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Old 12-18-2004, 09:03 PM   #1
Barton Bosch
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fc2 on nforce2 mobo driver question


This is a pretty simple question that I could not google down a clear answer to .

Earlier this year I built a new computer based on a DFI NFII 400-AL mobo. Previous to this I had only built systems with standard chip sets that just worked without any question of proprietary drivers. The problem here is that while FC2 did install successfully I am experiencing some issues with my Matrox G450 AGP video card. Additionally, RH 9.0 won't install at all -- hobbled by lockups while packages are being transferred from CDROM.

The primary question is whether any of the proprietary Nvidia drivers are needed. It is unclear if the Nforce 2 chipset itself requires Nvidia drivers or that the fact that my video card being a supported Matrox card with an open source driver spares me that hassle.

FC2 is the OS on the primary installation so it runs a 2.6.8 kernel which means that agpgart functionality and forcedeth are built in. The network card seems to be fine so far, but the vid card is having difficulties. It's running at 1x AGP though the card is 4x and the board supports up to 8x. In trying to track the problem down I ran across a thread:

http://atlas.et.tudelft.nl/verwei90/nforce2/index.html


which suggested turning off both APIC and ACPI in the BIOS as well as the CPU temp throttling. Changing these settings solved the "insufficient resources"/"bad memory alloc" errors I was getting when trying to use hardware acceleration with Mplayer. I can now use the Xv video output driver instead of being consigned to purely software acceleration with the X11 and SDL drivers.

Unfortunately the card is still running at 1x AGP. Will installing the Nvidia linux drivers resolve this? Is there any advantage in installing the Matrox video card drivers? Will I need to recompile the kernel to deal with this? Maybe an xorg.conf option needs to be added? Is there some other problem which is completely escaping me?


Thanks,

Barton
 
Old 12-20-2004, 09:51 PM   #2
zajelo3
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Installing the Nvidia linux drivers won't help your video card problem. You will need to install the Matrox drivers on their website. Before you install them make sure you do some research into possible setup configuration problems. Since you using FC2 it shouldn't be that bad (knock on wood). As for needing the Nvidia drivers for anything else, no, everything should be OK as the Nvidia drivers are for (1) The APU (sound chip) and they don't work very good anyway, alsa is faster, I get about 10 fps more playing ut2004 using alsa compared to the 0292 Nforce2 drivers. I'll try the next release of Nvidia sound drivers when they come out to see if there's any improvement though. (2) The ethernet card, and it already works with FC2 out of the box. (3) Video cards, and while they are great drivers you don't have an Nvidia card.
 
Old 12-21-2004, 12:10 AM   #3
Barton Bosch
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zajelo3, thanks for the info and for clearing up the confusion WRT the difference between the Nforce and Nvidia video drivers.

Do you think that I will see a difference in performance using the Matorx proprietary drivers as opposed to the open source drivers that FC2 uses by default?

Quote:
Before you install them make sure you do some research into possible setup configuration problems. Since you using FC2 it shouldn't be that bad (knock on wood).
I've been working on my xorg.conf file a little. Do you have any reason to think that the config would be any different for the proprietary vid driver? Any heads up WRT possible config problems?
 
Old 12-21-2004, 03:04 PM   #4
zajelo3
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Hi Barton,
It seems that we subscribe to some of the same mailing lists, as I saw a post of yours on the CCRMA list about the 2.6.7 kernel. Fernando replied about using a kernel from the planetedge repo, which is where I get my kernel from, and it works great. I've tried the 2vS7 kernel, but I had some problems that I believe were related to the Nvidia video driver, so right now I'm using the R9 kernel, and I'm very happy with it. I'm using a Nforce2 chipset also, so the kernels should work for you too. The only major difference is that you use a different brand of video card, so if you have a problem with the planetedge kernel that might be the reason.

As for the Matrox proprietary drivers working better than the drivers that come with FC2, I really can't say which will work better, but I would think that the drivers from Matrox would be a better choice. I dont know what you'll have to do to your xorg.conf file, but instructions probably come with the Matrox drivers. I know that with the Nvidia video drivers I have to make some minor adjustments to xorg.conf, like changing the driver name that it loads from "nv" to "nvidia" and commenting out "Load "dri"". But the Matrox drivers work alot different from what I've read (I think you need dri with them), so you should just read the instructions that come with the driver. As the Matrox G450 is an older card, I would think that all of the driver and configuration problems would be worked out by now, but you never can tell.

By the way I go by "Rick B" on the CCRMA, Alsa-user, and Linux-audio-user mailing lists.
 
Old 12-21-2004, 11:27 PM   #5
Barton Bosch
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Cool man, thanks for sharing your experience with the 2.6.7's. I'll give it and the matrox drivers a try and see how things run.

Those lists are where its at. Most of what I know about digital audio has come directly or indirectly from the kind folks there.


Peace,

Barton
 
  


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