[Beowulf] visualization machine

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Mon Mar 31 05:51:03 PDT 2008

Geoff Jacobs wrote:
> Ricardo Reis wrote:
>>  Hi all
>>  I beg to take advantage of your experience although the topic isn't
>> completly cluster thing. I got some money to buy a new machine, at least
>> 8Gb and I'm thinking between a 2 x dual core or a 1 x quad (or even 2x
>> quads). It must be one machine because it must (urgh) be able to use
>> it's 8Gb in serial codes (don't ask). Anyway, I've been experiencing
>> with paraview for parallel visualization and was wondering on your
>> opinion on... buying a ultra-duper-cool state-of-the-art graphic card
>> (Nvidia) or 2 graphic cards?
>>  thanks for your time,
>>  Ricardo Reis
> No nvidia for me unless they open up driver specs. Open drivers have a
> history of being very, very stable if not as fast. Nvidia does have good
> drivers, but I have definitely seen them experience problems.

Ricard,o If you want the best visual performance on Linux, you can't do
better than an nvidia card. The nvidia-supplied closed-source linux
driver provide performance just as good as you'd get with Windows. Not
sure what the current state of the ATI linux drivers are.

Geoff, what problems did you have with the nvidia drivers? In my
previous position (which I was at until only a few months ago), I used
nvidia's closed source drivers to provide 3D hardware stereo (LCD
shutter glasses with IR emitters), to provide 3D visualization of
protein molecules. I used nvidia QuadroFX 3450 cards with nvidia's
proprietary linux drivers. In 3.5 years, never had a single driver
problem. Even when using advanced features like overlay and FSAA, I
never had a problem.

What's wrong with NVidia's closed source drivers? NVidia was the first
graphics company to provide high-performance drivers themselves for
their video cards on Linux. For years, if you wanted decent 3D
acceleration on Linux, nvidia cards with the nvidia-supplied drivers was
the only way to go. nvidia was the first video card co. to really
support Linux. I think nvidia should be applauded for that.


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