Graphic card that works?

Michal Varga varga.michal at
Tue Jun 28 23:48:06 UTC 2011

On Tue, 2011-06-28 at 20:17 +0200, Patrick Lamaiziere wrote:
> Le Fri, 24 Jun 2011 09:56:22 +0200,
> Michal Varga <varga.michal at> a écrit :
> > Nvidia GTX 460 works perfectly fine on FreeBSD and same goes for any
> > modern/supported Nvidia hardware (which is basically all of them, save
> > for some brain-dead stuff like Nvidia Optimus).
> Here it does not work. Watching a video is enought to freeze the box
> (using the Xvideo extension). I've tried all the drivers available from
> Nvidia with various issues.

Is it possible that your're actually running VDPAU-enabled video
acceleration under compositor, i.e. metacity WM in compositing mode
(which is non-default btw)?

That's one (and probably the only one in the wild) known cause that
produces random, but quite frequent freezes.

This is as far as I know still unresolved by Nvidia, but also probably
very low on their to-do list, for obvious reasons.

> Anyway, I would not say that NVidia always works, that is my fourth
> box using a nvidia card and only two cards worked well (since FreeBSD
> 4.7). 
> So my question is still open:
> "Could you tell me a graphic card (pci express) that will work fine
> on FreeBSD? (If i can use a dual screen it will be better)"
> Thanks, regards.

I can only say it again - aside from the known compositor issue (which
is pretty specifically narrowed down and thus easy to avoid, if only by
disabling metacity compositing), there are tons of people running Nvidia
hardware under FreeBSD without any issues, and even by a magnitude more
under Linux (it might look that that's unrelated, but with the way
Nvidia builds their drivers, it actually is).

So, to your (repeated) question.

There is only one graphics card manufacturer that actually PRODUCES
drivers for FreeBSD. That is Nvidia.

Intel drivers are horrible crap, but someone already stated that
somewhere in this thread (and too much politely by the way).

AMD, both hardware and software is a joke, even under Linux, where they
actually have *some* driver support, they're a terrible joke (and nobody
laughs, especially the owners). Open source drivers for their hardware
are something... where... well, where you can sometimes display 2D
graphics. Some of those times even without issues and glitches.

What else exactly would you want to use? VIA (absolutely no support
under Linux, absolutely absolutely completely none support under


Ahem. Ok, let's stop right there.

You already own Nvidia hardware (which alone is the best choice you have
anyway), and from what I've seen, at least a few people already told you
that Nvidia hardware works.

It's your choice and your time of course, so you can spend it either on
trying to narrow down your Nvidia issue, which must be pretty exotic
that it bites only you while so many people enjoy working Nvidia
products, or you can spend (read: waste) it on looking for something
that doesn't exist. The thing that doesn't exist is *other* graphics
card manufacturer that actually supports FreeBSD. It's your choice,


Michal Varga,
Stonehenge (Gmail account)

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