john maclean wrote:
to be honest I wouldn't know 3d if it hit me. What is "3d" all about? Do the characters "look better" or is for games and video/movies? Not flaming here but I'm happy with VESA or VGA. So long as I can see text I'm happy.
Both proprietary and open source drivers for a variety of cards offer the XRender extension, which allows hardware rendering of 2D applications. This gives a large speed boost in applications such as firefox, thunderbird, all of KDE4 and many, many others. There's also the XVideo extension for video playback.
In addition, they offer other options such as dual monitor, xrandr 1.2 (allowing you to add/remove monitors without restarting X), S-Video/Component output.
And finally, of course, by using drivers other than vesa, you get 3D! Some people use this for games, others for xscreensaver ;) and quite a number of games you would think are completely 2D (and are open source) use opengl.
So there are plenty of benefits to using non-vesa open source drivers, or if you own an nvidia card, proprietary drivers.