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Thread: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?


    In the future (probably a few months), I am planning to build a PC myself. I have already chosen all hardware, but not the video card.

    I am currently running Linux Mint Debian Edition 64-bit on a Acer laptop with ATI Radeon HD 3650 graphics and the proprietary drivers don't work well (lag when dragging windows/scrolling).

    So here's my question: which brand of video card should I chose: Nvidia or AMD?

    Current System Specs

    • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.00 GHz
    • GPU: ATI Radeon Graphics 512 MB
    • Model PC: Acer Aspire 8920G

    PC is now about 4-5 years old.
    Future System Specs

    • CPU: Intel Core i5/ AMD "Bulldozer" (8 cores)
    • GPU: ?

    Thank you in advance
    Last edited by Artificial Intelligence; August 19th, 2012 at 04:56 AM. Reason: added prefix

  2. #2
    TenPlus1's Avatar
    TenPlus1 is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Scotland, UK

    Smile Re: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?

    I'd recommend Nvidia all the time with Ubuntu and linux in general, not only because they are faster, but because the binary driver doesn't cause as much trouble as the ati one...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    The Left Coast of the USA

    Re: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?


    Take a look at the NVIDIA problems on the forum. There are plenty. There are plenty of posts about NVIDIA driver issues, just as there are plenty of posts about ATI driver problems.

    Faster in what way? NVIDIA and ATI trade spots on "fastest" each time one or the other comes out with a new product. Running tests on a number of different tasks and games, ATI wins in some cases, NVIDIA in others.

    The advantage of NVIDIA is a richer set of hardware acceleration under Linux, but ATI does have Linux hardware acceleration.

    They both produce good products and they both have their fair share of problems. If you want anything other than brand loyalty flame wars, I would suggest picking out a few of each that look interesting and go to Phoronix or another impartial site for reviews and performance comparisons. Find one that suits your needs in your price range and don't pay any attention to whether it's red or green.

    As for the processor, the same goes. Read up on each. Read impartial reviews and technical explanations. Are you going for pure performance? Price/performace? Single threading? Multi threading? Will the applications you are likely to use take advantage of one better than the other? Gaming (in which case the GPU is probably more important)? Surfing? Word processing?

    Everyone has opinions and they are entitled to them. Opinions are legitimate. But that is generally what you get on forums. And the opinion of one person does not necessarily apply to your case.

    AMD/ATI versus NVIDIA. Intel versus AMD. It all depends on what YOU need, not what someone else opines.
    Last edited by QIII; August 18th, 2012 at 10:49 PM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Re: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?

    AMD based on my experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Denmark - Scandinavia

    Re: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?

    Moved to Other OS/Distro Talk.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?

    I have had better luck with AMD also, but any "older" card will work fine on ubuntu eg 9800gt or similar.

    I assume you are not trying to game? As there are not to many high performance games for ubuntu. If you are just looking for something to give you smooth video playback etc then I would go with a legacy type card (amd 4000 series) or (Nvidia 9000 series). Those generations of cards will have more then adequate support especially the Nvidia 9000 series. It will also handle most games and 1080p video.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Re: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?

    I had a nice AMD card but moved to an Nvidia card, primarily because it was much quieter. Linux code often does not offer the same fine-tuned fan control that proprietary drivers do.

    If you are not a gamer, it's likely that nothing you do will ever challenge any contemporary video card.

    Buy something that's about two years old and you should be fine with any Linux flavor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: AMD or Nvidia Graphics Card for Linux?

    I abide by a rule to never install bleeding edge hardware for Linux, regardless of brand. A model that's been in circulation for a year or so is less likely to cause grief. And if it does cause problems, there is likely a proven solution available. I'm not a gamer but have 2 Nvidia cards, 8400GS w/ 512 RAM and GeForce 210 w/ 1 gig. RAM. Both Nvidia cards are on AMD/Gigabyte Motherboards. Smooth sailing with both.
    Last edited by kurt18947; August 19th, 2012 at 11:45 PM.

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