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Old 14th June 2011
rbg_cn rbg_cn is offline
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Question Hardware Support

Dear Community,

currently i plan to upgrade my system and i don't know, whether the hardware i want to buy is supported.

I already checked the official OpenBSD site about hardware compatibility, but i don't get it.

"Display Adapters

VGA-compatible and SVGA display adapters (including PCI and AGP cards) (vga).

Note that not all of the display adapters OpenBSD/amd64 supports can be used under the X Window System. "

The graphic card i want to buy is an ATI HD6790.

Thanks for any advise/help

your rbg_cn
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Old 14th June 2011
adamk adamk is offline
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That card should work, but only with the Xorg vesa driver. It will be slow.

Adam
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Old 14th June 2011
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbg_cn View Post
I already checked the official OpenBSD site about hardware compatibility, but i don't get it.
The text you question refers to the possibility where the video hardware in question might be usable by the kernel as a console (text only) device, yet not usable by X Windows for graphical display. OpenBSD's X Windows implementation is a repackaging of X.org, called Xenocara. The kernel device driver for consoles and the Xenocara userland driver are different.

This particular card you are asking about is new this year, and as adamk mentioned, it should work in VESA mode, but that is not guaranteed. If you have physical access to a PC that has this card installed and a CD or DVD drive, you could boot one of my 4.9-release live media images to test this. A link is in my signature.

Xenocara has two ATI device drivers, ati(4) and radeon(4), and though there have been updates in the last six weeks to radeon driver source code modules, the manual pages and changelogs that describe device support are 21 months old.

Last edited by jggimi; 14th June 2011 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 14th June 2011
adamk adamk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post

Xenocara has two ATI device drivers, ati(4) and radeon(4), and though there have been updates in the last six weeks to radeon driver source code modules, the manual pages and changelogs that describe device support are 21 months old.
The real issue here, though, is that the Xorg radeon driver requires kernel modesetting support to drive any GPU newer than an HD5xxx.
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Old 14th June 2011
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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As was explained by jggimi, traditionally on Unix systems the kernel supports the graphics card in VGA compatibility mode until the userland X11 DDX drivers have a chance to reprogram it.

There has however been a recent change in direction in the upstream Mesa/DRI/Xorg communities to move modesetting into the kernel, Linux supports this so most of the userland X drivers are no longer maintaining their userland mode setting code.. and not writing any for newer chip families at all.

People are slowly working on it, but until then, avoid buying the latest ATI cards.. stay with the older r300-r700 radeon families, they're more than adequate.
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Old 14th June 2011
adamk adamk is offline
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Similarly, avoid buying computers with the latest on-board Intel GPUs (Ironlake and up) as they also require kernel modesetting.

Adam
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Old 15th June 2011
rbg_cn rbg_cn is offline
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Thank you all for the fast replies

I changed my mind and will buy an Nvidia card for my main system.
So i decided to run Mickysoft's Windows on it and i'm going to use OpenBSD on my Notebook.
The notebook is equiped with an GeForce 8200M G.
I checked the supported systems and found a driver, but only for FreeBSD.
I think this question might seem quite retarded, but are there any problems, when i'll use the FreeBSD driver?
I think not, but since i'm not so used to BSD i rather ask then get a system, that is not running right

Greets cn
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Old 15th June 2011
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You will not be able to use the FreeBSD driver on OpenBSD. They are different operating sytems with different kernels.

There is the open source 'nv' driver. nVidia announced that they were going to stop maintaining it a while back, but I do not know if that was before the 8200 was released or after. Even if it does support your GPU, it will also be unaccelerated and, likely, quite slow.
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Old 15th June 2011
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From OpenBSD's i386 hardware support page:
Quote:
X Window System support is available for most graphics cards, using the X.Org server. As with other free operating systems it is highly recommended that Nvidia cards are avoided since this vendor continues to show tremendous resistance towards releasing information that would allow X.Org to support their hardware properly.
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