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Old 06-28-06, 01:56 AM   #1
n4phth4
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Default RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

DISCLAIMER: This is by no means a flame or a display of angst towards Nvidia. I have the utmost respect for their creativity and for their efforts towards supporting numerous hardware and software platforms, especially OSS platforms like Linux. It's a tough job for a relatively small amount of people -- that is, relative to the rest of the OSS community. I'm an advocate for open software and have been for 10+ years, but working for one of the largest commercial software companies in the US (one that deals extensively with Linux) has shown me a few things about how commercial entities fit into the Open Source Software spectrum. A key observation -- a key reality -- is that commercial software-producing companies will tend to lag behind supporting what might be considered the "bleeding edge". It is important for consumers (myself included) to understand this.

I see this on a first hand basis every day I work considering I support and maintain a cluster of 100 or so *NIX boxes of a dozen flavors, many of which are older than probably many of the users on this board. Why so old? Because the stuff is still out there and people -- MANY people -- still use it. Support, product testing and qualification will, as a priority, be done against the stuff that people use. Plain and simple. Support for the "bleeding edge" is, well, rare in commercial places.

Xorg 7.1, having been released about a month ago, I'd say qualifies as bleeding edge stuff. It is release *seven* of X11, i.e., a significant change. Support for it, even by distribution vendors in the OSS community, is a very new thing. Pretty sure it hasn't hit the enterprise distros yet at all. :-)

So it is understandable that Nvidia, a commercial entity with priorities, deadlines, and process, hasn't cranked out a new driver, beta or otherwise, that plays nicely with 7.1's ABI changes and functionality.

That said, I'll put on the consumer hat and just throw a few facts out there because consumers should have a decent influence on what commercial priorities are. At least I hope so.

The hackers of the world (with a postive connotation) are prime candidates for bleeding edge material, which could perhaps include beta drivers from commercial companies. We're the folks that install all the new stuff, tear is apart, break it, report bugs, and get stuff fixed. This is true for much of the Linux community; we work together to make new and cool things, try new things, come up with new ideas, etc. The Linux community is at the heart of OSS methods and ideals. Although Nvidia does not embrace these ideals and philosophy directly, they support it indirectly by supporting the Linux platform and the users of the Linux platform. Whether or not this obligates Nvidia to keep up with the pace of OSS development, I'm not sure. I am sure that we can work together to make change happen, even if the source isn't open. The best time to test is at the bleeding edge. There are certainly lots of us willing to do it.

My system is RPM-based, built entirely from source, and sees almost daily updates as my build process and software interests evolve. One piece of software I'd been reluctant to update is X11. Until yesterday I'd been running XFree86 4.5.0, but after some unique voodoo magic involving a cool filesystem called Unionfs, I got Xorg 7.1 rolled into RPMs and installed. That was a feat in and of itself because the modularized build is a little hairy to do from scratch on a live system without inadvertanlty breaking stuff. Nonetheless, X11R6 is a thing of the past, and for the time being so is the GL functionality of my 7800 (a 300+$ piece of hardware). Ironically, the primary motivation behind installing 7.1 was to see if it'd improve overall X11 performance, 3D-accelerated or otherwise.

Well, not entirely. 8762 still works but with a clear warning that it may behave erratically. Although much of the software is fairly new stuff on this system, erratic driver behavior is not an option so I've resorted to the nv driver.

GL acceleration with native games seemed OK for the 30 second test I tried with native quake3 binaries. However 90% of my gaming to date has been in WoW with Wine. Lack of RenderAccel results in the text of Wine-run Windows applications being invisible. Wine D3D support is weak and OpenGL mode, since WoW 1.11, crashes with an X BadMatch error, similar to the one seen here:

Quote:
There have been reports that if you have an nvidia card, when you try to run WoW, the system crashes with the following error ...

X Error of failed request: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
Major opcode of failed request: 143 (GLX)
Minor opcode of failed request: 5 (X_GLXMakeCurrent)
Serial number of failed request: 467
Current serial number in output stream: 467
So let's keep up with the pace and get some beta drivers out there, shall we? We can test on the bleeding edge before X11R7 obsoletes R6.

Keith
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Old 06-28-06, 11:34 AM   #2
zbiggy
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

Some companies pay for testing and the larger testing team the better product. Other companies do not want testing for free and release buggy products waiting for angry users calls who says only 'do not work. do something' to make tech support busy. Freedom of choice.
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Old 07-03-06, 07:35 AM   #3
swany
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

So, nVidia reps. Any ETA for the next release? with GLX_EXT_tfp.
Can you give us a soon™
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Old 07-03-06, 04:50 PM   #4
Mephisto1982
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

although i'm really waiting for a new driver (for aiglx), i'd have to comment that you can use the current driver with xorg 7.0 perfectly. the disappearing fonts in wine are caused by the 7.1 abi changes, not by lack of renderaccel support, which, from what i remember, has been present for quite a while, and is activated by default in 87xx. you'll also have disappearing fonts in gtk/qt apps if you use the wrong hinting settings.

also, i'd like to thank the nvidia linux driver team for the good support over the years. i know it's mainly meant for the professional industry, but there really are gamers playing on linux. i prefer linux over windows because you can notice a difference while playing. windows just doesnt run as smoothly as linux, and stutters a lot more, and i think linux helps boost my gaming skills with that. the competition doesnt seem to care about linux very much, so my next videocard will definiately be an nvidia again
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Old 07-03-06, 07:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephisto1982
you'll also have disappearing fonts in gtk/qt apps if you use the wrong hinting settings.

Not wanting to hijack a thread, but how do you set the right hinting settings, if you do have disappearing gtk/qt fonts?
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Old 07-04-06, 05:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

if you set hinting to full and smoothing to subpixel (lcd), it should work in gtk/qt (and any other fonts drawn by X). it doesnt work for wine and some other custom font systems though.
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Old 07-04-06, 06:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephisto1982

also, i'd like to thank the nvidia linux driver team for the good support over the years.
(...)
the competition doesnt seem to care about linux very much, so my next videocard will definiately be an nvidia again
I also would like to thank the nvidia linux driver team for the good support over the years. I hope before geforce6 leaves the market we will see support for its top feature - pure video.

As for competition ATI launches new drivers monthly. It is possible that ATI will be the first to support xorg 7.1 because for nvidia we have to wait very long. VIA has mpeg-4 acceleration. VIA has faster 2D as someone here said. http://nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=72858
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Old 07-05-06, 03:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zbiggy
I also would like to thank the nvidia linux driver team for the good support over the years. I hope before geforce6 leaves the market we will see support for its top feature - pure video.

As for competition ATI launches new drivers monthly. It is possible that ATI will be the first to support xorg 7.1 because for nvidia we have to wait very long. VIA has mpeg-4 acceleration. VIA has faster 2D as someone here said. http://nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=72858
Do you know how long the vt's have been unusable with ati drivers? When trying to use ctrl+alt consoles, the system would totally lock up. I also had this when logging out (which, imho, is a basic feature of any multi-user system). From what i heard it finally got fixed in the last version, but the ati drivers dont even support the core feature of video cards very well: 3d acceleration. It's a pain in the ass to get that to work. And i doubt ATI will support xorg 7.1 soon. They didnt even have support for 6.8 until 7.0 came out.
I know purevideo isnt supported, but i havent missed it yet. Most of the video i watch is xvid anyway, and my cpu is fast enough to play h264 720p without problems.
And please leave VIA out of this discussion until i can play UT2004 at decent framerates with any of their chips.
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Old 07-05-06, 06:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephisto1982
And please leave VIA out of this discussion until i can play UT2004 at decent framerates with any of their chips.
That is a strange thing to say, as you are not comparing like for like. The via chipsets are not designed or intended for bleeding edge technology 3D rendering, the nvidia one are.

You have to look at it from the perspective of driver completeness with respect to the hardware, not with what the hardware can do for you. If you want to play a "new" game like UT2004, you get a gaming graphics card that has the power for it. Say you want to build yourself a media box for watching vids and dvd (and throw in a tv tuner for luck) using something like mini-itx or micro-itx, via is the way to go because it has the superior xvmc support and means you can build a fanless machine. Different chips, different uses, so don't dismiss via because it doesn't suit your needs (yet )
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Old 08-08-06, 06:00 AM   #10
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Exclamation Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

Hello !

Is there a expected release date for the new driver version that includes full xorg 7.1 support ???

Just an idea when it might be ready to be available ???

Any beta versions that I can get hold of ???

Thank you

Robert.
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Old 08-08-06, 06:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

On the (unofficial) nvidia irc channel at freenode it was mentioned that we will soon see an updated 8xxx release containing some bugfixes and 7.1 support. This likely means that a 9xxx release is still some weeks away.
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Old 08-08-06, 06:34 AM   #12
flappadap
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Default Re: RenderAccel, Xorg 7.1, nvidia... soon, I hope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderbird
On the (unofficial) nvidia irc channel at freenode it was mentioned that we will soon see an updated 8xxx release containing some bugfixes and 7.1 support. This likely means that a 9xxx release is still some weeks away.
Ok, so there is no official date, something like x.y.2007 or so available ??? This would be very helpful to my customers because based on this they could wait or make the decision to choose different hardware ...
Ok, anyway ... thank you for the information, at least an idea what is going on ...
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