Wahts the Highest performance AGP card available?

We are having a performance problem with an ATI Raedon 64MB sitting in an AGP4 slot of an ASUS
P4B266 with 2GB of PC2100DDR and an Intel 2GB P4 cpu running RedHat 7.2 patched to kernel 2.4.9-23.

We have an In house OpenGL application that runs quite nicely on an SGI O2 with an SGI 17" monitor. If we run that same application on this Intel RH Linux machine it runs much slower. If we Run the application on the Intel/Linux and push the video over to the SGI O2 through the 100MB network it runs fairly well . We believe this experiment resolves the questions we had about the processor , DDR ram and OpenGL as the SGI is displaying just the Xinterface. This leaves the AGP card as the villain. Now we are in a search for a nice high performance AGP card for the Intel/Linux machine to address this performance degredation.

I am aware that the ATI Raedon 64M AGP card is not the best choice for XFree86 to deal with. The XFree86 Web site even states that there is a generic driver for the card and that the Raedon is not fully supported.

What we want to know is.

Is there a fully supported AGP card with XFree86 and OpenGL out there that will deliver performance on the Intel Linux box that will at least come close to the SGI O2?

Knowing that this may be a subjective question, dependent on variables not discussed here, based on the generalizations presented in this post. I leave your reflections based upon your experiences.

Thank you in advance

George Van Tuyl

i do not know much about ati cards on linux but i think that there is no driver from ati

nvidia provides drivers for linux and perhaps therefor may do some better performance than the ati cards

for me i can say that i run ‘return to castle wolfenstein’ on a 400mhz k6 with a geforce2 mx

both not really fast stuff but performance is for gaming ok

i think geforce4 is not supported by the actual nvidia drivers but as much as i know geforce3 are

so perhaps an nvidia card may help

but wait what the people say that know more about this stuff than me

hi everybody.

with XFree86 4.2 ati radeon 7500 is fully, but 8500 only partially supported (2d runs perfectly, and 3d… i dunno exactly, but it should run quite fine).
im running a geforce 2, but i can't say i'm very happy with it. nvidia drivers are _not_ stable, and my next card will be an ati or something else (preferable dri compatible). george, are you running xfree 4.2? if you need a 100% compatible card, well then you have to grab an nvidia, i fear. also, how about your mainboard/system configuration? especially, im thinking of the agp mode: are you sure, you`re running agp 4x mode? (sorry, certainly you are no newbie, but i hope these questions helps for finding a solution to your problem :wink:

anyway, good luck!

best regards,

[We are running the latest updated XFree from RedHat which is XFree86-4.1 not XFree86-4.2. I would like to see Redhat get the 4.2 out as soon as possible but I am not certain that will address the performance degredation we are experiencing.


www.xigraphics.com has drivers for the ATI 8500. You may want to try these. You may want to look at the 3D Labs cards, or the ATI fireGL. The GForce1/2/3/4 has drivers for linux also. The NVIdia drivers tend to crash if the bios / kernel is not set up just right. Some motherboards have to have AGP turned off, VGA interupt has to be enabled etc. It took me a while to get my system stable, but now that I have done the leg work, my system never crashes (I’m using a GForce 2GTS).


I think NVidia has the best drivers for Linux . It is the same “gold quality” that they have on other platforms. Is really the open source drivers for ATI cards faster and has fewer bugs than the ATI drivers for Windows? Does anybody have some links to benchmarks/reviews ?

NVidia cards should also have the best AGP support since they besides the kernel AGP drivers also can use AGP drivers from NVidia. It is true that you have to disable AGP for some motherboards but NVidia says that it is because of weak signals and other problems n the hardware. I wonder how Windows handles this problem?

You have to turn on VGA interrupt also for some older versions of Windows but I do not see that as a real problem.

Linux with a AGP card has a different architecture than a SGI machine. For example do I belive that moving images to and from the card is much slower on Linux than on a SGI. You can probably get a better card than the old Radeon but perhaps do you also have to hack the application.

ati radeon support in xfree 4.2.0 as stated on www.xfree.org

7500 (2d and 3d)
8500 (2d only)

i suggest nvidia

there should be geforce4 support hopefully soon

I have an old O2 (R10K) and a newer pc (P3-900 + GeForce2 GTS) 3D on this pc is considerably faster than the O2. I also have a GeForce2 MX PCI card in a P3-450 which is still slightly faster than the O2.

Before buying new hardware, you should check to see if direct rendering is actually being used, you might just need some config tweeking. Look at the XF86 log (/var/log/XF86…) to ensure that dri and glx loaded and there are no errors. Also run glxinfo and ensure that your using the DRI. You should see something like:

OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI …

and not

OpenGL renderer string: Mesa GLX Indirect

You can find information about the ati drivers at dri.sf.net (a couple of trouble shooting guides in the documentation section)

XiGraphics use to (and probably still does) have downloadable demos of their drivers. Might be cheaper than new hardware.

But if you get new hardware, GeForce works great for me.


With GF, DRI must be disabled in the XF86Config


This topic was automatically closed 183 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.