With latest round of distributions, XFree86 4.0.1 has finally become the standard X server for Linux, up the 3.3.x series that dominated for quite some time. With 4.0.1 come many substantial improvements such as a completely rewritten XAA (X Acceleration Architecture) for 2D acceleration, Xinerama (contiguous multi-monitor support) and DRI (Direct Rendering Infrastructure - hardware accelerated OpenGL). Finally, Linux users have an extremely fast, free X server that can compete with commercial offerings such as Xi Graphics' Accelerated-X.

Hardware manufacturers have taken note of both the recent surge in Linux popularity and the revamping of XFree86. In the not too distant past, manufacturer support was considered good if driver specifications were available with which to write drivers. Now, several vendor supported XFree86 4.0.x drivers have been released or are in development by such manufacturers as NVIDIA, Matrox, 3dfx, and ATI. There are others, but these are the manufacturers we will focus on for this article.

Judging from the response to the last article, the number one question in Linux users' minds is "How do I get my card working with XFree86 4.0.1 and take advantage of such features as 3D acceleration?" Thus, this article will not only cover performance information, but setup as well. Anyone with one of these cards should be able to have a properly setup XFree86 system after reading this article.

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