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Re: newbie questions for amd64

On Mon, Nov 17, 2003 at 04:25:56PM -0500, Kyle Rose wrote:

 > It's not PCI-X itself, but it's compatible with PCI-X slots: it will
 > work in a 3.3V or 5V slot.


 I remember they made some fuss about PCI-X parts a few months ago (was
 it for SIGGRAPH?).  I hope they mean real PCI-X and not this, because
 if I understand you correctly, this is a plain old PCI device, and
 that's worse than AGP 1x.  And this card worked fine for DVD playback
 on a dual Athlon machine?  Let's see... 33 MHz @ 32 bits is 132 MB/s,
 which is an order of magnitude above DVD requirements.  Hmm...  maybe,
 as long as you have DMA...

 > Well, I think in general companies downplay their PCI support because
 > only us whackos with dual-head systems care.

 Actually it's because of the insane upload rates (geometry, textures,
 whatever) of modern games (and some of us, non-gamers), some of which
 want _more_ than AGP 4x (1 GB/s).

 > If I could get a reasonable AGP dual-head card with DVI-D output and
 > good, reliable 2D/3D performance under Linux, I'd probably go that
 > route; alas, I haven't found any.  Do you know of any?

 If you look at the spec, nothing really speaks against a system with
 multiple AGP bridges, but it's so vertical that I don't think anyone
 has bothered to produce one.  Interestingly an n-way Opteron should be
 able to cope with this, but the motherboards don't support that config.
 From the look of it, even the kernel supports this, but I asked Dave
 Jones if there was a reason for that (meaning, is it because it can be
 done or because there's a box in a basement somewhere where this
 actually exists) but he never came back to me.  There's a company (big
 name, I'm not sure if I can really mention it, sorry) which considered
 putting out a system with support for multiple AGP devices, but it
 never came out (and they use the wrong processor, too expensive, too
 slow :-) and they put their money on a system with multiple PCI-X
 bridges, which is not that vertical (since storage and network people
 will surely like that).  Another company, SGI, actually has a system
 with multiple PCI cards which are going to turn into PCI-X at some
 point in the future, AFAIUI (reading between the lines in press
 releases).  This is the reason why I asked if yours was PCI-X, since
 this is going to be the preferred way of getting multiple GPUs on a
 single machine in the future.  In fact, AGP should not be there in the
 first place in these systems, but the lack of PCI-X parts pushed AMD
 towards this solution, at least for the moment.

 > Hey, I even offered to give them root on my box.  We'll see if they
 > have anything to say. :)

 Oh.  Well, good luck then :-)


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