How do various video cards compare on Solaris? - Solaris

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Thread: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

  1. How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Is there a *sensible* way to choose a video card, other than look at the HCL?
    The best you can get from that in most cases is "reported to work". Even take a
    card like an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express, which is used in both the Ultra
    20 and Ultra 40, and it only says that.

    http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/data...ails/1066.html

    I'd really like to spend no more than perhaps 100 (say $160 USD, by the time
    you take into account the almost universal price inflation in the UK). Is there
    any way to find a decent card for 100 that not only works, but where driver
    support makes *full* use of the cards capabilities?

    I can think of no better way than perhaps looking at the cards used in the Sun
    Ultra 20 and Ultra 40, which are

    1) ATI Rage XL PCI Graphics Controller (Ultra 20 only)

    2) NVIDIA Quadro NVS 285 PCI Express Graphics (U 20 + U 40)

    3) NVIDIA Quadro FX 540 PCI Express Graphics (U 20 + U 40)

    4) NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express Graphics (U 20 + U 40)

    5) NVIDIA Quadro FX 3450 PCI Express Graphics (U 20 + U 40)

    6) NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 (PCIe) (Ultra 40 only)

    I don't think I will be buying a brain-dead ATI Rage XL (I really want PCI
    Express anyway). Perhaps the Quadro NVS 285 would not be too bad for me. But is
    there something a bit better, which is fully supported with drivers, but perhaps
    not exceeding 100? I only need support for one monitor. I don't play games or
    have much used for high-end 3D stuff.

    Perhaps look at what is used in the Acer Ferrari laptops, as I gather they are
    quite popular with Sun employees so drivers tend to be written for them?


    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.

  2. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    > Is there a *sensible* way to choose a video card, other than look at the
    > HCL? The best you can get from that in most cases is "reported to work".
    > Even take a card like an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express, which is
    > used in both the Ultra 20 and Ultra 40, and it only says that.
    >
    > http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/data...ails/1066.html
    >
    > I'd really like to spend no more than perhaps 100 (say $160 USD, by the
    > time you take into account the almost universal price inflation in the
    > UK). Is there any way to find a decent card for 100 that not only
    > works, but where driver support makes *full* use of the cards capabilities?
    >

    You can get an nVidia 6600 for well under 100.

    I'm using one to drive a LCD via DVI and a CRT in twin view.

    --
    Ian Collins.

  3. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Ian Collins wrote:
    > Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >
    >>Is there a *sensible* way to choose a video card, other than look at the
    >>HCL? The best you can get from that in most cases is "reported to work".
    >>Even take a card like an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express, which is
    >>used in both the Ultra 20 and Ultra 40, and it only says that.
    >>
    >>http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/data...ails/1066.html
    >>
    >>I'd really like to spend no more than perhaps 100 (say $160 USD, by the
    >>time you take into account the almost universal price inflation in the
    >>UK). Is there any way to find a decent card for 100 that not only
    >>works, but where driver support makes *full* use of the cards capabilities?
    >>

    >
    > You can get an nVidia 6600 for well under 100.
    >
    > I'm using one to drive a LCD via DVI and a CRT in twin view.
    >


    Are you using PCI Express?

    Who makes your card? I see that the Nvida 6600 chip set is used by at least
    Aopen, Apple, Asus, Leadtech, Gigabyte, PNY, XFX and possibly others.

    It is quite possible the driver was written for the older Nvida 5600 so does not
    use your card to the full. It seems hard to find out this - I guess looking at
    the source of the driver is one way. That might be public although I guess Sun
    might have got the details under an NDA.


    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.

  4. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    In article <442a47af@212.67.96.135>,
    Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >Perhaps look at what is used in the Acer Ferrari laptops, as I gather they are
    >quite popular with Sun employees so drivers tend to be written for them?


    Acer uses ATI graphics. Sun has not been able to leverage their
    relationship with Acer to persuade ATI to support Solaris x86/x64.

    My WAG is you'll see fewer Sun employees using Acer laptops this
    year and next as the dual core x64 based laptops with nVidia video
    become mainstream.

    John
    groenveld@acm.org

  5. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    John D Groenveld wrote:
    > In article <442a47af@212.67.96.135>,
    > Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >
    >>Perhaps look at what is used in the Acer Ferrari laptops, as I gather they are
    >>quite popular with Sun employees so drivers tend to be written for them?

    >
    >
    > Acer uses ATI graphics. Sun has not been able to leverage their
    > relationship with Acer to persuade ATI to support Solaris x86/x64.
    >
    > My WAG is you'll see fewer Sun employees using Acer laptops this
    > year and next as the dual core x64 based laptops with nVidia video
    > become mainstream.
    >
    > John
    > groenveld@acm.org


    I gather a lot of Sun employers do use the Acer Ferrari laptops, which use the
    AMD Turion 64-bit chip.

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.

  6. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Ian Collins wrote:
    > Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >
    >>Is there a *sensible* way to choose a video card, other than look at the
    >>HCL? The best you can get from that in most cases is "reported to work".
    >>Even take a card like an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express, which is
    >>used in both the Ultra 20 and Ultra 40, and it only says that.
    >>
    >>http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/data...ails/1066.html
    >>
    >>I'd really like to spend no more than perhaps 100 (say $160 USD, by the
    >>time you take into account the almost universal price inflation in the
    >>UK). Is there any way to find a decent card for 100 that not only
    >>works, but where driver support makes *full* use of the cards capabilities?
    >>

    >
    > You can get an nVidia 6600 for well under 100.
    >
    > I'm using one to drive a LCD via DVI and a CRT in twin view.
    >


    Who makes your card? As far as I can tell there are lots of manufacturers using
    Nvida 6600 chip sets.

    I looked at the Inno site for the G-Force 6600GT

    http://www.inno3d.com/products/gefor...ms_6600gt.html

    but there is no mention of Solaris support.

    I think my current card is Inno3D (its an AGP card) and there were a few issues
    with that, that required me to change the firmware so it used the DVI rather
    than VGA port (they could be swapped under Windows, but not on Solaris).

    I happen to be looking at the Inno3D again as there is one ending on eBay in an
    hour or so!!

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.

  7. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >>
    >> You can get an nVidia 6600 for well under 100.
    >>
    >> I'm using one to drive a LCD via DVI and a CRT in twin view.
    >>

    >
    > Are you using PCI Express?
    >

    Yes and no, one of each.

    > Who makes your card? I see that the Nvida 6600 chip set is used by at
    > least Aopen, Apple, Asus, Leadtech, Gigabyte, PNY, XFX and possibly others.
    >

    I've used Gigabyte and Albatron cards. The Gigabyte had a passive
    heatsink, good for a quiet desktop.

    > It is quite possible the driver was written for the older Nvida 5600 so
    > does not use your card to the full. It seems hard to find out this - I
    > guess looking at the source of the driver is one way. That might be
    > public although I guess Sun might have got the details under an NDA.
    >

    The driver is written by nVidia, they keep the source closed. What do
    you want to do that would push the card? If you want to run something
    like ProE, then you can use a 7800.

    I get good performance with one card and two displays, giving a
    3520x1200 desktop.

    --
    Ian Collins.

  8. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    In article <442ac913@212.67.96.135>,
    Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >I gather a lot of Sun employers do use the Acer Ferrari laptops, which use the
    >AMD Turion 64-bit chip.


    I too have seen quite a few Sun engineers lugging Acer Ferrari 3000/4000
    series laptops.

    Time will tell which make/model laptop gets the unspoken endorsement
    of Sun's Solaris engineers.

    John
    groenveld@acm.org

  9. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Mar-2006@southminster-branch-line.org.uk writes in alt.solaris.x86:
    |I gather a lot of Sun employers do use the Acer Ferrari laptops, which use the
    |AMD Turion 64-bit chip.

    With the Ferrari 3400 and 4000 models yes, since they use the Radeon
    9700 and x700 chipsets. If the next Ferrari model moves up to the
    Radeon x1X00 series, it currently looks like we'll be looking for a
    new favorite, since ATI only supports Windows on those so far, not
    even Linux (no support in either open source or closed source drivers).

    --
    Alan Coopersmith * alanc@alum.calberkeley.org * Alan.Coopersmith@Sun.COM
    http://blogs.sun.com/alanc/ * http://people.freedesktop.org/~alanc/
    http://del.icio.us/alanc/ * http://www.csua.berkeley.edu/~alanc/
    Working for, but definitely not speaking for, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

  10. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Ian Collins wrote:
    > Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >
    >>>You can get an nVidia 6600 for well under 100.




    > I've used Gigabyte and Albatron cards. The Gigabyte had a passive
    > heatsink, good for a quiet desktop.
    >
    >
    >>It is quite possible the driver was written for the older Nvida 5600 so
    >>does not use your card to the full. It seems hard to find out this - I
    >>guess looking at the source of the driver is one way. That might be
    >>public although I guess Sun might have got the details under an NDA.
    >>

    >
    > The driver is written by nVidia, they keep the source closed. What do
    > you want to do that would push the card?


    Nothing really. Just want something reasonably responsive that will not be a
    bottleneck with an AMD Opteron 252 or similar.

    I was looking at an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express on eBay, mainly since I
    know that card is used in the Ultra 40 so thought it would be pretty easy to set
    up, as Sun use it. But even used it is quite expensive ($220 buy it now), but I
    could afford it. Whether it is worth getting a card like that rather than a more
    consumer orientated one like the nVida 6600 is another matter.

    It's hard to see how these cards compare, as they never seem to be scored with
    the same sort of benchmarks.

    > If you want to run something
    > like ProE, then you can use a 7800.


    I don't run ProE. I sometimes run Matlab or Mathematica and have in the past
    used some pretty sophist iced scientific software that does 3D plots, but I
    really don't know what hardware it would make best use of.

    As you might guess, this is not an area I know much about.

    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.

  11. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    >>
    >> The driver is written by nVidia, they keep the source closed. What do
    >> you want to do that would push the card?

    >
    >
    > Nothing really. Just want something reasonably responsive that will not
    > be a bottleneck with an AMD Opteron 252 or similar.
    >
    > I was looking at an NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express on eBay, mainly
    > since I know that card is used in the Ultra 40 so thought it would be
    > pretty easy to set up, as Sun use it. But even used it is quite
    > expensive ($220 buy it now), but I could afford it. Whether it is worth
    > getting a card like that rather than a more consumer orientated one like
    > the nVida 6600 is another matter.
    >
    > It's hard to see how these cards compare, as they never seem to be
    > scored with the same sort of benchmarks.
    >

    Just spend the $100 or soon on a 6600/6600GT, I think you'll be happy.
    I used my system all day, every day and I'm not disappointed with the
    performance.

    If you are moving into the x86 world, the Solarisx86 list on yahoogroups
    is worth subscribing to.

    --
    Ian Collins.

  12. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Ian Collins wrote:

    >>It's hard to see how these cards compare, as they never seem to be
    >>scored with the same sort of benchmarks.
    >>

    >
    > Just spend the $100 or soon on a 6600/6600GT, I think you'll be happy.
    > I used my system all day, every day and I'm not disappointed with the
    > performance.


    Cheers. I've got one in my basket for Dabs - just need to sort out a DVD writer
    before I place an order.

    > If you are moving into the x86 world, the Solarisx86 list on yahoogroups
    > is worth subscribing to.


    I've got a bit of an aversion to Yahoo groups. I have signed up with two or
    three over the years, but soon get fed up and leave.


    --
    Dave K MCSE.

    MCSE = Minefield Consultant and Solitaire Expert.

    Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
    It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
    for a couple of months only. Later set it manually.

  13. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    Dave (from the UK) wrote:
    > Ian Collins wrote:
    >
    >>> It's hard to see how these cards compare, as they never seem to be
    >>> scored with the same sort of benchmarks.
    >>>

    >>
    >> Just spend the $100 or soon on a 6600/6600GT, I think you'll be happy.
    >> I used my system all day, every day and I'm not disappointed with the
    >> performance.

    >
    >
    > Cheers. I've got one in my basket for Dabs - just need to sort out a DVD
    > writer before I place an order.
    >

    I've used a couple of LG drives in recent X86 boxes (dabs code 40TPWS).


    >> If you are moving into the x86 world, the Solarisx86 list on yahoogroups
    >> is worth subscribing to.

    >
    >
    > I've got a bit of an aversion to Yahoo groups. I have signed up with two
    > or three over the years, but soon get fed up and leave.
    >

    This one is worth a look.

    --
    Ian Collins.

  14. Re: How do various video cards compare on Solaris?

    In article <1143834284.931932@drone2-svc-skyt.qsi.net.nz>,
    Ian Collins wrote:
    >This one is worth a look.


    To subscribe, send an email to solarisx86-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    John
    groenveld@acm.org

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