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DukeOfURL: Linux Buyer's Guide #11

Jun 20, 2001, 16:52 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patrick Mullen)

[ Thanks to Patrick Mullen for this link. ]

Patrick's introduction to the guide:

With every new month, there seems to be a new technology to shock the computer world. This month was no exception, with giant expos such as Computex taking place. Computex was the perfect time to release a lot of new technologies, although this time, chipsets seemed to be the focus.

New chipets emerged from everyone from VIA to Intel, and even included a newcomer to the motherboard chipset scene, NVIDIA. VIA pushed DDR on the Pentium 4, Intel flexed its muscles with its new i860, and NVIDIA rolled out their new AMD-only chipset, the Crush, along with an obligation to fully support it under Linux. The chipset has integrated video (GeForce2 MX), as well as audio. The audio looks to be very robust so far, with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel support, and one can guess that NVIDIA will pour a lot of resources into getting all of its features working under Linux. Still, NVIDIA has insisted that these are again, binary-only drivers. Kind of makes me wish that IP didn't exist.

With the new month also came a new version of XFree86. 4.1.0 to be exact. This new version brought support for Trident's CyberBlade3D series, the Radeon on Alpha/Linux, as well as an open-source (2D only) NVIDIA GeForce3 driver. In addition to this, the Radeon performance on i386/Linux has gotten a lot better, with XFree86's careful linking to a more current version of DRI. This may be one of the last steps in making the ATI Radeon a force to be reckoned with under Linux. Performance of 3dfx cards has also been stepped up, and while it isn't quite at the Windows level, it is rather impressive, considering no has touched the Windows drivers in a while.

Within this last month, I've also had a chance to dabble with a couple new products like Intel's Pentium 4. Will the Pentium 4 finally make it on this list? Find out this and more in our Linux Buyer's Guide #11.

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