Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers? - Hardware

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  1. Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers?

    Hi,

    I did not follow linux graphics card driver development for some time.
    I'm looking for new graphics card for dual head support with CentOS
    5.1.

    Requirements/Wishes:
    - no binary drivers (I think they won't work with Xen anyway)
    - works with CentOS 5.1 (kernel 2.6.18, X.org 1.1), hopefully out-of-
    the-box
    - DVI would be nice, but I can switch to VGA if necessary
    - each head must do a minimum resolution of 1280*1024
    - no AGP slot, I can only use PCIe or PCI
    - 3D support is not relevant
    - no need to buy low-budget, so price "does not matter"
    - I don't want to spend too much time on buying the card so getting it
    on eBay is probably not an option.

    I'm very grateful for any buying recommendation. If there is no card
    which matches the profile above, are there some products with binary
    drivers I which can be recommended?

    Thank you very much
    fs


  2. Re: Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers?

    Felix Schwarz writes:
    >I did not follow linux graphics card driver development for some time.
    >I'm looking for new graphics card for dual head support with CentOS
    >5.1.
    >
    >Requirements/Wishes:
    >- no binary drivers (I think they won't work with Xen anyway)
    >- works with CentOS 5.1 (kernel 2.6.18, X.org 1.1), hopefully out-of-


    I guess you mean X.org 7.1

    >the-box
    >- DVI would be nice, but I can switch to VGA if necessary
    >- each head must do a minimum resolution of 1280*1024
    >- no AGP slot, I can only use PCIe or PCI
    >- 3D support is not relevant
    >- no need to buy low-budget, so price "does not matter"
    >- I don't want to spend too much time on buying the card so getting it
    >on eBay is probably not an option.


    Most ATI and Nvidia PCI or PCIe cards with two outputs should satisfy
    your requirements, except Radeon cards higher than the X1050 (there's
    free driver work underway for them, but probably not out-of-the-box
    for your distribution) and maybe the newest Nvidia cards; I don't know
    which Nvidia cards are supported by the nv driver on your distro, so
    if you want to buy one of them, look for other advice, too.

    Looking at what's out there, I see that various PCI Gforce 6200 cards
    and lots of PCIe Gforce cards are available as well as PCI Radeon 7000
    and 9250 cards, and PCIe Radeon X1050 cards and a few X300s.

    2x DVI seems to be available mostly on the relatively new and fast
    cards (which have a fan), those I mentioned usually do 1xDVI, 1xVGA.

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  3. Re: Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers?

    Felix Schwarz wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I did not follow linux graphics card driver development for some time.
    > I'm looking for new graphics card for dual head support with CentOS
    > 5.1.
    >
    > Requirements/Wishes:
    > - no binary drivers (I think they won't work with Xen anyway)
    > - works with CentOS 5.1 (kernel 2.6.18, X.org 1.1), hopefully out-of-
    > the-box
    > - DVI would be nice, but I can switch to VGA if necessary
    > - each head must do a minimum resolution of 1280*1024
    > - no AGP slot, I can only use PCIe or PCI
    > - 3D support is not relevant
    > - no need to buy low-budget, so price "does not matter"
    > - I don't want to spend too much time on buying the card so getting it
    > on eBay is probably not an option.
    >
    > I'm very grateful for any buying recommendation. If there is no card
    > which matches the profile above, are there some products with binary
    > drivers I which can be recommended?


    If the cards Anton's recommendations doesn't fit your needs
    http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/fi...s/g550pcie.php
    might do. I've used G based Matrox for many years with the free Matrox
    driver and they work great under Linux. Note that the G550 is a really old
    piece of hardware, but 2D speed is still adequate.

    --
    Lasse Jensen [fafler at g mail dot com]
    Linux, the choice of a GNU generation.

  4. Re: Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers?

    Lasse Jensen wrote:
    > Felix Schwarz wrote:
    >
    >> Hi,
    >>
    >> I did not follow linux graphics card driver development for some time.
    >> I'm looking for new graphics card for dual head support with CentOS
    >> 5.1.
    >>
    >> Requirements/Wishes:
    >> - no binary drivers (I think they won't work with Xen anyway)
    >> - works with CentOS 5.1 (kernel 2.6.18, X.org 1.1), hopefully out-of-
    >> the-box
    >> - DVI would be nice, but I can switch to VGA if necessary
    >> - each head must do a minimum resolution of 1280*1024
    >> - no AGP slot, I can only use PCIe or PCI
    >> - 3D support is not relevant
    >> - no need to buy low-budget, so price "does not matter"
    >> - I don't want to spend too much time on buying the card so getting it
    >> on eBay is probably not an option.
    >>
    >> I'm very grateful for any buying recommendation. If there is no card
    >> which matches the profile above, are there some products with binary
    >> drivers I which can be recommended?

    >
    > If the cards Anton's recommendations doesn't fit your needs
    > http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/fi...s/g550pcie.php
    > might do. I've used G based Matrox for many years with the free Matrox
    > driver and they work great under Linux. Note that the G550 is a really old
    > piece of hardware, but 2D speed is still adequate.


    Does it do 2 x DVI at 1280x1024 with the X.org mga driver or do you need
    the Matrox "open-source" driver with the closed source binary HAL?



    The open-source driver includes a closed-source binary HAL (Hardware
    Abstraction Layer) file provided by Matrox to enable certain advanced
    features.

    "certain advanced features" and no reference what these could be, they
    really must be kidding.

    Regards...
    Michael

  5. Re: Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers?

    Michael Mauch wrote:

    > Lasse Jensen wrote:
    >> Felix Schwarz wrote:
    >>
    >>> Hi,
    >>>
    >>> I did not follow linux graphics card driver development for some time.
    >>> I'm looking for new graphics card for dual head support with CentOS
    >>> 5.1.
    >>>
    >>> Requirements/Wishes:
    >>> - no binary drivers (I think they won't work with Xen anyway)
    >>> - works with CentOS 5.1 (kernel 2.6.18, X.org 1.1), hopefully out-of-
    >>> the-box
    >>> - DVI would be nice, but I can switch to VGA if necessary
    >>> - each head must do a minimum resolution of 1280*1024
    >>> - no AGP slot, I can only use PCIe or PCI
    >>> - 3D support is not relevant
    >>> - no need to buy low-budget, so price "does not matter"
    >>> - I don't want to spend too much time on buying the card so getting it
    >>> on eBay is probably not an option.
    >>>
    >>> I'm very grateful for any buying recommendation. If there is no card
    >>> which matches the profile above, are there some products with binary
    >>> drivers I which can be recommended?

    >>
    >> If the cards Anton's recommendations doesn't fit your needs
    >> http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/fi...s/g550pcie.php
    >> might do. I've used G based Matrox for many years with the free Matrox
    >> driver and they work great under Linux. Note that the G550 is a really
    >> old piece of hardware, but 2D speed is still adequate.

    >
    > Does it do 2 x DVI at 1280x1024 with the X.org mga driver or do you need
    > the Matrox "open-source" driver with the closed source binary HAL?


    I cannot see why it shouldn't. The mga driver supports use of dual monitors
    and 1280x1024 isn't that much. The 16 mb available for each head is more
    than enough for 2D.


    >
    > The open-source driver includes a closed-source binary HAL (Hardware
    > Abstraction Layer) file provided by Matrox to enable certain advanced
    > features.
    >
    > "certain advanced features" and no reference what these could be, they
    > really must be kidding.


    I think they are. I've never used the HAL module from Matrox and i have no
    idea what it does.

    --
    Lasse Jensen [fafler at g mail dot com]
    Linux, the choice of a GNU generation.

  6. Re: Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers?

    Lasse Jensen wrote:
    > Michael Mauch wrote:
    >
    >> Does it do 2 x DVI at 1280x1024 with the X.org mga driver or do you need
    >> the Matrox "open-source" driver with the closed source binary HAL?

    >
    > I cannot see why it shouldn't. The mga driver supports use of dual monitors
    > and 1280x1024 isn't that much. The 16 mb available for each head is more
    > than enough for 2D.


    1280x1024 is the card's maximum resolution with DVI, so I think it is
    much (for that card).

    >
    >>
    >> The open-source driver includes a closed-source binary HAL (Hardware
    >> Abstraction Layer) file provided by Matrox to enable certain advanced
    >> features.
    >>
    >> "certain advanced features" and no reference what these could be, they
    >> really must be kidding.

    >
    > I think they are. I've never used the HAL module from Matrox and i have no
    > idea what it does.


    Ok, I dug a bit further and found the readme for their latest driver
    (which supports up to Xorg 7.0):



    The Matrox HAL ("Hardware Abstraction Layer") is a special library
    to enable features not supported by the standard XFree86 driver.
    It's required for DualHead, TV output, and DVI support with G400-
    based graphics hardware, for multi-display support with G200/G450 MMS
    products, and for DVI support. The HAL library is not required for
    basic DualHead support (without a DVI monitor) with G450- and G550-based
    graphics hardware. Also please take not that TV output is not supported
    with G450- and G550- based graphics hardware in Linux.

    From Xorg's current mga man page:

    Support for the second head on G400 cards requires a binary-only
    "mga_hal" module that is available from Matrox
    , and may be on the CD supplied with the card.
    That module also provides various other enhancements, and may be
    necessary to use the DVI (digital) output on the G550 (and other
    cards).

    So until somebody speaks up and says he has this card running with dual
    1280x1024 DVI and without the evil HAL module, I'd be a bit wary.

    Regards...
    Michael

  7. Re: Dual Head graphics card without binary drivers?

    Michael Mauch wrote:

    > So until somebody speaks up and says he has this card running with dual
    > 1280x1024 DVI and without the evil HAL module, I'd be a bit wary.


    You might ask on the Marvel Linux mailing list. Those guys know quite a lot
    about Matrox hardware.

    https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/...o/marvel-linux

    --
    Lasse Jensen [fafler at g mail dot com]
    Linux, the choice of a GNU generation.

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