On Thu, Aug 19, 1999 at 10:02:33AM +0100, Adrian Cox wrote: > > What the IBM reference design doesn't address is actually the hardest > part: building a complete workstation with a modern graphics system. Depends; I'm looking at this for a server environment. Graphics don't really monitor. But I'm considering that too. I don't really see the need for more than PCI graphics since most of my high-powered (but not supported by XF86) cards are PCI, such as the FireGL 1000 Pro and my FireGL 4000's. > There are three problems: > 1) If you use plug-in graphics cards, you get a lot more choice with > AGP. The IBM chipset doesn't have AGP. This can be rectified with some minor difficulty; would require changes at the component level, possibly a dropin replacement with something that VIA makes perhaps? > 2) Most graphics boards require you to execute x86 BIOS code. This makes > your boot firmware even more complicated, as it probably has to contain > Gabriel Paubert's x86 emulator. I don't think IBM even supply any > reference firmware, certainly not any that can execute x86 code. Erm, let us worry about that? Heh. Wait, you're one of us. Well, the easy solution is to use Apple-ok'd cards, which work on PowerPC assembly. But almost all of those are unsupported Radius cards or crummycrappyickyshit ATI cards that make me wanna puke. > 2a) Or you need a deal with a graphics chip vendor under NDA. If you are > not Apple, you are probably too small to keep their attention. Depends who you talk with. I think perhaps we should get all the PPC people together, and designate people to specifically look into this. I'm sure there's either a video card manufacturer that'll let you have an older BIOS/Firmware revision that you could look at. If not, perhaps we can convince them to create a firmware revision that works with PPC. Although this means you have to run the card in a PC first and flash the firmware, at least it gives you a good functioning card. > 3) If you integrate a PCI graphics chipset, you're probably stuck with a > low performance C&T or similar chipset, which will not give you > 1600x1200/32-bit/OpenGl/etc. > 3a) 2a applies to 3a. I dunno; I bet you could probably embed a Permedia2v with 8M of SGRAM on that board. }:) > Most of the VME/CPCI PowerPC systems use serial consoles for this > reason. Even MCG have stuck with supporting one or two low-performance > graphics chip. > If I'm too pessimistic, tell me the graphics chip vendor who's actually > useful. Well, here's at least a wishlist... 3DLabs, Number Nine, S3, Matrox. You may whap me upside the head. I'm a *BIG* #9 advocate; I'm running #9 RevolutionIV's in all my x86 machines. Did we mention they have a mention of a RevolutionIV flat-panel solution pack for PowerMac? Yes, *THE* 17" SGI LCD display and 32M RevolutionIV which is supported by XF86. They even have timings and XF86 info for it. So, *boom*, problem solved. Put an AGP slot on there, or find a way to embed at least 16M of SDRAM on the board (the T2R4 is 16M/32M only) and you've got your video problem solved. Can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. :) -- -Phillip R. Jaenke, Systems Administrator, Nexbell Communications AIX/BSDI/DG-UX/HP-UX/Linux(Debian)/SCO/Xenix/Xenix286 "Unix is so much more than a way of life. It's a way of.. er.. it's a way of SOMETHING! I just don't know what yet!" PRJ5 / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
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