Phoronix: Another Week, Another New NVIDIA Linux Driver
It has not even been a week since the release of 185.13 Beta Linux driver, but today these Santa Clara engineers have pushed out yet another driver update for Linux. The NVIDIA 180.41 driver is this newest driver and it brings support for new Quadro FX graphics cards, improved power management on some systems, and bug-fixes. The NVIDIA 180.41 driver introduces support for the Quadro FX 380, Quadro FX 580, Quadro FX 1800, and Quadro FX 3800 workstation GPUs...
...as long, as your card isn't to old. GF2 and older aren't supported with Xorg 1.5 or 1.6 at all (no, this "nv" driver isn't better than just vesa).
GF 2 MX 400 does work on Ubuntu 8.10 with 96.43.11 driver so it supports Xorg 1.5 and Xorg 1.6. Didn't you know that?
There are 13 cards that aren't supported with Xorg 1.5 or 1.6 and among them are even 10 years old gfx.
Hey what about ATI they don't even properly support r500 and in the end they are ending the support at all. How long ago was r500 released (3-4 years ago)?
Right, but that just shows how closed source stuff hurts in the end. You are at the mercy of vendors, and they decide if and how long supporting your hardware.
However, ATI made something better: they released documentation without NDA attached, so now R500 _open_ drivers are coming along nicely, and those are not going to be discontinued, at least until there are developers with those cards in their hands...
OpenSource is great for lowend, but if you want to unleash the full power of a card you are forced to use a binary driver. You can not play all games with oss driver yet you can play with fglrx for example, not even slower. Well if you have got use the nv driver with old gpus then it is not really fine too, but at least you get more Linux features with new cards. VDPAU is also a cool thing to play with...
You are at the mercy of vendors, and they decide if and how long supporting your hardware.
How long would you like to use GF2 MX? It's been almost 8 years and they didn't stoped to release new drivers for this hardware. I think that after 8 years your hardware is so old that it can wait to go for local museum.
Originally Posted by giallu
[...]However, ATI made something better: they released documentation without NDA attached, so now R500 _open_ drivers are coming along nicely, and those are not going to be discontinued, at least until there are developers with those cards in their hands...
THAT is the strength on Open Source
Yeah and what about XvBA? Does ATI released documentation for XvBA for r600? I think not and that won't change any time soon. They can't even provide XvBA with closed drivers. It won't come along so nicely as you think.
NVIDIA on other side has got VDPAU for all hardware that supports it and NVIDIA in most released drivers fixes bugs with VDPAU.