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Thread: Which gfx card: Nividia 8800 GT(X) or ATI HD4850?

  1. #1
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    Default Which gfx card: Nividia 8800 GT(X) or ATI HD4850?

    Hi

    I'm looking for a good gfx card that works fine in Linux. (I'll probably use it for some gaming in Windows, but Linux will be used 95% of the time)

    I'll build a computer with a P45 motherboard and a Intel Core 2 Due Q9550.

    What I want from the gfx card in Linux is that it works well with normal applications and watching DVDs, and running opengl applications in accelerated 3D. I'll be using xfce4 as desktop environment. And that the card is not noisy.

    I read that there are 2D issues with Nvidia, but isn't that also the case with ATI? My last two ATI cards have been troublesome, while the nvidia cards I have tested on others computer have not been problematic. Just install the closed source driver and it works....

    With the open source driver for ATI it is a great improvement and I finally get 3D, but I guess a good driver for 4850 is far off? The closed source ATI driver didn't work with my ATI card (x1650).

    So which card would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by oblidor; 08-20-2008 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    A lot of the 2d issues have been resolved with the latest Beta driver for nvidia. As far as noise in concerned if you look at one of the many 8800GT's out there with a non-reference cooler they can be pretty much silent.

  3. #3
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    Personally I would buy an HD4850, or an HD4870 if I could afford it. The performance is on par with the nvidia cards (the 4850 and 4870 even kick *rse compared to the newer nvidia cards like the GTX2xx series), and with the driver being FOSS, I foresee less issues like the ones I and a lot of other people with Nvidia GeForce 8xxx series are having at the moment, some of which _really_ bring down the user experience.
    Next to all that, the 4850 sells for between $100,- and $150,- if I'm not mistaken.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeanPaul145 View Post
    Personally I would buy an HD4850, or an HD4870 if I could afford it. The performance is on par with the nvidia cards (the 4850 and 4870 even kick *rse compared to the newer nvidia cards like the GTX2xx series), and with the driver being FOSS, I foresee less issues like the ones I and a lot of other people with Nvidia GeForce 8xxx series are having at the moment, some of which _really_ bring down the user experience.
    Next to all that, the 4850 sells for between $100,- and $150,- if I'm not mistaken.
    Thanks for you input! Which problems do you have with 8800?
    I still have problems with my ATI x1650 pro AGP running git version of the FOSS driver. (Horisontal tearing being one with vlc) The fglrx driver doesn't work... How far in the future do one need to wait for a working driver for HD 4850/70 FOSS or otherwise? I mean 3D etc...

  5. #5
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    I've got a HD4850, the main game I play is ET:QW with the AMD/ATI proprietary driver, and it works fine* on that, on a 32-bit distro. I have problems with 32-bit apps on my main 64-bit distro (native 64-bit apps like Compiz work fine), and I haven't got Wine/Cedega games to work properly on any Linux setup, but in the end I think it's worth supporting the maturing FOSS driver, and the card is kickass in terms of performance

  6. #6
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    Oh yeah, and the tearing - the tearing isn't a good thing

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantek View Post
    I've got a HD4850, the main game I play is ET:QW with the AMD/ATI proprietary driver, and it works fine* on that, on a 32-bit distro. I have problems with 32-bit apps on my main 64-bit distro (native 64-bit apps like Compiz work fine), and I haven't got Wine/Cedega games to work properly on any Linux setup, but in the end I think it's worth supporting the maturing FOSS driver, and the card is kickass in terms of performance
    Have you tested it on 64-bit? I will only run 64-bit as I'm going to have a Q9550 with 8Gb or more RAM. What about noise level? I have also heard that these ATI card gets very warm?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by oblidor View Post
    Thanks for you input! Which problems do you have with 8800?
    I still have problems with my ATI x1650 pro AGP running git version of the FOSS driver. (Horisontal tearing being one with vlc) The fglrx driver doesn't work... How far in the future do one need to wait for a working driver for HD 4850/70 FOSS or otherwise? I mean 3D etc...
    I said I was having problems with an 8xxx series card
    Personally I own a Geforce 8600M GT, but I expect it largely uses exactly the same driver bits as the 8800.

    I'm experiencing problems like deplorable compiz/compiz fusion performance, even worse KDE4 Plasma performance, the gstreamer/Totem combo acting funny sometimes when playing video material (something seems to go wrong with the hue settings, which requires a reboot to "fix"). Those are the most important issues I'm having at the moment I suppose.

    Now I'm sure most, if not all, of these issues are known to the Nvidia Linux driver developers and that these developers sre doing everything they can to fix them, but seeing as these are only a couple of persons having to do work on a lot of cards, most problems don't get fixed in a decent amount of time.
    If issues like these were ever to arise on FOSS drivers, they would be solved within one month, depending on the "difficulty rating" of the fix

    One additional thing that needs to be said about my setup: I haven't installed the recent nvidia driver beta's, I'm still running the most recent EnvyNG driver (173.14.12 at the moment).

    Oh, and the AMD high-end cards do run hot - but so do the high-end Nvidia cards (think 80-90 degrees Centigrade).
    Last edited by JeanPaul145; 08-28-2008 at 06:57 PM.

  9. #9
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    I see. I set up a 8500 card this summer in a PC and I didn't have 2D performance issues. The issue with hue was easy to fix. When it comes to heat, I see that it is a complaint about the idle heat and that people need to fit other fans on the cards. I guess cards with different design will come at some point, but when...?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by oblidor View Post
    I see. I set up a 8500 card this summer in a PC and I didn't have 2D performance issues. The issue with hue was easy to fix. When it comes to heat, I see that it is a complaint about the idle heat and that people need to fit other fans on the cards. I guess cards with different design will come at some point, but when...?
    Hmm today I found this thread: http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12339

    Now ATI became much more interesting again... Think I'll put the PC building on hole a month to see what happens...

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