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Linux Games: NVIDIA's 3D Card Linux Drivers -- A First Look

Apr 25, 2000, 20:31 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Todd Coffey, Matt Matthews)

[ Thanks to Jacob OJ Kolding and Dustin Reyes for the link to this review -- and to Jacob OJ Kolding for the link to the download page: http://www.nvidia.com/drivers/xfree86_40.html ]

"The initial 3D drivers released by NVIDIA many months ago were, by all reports, a disappointment. Marked by poor performance and with source code released in a state that developers found unusable, Linux users with NVIDIA cards have had to hobble by while watching their friends with Matrox, 3dfx, and ATI cards play Quake 3 Arena with reasonable performance. Despite the 3D power of the TNT, TNT2, and GeForce cards, the initial drivers left the potential of those cards essentially untapped. Further, although source code for those drivers was released, it was obfuscated in a way that prevented any serious improvement by outside programmers. Now, new XFree86 4.0 drivers have been made available, promising blazing 3D performance and we can see for ourselves whether the end result was worth the wait."

"This is a first look article, so the results here may change as we learn more about how to use these drivers. While the results we have seen so far have been impressive, the drivers are still being refined and we're still getting used to dealing with XFree86 4.0. In short, these numbers could change and I'll point out places where something irregular seems to be taking place."

"There were a few problems using these drivers that deserve mention: You must use XFree86 4.0. This means using a relatively new X server, so if you're not comfortable installing X from source or precompiled binary tarballs or the RawHide RPMs from Red Hat, you might want to steer clear for now. Other distributions may have their own, perhaps better, packages; check with your distribution maker to see how well they're supporting XFree86 4.0."

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