Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3349 mails)

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Re: [SLE] nVidia rocks; Don't Buy An ATI card
  • From: Hans du Plooy <hansdp@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 09:19:09 +0200
  • Message-id: <1116400749.32141.19.camel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Tue, 2005-05-17 at 14:32 -0400, Allen wrote:
> This box I'm typing from was the first computer I ever bought. It's an HP
> Pavilion, with a Pentium 3 733 MHz processor, came with an Nvidia "Vanta"
> although the box says TNT2 with 16 MBs, and it works in like every OS
> including Free BSD, and SUSE finds it no prblem and I grab the drivers with
> YAST, and then I can play Tux Racer.
> The box next to me right now is my gaming box, it has a 128 MB Nvidia
> GeForce FX 5200 which I use for Quake 3, UT, UT 2003, UT 2004, UT2,
> Wolfenstien, Quake (All), and every version of Doom. It works fine although
> ti does lag on Doom 3, I need a better card for it. In Linux, the card
> works great without a stop.
> My laptop, I paid the money to get the Nvidia card in it. It's an Nvidia
> Ge Force 5200 GO. 32 MBs. Plays Doom fine, Doom 2, Final Doom, UT,
> Wolfenstien, and is running SUSE 8.2 Professional. Funny how SUSE can work
> on hardware newer than it. HEhe.

Like I said, *some* nVidia cards. Again, it's got nothing to do with
the chip on the graphics board. It's all about how well it is
implemented. I've had extremely bad luck with poorly designed craphics
cards from PowerColor, AOpen, ASUS, ST-Lab and a few more. The again,
I've never had any problems with cards from Gigabyte or Gainward.

The driver issues I was talking about is not about installing and
getting them to run. I have a TV tuner with a BrookTree (now Conexant)
chipset. I could never get my TV signal to go fullscreen in 1024x768 -
it does, but half the image is missing. Googling around I found out
that it's got something to do with the PCI bus bandwidth - the best
explanation I got was fairly vague - and basically I have to run X in
16bit colour instead of 24bit.

Later when I got my first Radeon, I neglected to set the colour down to
16bit, and guess what? TV worked full screen in 24bit. I took the
machine to work and plugged it into a Cornerstone screen and took X up
to 1600x1600@24bit and I could still get full screen TV. It worked with
a Matrox card too. And guess what, it actually worked correctly with
the TNT2 Vanta using the nv driver instead of the nvidia driver. So
what does that tell you.

BTW, I know a few people who have similar TV tuner cards, all BT based,
but different chipsets, and they have the same issues with nVidia cards
with the nvidia driver.

Another issue. My montor can do 1024x768@69hz - it's an old 15".
Scanrates are 30-54 and 50-120. YaST/Sax pick up the screen correctly,
since I submitted the specs to SUSE roundabout version 8.2.

With the nv driver, I can use Sax to tune my display to the correct
refresh rate, and it works. Using the nvidia driver, I have to change
the 30-54 down to 30-51, otherwise the nVidia card sends my screen into
"out of range" mode, and pretty much kills off the keyboard, so I have
to ssh into the box and restart it. So then I only get up to 62hz - and
there's quite a difference if you spend a lot of time in front of the

I'm not saying nVidia is bad. This is not about nVidia vs. ATi. It's
about nVidia. nVidia cards have their pros and cons. Saying "nVidia
rocks; Don't Buy An ATI card" is narrow minded and unfair. ATi have
pros and cons too, and it really depends on what you want and what you
need from a card. I do loads of video capturing (have a whole VHS
library to convert to digital format) and I do a little gaming. The
trouble that the nVidia driver comes with my be insignificant to someone
else, but it's a major showstopper for me.

Different strokes....

Hans du Plooy
SagacIT (Pty) Ltd
hansdp at sagacit dot com

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