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SubjectRe: useful ram on voodoo(2) cards?
> Jon M. Taylor wrote:
> > Mike A. Harris wrote:
> >
> > Are you saying that swap to VRAM would be slower than swap to
> > hard disk?
> No. I am saying that you'd better not be wanting to do any
> serious video work with the video card if you do use it for swap. And
> normal system [S]DRAM is cheaper and sits on a faster bus with no
> contention from other I/O devices. AGP and/or UDMA architectures will
> render this idea obsolete anyway.

From my point of view, the idea comes pre-obsoleted and is not a
mainstream thing. It is just a quick (fun) hack for the people who have a
dual work/play machine.

When the card is in use, you had better not really be using swap (frame
rate would not be good).

When the card isn't in use you might be doing some real work, so why not
make use of that silicon sitting there in the box? [The PCI bus contention
is one reason why not, but if you were swapping the data would be going
over the bus anyway.]

From the answers to the list it seems that an idea would be workable
[Voodoos and similar cards seem to have drivers providing read/write
framebuffer-like access already], so I'm encouraged to take a bit more of
a look at it. It seems like a good way to learn about drivers anyway.

[Disclaimer: I know so little about the kernel internals that it is
embarassing. But it all looks very interesting.]

Thanks for the info folks,


[Of course, a rinky-dink solution would automagically migrate pages from
the graphics card to disk swap when you wanted to use the card as nature
intended - perhaps by pre-allocating the relevant disk swap. But now we're
getting silly :-)]

John Berthels
X.400: /G=john/S=berthels/O=nexor/P=nexor/A=cwmail/C=gb/

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