Video card drivers for FreeBSD and Linux systems are not always shipped with the graphics card. Especially when the video card is on the bleeding edge of current technology. Thankfully most graphics card manufactures have very up-to-date video card drivers on their web site.
As the popularity of open source operating systems continues to grow, most 3D video cards have some form of Unix or Linux drivers available and with the support of dedicated open source coders a video driver that is compatible with your operating system tends to show up fairly soon after the display adapter is released.
If you can't find a driver for your card then try our section featuring used video cards and get a good price on a graphics card that is supported by your OS.
As of this writing NVIDIA does not yet have amd64 drivers for FreeBSD most likely because FreeBSD/amd64 poses a different environment to the driver requiring more programming work that might be feasible for NVIDIA to accomplish given the user base. Fear not I am sure that some diehard NVIDIA fan will come up with a solution so they can run the latest NVIDIA graphics card on their system.
***Update*** According to the NVIDIA and the FreeBSD development team there are a set of features that will have to be added to the FreeBSD kernel before NVIDIA can make a driver. Looks like one is in the works.
Currently it looks like there are ATI amd64 drivers for up to and including the ATI Radeon X1950, with even better news that there will be video card drivers for some of the other newer ATI graphic cards as there is an open source project that is working on getting the amd64 graphics drivers implemented in the latest version of FreeBSD.
Most dedicated hosting services use servers that have older graphics cards for the simple reason that they will be compatible with many more Operating Systems than if they had a high end video card installed. I remember the first time I wanted to use a high end hosting server for a home workstation, I was shocked that with all the memory and the quad CPUs, that could blow away any desktop at the time, the server only had an 8MB ATI Rage video card. I wound up disabling it and adding a 256 mb PCI card made by NVIDIA. I believe if we saw a faster release of video drivers for a wider range of Operating Systems that Server Hardware manufactures would start to equip their high end server hardware with high end graphics cards. Especially now that a lot of the cards can do certain mathematic calculations 100s of times faster if not thousands than the CPUs can.
For more information on compatible drivers for FreeBSD see the FreeBSD Hardware section.
Cheap video cards? are you nuts! I bet that is what you are thinking after just reading the headline. Well if you have been reading the whole page you might see the light. Current high end video cards are not always supported right away by all operating systems for various reasons. That is why you should look into buying cheap video cards, and no I don't mean a POS. I mean a used video card that used to a very high end graphics card that is supported by your OS. You can pick these things up fairly cheaply used, saving yourself a lot of money. And you can spend the difference that you saved on the video card you wanted when the graphics drives do come out because computer hardware prices always drop.
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