Video Card for FreeBSD 9.0 (RC2) AMD64

O. Hartmann ohartman at
Mon Dec 12 08:50:58 UTC 2011

On 12/12/11 06:22, Thomas D. Dean wrote:
> ASUS P9X79 Motherboard, Intel i7-3930K, Diamond Radeon HD 6870 Vide,
> ASUS VS228 Monitor.
> I have been looking for a video card that FreeBSD 9.0 (RC2) AMD64
> supports fully.  Nothing, so far.
> If you recall, I had to use the Vesa driver with the existing card
> because KMS is not implemented.  And, it seems not likely in the near
> future.
> My monitor reports several modes that are not supported with the Vesa
> driver.  The ones I am interested in are "1920x1080"x0.0, which I do not
> understand and "1920x1080"x60.0.
> I want a 1920x1080 display.
> I need a video card that will support my monitor but not require KMS.
> Any suggestions?
> tomdean

FreeBSD has fallen far behind the actual development of opensource
drivers and techniques due to the lack of KMS and on the other hand the
X11 developer seems to have forgotten that they have been called "open"
in the golden years of UNIX. But now they have a narrowed down view that
only focuses on Linux and its rapid, crappy development.

AMD isn't a good choice anymore for graphics cards. I have used a lot of
HD48XX and HD46XX and HD 47XX cards since two years now  with the open
source driver on FreeBSD 8 through 10. You'll be able to display all
resolutions, but ending an X session will wind up the box frozen. This
issue is with all cards we have from AMD as mentioned in the lab. From
HD5000 on, it seems to exist no support for the GPU on opensource
drivers. It is insane to recommend buying a legacy graphics card apart
from HD5000 or HD6000.

My recommendation would be to try nVidia. I started to equipt all
FreeBSD boxes in our lab with GTX560Ti or GTX570. The nVidia native
FreeBSD 64Bit driver is pretty stable and works fine. But for GPGPU
purposes you need to have Linux, if you want to use that. We use dual
boot options for that and feel not very lucky.

At the end, a native 64Bit driver fully supported by nVidia is maybe a
foundation for mor in the future in terms of broader support of all
facilities on and of the GPU to be used and therefore I recommend buying
an nVidia board.


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