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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Video Card: Request for recommendations



knorr.orange
May 5th, 2008, 07:47 AM
I will soon be purchasing a completely new desktop system. I intend to use it for just basic tasks where an integrated card would even do fine, but I want to be able to play Supreme Commander and a few id Software Games. For SupCom of course I need a good video card, and I will likely be dual-booting to be able to play it (for the id games, Linux is great still.) I have always bought Nvidia cards because their drivers seem to be good but with ATI making their drivers open source that is a big plus for me. I assume that both vendors have working drivers for Windows so for that portion I am not so concerned.

99% of the time I will be booting to Ubuntu though so I am mostly concerned with each vendor's Linux driver quality. I know the Nvidia drivers have been good for Linux for some time, but being closed source my preference now is for ATI. However, if the ATI drivers still need a lot of work then I am willing to stick with Nvidia.

So I would like to hear what people have to say about Ubuntu installations (preferably 8.04 experiences) with Nvidia and ATI cards. Are the new ATI drivers any good? Are they easy to install (or included even)?

Rocket2DMn
May 5th, 2008, 09:18 AM
If I were you I would probably go with an nvidia card since it is most likely a safer bet. Support is still lagging for the newer ati cards. I heard about ati opening up the source on their drivers, but we are still using restricted drivers, so I don't know exactly what's happening with that.
Both sets of restricted drivers are relatively easy to install many work out of the box with Hardy, you can enable them from System->Administration->Hardware Drivers, or use EnvyNG to install them from ATI's or NVIDIA's website - http://albertomilone.com/envyngfaq.html#A

subzero316
May 5th, 2008, 10:00 AM
Nvidia is safe...that doesnt rule out ati chk the card`s driver compatibility b4 purchase chk <<----ATI----->> (http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/linux/linux-radeon.html)

knorr.orange
May 6th, 2008, 05:49 AM
If I were you I would probably go with an nvidia card since it is most likely a safer bet. Support is still lagging for the newer ati cards. I heard about ati opening up the source on their drivers, but we are still using restricted drivers, so I don't know exactly what's happening with that.
Both sets of restricted drivers are relatively easy to install many work out of the box with Hardy, you can enable them from System->Administration->Hardware Drivers, or use EnvyNG to install them from ATI's or NVIDIA's website - http://albertomilone.com/envyngfaq.html#A

That pretty much answers my question. I was hoping that the ATI open source drivers were further along and would be included and "just work" like my integrated Intel driver does now. If I am going to have to end up using the binary-only drivers either way I think I will stick with Nvidia for this round. The upcoming Intel stuff sounds promising too and they have been doing great for open source Linux drivers so maybe that will be an option in the future too.

knorr.orange
May 6th, 2008, 06:00 AM
Nvidia is safe...that doesnt rule out ati chk the card`s driver compatibility b4 purchase chk <<----ATI----->> (http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/linux/linux-radeon.html)

I was somewhat assuming that the new cards would have compatible drivers. I am more concerned with the quality of the drivers and ease of installation. It sounds like they are on-par with the Nvidia procedure for installation so that's good. My hope was that the drivers would be included with the distro though since they are open source now, which was pretty much my only reason to consider an ATI card.

Then again, if I get an ATI card now and am stuck with the "Proprietary" driver, at least in theory the driver situation will be better in a year or so, perhaps closer to what I am looking for. Reading the FAQ on the driver page doesn't sound too promising for that though:
http://ati.amd.com/products/catalyst/linux.html#4

ali999
May 6th, 2008, 06:30 AM
make sure u check if it is compatible..i bought a nvidia 9600gt thinking because it is nvidia i should be good....but nope

knorr.orange
May 6th, 2008, 04:37 PM
make sure u check if it is compatible..i bought a nvidia 9600gt thinking because it is nvidia i should be good....but nope

Thanks, I'll be sure to check!