short, dissatisfaction with the matchup of Linux and nVidia can be cured by ditching nVidia just as easily as by ditching Linux. Many prefer to ditch the former.

Quote:
I'd just like a simple answer, yes I think the subject sucks and I'm on no sides, but from everything I know about linux, I can't find anywhere how nVidia is supposed to support ATI's GPU drivers without building thier own linux kernel for you to use. (or a patch against the kernel which would be a NIGHTMARE!) THEY CALL AGPGART ALONE!
The primary point is that nVidia doesn't necessarily HAVE to write anything. They just need to provide information to those interested in doing so for them.

One should also consider that if relying on AGPGART is slacking off, nVidia is slacking off in every case where it doesn't recommend using NVAGP.

BTW, if you did want to write a closed-source AGP module to work with the nForce, you could resolve the issue by making its interface compatible with that of AGPGART. That is not necessarily terribly hard.

Quote:
(by the way, this is not windows, just in case you thought drivers worked like that under linux. Windows is standardized for things like this. Linux, unfortunatly is not. I bet this changes in time, but for the time being, this is how it works.)
I wouldn't say that standards don't exist, I would just argue that they are "softer". There is just more wiggle room to do something else. I would consider AGPGART the standard for AGP support. To the extent that nVidia withholds the tools necessary to achieve support under this standard, I would be disappointed with them.

Quote:
maybe this will make it easier to understand, thier GPU drivers NVAGP supports these northbridges.
---------------------------------
The following AGP chipsets are supported by NVIDIA's AGP; for all other chipsets it's recommended that you use the AGPGART module.
Let me paraphrase that statement from the readme: "If NVAGP doesn't support your chipset, use AGPGART." That's rather obvious advice for people familiar with the situation. If NVAGP support doesn't support your chipset, AGPGART is likely your only option.

It should be noted that this remark does NOT say you should automatically use NVAGP if you have one of the listed chipsets...it just says that NVAGP CAN work with those chipsets. Here's another relevant chunk from the readme:

Quote:
[i]from nVidia's README[\I]
There are several choices for configuring the NVdriver kernel module's use of AGP: you can choose to either use NVIDIA's AGP module (NVAGP), or the AGP module that comes with the linux kernel (AGPGART). This is controlled through the "NvAGP" option in your XF86Config file:

Option "NvAgp" "0" ... disables AGP support
Option "NvAgp" "1" ... use NVAGP, if possible
Option "NvAgp" "2" ... use AGPGART, if possible
Option "NvAGP" "3" ... try AGPGART; if that fails, try NVAGP

The default is 3 (the default was 1 until after 1.0-1251).
Put simply, the default (and presumably preferred) behavior is to try AGPGART first and try to fall back to NVAGP only if AGPGART can't do the job. In short NVAGP is just a fallback. The fallback is a nice bonus, but nVidia itself seems to consider AGPGART the standard, preferred, and (in some cases) only way to access AGP.

When nVidia takes such an approach, it is a little hard to faul: ATI for supporting only AGPGART. While a bonus fallback is nice, you can't fault ATI for not providing a "bonus".

Quote:
why would nvidia support all these with thier AGP module if it were SIS, VIA, ALi, AMD, or Intel's problem? And it's only flaky on some systems, not mine which is AMD761.
Put simply, they would do this only to "go the extra mile". Going to the effort to provide this fallback is exemplary for the video driver. However, the exemplary behavior on the video driver doesn't change the fact that nVidia's support for the nForce 1/2 AGP is poor.
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Old 02-27-03, 03:34 AM   #19
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But you see, this is not an ethical issue. NVIDIA does not 'officially' retain any warranty or liability when it comes to their drivers. (Just like most companies but they don't even make the cards so they are not liable in any way whatsoever) In the legality of it all, the only support that 'is' there is the support from that piece of software on your hard drive and everything else is at the discretion of the NVIDIA entity and/or the hardware manufacturer. But your not paying for the software so what do you expect? I can't think of a company that doesn't work like this in this situation so I don't know what your talking about when you state they 'have' to support this, or 'have' to support that, or say they support anything at all. If you're referring to some hardware company like PNY or ASUS that says they support Linux and wont, then you have a point. NVIDIA thou, is not on this boat and is mainly a software company that has a patented UDP architecture for their drivers and thus so constrains them from releasing them as Open Source without completely disembarking and destroying their own patent. You gotta admit, it's a nice feature and makes their drivers much more developed for all the devices under the UDP list. I know I'd take that patent off their hands for them if they let me.

I never said I think the kernel developers are doing anything wrong. I was simply making a point. The plain fact is NVIDIA does not have ultimate control over AGPGART and cannot intervene without releasing their own proprietary rights to the world. They are not required nor would I expect such a double standard of doing everything twice. They can (and do) answer questions and give out specs on their chipsets in situations just like this. But the community is the one that has to make up for it as it is a community project. I personally do not enjoy people that don't have a clue as to how this stuff works, fail to look it up or even read about it, then commit to a definitive bashing attitude because this is the way it works in windows. This is not windows and you got this fantastic piece of community sweat for free! If you have a major problem with new hardware support on Linux, simple logic shows you shouldn't even be using Linux. Obviously these people don't remember or never knew how it 'used' to be. That is the point I was and am trying to make. Besides, if they truly cared about the best over all performance of their ATI cards, they would be sending XiG $100 bucks for their superior X server and drivers and looking up hardware support before they bought for Linux.

I'm sick of the 'ATI is a saint' argument too. If they were such a saint nobody would be using their proprietary closed source drivers and the DRI project drivers would be worth a damn because ATI would make them. But I still have to reiterate the plain fact that NVIDIA cannot and should not have to expect ATI to develop their closed source drivers for NVIDIA's closed source drivers. ATI, NVIDIA = Pot, Kettle in this aspect. This is what's called being stuck between a rock and a hard place. You have a very viable closed source piece of software being meshed with open source software, where do you draw the line? Thank NVIDIA and ATI for even embarking on such a dilemma to give you the 'choice' so many people so arrogantly overlook, not bash them.

But onto the whole nForce issue. I can't for the life of me understand why on earth anybody would have bought this hardware in expectations that everything would mesh like a charm in Linux. They bought it because they are windows users. nForce SCREAMS windows users! (by the way, that's not 'bad' in my book that you use windows, that's just fine by me, what you prefer or need is your endeavor, not mine so I will not judge you for it.) From my point of view, I cannot understand why anybody would even want these chipsets from un-established NB/SB chipset maker in the first place! (And I'm not even on the subject of buying super integrated chipsets yet!)

NVAGP, yes, I get no higher performance with it than AGPGART. I simply used it on occasions because "it does work for me" no harm there.

I bought a ti4600 specifically because I use Linux and occasionally enjoy benefits of playing a 3d game from time to time, enjoy the video support and like the twinview options. I have radeons and even older geforces too. I want the success of each company under Linux just as much as the other one so the Linux world as a whole will benefit from it. But I have yet to experience the amount of support and performance from the ATI side as opposed to the NVIDIA side. And I accept the fact that at some point, some time, there is going to have to be closed source support for this to really every happen. These companies exist because of money, while that may not be the perfect world, it's how it works. (You get paid to go to work, so why are you complaining?) I simply cannot find a development aspect of the Linux kernel that entitles NVIDIA to physically re-engineer the way the Linux kernel, or development structure works so you're ATI cards work on an nForce with their drivers. I can imagine the screaming from the larger portion of the community if they did start taking control over the AGPGART aspect of it.

Linux simply is not designed to work the way people are commenting about on these threads or anywhere else I've seen these complaints on this issue. I cannot be emphatic enough about how this is a touchy subject in the Linux development community. At least they attempt anything at all. Until the community has resolved this issue whether that be with or without the help of NVIDIA, you're pretty much up a creek. There is no way you can sit there and tell me that it was not feasible or foreseeable on 'your' part that this issue would exist had you done your homework before buying for Linux. But it's not like you're alone here, we are all known to do such things from time to time. It's just that I don't remember hearing the KT400 users complaining like this when they couldn't use their chipsets at all. I just think you should stop smacking the gift horse in the mouth like it's your god earned right. Just show your support and ask them for a workaround nicely and maybe the developers will work something out for the Linux community

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Old 02-27-03, 08:54 AM   #20
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I'll say it again.

If someone else comes out with a working, completely open-source 3D driver, I'll switch over to their product in a heartbeat. If nVidia does it first, I'm staying with them for as long as I'm in this market.

I tried switching to the Radeon 7500 and DRI early last summer, but the card I got had issues (it was running Q2 slower than my GF2 GTS), so I moved back.

But an open driver is possible. Put anything that absolutely has to be closed, on the card. Then publish the interface to it.

Oh, and I'd think about definitely getting rid of the ability to overclock the card through the drivers. While this is nice for some, you WILL Have people demanding money for the cards they've broken by doing it if you go to an open driver. Their claims may not hold up in court, but it'll be much easier if you just get rid of that feature.
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Old 02-27-03, 10:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by DustSmoke
I personally do not enjoy people that don't have a clue as to how this stuff works, fail to look it up or even read about it, then commit to a definitive bashing attitude because this is the way it works in windows.
I'm not sure wether this was a dig at me or a gneralization. I've done what digging I'm interested in. I can assure you that I have done a number of web searches, and have failed to find evidence that nVidia has released one iota of development information for the nForce 1/2 AGP implementation. If you have seen such evidence, please post it.

While, I realize that a lack of proof for something does not prove its negation, it does give a basis for suspicions. However, in abscence of hard information one way or the other, I carefully dealt with the question of the possibility that nVidia is withholding information on a strictly hypothetical basis. I do not care to count the number of times I wrote the equivalent of "if nVidia is withholding this information" in my prior post. Furthermore, even in dealing with a hypothetical situation, my post did not "bash" nVidia.

Quote:
There is no way you can sit there and tell me that it was not feasible or foreseeable on 'your' part that this issue would exist had you done your homework before buying for Linux.
This seems to be a dig directed at me, so I will correct you.

I DID do research on my purchase. My primary concern about the nForce board was whether sufficient Linux support was available for the integrated hardware. In particular, I studied the sound and network support, and found it to be available. I even ran a test compile of teh drivers on my machine at the time before buying. However, I took the extra steps of retaining my prior network and sound devices so that I could fall back to them if necessary. As a matter of fact, I have opted to use the old sound card over the nForce as my primary source of sound in Linux and to run the microphone in Windows.

Through this, I did take AGP support somewhat for granted. I basically assumed that nVidia would make a point of supporting its video hardware on its own chipset. This was an assumption that I should have checked, but it seemed reasonable at the time. However, I was perfectly willing to fall back to doing my gaming strictly under Windows (particularly since a number of gaems won't run under Linux anyway), and had to do just this for a time while I tried to get AGP working.

Furthermore, I might add that I bought this motherboard and video card combination with well-formed replacement plans in mind. Specifically, I will replace the motherboard and video card SIMULTANEOUSLY roughly 18 months after their purchase date (end of this year/beginning of next).

In short, my own purchases were carefully considered. I may not have known everything (and no one ever does), but I took great care to ensure the best result possible. I also carefully evaluated the risks to ensure that I was willing to live by the consequences of my decision, and have done so in a couple of cases.

The whole AGP issue is pretty much academic for me at this point. My current combination of video card and motherboard does the job, and I will do all I reasonably can to make sure that the same holds true for my next motherboard and video card. To that end, given my increased knowledge of the level of AGP support for the nForce boards, I am likely to consider a non-nVidia chipset. However, provided that nVidia's Linux drivers are still superior to those of the competition, I will probably still pair it with an nVidia video card.

Quote:
NVIDIA does not 'officially' retain any warranty or liability when it comes to their drivers. (Just like most companies but they don't even make the cards so they are not liable in any way whatsoever) In the legality of it all, the only support that 'is' there is the support from that piece of software on your hard drive and everything else is at the discretion of the NVIDIA entity and/or the hardware manufacturer. But your not paying for the software so what do you expect?
I understand the legal claims nVidia makes and the ultimate responsibility of the OEM's and the user.

But the picture is not that simple, and nVidia knows it. People in general, including myself, are not going to buy hardware that does not have reasonable software support. While nVidia is not liable for providing continued software support to end users, it does so to keep its sales up. While realizing that nVidia cannot be held liable if it drops support, they take a calculated risk and choose nVidia anyway. They do this on the assumption that nVidia will carry on with its practices to keep sales high. Once can realize that this assumption may not hold true, but still decide to proceed with a purchase. I might add this is a risk one takes WHENEVER buying hardware.

If you don't think I'm wrong, you might consider the fact that nVidia releases reference drivers to the public at all. It could just release them to OEM's and save on bandwidth. In addition, they do tend to trump up new releases with review sites and the like. Put simply, while nVidia gives itself legal leeway to leave the end users hanging, it does "advertise" its software support to end users. In short, nVidia invites the end users to take the calculated gamble I noted above, and while end users would not have any recourse if things soured, they don't have to be happy or have to take the risk again, either.

In short, there is a give-and-take business relationship between nVidia and the end user. If the end user is not happy with the relationship, he is unlikely to renew it.

Quote:
I don't know what your talking about when you state they 'have' to support this, or 'have' to support that
I can't speak for others, but I've never said that nVidia HAS to do anything. They can start trying to sell TNT's again--I can't stop them. However, there is positive behavior and negative behavior. Crippled Linux support is negative behavior.

Also, being evasive on the nature of their AGP support is negative behavior. Look to cedric's inital post. He asks three distinct questions:

Quote:
How about nforce415d driver ??
...
do you do that to force to me to buy a nvidia's graphics board ?
...
when will you make a agp driver or a patch for agpgart ?
While cedric's mail was somewhat confrontational, nVidia conveniently ignored two of those three questions. While the state of nForce 1/2 AGP support can be learned from sources other than nVidia, nVidia's evasion does not make the search for information any easier. Furthermore, the lack of an official announcement means one must get information second or third hand; first hand information is generally preferable. (To be fair, I am using second hand information in citing cedric's mail...but that's my point.)

Also, consider nVidia's press release on improved support for alternate OS's. It did nothing to limit the claims to nVidia's video products, though the nForce support has signficant weakenesses. The network support is OK, but the sound support is the open-source i810 driver, which many people are unsatisfied with. In addition, there is not currently generic support for the AGP implementation of the nForce 1/2.

All in all, nVidia seems to have a habit of talking up its Linux support without really providing any details of the limitations. While this is common behavior in PR, commonality doesn't make something moral or desirable.

If nVidia wants to support specific nForce features but not others, fine. However, they should make their plans clear are so that potential buyers can make informed decisions based on first hand information.

Quote:
I'm sick of the 'ATI is a saint' argument too.
I never said that ATI was a saint, and I went as far as describing the effort nVidia has put into its video drivers as "exemplary", and describing ATI's efforts as merely passing (though that could be overly generous--I haven't tried ATI's drivers, as I went with nVidia based on the reported superior support.)

My primary point about ATI is that the fact that they have not done something similarly "exemplary" with their video drivers does not at all change the fact that nVidia's AGP support on the nForce is lacking. ATI might be able to work around this, but the very term "work around" implies a deficiency some where. That deficiency is on the part of the AGP support for the nForce.

Quote:
I can imagine the screaming from the larger portion of the community if they did start taking control over the AGPGART aspect of it.
You've said several times that supporting drivers on Linux is somehow different than supporting drivers on Windows. To some extent, this is true. However, important elements ARE similar.

In particular, you object that nVidia can't control the AGPGART interface. This is true. However, nVidia also can't control the OGL, DirectX, or windows AGP interface. However, they write drivers that work with these interfaces they can't control. There is no reason they can't do the same for AGPGART, open source or not.

I might add that I have not once said that nVidia should automaticaly provide an open source driver. If they are concerned about revealing confidential IP, they can go the closed source route--like they have with Windows, the Linux graphics driver, and the Linux network driver.

Of course, this assumes that the licensing agreements that nVidia has signed for important driver components permit the development of closed-source drivers for Linux. However, while admitting an assumption on my part, I will also point out one of yours: you assert several times that nVidia would reveal an uncomfortable amount of IP in an open-source AGP driver for the nForce 1/2. This is a possibility, but not the only one, and I, for one, have not seen ANY evidence that this is the case. Unless you have evidence suggesting that this is the reason for withholding information, you are making a potentially big assumption.

Quote:
I just think you should stop smacking the gift horse in the mouth like it's your god earned right.
I have not in any way been unreasonable with nVidia. I am careful with what I buy, but I don't take it back unless I have evidence of a serious defect. That said, the level of Linux support is an element in my purchase decision, and I am well within reason and my rights to note that I may make a different decision in the future based on the level of support I've seen.

I am also not particularly presumptuous in arguing that nVidia should be a bit more forthcoming on what it does and does not support with Linux. Inadequately addressing questions such as this does not entice potential end users--a group that includes current end users.

In the end, while I have not seen nVidia resort to outright dishonesty, they do bob and weave about issues in which Linux-using customers have a legitamate interest. As I've said, nVidia hasn't outright lied, but sufficient evasion can produce the same effect. While I would be content just to deal with a lack of Linux support, apparent attempts to mislead me rankle.
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Old 03-01-03, 09:48 AM   #22
art
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Default nforce agpgart

The problem isn't only with people who don't have Nvidia cards, it also affects those of us who have Nvidia cards and want to capture video with it. I may be wrong but I can't capture video
without having /dev/video0, can't get that without agpgart.0. I bought Nforce board because I thought it would work better with Nvidia card, WRONG!!!! Everything else on the board is great sound nic usb no prob.
Very disappointed w/ Nvidia.

If Nvidia wants to make mb chipsets they need to provide drivers them, I don't think thier goal is
to make everyone buy Nvidia cards, unless Steve Jobs took over!

Last edited by art; 03-01-03 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 03-01-03, 05:11 PM   #23
art
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I just received this email back(same day and a Sat. at that)

Hi Art.

We're working to resolve this.

I apologize for the inconvenience,
- Andy


On 1 Mar 2003, Art Picard wrote:

> I recently purchased an Abit NF7 motherboard, to replace my Soyo w/Ali
> chipset and a GeForce4 Ti 4200 w/VIVO to replace my GeForce 2 w/VIVO
> I am very disappointed that I can not use agpgart in linux hence I can't
> capture video. If I'm wrong about this sorry. Hate to put my Soyo back
> in but may have to.
> Also I build computers part time and work for a school system full time.
> I won't be able to buy any nforce boards until they FULLY support linux.
>
> Thanks in advance
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Old 03-01-03, 05:12 PM   #24
DustSmoke
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etr, nothing was a 'dig' at you. So you don't need to correct me.

It's on the subject alone.
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