> Why waste money on powerful discrete graphics hardware if you don't need the power it provides?
I also do not use any graphic animations/mathematically described screen, so totally agree.
What I really need, instead of a graphic card where its processors could be used for other non graphic tasks, is some kind of (free and open) programmable logic with a well designed interface to memory, I/O, PCIe, memory caches...
Programmable logic is these days quite a few order of magnitude quicker than processors, and a kind of well though standard would enable "state machines" sub-systems with their own DMAs to talk to video, main memory bypassing cache, SATA disks, PCIe, USB, so that the processor is not slowed down by boring tasks like waiting for hardware to be ready, or transferring/comparing massive amount of data in between subsystems.
For instance, I would use such a system to implement RAID on top of IDE (no even need of AHCI) so that the disk data is not sent twice by the processor to two different devices, and the disk data is compared by the state machine (after both reads have finished) to indicate a RAID corruption without wasting CPU time.
Also, small modifications of interfaces (thinking now of USB/ethernet) would be handled by changing the USB/ethernet state machine, but kernel interfaces would be so simple the software would not need to change.