I am searching for a video driver that can be loaded for my debian system to use with my chromatic research mpact 2 onboard video card. Is there a place I can go or can you tell me which is the best driver to use for this vesa, vga, or ati. Thanks.
The vga driver accesses hardware directly; most graphics chips still boot up in a vga-compatible mode. The driver seems to support 1,4 and 8 bit depths with very limited resolutions.
The vesa driver operates through video BIOS calls, and according to the man page supports 8, 15, 16 and 24 bpp with a wider range of resolutions (typically whatever is supported in the bios tables).
The vesa driver seems to be more useful in general and is the standard "fallback" when there is no native driver (and there is no native driver for the mpact AFAIK). The vga driver is more limited but will work even if there are BIOS problems which make the vesa driver fail.
So... -vesa better, -vga safer, pretty much.
The -ati driver is a wrapper which can load either radeon, r128 or mach64 drivers based on PCI IDs. It will not work with the mpact chip.