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I built my PC. When I initially built it though I bought an ATI Radeon 9200 card. I didn't know about the support isues with the card. It does run ...
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  1. #1
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    What is the best video card for use with Linux and FreeBSD?


    I built my PC. When I initially built it though I bought an ATI Radeon 9200 card. I didn't know about the support isues with the card. It does run well under Fedora, Mandrake, and SUSE but I'd rather use Debian or Slackware and try FreeBSD all of which I've had issues. I decided I'd like to buy a new card and I'm looking for one with the least amount of hassle and configuration as possible. I want a card that is supported (hopefully natively) through Linux and FreeBSD (as well as Windows but I can't see that being an issue), has video output, say 256MB DDR RAM. I was thinking of the XFX GeForce FX 5700 LE / 256MB DDR / AGP 8X / VGA / DVI / TV Out / Video Card from TigerDirect.com. It's going for $130 with a $20 mail-in rebate. You think this is a good choice?

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    Linux Guru lakerdonald's Avatar
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    I've heard nothing but good things about NVidias, but my specialty isn't graphics cards, so, take my advice witha grain of salt.

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    Linux Guru kkubasik's Avatar
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    I have never used an Nvidia card in Linux, but the ATI drivers are one relese behind on Xfree. Basicaly, if you want hassle free and stong linux support, Nvidia is the way to go. Also several distros (such as Yoper) come with Nvidia support out of the box.
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    Linux Guru lakerdonald's Avatar
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    the older the better! lol. there are several distros (like yoper) that come with nvidia support right out of the box, but i've never had to deal with that seeing as i have a six year old neomagic framebuffer! lol

  5. #5
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    It kind of depends on your wants or needs. If you need great 2d performance(CAD, graphics etc.) and 3d is not as important, Matrox is the card you want. XFree and X11R6.n have full native support through the G550. Drivers are also available for the P series. The G series has decent 3d but it's not on par with NVidia.
    If 3d is your primary concern with 2d taking a back seat, NVidia is the way to go. 2d performance is decent but the Matrox is considerably better.
    Also, Matrox has been the most cooperative GPU mfg. when it comes to providing drivers to the Linux community. That should make them at least worth a look.
    OH NOOOOO!!!!!! You did it the way I said?

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    hows the installation of the ATI Radeon drivers?

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    its a ***** in most cases

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    Quote Originally Posted by bionnaki
    hows the installation of the ATI Radeon drivers?
    HAHAHA!!! it royally sucks let me tell ya i got so p!$$ed off i went out and bought a nividia suse has a installer for them built in and it works great! dump the radeon and get a nvidia card....you be alot happier!

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    yeah, I'm about to sell my radeon 9600 on ebay...and use the cash for a nvidia card. what would be nvidia equavalent to the 9600?

  10. #10
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    I agree with U-Turn on this one. I'm a gamer, so I've gone Nvidia most of the time, but I've heard static 2D rendering is much better on Matrox cards. Of course, unless you're a CAD Professional you probably aren't interested in that. Nvidia cards are very well supported in Linux with easy to install drivers, and they often times out-perform ATI cards of higher speed just because ATI's drivers for Linux are that bad. Here's my experience:

    I had a Geforce 4 Ti4200 and was very happy with it. I had the chance to get an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro from a friend for a very good price, so I tried it. Big mistake. It worked in MS Windows for a while, but when I tried it out in Linux the trouble started.

    I downloaded the RPM drivers from ATI and followed their instructions to the letter. They didn't work. So naturally I searched around on some forums and found that ATI did not (and as far as I know still does not) support their newer cards in their Linux drivers. Basically any ATI card after the 9600 is SOL in Linux, so I was rather upset. However, the worst was yet to come.

    One day I installed Xandros and found that they had installed and configured the ATI drivers correctly out of the box, so I was quite happy. I played Neverwinter Nights and UT2003 for a while and then suddenly my screen froze. I had to hard reboot (unplug the PC and plug it back in). When I rebooted I saw all sorts of strange characters and colored lines on my screen, and 3D acceleration wouldn't work.

    I'm a curious person, so I opened up my box and to my horror, the ATI card had partially melted. Apparently the stock heatsink/fan arrangement wasn't enough to keep the card from totally hosing itself. I promptly replaced it with my old Geforce 4.

    To my further shock, when I installed the Nvidia drivers and ran the games I'd been playing before, THEY PLAYED BETTER. My framerates for the Geforce 4 were better than a newer, supposedly twice as powerful card, all because of drivers. Needless to say, I have been sold on Nvidia ever since.

    Sorry for the long post; that story has been festering for a long time and I needed to let it out. I like Nvidia, I recommend Nvidia. I think if you had had the same experience I did you would probably come to the same conclusion.
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