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Old 22nd June 2010
hyperspace hyperspace is offline
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Default Which GPU to choose to be as much compatible with BSDs as possible

Hi Folks!

I am planning to build a new desktop pc and I would like to set up one of the 3 BSDs as OS. And my main concern is native support for 3D acceleration. I know FreeBSD has native nvidia drivers for both x86 and x86_64 platforms. And I'd like to know whether NetBSD or OpenBsd have native drivers for other graphic chipsets, that might offer decent 3D acceleration.

Thanks.
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Old 22nd June 2010
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Probably stay at FreeBSD.

NetBSD and OpenBSD have support for some intel and radeon 3D.

FreeBSD IMO is the best option if you look for good 3D performance.

Piotr.
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Old 22nd June 2010
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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Owain Ainsworth (oga@) has been working on 3D acceleration with OpenBSD, in -CURRENT support for UXA/DRI2 for Intel DRM exists, AFAIK, this is a first in the BSD community.. and improves performance.

There is also support for the latest R600/R700 ATI graphics cards in -CURRENT, i.e: 3D acceleration on later model cards.

I also believe he's working on getting KMS support in the kernel, which will definitely help.. and hopefully will mean a kernel panic will become noticeable while X is running.

If you want good *BSD support, use Intel or ATI/AMD graphics, don't use nVidia.
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Old 22nd June 2010
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Decent also means good performance and anything apart nVidia and FreeBSD can bring performance in BSD world.

Although Intel/ATI have open source drivers.

It depends if you like blobs or not- I don't mind as long as my system is quite stable.

Piotr.
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Old 22nd June 2010
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I have little experience with ATI drivers, but I generally dislike the Intel drivers.
They may be open source, but that does not mean it is good code. In fact, I would say it is crap code, and very linux centric to beat.
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Old 23rd June 2010
jb_daefo jb_daefo is offline
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1... bsdstats.org
2... device stats
3... display controllers
It lists 4316 VGA, 2 3d, and 387 "other"
You may want to check that list(s), it lists a whole
lot of chipsets, most older, and you may be able to
find one cheaper than new if it would suffice (that is
in the table(s).
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Old 23rd June 2010
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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I wouldn't recommend bsdstats, it has a reputation for having bogus data.. and a bias towards FreeBSD.

http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=127127111212912&w=2
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Old 23rd June 2010
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I have zero problems with Intel GMA X3100 mobile chipsets, and with desktop/workstation chipsets/graphics like GMA 3100/X3500/X4500.
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Old 23rd June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
I wouldn't recommend bsdstats, it has a reputation for having bogus data.. and a bias towards FreeBSD.

http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=127127111212912&w=2
It's also fairly useless and can hang your PC:
http://forums.freebsd.org/showpost.p...4&postcount=25
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Old 23rd June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
I have little experience with ATI drivers, but I generally dislike the Intel drivers.
They may be open source, but that does not mean it is good code. In fact, I would say it is crap code, and very linux centric to beat.
To be fair, all of Xorg and Mesa is very linux centric. If it works on *BSD, it's only out of luck or because of the *BSD developers.

But, yeah, I certainly prefer the open source ATI drivers over the open source intel ones. The intel developers have dropped all backwards compatibility, making it very difficult to get newer versions of the drivers (even just in 2D) working on *BSD. At least the ATI developers haven't gone that far.
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Old 23rd June 2010
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Alright, so here are my experiences from the last 6 months.

NetBSD 5.0.2... The DRM device attached to both my radeon x850 and my x1900. None of the HD cards were detected by the radeon drm. Direct rendering only actually worked on the x850. On the x1900, I got some "out of memory" error in the xorg log file as I recall. No one replied to my questions about it on the NetBSD mailing lists.

OpenBSD 4.6... 2D and 3D acceleration worked on the x850 and x1900. oga provided patches to me (hopefully in 4.7) to support 2D acceleration via the DRM on HD cards and this worked fine, giving me EXA and Xv support. 3D was not yet supported on the HD cards.

FreeBSD -stable (and -current)... Using the latest ports tree, 2D and 3D acceleration works on all radeon GPUs up to and including the HD4950. On x86, I'm even able to play ut2004 (via linux compat) on everything from the x850 to an HD4850. The 3D DRM code is not available on 8.0-RELEASE. The intel driver should support 2D and 3D acceleration on all GPUs up to the i965, though I have limited experience with that.

DragonFlyBSD... I don't remember the version, but it was the latest code in git. 2D acceleration is supported on all radeons up to and including the HD4950. 3D acceleration should work on those same GPUs, but for HD cards it does require a newer version of Mesa than is currently available in pkgsrc.

Of course, any of those could have changed by now :-)

Adam
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Old 23rd June 2010
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The bsdstats.org has been discussed on the freebsd-questions
list recently, they've probably fixed the erroneous data by
now ( or soon ). As far as it hanging the system, it slows down
the boot on one machine, not on another (the latter already
had the network up.) I am used to it.
I see it as a work-in-progress, for a while its "ports" tab
(top of the page) was a good resource to see what
ports other people were using (reporting as being used).
That tab was probably freebsd-only, in retrospect.
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Old 23rd June 2010
hyperspace hyperspace is offline
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Thanks for all the feedback guys! it's much appreciated. I'll keep gathering reviews for related experiences and I'll add my own as soon as I make up my mind about a GPU and proceed with installing.

Meanwhile you're all welcome to add your thoughts/reviews to this thread.

thanks again.
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