[svlug] upgrading to a real O/S
amendola at altavista.net
Tue Sep 4 17:05:02 PDT 2001
> Ian MacLure wrote:
> > In my current work env I ( and others ) are lumbered with
> > that alternative O/S (the 2K version). The app we are
> > sweating over is aerospace related ( multiple high fidelity
> > flight sims networked with some high end automated traffic
> > avoidance type s/w and target generation apps ). We are
> > currently running all this on a bunch of dual 1G/512M intel
> > PIII ( soon to be 1.7G PIV ) boxes
> Er, for heavy FPU work and a lot of I/O, I'd seriously consider
> dual-Athlon MP. The Athlon core excells at FPU compared to a P4
> (heck, a P3 running at half the speed is faster than a P4 at
> double-precision floating point!) and the cross-bar interconnect of
> the Alpha EV7 bus used by the Athlon allows more than two nodes to
> transfer data simultaneously (unlike the Intel SMP approach).
> Look at these benchmarks to see what I mean (note those P4's are
> costly _Xeons_!):
> > with the graphics heavy lifting done by 3D Lab Wildcat II
> > 5110 boards driving dual monitors (at least for the flight
> > sim part). We also have flat screen repeaters coming off
> > the same boxes.
> I don't know of any 3D Labs drivers for Linux, but you may want to
> check out nVidia's Quanta2 chip-based solutions for high-end,
> dual-headed OpenGL on Linux. SGI might be the first vendor to
> consider. On the cheap, you can go with nVidia's GeForce2 MX which
> can also do dual-head, but I don't think it'll give you the
> performance you desire. The Quanta3, which will be based on the
> GeForce3, should be out shortly.
I have been developing OpenGL Apps on linux for a few years, and I
can tell you the drivers and performance are very good. The NVidia would
also be my first choice, but there are other options. You may want to
into the E&S chips. I also did some aircraft simulator work using E&S
cards, and they worked very nicely (I was forced to use NT, but the last
time I looked, E&S had linux drivers for their cards).
If you have a particular card that you really wan't to use, you might
try www.xigraphics.com for a driver. I have tried out a couple of their
drivers and the performance seems very good. They also had some 3D labs
drivers listed there.
> > What I'd like to do is implement this on a real O/S (nudge-
> > nudge ) and was wondering if there is anybody out there with
> > experience of running the 3D boards with Linux ( of whatever
> > flavo(u)r ). This would be the Achilles heal of the whole
> > effort and a show stopper if board perf under Linux was less
> > than on that other (P)OS. It would help if graphics performance
> > were better on Linux actually but I'm not holding my breath.
> > I'll settle for no worse.
> Only nVidia offers compelling Linux support. Their unified driver
> model uses the same codebase for Linux and Windows. As such,
> performance is just about on-par between the two. It is the only
> solution I would consider. Their newer drivers can drive OpenGL
> across two monitors as one frame buffer.
> > Code is C++ ( and FORTRAN [ but not where the graphics matter ]
> > ) with OpenGL doing the graphics stuff. We are sort of stuck
> > with OpenGL ( which isn't so bad considering the alternative )
> > for now. Any advice/experience you can share?
> Yes. At a previous employer, also in aerospace, I built a Linux
> cluster that did all the computations on the backend, and then sent
> GLX (basically OpenGL over X-Windows) 3-D to the front-end.
> Basically, no Windows solution can match our rendering throughput in
> real-time, and we also used the cluster for non-real-time
> computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations on off-hours.
> Intel has also released its optimizing C/C++/Fortran commercial
> compilers for Linux. And the standard GNU Toolchain offers
> C/C++/Fortran77 compilers as well.
> > Thanx.
> BTW, we have an engineer with a firm here in Orlando who uses the
> nVidia-Linux combination for low-cost (i.e. dual-processor PC-based,
> just like yourself) flight simulation systems. His name is Darren
> Humphreys of DISTI. I'll give you his E-mail address when I get
> home (I don't have it here).
> -- TheBS
> Bryan "TheBS" Smith mailto:b.j.smith at ieee.org chat:thebs413
> Engineer AbsoluteValue Systems, Inc. http://www.linux-wlan.org
> President SmithConcepts, Inc. http://www.SmithConcepts.com
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