amd64 or i386 for desktop use?

Bob Johnson fbsdlists at
Wed Mar 5 19:40:46 UTC 2008

On 3/5/08, Isaac Mushinsky <itz at> wrote:
> On 3/5/08, Roland Smith <rsmith at> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 05, 2008 at 12:36:33AM -0500, Isaac Mushinsky wrote:
> > > I have new hardware (Abit ip35-pro, Intel Q6600), and was contemplating
> > > installing FreeBSD/arch, but now realise that I am going to have some
> > > problems.
> > >
> > > My nvidia card will not be of much use (GeForce 8500GT), since
> > nvidia-drivers
> > > are not there for amd64, and the open source nv driver does not even
> > support
> > > XVideo extension for these cards. I can downgrade to a nv 7xxx series
> > card,
> > > which works better with the open driver. I do not mind loss of 3D
> > support,
> > > but would need basic things like mplayer.
> >
> >
> > Any ATI card up to and including the 9250 (rv280) is fully supported on
> > amd64, 3D and all. (I know because I've got one :-)
> >
> >
> Thanks a lot. Trouble is, new hardware does not even have an AGP slot for
> those cards. I don't mind to go without 3D, though, and it appears some
> newer cards (R5xx/R6xx) have decent drivers otherwise.
> Yes, I also want to go amd64 because I can. Besides, it will be a fresh
> install, and if ever, this is the right time to switch.

Where can I get a decent driver for ATI chipsets (e.g. RG516)?

The radeonhd driver does not support hardware acceleration, and so far
it doesn't work properly with my brain-dead RG516 card (which tells
radeonhd that there are no monitors connected), leaving me with the
vesa driver, which is pretty limiting but at least is better than
nothing. Although this was planned to be an amd64 system, I'm forced
to use i386 because the HP BIOS won't boot FreeBSD amd64 (I will never
voluntarily have anything to do with another HP system after my
experience with this one).

My nVidia-based system works (although not as well as it did with
older nVidia drivers), but it is an older card on an i386 system. I
don't know what happens with newer nVidia chipsets.

- Bob

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