80387 co-processor useful?

Ray Shwake shwake at raysnec.UUCP
Wed Sep 5 02:22:42 AEST 1990

heiser at tdw201.ed.ray.com writes:

>I think I recall seeing a message someplace saying something to the
>effect that the 80387 math co-processor is useful when running 
>X-windows.  Is this true?  Does X do some kind of mathematical
>computations that would benefit from the 387?  How about Unix itself?

Attached are a response received when I posted a similar inquiry some
time back...

>From ka3ovk.uucp!media!uunet!ism780c!ico!scottw Wed May 16 23:05:15 1990
From: Scott Wiesner <media!uunet!ism780c!ico!uunet!ico.isc.com!scottw at ka3ovk.UUCP>

With the current release of X, a math coprocessor will help arc 
and wide line drawing.  However, with the upcoming 1.2 release of 
X, we have incorporated the arc and wide line code from X11R4
which is almost entirely integer based.  This eliminated much
of the floating point from the X server.  Various X clients may
or may not be helped by a floating point processor.

Most of the VGA's are the same =/- 20% or so when in 16 color mode.
With the 1.2 release, we'll also be supporting 256 color VGA, which
has a more noticable difference between different boards.  You 
definately want a 16 bit board, and the newest boards from STB, 
Orchid, and CompuAdd are the fastest I've seen for 256 color

Better still is the 8514.  I've talked about it before on usenet, 
so I won't go into much detail, but it's sufficient to say that
it's a very significant performance improvement for just those
areas that need it most:  blitting, rectangle painting, etc.

Scott Wiesner
Interactive Systems
X Development Group

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