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Re: PCI hardware

On Thu, Aug 14, 2003 at 02:25:43PM -0500, vinai wrote:
> > and even that isn't the full story. You can use many IDE and SCSI
> > controllers without executing the built-in firmware at all, and you
> > can use some graphics cards without having to rely on the firmware.
> > As long as the driver you use initialises the electronic and logical
> > properties of that specific PCI card correctly, it will work (or so I
> > heard).
> I think you're correct here.  I remember some folks mentioning (either
> here or on linuxppc-dev) being able to use some PCI IDE controllers
> under linux that don't work under Mac OS (classic or X).  I also seem to
> remember someone mentioning using non-OF graphics cards, but that one I
> am less sure of.

What I've heard is that you can usually use them, but you usually can't
boot from them. You can stick a $15 IDE card in a Mac and put drives on
it, but you still have to boot from the internal interface (or some
other Mac-native bootable device). I think you can do the same with some
graphics cards and you just won't get a console until the framebuffer
driver initializes the card, but I seem to remember that there are other
problems related to silly PC architecture.

The same thing applies to some other PCI-based hardware, like Sun
Ultras. Even running Solaris, you can usually use a cheap SCSI card that
has the same LSI Logic chipset as the Sun card, but you won't be able to
boot from a disk on that card because it doesn't have Sun's firmware.

Michael Heironimus

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