Saturday, June 5, 2010

Nvidia 7025 onboard graphics - a less supported chipset

My 5 year old motherboard has been progressively failing over the last year (usb got twitchy, then intermittent memory errors) it was time to replace things.

I wanted something cheap and cheerful, until (hopefully) I can move to an X6 machine next year.

The Asrock N68C-S motherboard, at £30, is cheap and cheerful with one important drawback - the onboard graphics uses a little known GeForce 7025.

( I don't know how many AMD processor motherboards use Nvidia onboard, but I suspect most are Ati chipsets )

The graphics problems is not an issue for me as I was planning to use a spare PCIE Ati 3450 anyway, but I tried the onboard regardless just to see how it fared.

The manual says Chipset is Nvidia GeForce 7025 / nForce 630a on this motherboard.

I did get a working display but the resolution 800x600 is far from workable.

This message from the NV driver is probably important:
    "(--) NV(0): Chipset: "Unknown NVIDIA chipset"

A full Xorg output file is available in this directory (labelled unknownNvidiaChipsetMessage.log)

In fairness, I am using this motherboard with Debian Squeeze (unreleased), but trying it with Ubuntu Lucid didn't give great results either.

Ubuntu Lucid uses the Nouveau driver rather than the older NV driver by default.

If you have already bought this motherboard and are wrestling with getting it to work with Ubuntu Lucid, then it may be that, neither the newer Nouveau driver or the older NV driver give results :(

If you are stuck with GeForce 7025 and do not want to shell out for a PCIE graphics card, then, it may be worth bookmarking the Nouveau project project page, to keep up to date with any news on GeForce 7xxx support.

Here is the current list of supported devices for Nouveau:

If you are interested in how the PCIE Ati 3450 setup went, then there is an article here. The article finishes with a working 2D display at full 1920x1200 resolution (radeon driver), which is adequate for my business desktop.

Having already complimented the Asrock N68C-S motherboard on it's affordability, I should add that it does have one more useful feature...DDR2 and DDR3 memory slots. This is a practical board, for those self build types who (like me) have a mix of older and newer machines, just ensure you have a spare PCIE graphics card to hand before you decide to buy.

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