Seeking BSD friendly video card

Tom Evans at
Thu Dec 13 11:22:30 UTC 2012

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM, Dieter BSD <dieterbsd at> wrote:
> Seeking a video card that is completely documented and is
> fully supported (with source code) by the BSDs.
> A gpu-less framebuffer is fine. (No videogaming)
> PCIe
> At least 2560x1440 (for 27" displays) (analog can be lower resolution)
>  2560x1600 (30" displays) would be better
>  4096x2560 (4K displays) would be even better
> At least 24 bit color (more is better)
> Work as console for firmware and OS. Must work with X11.
> Bonus points for multiple heads (e.g. 2 digital + 1 analog)
> Bonus points for each type of port supported (dvi, hdmi, displayport,
>  vga, s-video, ...)
> Bonus points for video decoder that is documented and fully supported by
>  the BSDs.
> Minor bonus points for a small, energy efficient gpu that is documented
>  and fully supported by the BSDs.
> Bonus points for not even needing a heatsink.
> Major minus points for power hungry monsters with "jet engine" fans and
>  extra power cables, double-wide, ...
> Binary-only is unacceptable, must have source. (Can be BSDL, GPL, ...)
> Bonus points for supporting sync-on-green.
> Decent quality.
> Full height is ok, doesn't need to be low profile.
> Are there any other issues I should consider?

Your only choices are nvidia, intel and ati.

nvidia are closed source (or bad performance) so excluded from your list.

Most modern ATI cards are not supported by FreeBSD (patches welcome),
and all the older ones that are supported probably do not support the
high resolutions you are after, since consumer monitors with
WQHD/WQXGA resolutions did not exist when those cards were designed.

With ivy bridge intel graphics you should be able to support at least
one WQHD/WQXGA screen over display port (not HDMI), and WUXGA on the
others. What ports and what features are available depends on what CPU
you use, and what connectors the manufacturer puts on the motherboard.

Intel should also support VAAPI, which may provide the video
acceleration you want. I've never used it, it's (apparently) supported
by VLC, but not by mplayer.



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