Graphics card

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Graphics card

Postby dhester » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:03 pm

What would be a good gracphics card to go with an intel i5 3570k budget of around £100
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Postby Dutch_Master » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:43 am

Depends entirely on what you want it to do: for just webbrowsing, spreadsheets, office work a simple one suffices, but if you dual boot for gaming, then obviously it needs some seriously more grunt...

Whatever your intended purpose, nVidia still has better Linux driver support over ATI/AMD and even Intel's own graphics. For low spec requirements, the G and GT series will do more then adequately (and are actually a bit overkill already, older versions work just as well) while for gaming you'd really need to look at the GTX series. Mind, for those top-end cards you pay top-end prices!
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Postby dhester » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:14 am

Most of the time it will be used for general computing i.e spreadsheets, word processing etc. But I also want to play the occasional game and also video editing.

What I am really asking is AMD or Nvidia better? I am prepared to use proprietary drivers.

I am thinking I might go for a Nvidia GT550ti or AMD 6870. I know there is no correct answer, just after advise and/or opinions.
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Postby Dutch_Master » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:09 am

I'd say the nVidia card holds the best trumps, just because the Linux support is better (but please forget the nouveau driver, that's rubbish for 3D, you really need the nVidia driver for that!) then the drivers from AMD/ATI and Intel. You may get the ATI driver to work, but when I build a new AMD A6 based desktop I deliberately added an nVidia card, as not to have to use the AMD driver for the build-in GPU... :roll:

Setting up the nVidia driver is easy: download the driver from the nVidia website (drivers -> unix), then switch to init 1 as root and run the script from the cli...

Start from a simple terminal, then type the following lines:
Code: Select all
su
<enter root pw>
init 1
(wait for runlevel 1, you may need to give your root pw again)
cd </path/to/driver/dir>
sh NVIDIA-(whatever-version-you-need).run
Answer all questions affirmative, let the script do its magic and reboot when done. Done :D
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Postby lok1950 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:48 am

And you will have to do that again when ever your distro of choice updates the kernel :wink: several distros have the ability to rebuild the driver interface automatically with each kernel update they differ depending on whether they are RPM or Deb based.

Enjoy the Choice :)
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Postby AndyBaxman » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:59 am

Linus isn't too happy with NVidia:-
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/18 ... es_nvidia/
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Postby Dutch_Master » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:37 pm

I forgot to mention: you need the kernel source for the running kernel in place. That may be a PITA for your distro, I circumvent it by building a new kernel from the latest source release at the kernel.org website. That way my distro doesn't run havoc when it updates its own, older kernel... ;)
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Postby Rhakios » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:19 pm

AndyBaxman wrote:Linus isn't too happy with NVidia:-
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/18 ... es_nvidia/


Ah yes, which shall I choose, the nasty, unfriendly Nvidia card with the drivers that work, or the warm cuddly AMD card where the computer locks up five minutes after I install the drivers? Decisions, decisions.

Perhaps Linus has never had to get a Via graphics card working in anything other than frame buffer mode?
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Postby reklan » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:00 pm

I have a ATI 5770 in my desktop and never had any problems (ok well I did with the initial gnome 3 release..).

Works great with the open source driver as well as ATI's (even Ubuntus restricted drivers are fine)

Had Ubuntu,Xubuntu,Mint and opensuse all working fine..
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Postby jonrob » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:11 am

Hey all,

Just to give you a heads up, we're actually doing a hardware comparison as the cover story for 161... I believe we've got three or four graphics cards, including integrated Intel, nvidia and ATI/AMD. We've also got several processors/motherboards and some SSDs to test.

Hopefully we'll cover a range of budgets and performance requirements, so you might find something useful when that comes out!

Best of luck with your search :-)
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Postby Rhakios » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:47 pm

jonrob wrote:integrated Intel


Given how well most Intel cards work in laptops/netbooks I have tried (I have been spared the Poulsbo nightmare), I sometimes wish they'd make a PCI-E card I could stick in a normal PC, but there's no sign of one. :(
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Postby nordle » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:17 am

If you want basic mpeg2 acceleration with not much more, the ATI driver in the kernel is now fairly good :)
Yes, I said it, the ATI driver is OK. That is, the Open Source driver. I use it on my MythTV box. No tearing, no juddering, no crashing, no weird blue effects on flash video. etc etc

If you plan on doing any gaming, nvidia. My main PC is nvidia, those drivers have been fairly consistent over the years.
While Linus may be a bit shirty with them, nvidia have at least produced a binary driver that more often than not would work. ATI can only dream of achieving that accolade.

£100 will get you a decent card, NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 1GB or ATI/AMD 6850 1GB

I would go Nvidia.
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Graphics comparison

Postby dhester » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:20 pm

jonrob wrote:Hey all,

Just to give you a heads up, we're actually doing a hardware comparison as the cover story for 161... I believe we've got three or four graphics cards, including integrated Intel, nvidia and ATI/AMD. We've also got several processors/motherboards and some SSDs to test.

Hopefully we'll cover a range of budgets and performance requirements, so you might find something useful when that comes out!

Best of luck with your search :-)


Little bit disappointed, was hoping the article might help me choose a new graphics card. Still not sure what to go for.
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Re: Graphics comparison

Postby nwdeveloper » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:37 pm

dhester wrote:
jonrob wrote:Hey all,

Just to give you a heads up, we're actually doing a hardware comparison as the cover story for 161... I believe we've got three or four graphics cards, including integrated Intel, nvidia and ATI/AMD. We've also got several processors/motherboards and some SSDs to test.

Hopefully we'll cover a range of budgets and performance requirements, so you might find something useful when that comes out!

Best of luck with your search :-)


Little bit disappointed, was hoping the article might help me choose a new graphics card. Still not sure what to go for.


Just like to echo this post. Long time subscriber, longer time Linux user and long time lurker too. For about 6 or 7 years I've had a Matrox Parhelia graphics card. My biggest requirement was/is two monitor support. But I need to go 64 bit and more ram nowadays so I've been thinking about how to go about it.

So I was pleased to see the review on the cover, but slightly disappointed when I actually read it. A few points

1. Motherboards just get a mention, but surely there's potential for incompatabilities between certain boards and the peripherals

2. Graphics cards. Probably need to read this section again as it's the bit I'm most interested in. But the thing that struck me was that it mentioned "AMD Radeon HD 6670". But searching for that, the first few hits are for ASUS , then PowerColor . Reading Wikipedia, it says that AMD don't sell retail cards directly anymore, but instead sell the GPU to third parties. Of course, that might be rubbish. But if there are multiple cards using the same GPU, I could see the same potential for one to work perfectly on Linux and another being a washout. So some actual model numbers and links to some retail sites would be a good addition.

I did find some info on the AMD site about the cards, but I also wasn't clear if I got a motherboard with integrated graphics, can that provide dual output on its own, or do I need one port from the motherboard and a card to provide the other port? The cards with 6670 GPUs seemed to be two ports (at least). So if I get one of those, do I then get 3 ports (crossfire?) or do I disable the motherboard graphics port?

Anyway, I'm not that bothered about turbo charged performance - just two monitor support really.

Sorry - sounds like I've hijacked the whole thread there. Bit cheeky for a first post.
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Postby Paradigm Shifter » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:06 pm

nwdeveloper, if you want a 'AMD' built card, buy a Sapphire, that's the closest thing nowadays - Sapphire are the company that have built all of the old "Built by ATi" cards. :)

The "reference" design will be the same regardless of the sticker stuck on the top... the only ones that may not 'just work like any other' are non-reference designs where they can either be over-the-top designs for quiet/cooling/overclocking (pick one) or where they've cut corners on the power circuitry to make manufacture cheaper (XFX are particularly keen on the latter, so I don't recommend them)...
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