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 Linux driver for 3D banchee card
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Posted - 10/05/2006 :  15:05:01  Show Profile  Visit snooppy's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I'm a newbie in linux world and I have tried to install mandrake free 2006 on a old PC with a 3D banshee graphical card.

But, unfornutaly, the X doesn't work. I have a unreadable screen. It seems to be a problem with the graphical card.

Do someone give me some information on how to make my graphical card working well with this distribution

Thanks for your help,




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Posted - 20/05/2006 :  16:55:54  Show Profile  Visit Dr.Yak's Homepage  Send Dr.Yak an AOL message  Send Dr.Yak an ICQ Message  Click to see Dr.Yak's MSN Messenger address  Send Dr.Yak a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
(I know the topic is old and the poster may have fixed the problem alone, but I hope to be helpful to other users)

The driver "tdfx" should work with any 3dfx card with integrated 2D core (from Voodoo Banshee all they way up to Voodoo 5 6000).

(Voodoo 1&2 require another special driver if you want to use them for a X server. Note that when used as 2D display, old Voodoo 1&2 gards can't be used simultaneously for 3D with Mesa. So either one should use them for 2D only *OR* one should use a separate 2D card for X server and the Voodoo cards for 3D only using the pass-thru cable like in Windows *OR* one should use a more recent card that has both a 2D and a 3D core like the poster with his Banshee card *OR* one should use a card whose 3D core is supported by Xgl)

So, in /etc/X11/XF86Config (or in Xorg 6.9 and up : xorg.conf), you should have a section similar to this one :
Section "Device"
BoardName "Voodoo5 5500"
BusID "1:0:0"
Driver "tdfx"
Identifier "Device[0]"
Screen 0
VendorName "3Dfx"

BoardName varies depending on the model, but isn't important.
BusID indicates where the card is connected : in my case, it's the first (and only) slot on the AGP bus. (If you have multiple video cards, each one will have a different BusID)
Identifier is just the name by which this device is referred to in other sections (like in the Section "Screen")

What exactly do you mean by :
I have a unreadable screen

Most of the time, the screen is unreadable because the screen setting aren't proprely entered in the config file, and the video card is using an out-of-spec refresh rate (Voodoo cards are highly programmable and can send pretty much any data rate that is within the spec of the RAMDAC, including TV compatible 480i).

The following section is needed in the config file :
Section "Monitor"
HorizSync 28-107
VertRefresh 43-170
DisplaySize 360 270
Identifier "Monitor[0]"
ModelName "DELL P992"
Option "DPMS"
VendorName "DEL"
UseModes "Modes[0]"

HorizSync (in KHz) and VertRefresh (in Hz) are THE most important settings defining the upper and lower limite for the monitor. You can find them on the manufacturer website, or maybe also in the .INI file of the Windows driver.
DisplaySize is not as important. It defines the size of the displaying surface and is used to compute DPI and stuff like that.
Identifier is the name by which the monitor will be referred in other sections.
UseModes refers to the Identifier of a Modline section that contain different setting to get different resolution. X server will you only those modes that fall between the monitor limitation defined with Hoiz- and VertRefresh.
ModelName and VendorName only describe the monitor and aren't required, just like in the Device section.

More information about the config file, if you have installed the xorg-x11-doc package :
man XF86Config or
man xorg.conf (depending on your version)

Also notice that the OpenSuSE distro has a very nice tools called "SaX" that help you configure the Xserver in a very easy way.

Q: What would happen if the value of pi was changed ?
A: The universe should reboot.
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Posted - 23/05/2006 :  10:36:38  Show Profile  Visit Glide's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Dr.Yak, many thanks for your contribution ;)

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