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Old 11-21-2006, 01:05 AM   #1
jkmccarthy
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Best PCI video card for depth 8 Pseudocolor 8bpp ?


On my old Linux box, I run XFree86 with dual X-window displays, the primary :0.0 display at 24bpp (depth 24, TrueColor) and the second :0.1 head at 8bpp (depth 8, PseudoColor). This is necessary because I routinely use an application that requires PseudoColor visual mode, so that the application can manipulate the 256-color pallette lookup table.

I'm now pulling together a faster machine, and I find that many popular video cards today no longer support depth 8 PseudoColor (perhaps with large amounts of video memory on-board, hardware vendors don't think anybody still wants or needs 8bpp capability ? Wrong!).

So my question is: what is the BEST video card (PCI bus) that still supports depth 8 at 1280x1024 among its mode options ? By "BEST" I mean fast display/update speed for bitmap images combined with a highly reliable and robust driver supported under XFree86. Anything with 2Mb and above should work, but I'm not against paying for more memory than needed for the sake of faster performance and better reliability and robustness.

I'll be driving 1280x1024 LCD monitors via analog VGA interface; 60Hz vertical refresh is just fine ... I'm more concerned about driver and hardware performance over PCI bus between XFree86 and the video RAM, than I am about output video bandwidth to the monitor. ((Board in AGP 8x slot on new machine will be configured for primary display at 24bpp ... here I'm seeking recommendations for second board in PCI slot for :0.1 display at 8bpp.)) New machine has both legacy PCI slot(s) as well as PCI-X 100 slots and even a PCI-X 133 slot, if anyone knows of any Pseudo-color-capable video cards out there that can take advantage of the faster PCI interface speeds ?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and suggestions.

-- Jim


P.S. On my old machine I'm using video boards based on Permedia 2 chipset (XFree86 GLINT driver), which work OK but I don't consider outstanding . . . either because of the particular hardware implementation on the boards I'm using, or else "issues" with the GLINT driver software, I'm not sure.
 
Old 11-21-2006, 09:37 PM   #2
carl0ski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkmccarthy
On my old Linux box, I run XFree86 with dual X-window displays, the primary :0.0 display at 24bpp (depth 24, TrueColor) and the second :0.1 head at 8bpp (depth 8, PseudoColor). This is necessary because I routinely use an application that requires PseudoColor visual mode, so that the application can manipulate the 256-color pallette lookup table.

I'm now pulling together a faster machine, and I find that many popular video cards today no longer support depth 8 PseudoColor (perhaps with large amounts of video memory on-board, hardware vendors don't think anybody still wants or needs 8bpp capability ? Wrong!).

So my question is: what is the BEST video card (PCI bus) that still supports depth 8 at 1280x1024 among its mode options ? By "BEST" I mean fast display/update speed for bitmap images combined with a highly reliable and robust driver supported under XFree86. Anything with 2Mb and above should work, but I'm not against paying for more memory than needed for the sake of faster performance and better reliability and robustness.

I'll be driving 1280x1024 LCD monitors via analog VGA interface; 60Hz vertical refresh is just fine ... I'm more concerned about driver and hardware performance over PCI bus between XFree86 and the video RAM, than I am about output video bandwidth to the monitor. ((Board in AGP 8x slot on new machine will be configured for primary display at 24bpp ... here I'm seeking recommendations for second board in PCI slot for :0.1 display at 8bpp.)) New machine has both legacy PCI slot(s) as well as PCI-X 100 slots and even a PCI-X 133 slot, if anyone knows of any Pseudo-color-capable video cards out there that can take advantage of the faster PCI interface speeds ?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and suggestions.

-- Jim


P.S. On my old machine I'm using video boards based on Permedia 2 chipset (XFree86 GLINT driver), which work OK but I don't consider outstanding . . . either because of the particular hardware implementation on the boards I'm using, or else "issues" with the GLINT driver software, I'm not sure.

Other than a PCI card with at least 2MB VRAM to support 1280 resolutions @8bit
using generic drivers ala VGA or VESA restricts most cards to 8bit colour depths
Does it work for you?
 
Old 11-22-2006, 11:26 PM   #3
jkmccarthy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl0ski
...using generic drivers ala VGA or VESA restricts most cards to 8bit colour depths
Does it work for you?
Actually, no. First, the XFree86 VGA driver will only run on the primary screen, and only at very low resolution. Second, I'm looking for optimum performance from a video card even at 8-bit color depth, and the generic VESA driver is unlikely to deliver that. Lastly, although I failed to say so earlier, I'm expecting the new machine to dual-boot Windows (which I'd use in TrueColor mode on both heads), so that also is a consideration in my search for "the Best" video board out there (new or used/discontinued) that I can still run in 256-color mode under Linux and give me reliable and fast performance. No ideas ?

Doesn't anyone out there who is there extremely satisfied with their video hardware and driver software setup under Linux know if that same video card and driver also supports 8-bit PseudoColor mode, and if so, could offer me a recommendation based on their positive experience? (I'd expect good 24-bit or 16-bit performance to also carry over to 8-bit, if indeed the video hardware+software support 256-color mode ... your direct experience running 24/7 in PseudoColor is not a prerequisite to replying to this thread : - )

Thanks much,

-- Jim
 
Old 11-25-2006, 10:32 AM   #4
jkmccarthy
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Is it the feeling of this group that video performance and in particular reliability "issues" are more likely driver-related, and so my question really belongs in a linux software forum ?
 
  


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