NVIDIA GeForce GT 220
So how much does this graphics card cost? The XFX GeForce GT 220 1GB is currently retailing for just $70 USD. The 40nm GT216 graphics processor is enough to handle most open-source games at a relatively high resolution, but will struggle with any of the more demanding native Linux games like Enemy Territory: Quake Wars or the Unigine game engine. This GPU though is certainly fast enough for running Compiz or KWin effects on the desktop and its 2D performance is splendid. Additionally, one of the advantages of this budget graphics card is its VDPAU capabilities, which includes MPEG-4 ASP support along with the features of earlier PureVideo generations. This card also consumes low power, runs quiet cool, and is very quiet, furthering making it a nice HTPC solution.
If you are a gamer this graphics card would not be the ideal choice, as you would want something with more power, but if you are looking for a graphics card just for desktop use and/or video playback in an HTPC environment, the GeForce GT 220 is a compelling offer. If you are only a light gamer, the ATI Radeon HD 4670 costs the same as the GeForce GT 220 and from our tests have shown it offers significantly better performance in many areas, but does not support VDPAU. NVIDIA hardware at this time is the superior choice for video playback on Linux. When it comes to the Linux support with the GeForce GT 220, the latest proprietary driver from NVIDIA works quite well with this PCI Express graphics card, but do not expect any viable open-source support soon. The xf86-video-nv 2D driver will end up working with the GT216 GPU at some point, but the only open-source 3D support for this graphics card is likely to come through the Nouveau project, but that is still heavily being developed. The ATI Radeon HD 4670 is certainly a better choice over the NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 for open-source fans.
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