Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
Such a request could be a tradition based on a history of inadequate support from the reverse-engineered Nouveau DDX. The Modesetting DIX is newer technology, one X driver supporting any GPU supported by any manufacturer-specific kernel driver that provides KMS.

I have no basis on which to suggest a definitive answer. I can only surmise that if that software works with FOSS drivers on AMD and/or Intel GPUs, then FOSS drivers for NVidia GPUs should be good enough as well. There are no proprietary drivers for Intel's IGPs. Intel is a major contributor to the Modesetting DIX. Likewise, AMD itself is a contributor ensuring FOSS AMD drivers are fully competent for the majority of use cases.

Assuming NVidia's drivers have not already been installed, I can't imagine any significant pain from trying FOSS if it turns out it isn't good enough for your software choice. If it doesn't, simply follow the instructions for installing NVidia's own proprietaryware. OTOH, trouble removing NVidia's drivers is a common topic on forums and mailing lists. If they are already installed and working satisfactorily, maintain the status quo..
I'm not sure about Intel or AMD FOSS drivers with Side Effect's Houdini 3D software. Even for AMD, they suggest using the proprietary driver on their website.

I ended up switching over to a newer, 2013, AMD graphics card, one I was given and had laying around, but not installed. I was barely able to add it with my 2011 built boxen. The card required 6-pin and 8-pin PCI-e power connectors, which my power supply only had one set, and the 6-pin was originally connected to the motherboard, which was for the Nvidia, so could be disconnected and connected to the AMD card. Thankfully I don't have any more PCI-e cards to power or a new power supply would be needed.

That's great to learn of the newer Modesetting DIX. Right now, I have the AMD card installed and proprietary AMDGPU-PRO drivers, so I will maintain with the status quo. Perhaps on the next update, I'll revisit the FOSS drivers.

Thanks for responding and providing new insight!