Nvidia graphics on AMD64

RW fbsd06 at mlists.homeunix.com
Sat Feb 2 18:43:41 PST 2008

On Sat, 2 Feb 2008 21:12:27 +0000
Mike Clarke <jmc-freebsd at milibyte.co.uk> wrote:

> After running a 90 hour portupgrade job on my current Duron 1600
> based system I've persuaded myself that a hardware upgrade is due.
> I'm contemplating building a system around an Athlon 64 X2 4200+ CPU.
> I'm not into games and overclocking so a relatively low end
> motherboard with integrated graphics should suffice. I've been
> looking at a few specs, many of them use Nvidia chipsets and I
> understand that there isn't a Nvidia graphics driver for FreeBSD on
> the AMD64 platform.

As others have said it's only the proprietary binary driver that
doesn't support amd64 (nvidia are waiting for kernel changes). As well
as the lack of 3d-support the nv driver has always seemed to me to be
less efficient even on 2d.

> If I choose a Nvidia based motherboard would I have to install the
> i386 version of FreeBSD if I wanted to use the onboard graphics, in
> which case to what extent would the overall performance suffer?

It depends on the application, there are a few things like mp3 encoding
that benefit, but generally the difference is small. It's more a
matter of memory and address-space support - amd64 supports more.
However i386 uses memory more efficiently if you have less than about
3.5 GB, and it avoids the overheads of running both 64 and 32
binaries (many desktop installations are not pure 64-bit).  

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