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Thread: ATI or NVIDIA?
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- Join Date
- Jul 2004
I built my first HTPC (WMCE 2005) for HDTV recording. I found that I needed a good graphics card, and got a $400 ATI card. Expensive, but it worked great, in windows.
Since I now use Linux, I have been wanting to convert that PC to Linux/MythTV. To watch HD video you need hardware acceleration. The ATI Linux driver was getting better, and now even included my card. But I waited a bit, to make sure the driver "matured" a bit.
A few months a go I heard that there was a new ATI Linux driver that included some hardware acceleration. I installed Ubuntu, on a separate partition, and the latest ATI driver. That is when I found that ATI has discontinued support for "older" cards in it's Linux driver!
This card continues to be supported in windows! But in Linux, it's a pile of junk! I came real close to removing it, and smashing it with a hammer! Unfortunately, you still need windows to watch some video on the internet. I just had to use it to watch a NCAA basketball game, via the ESPN web site. So I keep it around, but turned of.
I bet you can guess which card I recommend!Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.
I'd like to throw out an opposing opinion. For the foreseeable future, I will never again buy an nvidia card.
AMD/ATI is far more open than Nvidia when it comes to their drivers. The reason they dropped support for older cards in their proprietary driver is because the open source driver has become so mature. And AMD actively assists developers of the open source driver. Hardware acceleration is supported in many ATI cards with the open source driver.
Nvidia has no plans to open their driver up, they have completely dropped maintenance of their nv driver - which is fine, it was crap. The open source nouveau driver is progressing nicely, but with no help or support from Nvidia.
So those are the reasons I use ATI now.
That said, newer ATI cards do still require the proprietary driver for 3D acceleration (something I don't use anyway) and historically the proprietary driver has been crap. Also, they have been slow to support recent xserver releases, and are only just getting support for xserver 1.7, while xserver 1.8 is just around the corner.
[Phoronix] Coming Soon: X Server 1.8
All in all, if you're sticking with open source drivers, I say go ATI. If you don't care and plan to use the proprietary drivers, go Nvidia.
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
ATI declaired tons of relatively recent cards legacy, and refuses to support them for linux while still supporting them for Windows.
The problem is the opensource driver, for mine at least, performs extremely poorly. I get half the FPS as i did with the proprietary and while they claim the FPS is not important, it is. ExtremeTuxRacer is unplayable with the opensource driver and plays flawlessly with the proprietary. Compiz doesn't work with the opensource but works with the proprietary. So the proprietary driver is imperative and ATI rendered the cards obsolete by refusing to provide necessary updates and support for their drivers.
My only option now is to stick with an older linux since the proprietary driver is incompatible with newer kernels and xorg.
So if you want your new graphics to be degraded and rendered obsolete by its own manufacturer in a short period of time than go with ATI. Otherwise NVIDIA, NVIDIA even supports BSD which to the best of my knowledge ATI doesn't, never has, and probably never will.
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
When it comes to open source vs proprietary, I would ask: "But does it work?" I am less concerned about the driver's "openness", and more concerned in how it performs. Open source drivers tend to be inferior. I know this is because the chip manufacturers won't provide needed info to the developers. But being sympathetic won't make HD video play.
As for the Nouveau driver, that is almost as useless as the nv driver was. It was pushed into the kernel by Linux himself, over the objections of the developers. And, it also contains a proprietary "blob", otherwise it wouldn't work at all. On the latest Fedora release, you have to blacklist the nouveau driver when you install the nVidia driver. That sounds like progress to me!
Off-topic, but most wireless drivers need a proprietary "firmware" file loaded before they will work. I don't see anyone screaming about the firmware not being open source. They are just happy that their wireless works.Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.
04-03-2010 #15Off-topic, but most wireless drivers need a proprietary "firmware" file loaded before they will work. I don't see anyone screaming about the firmware not being open source. They are just happy that their wireless works.
There is work on the open firmware front. Fedora supports a couple of broadcom chipsets out of the box using free firmware from the Open Firmware for Wifi Networks project.