A grain of salt regarding Intel chipsets
Posted Jul 20, 2006 14:36 UTC (Thu) by kamil
Parent article: OLS: Open source graphics drivers
Granted, Intel graphic chipsets have better free support than ATI or Nvidia, but before everybody rushes to stores for a new laptop built on Intel chipset, let me point out one irritating feature of their free driver:
It won't support an arbitrary resolution.
It simply won't. Period. It uses the video bios calls to switch to the graphics mode, and only supports the resolutions that are hard-coded in that bios. Typically, that's a small subset of standard 4:3 VESA resolutions. Attach a widescreen LCD and you are in trouble. Heck, many laptop owners couldn't even run the built-in 1400x1050 LCD screens at their native resolution, because it wasn't in the bios. That is to say, couldn't under Linux, because Windows naturally had no problems (it didn't use the video bios...).
Currently, several years after the problem has been noticed, the situation is somewhat better thanks to third party hacks such as "855resolution", which patch the in-memory copy of the video bios on each reboot, replacing one of the available resolutions with a user-supplied one, but I think we will all agree that that's not an optimal solution to the problem...
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