So whats the state currently of the Via drivers? There is some very nice hardware coming from Via - how does the new Via chrome graphics fare for instance? Heard it can do hw acceleration on Windows, probably can't do that on Linux at eh?
Are you talking about Via or S3 chips?
On the via side, unichrome is stable and fast (2d). Open 3d sucks though.
I have no idea if S3 is Via, but from what I read up on the net, Via is pushing some very nice hardware atm. Their nano gpu comes out great in tests and basically beats Atom with points to spare. And their new VN1000 Gpu looks good too, should have HW acceleration and other cools stuff while having a low TDP. The cpu is also 65nm, and has very similar heat generation and power consumption as Atom, which is 45nm.
I'm just probing out atm to see if it's worth buying a Via netbook or nettop in the near future - it can do HD, has low TDP and power consumption, but not sure if it can run Linux well.
Yes, while Via owns S3, the cores are different, use different drivers, and are branded differently.
Via graphics are onboard ones, like vx855. Foss or binary driver.
S3 ones are both integrated and pci-e, like the 500 series. A separate binary driver from above, only.
The VN1000 has a S3 520 igp. Can't say anything about the features, but the driver lists vdpau (video accel) support:
- H/W accelerated 2D (XAA/EXA)
- H/W accelerated direct-rendering OpenG3.0
- H/W accelerated H.264/MPEG2/WMV-9/VC-1 video playback.
- SAMM / Rotation / Xinerama / Compiz
- XRandR support
- VDPAU support
- KMS Support
I own 2 VIA chips, older models. A CLE266 builtin and a CN700. 2d works (openchrome) but the other drivers do not even compile with somewhat recent xorgs. Whatever is in mesa is so subtle und immature you can forget it. Kernelsides is only the neccessary.
Even framebuffer is a mess. (only unaccelerated)
These chips fit nicely in the low power concept but the drivers are very immature. For years now. You get basic 2d accel, including MPEG2 (though lately it was horribly artifacted on the CN700).
As told here, these chips come directly on the borads with VIA CPUs and chipset. While most other parts work fairly the GPU part still have to see a lot of work. But it's better than VESA anyway.