[Beowulf] visualization machine

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Mon Mar 31 16:03:51 PDT 2008

Joe Landman wrote:
> Geoff Jacobs wrote:
>> 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.
> Silicon Image SATA drivers are great examples of open drivers that have
> been (in the past) terrible.  The tg3 drivers have been very bad (start
> sending lots of packets and watch your CSW climb and climb and climb).
> Forcedeth are still terrible, and are open.  The nv driver in X often
> breaks on newer hardware (the laptop I type this on is a testament to
> this problem).
There is no magic bullet :)

I was referring specifically to graphics drivers. Sorry.

I'm surprised the nv driver has problems, as it is contributed to by

> No, open-ness doesn't equate to good-ness.  Open-ness equates to
> portability, ability to hunt for problems on your own and correct them
> if need be.
I find that open-ness tends to allow better integration (less problems
when switching between kernel framebuffer and X, for example). As well,
I don't like the idea of having hardware orphaned because it just got
EOLed and NVidia or ATI is not going to support it in future driver

> For the platforms I have used them on the nVidia drivers (the closed
> source ones) have been *fantastic* in performance, compatibility, and so
> forth.  I have not (ever) had a good experience with ATI graphics
> drivers ... so much so that I conciously avoid buying their products
> (which is hard in the laptop space, as nVidia doesn't have as many
> design wins).
I don't use the ATI closed source drivers on Linux.

> This said, one area we would have liked to have seen open nVidia drivers
> is on our Itanium2 box.  Yeah, it is a relic in the making, and no, I
> don't blame nVidia for dropping support for it.  It would be nice to be
> able to see graphics on it though ... well ... accelerated graphics
> (there is a nice Quadro FX 1100 in there now).  Oh well (move that card
> somewhere else).
I wouldn't blame them either -- it's a reality of business. Still, it
sucks from the users perspective.

> Just my $0.01 (used to be $0.02, but the dollar is dropping in value).

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

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