Graphic card that works?

Luca Pizzamiglio l.pizzamiglio at
Wed Jun 29 09:34:03 UTC 2011

My 2 cents to this discussion...

I currently use NVidia 450 GTS. It works fine, video and KDE with 
compositing runs pretty well.
Yes, sometimes NVidia closed source FreeBSD driver has some bugs and you 
could not fix it.
Yes, Nvidia closed source FreeBSD driver can turn on a lot of HW 
acceleration that open source driver can't.

So, if you're lucky, you could use your powerful NVidia card without 
problem. if not, you should find and disable features that cause the 
problem or wait a new driver release, hoping that fix that issue (forum 
discussion could help!). It's hard to say: this NVidia board works 
without problem in all possible scenario!

Graphic chips are too complex and too hidden to have high quality open 
sourced driver. Company should provide them... AMD helps open source 
community developing its driver, but it doesn't provide a really high 
quality driver. They works, but they don't enable a lot of acceleration.

So, NVidia is still the best solution for me, but it's a compromise.
If you want performance, NVidia is the best option, but if you enable 
too many features, you could have some stability issue. This is my 
personal experience.

Good luck


On 06/29/11 10:21, Ľubomír Brindza wrote:
> On 29. 6. 2011 3:47, Zhihao Yuan wrote:
>> On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 7:53 PM, Michal Varga<varga.michal at>  wrote:
>>> On Tue, 2011-06-28 at 19:21 -0500, Zhihao Yuan wrote:
>>>> So you agree with that Nvidia drivers are not stable.
>>> No, I don't agree. Software has bugs. What a shocker. More news at
>>> eleven.
>>>> I agree with it
>>>> because my roommate has 2 boxes running Nvidia cards and their
>>>> official binary drivers. He suffered from the unstable video and the
>>>> incomplete Xcomposite supports a lot.
>>> There is no "unstable video" with Nvidia drivers. There is completely
>>> horribly totally locking video (along with the rest of the computer),
>>> IF:
>>> 1. you run VDPAU acceleration -->
>>> 2. you run it through metacity compositor (as far as I know, KDE
>>> compositor doesn't produce this effect, but I'm not a KDE user and I
>>> have no idea what they use, and how much and when does it apply). Some
>>> other compositors might trigger the same bug, I don't know. Metacity
>>> definitely does.
>>> This is a known issue. Software has bugs. If you hate it that much at
>>> this somewhat late hour, you're always free to write a better one, I
>>> guess.
>>> Or, as a workaround, you can turn off the (almost close to pointless)
>>> compositor until that specific issue gets solved. I did the latter and
>>> never lost my sleep because of it.
>> So this time, you not just agree with that Nvidia drivers are not
>> stable, you agree with that you can do nothing with the driver,
>> because you have no source code. You can only cut of your compositer,
>> and wait Nvidia's mercy updates. They may fix this in next version, or
>> may not. You already surrendered.
>>>>> There is only one graphics card manufacturer that actually PRODUCES
>>>>> drivers for FreeBSD. That is Nvidia.
>>>> Yes, and no. Nvidia provides closed source drivers only, and never
>>>> helps open source drivers.
>>> Doesn't matter. Nvidia doesn't produce OPEN HARDWARE and I don't care
>>> for OPEN SOFTWARE from them for as long as they provide perfectly
>>> working drivers for my OS. This is situation I'm ok with for as long as
>>> all my Nvidia hardware works.
>> So you just turned compositer off when you meet problems. "I don't see
>> it, so there is nothing.". Yea.
>>> Guess what. All my Nvidia hardware works, so far. And that "so far"
>>> stands for like "the last decade".
>> My roommate what to tell you:
>> 1. His mplayer can not resume after pause (WTH?); he needs to seek
>> somewhere else and seek back;
>> 2. In a previous version of Nvidia driver, system crashes whenever you
>> fullscreen something. How benevolent Nvidia is! They fixed it in v270
>>>>   As what you have agreed with: when their
>>>> drivers are not stable, or even their drivers introduce security
>>>> problems, you can do nothing. You have no choice but be at their
>>>> mercy.
>>> Sorry, this has nothing to do with working or non working Nvidia
>>> drivers. I'm not into politics. And I'm at nobody's mercy, as I'm
>>> already perfectly capable of voting with my money. I buy Nvidia products
>>> because of their superb driver support under FreeBSD and because they
>>> work. When they stop, I might move to S3 ViRGE. I have my choices and I
>>> opted for the best currently available, I see no problem with that.
>> You can have choice, but without extensive statistics, you can not
>> prove "Nvidia produce good drivers" to anybody, especially to our
>> FreeBSD users
>>>> But AMD/ATI supports the development of the open source drivers.
>>> Please.
>>>>   Now
>>>> xf86-video-ati driver supports full 2D acceleration, xrander,
>>>> anti-tears, KMS, basic 3D acceleration...
>>> Oh god please. Tell me you're trolling or that you've never actually ran
>>> anything under xf86-video-ati. You can't be serious.
>> Of course I use it. My production system runs ATI Mobility X1600. I
>> watch smoothy anti-tears 1080p video, play Urbanterror, enjoy
>> compositer, switch screen mode with xrander when I go out for
>> presentation. How about you
>>>> what Nvidia has? Unstable vdpau?
>>> VDPAU is perfectly stable, thank you. Tens of thousands of people
>>> (hundreds? stats anyone?) are using it daily. I'm using it daily, and
>>> pretty heavily to that.
>> You mean... mplayer locks for 2 mins after played 5 videos can be
>> called "perfectly stable"
>>>> And also, when we meet problems, we can check ATI documents and
>>>> modify the source code.
>>> (This is... Ok, I'm not saying anything again as I simply can't believe
>>> you're serious...)
>> I'm serious. The reason that I'm maintaining ports for FreeBSD is that
>> I found a problem in xf86-video-ati port and I feel sorry that I did
>> not respond to the call of testing before the port got committed
>>>> Just compare the quality of xf86-video-ati and
>>>> xf86-video-nouveau, and you will know which cards are better choice.
>>> I don't care for nouveau. Except for like three people in this world
>>> (and all three of them on Linux where nouveau actually works), nobody
>>> does. The talk was about Nvidia drivers and there is one kind of Nvidia
>>> drivers - the ones produced by Nvidia.
>> Ubuntu uses nouveau by default. BSDs communities are porting KMS. Want
>> some more instances?
> *Someone* here's being overly dramatic. "Mercy updates"? "Surrendered"?
> To reply to the original question, I'm using Nvidia 9800 (a tad old, I
> know) in combination with official drivers without any detected problems
> so far. Granted, I'm not using any compositing, but that's my preference
> (turned on, wiggled a couple of windows and disabled it again). The
> issue regarding VDPAU might be true for me, but wouldn't know.
> I had to use ATI X200 for a while since my Nvidia 5700 burned out
> (which, aside from that, also worked without problems) which worked with
> the radeon driver pretty well (read: no crashes).
> I'm not going to pretend that I know the first thing about ATI open
> source drivers (or open-source drivers generally), but the general
> knowledge is that they just don't cut it for newer hardware. That might
> not be an issue with your card, since the X1600 is also several
> generations old. The official binary drivers don't have this drawback.
> Open source is fine, when it works. But if I have to choose between
> working closed-source and sorta-working open-source drivers, guess what.
> These are my results and your mileage will naturally vary.
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