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Need advice for a new AMD card

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  • Need advice for a new AMD card


    My nVidia past away last week (RIP) and it had been a long time I was looking for a new AMD card.
    I want to change to AMD mainly because they are sharing their cards specs, and I want to encourage this kind of initiatives.
    But also because my old nVidia card died thanks to the open source drivers that burned it at 120C.

    I know nVidia is the safety choice right now, but hey! I'm an adventurous guy
    The problem is that I'm a bit lost with the numbers right now...
    I heard the 7000 series aren't supported by the open-source drivers, is it still the case?
    If it is, I was considering the HD 67xx or 68xx. I don't know the difference between a 6750 and a 6770 though...

    Do you think it's a good move ?

    Thanks for your replies!

  • #2
    so you really want to try fglrx. you should know that the driver is so bad that you have to patch libpciaccess in order to get it running with xserver 1.12 and debian 64 bit. i don't get why it works with arch.

    the debian package has a fix for kernel 3.4 included, by default fglrx supports only 3.3. next thing is the hidden config string is discovered to use xvba with h264 l5.1, you need
    aticonfig --set-pcs-u32=MCIL,HWUVD_H264Level51Support,1
    if you use sudo (for ubuntu) or sux (for systems without sudo) this setting works on the fly. you need xbmc fernet menta branch to use.

    if you want to see your system crashing you can try

    i verified that crash yesterday with my hd 5670, my nvidia 405 had no problems. intel ivb crashed as well.

    there will be games that work with fglrx, but you will find examples that run very badly with fglrx like rage via wine. games via wine run usually best with nvidia, but if you want amd then keep in mind that you knew it before.


    • #3
      fglrx is the close-source drivers, right?
      the radeaon drivers aren't a bit better? in stability I mean, because I know the perfs aren't good yet.


      • #4
        It is useless to spend money on a fast card and use slow drivers. Also you would most likely need more energy just for idle desktop. But do what you want. I dont use radeon cards daily, i mainly use intel onboard (if i want to save energy) or a simple nvidia one. i only add amd cards for testing the driver.


        • #5
          As I said, I'm a bit adventurous
          I'm simply interested in having a working card and seeing the enhancement at each new kernel versions (and do some simple tweaks from time to time). What I don't want is a card that doesn't work out of the box. That's why I'm worried about the state of the open source drivers. I'd like to use them as a fallback when I just want my card to work.

          That's why I'm asking here, because I've got quite knowledge about linux now, but it's hard to keep track on the state of the drivers and the hardware in the world of graphic cards.


          • #6
            Well if you use oss drivers you can use new kernel/xserver of course immediately. If you want to use the binary (fglrx) driver this can be really problematic.


            • #7
              6750 and 6770 are just rebranded older models that are three generations behind now. I would avoid them. If you can afford it, a 6850 offers good value for the money.

              As you specifically asked about the radeon open source driver, the support for this card is one of the most complete of all (see also, N. Islands column).

              If you live where electricity is cheap, you could instead get a 6950 (many are unlockable to 6970) and recover some of the expense through Bitcoin mining. However I don't know how well that works with mesa's OpenCL yet.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Creak View Post
                What I don't want is a card that doesn't work out of the box. That's why I'm worried about the state of the open source drivers.
                Then Radeon HD 6xxx is your choice. One important note: Radeon HD 6570 and 6790 need kernel 3.5 or newer.

                Info about powersaving:


                • #9
                  Thanks for all these answers !

                  I think 6850 is a good choice, I'm lucky electricity is cheap here, so I'll keep this choice.
                  There is a big difference between 6850 and 6870 or is it only overclocked components?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Creak View Post
                    There is a big difference between 6850 and 6870 or is it only overclocked components?
                    There are some differences besides the clock, the 6870 has more shader units (224 instead of 192) and more TMUs (56 instead of 48).


                    • #11
                      Ok nothing really important for the usage I'll have with it.
                      Thanks a lot!


                      • #12

                        For those who don't want to read the whole thread, as for the 07/03/2012, the HD6850 is a good AMD card.
                        It is quite well supported by the open source drivers and have decent performances.