Question Have this old Nvidia GeForce 6800 (AGP) - can it be used to anything productive?

Hi.

I have this really old rig featuring a Nvidia GeForce 6800 GPU in pristine condition. The rig is something I put together back around 2003. I probably should have tossed it long time ago, but I'm somehow hardwired not to do so with items that isn't broken.


The technical issue
The computer is currently running Bunsenlabs Linux and it works like a charm. All but one thing - the desktop screen resolution is limited to 1024x760 px. This is somewhat stupid because I was thinking - since the computer cannot be used for very much (32 bit system) I had a plan of use it for showing a set of images that swap every n minutes. That is relatively easy to arrange, but the resolution is an issue.

So I went to ask in the Bunsenlabs forum what to do, and I get confirmed that there are no drivers for that specific GPU (was removed many years ago).

I was also told that using a nouveau driver may be the only option. However when I search online and read about this nouveau driver, I get the impression it is buggy and having security issues, so I think that make it being really the last resort.


What I want
So the question becomes - what can I use that GPU for, if anything ?

I'll have a look if Puppy Linux may be a better choice.


Filter (what I do not want to use it for) - but I can
  • Older Windows versions. Reason is that I'd like to be able to have it connected on the network so that I can transfer images, and use it as a network backup also.
 
May 13, 2021
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that's a very old GPU, and it's actually released on 2004 and supports up to Direct X 9.0C (9_3) and that alone actually enables the GeForce 6800 to play old games like Portal/Portal 2. I guess you can set it up as a retro gaming device or some other tasks like web browsing
 
Yea - well the web browsing is out of the question since the rest of the system are 32bit and most browsers doesn't support that, maybe exept the esr version of Firefox.

Anyway, I'll try to test with some other odd distros just to see how it's going. Too bad Nvidia only think about the money (not providing documentation or even their own drivers).
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Yea - well the web browsing is out of the question since the rest of the system are 32bit and most browsers doesn't support that, maybe exept the esr version of Firefox.

Anyway, I'll try to test with some other odd distros just to see how it's going. Too bad Nvidia only think about the money (not providing documentation or even their own drivers).
It's 17 years later. There's a point at which it's hard to expect anyone to support archaic hardware that almost nobody is using.
 
I finally found a Linux distro that is actually capable to utilize this old hardware.

That is Elive Linux. The iso image is a compound so the same one can boot both x64 and x86 systems. The OS takes less than 300MB RAM idle.
To be able to use the GPU I had to choose "free driver" in the OS boot menu.

I was able to run Linux Mint (LMDE4), but it requires 700-800 MB ram with only desktop and is not a good choice because that computer only have 1GB RAM.

Another thing I figured out fr x86 Linux OS, if you want to use an office suite, the version of Libre Office that ships with distro usually is very old (version 4 or 5) and the Libre Office doesn't support 32bit systems any more.
But turns out that Open Office still have 32bit for Debian systems, so I went ahead and installed that instead.
 

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