View Full Version : [ubuntu] Which graphic card shall I buy?

April 23rd, 2009, 11:44 AM
Hello people and happy Jaunty day !

I'm about to buy a Dell desktop computer and I wonder if anyone here could give me their thoughts regarding the graphic card choice. These are the two cards available:

ATI® Radeon™ HD 3650 de 256 Mo
512MB nVidia GeForce 9800GT

I want to know which one will give me the best performances.

What I'm looking for is nice 2d (firefox tab-switching and scrolling) and fluid 3d (compiz).

I promissed myself I would never buy anything from nVidia again since my last geforce 8400MGS was such a rip off (extremely slow firefox scolling and tab-switching, lame compiz performances making 3d effect unusable)...


April 23rd, 2009, 02:47 PM
The graphs cards that you have listed is made for gaming...if you're not doing that, spending cash is useless.

There could have been a driver issue with your previous card...that card is made for HD videos, desktop effects pose no problems...its child's play for that card.

You dont even need to buy a external card...just get a non IGP board, install the drivers and it should work well with all sorts of effects.

Did you install the drivers in your previous card?

April 23rd, 2009, 02:55 PM
Personally i would go with the Nvidia card. The Nvidias have been know to have better support in linux.

April 23rd, 2009, 03:02 PM
Of the two, I'd go with nVidia. They're both waaay over-powered for what you want to do (as someone pointed out those are suitable for hi-end gaming in Windows), so really, it comes down to the fact that nVidia drivers and such seem to play a little better with Ubuntu.

April 23rd, 2009, 03:04 PM
You dont even need to buy a external card...just get a non IGP board, install the drivers and it should work well with all sorts of effects.

Err, you need to have a video card, whether a discrete card or an IGP. If the OP gets a non-IGP motherboard, then he'll need a discrete video card.

OP, of the two listed, the Nvidia card will offer significantly higher performance than the Radeon 3650. The 3650 targets a lower market demographic than the 9800GT and will only be suitable for lower end or older games, at least, under Windows.

While ATI has made excellent strides with their Linux drivers, they do still lag Nvidia. I doubt you'll experience issues with either card, but I'd personally buy the 3650. Its cheaper than the Nvidia card, uses less power, generates less heat, and its drivers are decent.

I'm assuming since your going to install Linux, gaming isn't high on your list of priorities anyway.

April 23rd, 2009, 05:59 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts.

By the way, I'll go for a 22" screen with a full hd resolution.

Isn't such a resolution needing a decent graphic card ?

April 23rd, 2009, 06:20 PM
Go with the GeForce 9800GT its faster then the ATI you listed. Also better linux support.

Barry Carroll
April 24th, 2009, 11:52 AM
I would also go for Nvidia. Personally, I have never had any issue with any Nvidia hardware with Linux and that's going back to my days with an fx5200.

What you seem to be after is good desktop performance. That 8400GS you had *should* have been ok but it was a low-end card and may or may not have had a decent amount of it's own discrete memory.

Have you looked at the newer GTS 250 Nvidia cards? Nvidia has been re-spinning their G92 core for what seems like an eternity now so the 8800GT / 9800GT / GTS 250 are all very close family members but the GTS 250 will probably be a bit faster, a bit cooler, consume a bit less energy and possibly a bit cheaper too!

April 24th, 2009, 12:55 PM
Well, my 8400M GS might be crappy, but I really have fuucked-up performances in Firefox (scrolling and tab switching) and Compiz.

That same card is working like a cham under vista.

So what makes me hesitating between those two cards is the bad experience I have over nVidia hardware.

I'm affraid the nVidia card will lack of support under Linux...

Barry Carroll
April 24th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Was that was with the Nvidia binary driver? The closest thing that I have to your card is a 9200M GS and that ran ok for me with the 180 series driver. My card has 256MB of dedicated DDR3 framebuffer which probably helps too.

Do you have the model name / number or a link to your 8400 card?

May 14th, 2009, 06:23 PM
I bought the nvidia card, and once again, firefox tab switching is fuucked up. This is a 1000€ brand new desktop computer.