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  1. #1

    Which PCI video card has the best Linux support?

    Hey guys.
    My first post here. I just installed Linux, Kubuntu 8.04, for the first time the other day on my PC, 2GHz with 1GB ram. It has shared memory so I want to get a dedicated video card to save more ram. And it would also be nice to have more video memory for some cool effects.

    I have to use a PCI card for graphics, so what cards are the best for linux? I've read that some cards weren't supported very well, or didn't have good drivers.

    Any suggestions would be great.

  2. #2
    This link might help.

    Video cards
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
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  3. #3
    I found an ATI Radeon 9200 on eBay, ATI Radeon 9200 128MB PCI Video Card TV-Out VGA DVI NEW - ( item 120376495158 end time 13-Mar-09 01:00:00 EDT)

    Do you guys think this would be a decent card to run linux off of? All I want is to be able to see a nice screen saver without it getting all glitchy.


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  5. #4
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NH, USA
    the best support on linux comes from intel or nvidia graphics cards currently, that is an older ATI card, it is unlikely to have 3d support to enable the fancy effects

    you're just about better off to stick with your integrated and add more system memory, what kind of graphics do you currently have?

    I should also add, that 1gb system memory is more than enough for any modern distro, even with shared memory for graphics

  6. #5
    Hey. I just got a video card off eBay, it's a EVGA E-Geforce 6200.

    The specs are:
    64-bit bus
    256MB RAM
    300MHz processor speed
    Pipelines 4
    RAMDAC speed 400MHz

    I'm pretty sure this card should do the job, probably overkill.

    But Coopstah commented that 1GB should be more than enough. I don't know if there's a problem with my computer, but just running Kubuntu 8.04 with KDE 3 runs at around 750MB, and with Firefox and about 10 tabs open, it begins getting into SWAP space, although just slightly. Also, when I first boot up, windows move around nicely, but as soon as I start doing anything and I try moving a window, it looks like there's a 100 windows trailing along the screen.

    What do you guys think about that, normal?

    EDIT: I just booted up and watch the system performance and it was sitting around 550MB to start with, the Firefox only brought it up to around 680MB. But something has brought it up over 1GB before. BUT, even at 680MB, moving windows causes about 100 windows following it.

    So I have a new questions, will I see any performance increase with a dedicated video card?
    Like screen savers, or effects? My computer is about 5 years old so it can't handle DirectX or any of that new type of display stuff, but this new card should.

  7. #6
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NH, USA
    directx is a microsoft only thing, doesn't apply to linux, the graphical performance problem you detailed should be fixed by installing a better card and its appropriate driver, memory is used different in linux than in windows, post output of free -m

  8. #7
    Hey guys. So the card came today and I put it in the computer. But now I have a problem. When I first booted up and logged in, I got a message saying that to enable the graphics card I needed to download a driver. I let it download the Nvidia accelerated driver, and installed it. Then I had to restart the computer, and now I can't get into the gui. I'm completely lost, I think it must be a conflict of the old integrated graphics driver with this new one, but I don't know what to do. It looked like it was about to display a graphical screen. An X flashed on the screen (looking like it was displaying at 640x480 resolution) but then it just went to a screen saying "starting K display manager" and it's stuck there.

    Anybody have any ideas of what I can try?


    PS, would doing a re-install of the OS fix this problem?

    Ok, so I went into the recovery and selected something to do with x server and also something to do with broken packages. Whatever it was, I'm back into the GUI.

    But now, the OpenGL screen savers don't work, they do nothing, just a black screen. But the drivers list says that it's being used. So is something wrong with the driver? Should I download the actual driver from nVidia, and isntall it myself, and somehow disable the integrated graphics?

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