"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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