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Should I return my AMD 7770 for an NVidia card?

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  • Should I return my AMD 7770 for an NVidia card?

    I bought a new 27" 2560x1440 monitor and needed something beefier than my integrated Radeon HD 4XXX.
    I went with a 7770 because it appeared on Tom's Hardware's best graphics card for the money December (its still there for January too).
    I was going to get the best one for under $100 but I saw this one for $125 and was supposed to be a lot better.

    It may be better on paper or under Windows, but I don't use my graphics card on paper or on Windows... I run Linux.

    I tried this 7770 under Ubuntu 12.10 and Linux Mint 14.
    I tried both both the open source then the proprietary drivers under Unity, Cinnamon, and XFce.
    I installed all the vaapi stuff to get hardware accelerated video. I used a special mplayer from some ppa and the vlc seemed to be able to work with hardware if I just checked a button.
    In any case.... 1080P Bluray rips in mkv format (not transcoded, the entire 25-30Gb files) where very CPU intensive and had tearing under CPU rendering and glitches under hardware rendering.
    I have the same 1080P rips transcoded down to 2-3GB files at 720P for my phone and Nexus 7 in H.264 as mp4 files... those still had tearing under CPU and showed a lot of glitches with hardware rendering.

    When I get home today I will try their latest 13.1 catalyst drivers and if that doesn't solve all of my problems I think I'll go the NVidia route.

    Will I have more luck under NVidia than I will under AMD as far as tear-free 1080P video playback?

    Its pretty sad when my $300 phone and $200 tablet can handle HD Videos but my 6-core 3.2GHz desktop with a $125 graphics card and 8Gb RAM can't handle it.

  • #2
    Yes, you will get better video playback under Nvidia.

    Kind of a bad time to use HD7k when the open drivers aren't yet usable on it, leaving you with the blob only, and it has its drawbacks. Like tearing.

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    • #3
      The biggest need for IPS/high-res monitors is video ram, to hold textures, etc for 3d. I have a couple IPS 2560x1600 LCD's and they are superb

      the 7770 (have one, gave it away only to buy a newer model with 2Gigs of ram) video tearing stopped being an issue for me on linux by the 12.8 or so catalyst drivers. I had zero issues playing video or games and don't have the "disable" option checked in the catalyst control panel.

      Either vendor has their own set of issues. After 10 years of nvidia, I found the "blue people" in adobe flash unforgivable, since it was such an obvious blunder, and ultra simple code fix, half a year to fix wasn't excusable IMHO.

      AMD also (not nvidia) published about 100x the number of docs needed for the OSS drivers. The opensource drivers for either card leave a lot to be desired. The biggest reason for not opening them all is submarine patents, as in random lawyer-owned-company XYZ (who never made a video card) has a patent and nvidia, amd, et al, are reasonably worried about getting sued for something they invented inhouse already but didn't apply for a patent.

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      • #4
        It always depends on the apps/games/distro you run if you can live with amd gfx cards or not. I would not overrate the released specs as the major points like video accelleration and powermanagement do not work at all or only partly. If you consider this as main aspect go for Intel - they usually beat radeon oss drivers with ease. It is not that amd cards are bad by definition but if you intend to use Wine then Nvidia is the smarter choice - also when you want to use vdpau. Of course you can use xbmc / fernetmenta branch with xvba support - but it is NOT mainline.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by eric.frederich View Post
          had tearing under CPU rendering
          TearFreeDesktop enabled?
          Originally posted by eric.frederich View Post
          and if that doesn't solve all of my problems I think I'll go the NVidia route
          Originally posted by eric.frederich View Post
          Will I have more luck under NVidia than I will under AMD as far as tear-free 1080P video playback?
          Just in case - VDPAU will tear under compositing environment (and disabled UndirectFullscreen) it even documented. I have plenty of GeForce, VDPAU still tear.
          Originally posted by eric.frederich View Post
          and glitches under hardware rendering.
          What kind of glitches?

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          • #6
            for AMD/ATI, tearing disappeared in the 7xxx series around august 2012 in linux and windows. Not sure what is meant by CPU rendering, as that doesn't apply to HD video or any modern games on the 77xx series or comparable nvidia cards. CPU rendering = 2007 maybe GPUs in 3 years have evolved more than CPU's have in 10 years at least.

            There are some great changes afoot (just past couple days) with the nvidia 650ti turbo(?) card. big price drop, but above your price range by $50 still. Might shift all prices down a bit. Still not willing to be burnt again with the "blue people in adobe flash" by nvidia given the <10 lines of code to fix it that took them over 6 months to do.... I had pure nvidia til my amd 7770 and so on and haven't regretted it at all.

            They've (both nvidia and amd) have done a lot of work on power management. My 77xx and pair of 7850's in crossfire mode rarely go above 30% speed, and maybe a max of double that in games, yes, in linux.

            The OLD drivers were different, as was the hardware. (comparable to CPU's before enhanced speedstep, etc)

            No idea why I'd ever tolerate an Intel video except on an ultra low power laptop. Famous for ultra low performance too, and just as many oddball quirks in linux as nvidia or ati. Take a 5 year old 7xx amd motherboard with embedded video and except for the new HDvideo/x.264 decode hardware, it'll match or blow away even the latest intel onCPU video. Standard disclaimer: have both intel and amd procs, but never found the intel in processor video tolerable in windows or linux to run just the 3d effects of modern desktop environments. Might check over at tomsharware for more "windows" performance comparisons. It's not even close, and why Intel has made a few expensive acquisitions over past 5 years in the GPU space.

            And yes, a LOT of the benchmarks don't work well. e.g. have one of both desktops (i3770 and amd8350) and in video encoding, the amd slaughters the intel despite being "20%" slower, it's really 20% or more faster at same clockspeed. Really does depend on your mix of apps and games. The GPU REALLY makes 3-5x the difference of the CPU in modern titles, and directX works surprisingly well in wine on linux.

            Good luck!!
            andy

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            • #7
              Choose NVIDIA and you'll be satisfied

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              • #8
                I am thinking of getting a AMD 7790 now.
                In addition, AMD seems to have better OpenCL performance.... but the driver issue really gets me worried.

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                • #9
                  I hope you dont have got an AMD cpu then. Intel iX maybe with AMD gpu but definitely no Phenom or slower.

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                  • #10
                    I want a passive or inexpensive htpc (quiet but still fast) graphics card so is the AMD/ATI drivers still crap?

                    Looks like it:
                    http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...fglrx&p=330730

                    So, maybe gt 610?

                    I was recommended the Radeon HD 7750 (passive cards) but mostly Windows users suggested that one.

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                    • #11
                      At the moment nvidia is the better choice. Until amd fixes their openGL drivers.

                      I have a HD5750 with 1 gig ram, and every game runs better with Directx.

                      I have to admit that Valve is doing a great job.

                      HL2 runs really great on Linux.

                      Serious sam 3 has issues, with the amd catalyst.

                      LFD2 runs for now better on windows, but on the steam for Linux forums nvidia users are reporting it to run better on Linux..
                      Last edited by Gps4l; 05-15-2013, 09:53 PM.

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                      • #12
                        It always depends on the apps/games/distro you run if you can live with amd gfx cards or not.

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                        • #13
                          Make the change for NVIDIA you wont regret! A lot of games have issues with AMD I can tell you that brutal legends is one of them, serious sam 3 is another, overall nvidia is a better choice at this moment. I just changed teams and bought a GTX660 and in some benchmarks it beats the HD7950 which is a beast of a card in windows.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by William625 View Post
                            It always depends on the apps/games/distro you run if you can live with amd gfx cards or not.
                            I dual boot. I have or usually have multiple operating systems installed. So, at any time, I'll have Windows 7, Debian, Ubuntu and I often try something like siduction and Kanotix in partitions. I might want to try Fedora 19 for kicks, too.

                            It's still between a gtx 650 and radeon 7770 for me. I found this:

                            http://videocardz.com/39009/amd-rade...x-acceleration

                            This is very interesting if 2D and video playback works well with AMD cards. I like the idea of having the FOSS driver as a backup or maybe even the primary driver used. That's why I have delayed so long. I have a legacy Nvidia card or whatever you call it - it's not going to receive any more updates so I can't use newer Nvidia drivers.

                            It cannot be a long card so I have had to overlook the Radeon 6850, for e.g., even though that's probably one of the better AMD cards right now - at least, according to that GPU Driver Performance thread?

                            I am not a fanatic about needing FOSS but I must admit, not having to worry about the Nvidia driver update when you move to a new kernel etc. is intriguing. However, I haven't had to deal with the fglrx driver before and what if I'm not satified with the FOSS driver with AMD?

                            Anyway, budget is still under $100 so those two cards (7770 vs gtx 650) are what I'll consider. I'm just waiting to see if anything looks like it will change. The only other idea I had would be to buy a cheap htpc card and test the AMD driver. Then I won't care much if it's a subpar experience.

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                            • #15
                              Basically for nvidia cards the best choice is to use xbmc as video player as this works fullscreen and has vdpau support. With the fernetmenta branch it works with xvba support with fglrx as well (but with limited hdmi passthru support under Linux). If you want to watch movies in a window a supported amd card with oss drivers looks better (has vdpau support for some cards as well for mplayer now but not for xbmc). For kde i still have to disable composite effects, but thats a general problem (intel and nv too), newer nv cards with kepler seem to flicker even then, if the opengl backend (which is of course not accellerated) is not used.

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