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Any update: HD Radeon 4xxx v.s. Nviida 260?

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  • Panix
    replied
    I was curious about benchmarks. In Windows, there is a number of sites that compare via GAMES benchmarks and such.

    But, for Linux, not so many. This site has done some reviews on cards and presented benchmarks but I was wondering about the current situation.

    How do they compare? For e.g., HD Radeon 4870 or 4890 v.s. GeForce 260 GTX?

    Those cards are neck and neck depending on the game but in Linux, is there any disparity due to the ATI factor? I don't even care if Nvidia in Linux is a bit lower in benchmarks compared to Windoze but I was wondering about how the cards compare to ATI's. Is the review done here still apply or is there an update based on the situation of Catalyst?

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  • tball
    replied
    This is my expirence with ATI/AMD. I try to tell this as neutral as posible (as a no ATI fan).

    I have always had nvidia, since I bought this laptop (HD3650 mobility). I bought it in 2008, and at that time there were alot of problems with fglrx. I had problems with wine and compiz, but the installation weren't any problems.

    Now in 2009 with 9.6 I am fairly impressed by the progress fglrx has gone through. No it isn't perfect yet, but a whole lot better than in the early 2008. Today I don't think about driver problems anymore, when I use my computer. I can even run a lot of wine apps now, which were impossible for just 2/3 month ago.

    Here is my problems left:

    - XV under compositing with fgrlrx = Not good. Tearing and slow video playback. With composite turned off, its fairly good. I have heard opengl is without tearing, but not as good quality.

    - Maximizing / resizing under compositing is slow out of the box. It is easy solved installing a patched version of Xorg. I don't know if this is fglrx's fault.

    - Still wine is able to crash, but I don't know if its fglrx or wine's fault. It seems 3D related, so it might be fglrx.

    - 2D is alittle slower with compositing, than without. But that difference is almost gone in the newer versions. Without compositing, 2D is as fast as in windows.

    I really don't have others problems with fglrx. But I want to move to the oss drivers soon, because last time i tried it 2D was very fast and xv video worked perfect without tearing.
    Last edited by tball; 07 July 2009, 05:25 PM.

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  • bridgman
    replied
    AFAIK the 780G graphics is referred to as "3200" while 790GX graphics is referred to as "3300". The cores are similar, but the 790GX runs at higher clock speeds the graphics performance is higher.

    Note that the 790FX is a completely different chip without graphics.

    All of the 780/790 mobos I have seen include an x16 PCIE slot with all 16 lanes hooked up but I believe the chipset can also be configured with just x8 wiring to the x16 slot and more PCIE lanes for other connectors, so double-check the specific motherboard to be sure.

    The RAM connects to the CPU not the chipset, so AFAIK it's really a matter of getting a mobo with an AM3 socket and a CPU with DDR3 support if you want to run DDR3.

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  • Panix
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Most motherboard designs went straight from the rs690 (X1250) to the rs780 family of chipsets (HD3xxx); there are 740G-based motherboards out there but not a lot. The 740G is an updated version of the 690G, while the 780 family is an all new design with a graphics core midway between HD2400 and HD3450.

    The chipset is called 740G; you'll probably have a lot more success searching for that than for radeon 2100.

    There is some discussion of 740G on Phoronix as well : http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9431

    That said, I would still strongly recommend you go for a 780. The price difference is pretty small and you get a 3D engine that is a couple of generations more current.
    So, 780G or 780GX? I guess I could move up to such boards. That's good to know, thanks. I would probably use the integrated graphics at first, so I believe it would be HD Radeon 3200 or 3300 depending on the board?

    I assume these boards also have a PCI-E x16 slot for video cards that I could go with if later on, I decide to? Does it have to be ATI? I read someplace that Nvidia cards 'choke' in AMD/ATI boards. IS that accurate?

    Anyway, I have read up on 780G/GX chipset motherboards and it sounds good to me. Decent prices and option of the integrated graphics. I just need to decide whether it's worth it to go for one that supports DDR3 RAM.

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  • bridgman
    replied
    Most motherboard designs went straight from the rs690 (X1250) to the rs780 family of chipsets (HD3xxx); there are 740G-based motherboards out there but not a lot. The 740G is an updated version of the 690G, while the 780 family is an all new design with a graphics core midway between HD2400 and HD3450.

    The chipset is called 740G; you'll probably have a lot more success searching for that than for radeon 2100.

    There is some discussion of 740G on Phoronix as well : http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9431

    That said, I would still strongly recommend you go for a 780. The price difference is pretty small and you get a 3D engine that is a couple of generations more current.
    Last edited by bridgman; 07 July 2009, 12:17 AM.

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  • Panix
    replied
    I'd like to build a cheap 2nd system as well as upgrade my current system's video card. I was looking into a cheap AMD build and many of these have the integrated graphics IGP(?). Anyway, I couldn't find any info on the boards that have integrated HD Radeon 2100. Nothing, nada... very little Linux info on it and I had to rely on forum posts wherever they may be.

    That is unacceptable, imho. I might eventually go for a more upscale board that has integrated HD Radeon 3200 or 3300 (reviewed here on Phoronix, I believe) so that would be more convenient (I believe the fglrx drivers/Catalyst is used) but still...

    Back to graphics cards: I would go with ATI but it sounds like a lot of work and added concerns. It works BUT there is this condition and that condition... can't use compiz, okay, I don't need that but sounds like other restrictions, too.

    At least, I am familiar with installing Nvidia drivers even though the process can be a bit inconvenient if trying for the most updated driver and worrying about upgrades. But, there's plenty of write-ups on it and I can usually find assistance.

    With an ATI card, it's like starting all over and I am not sure how *well* things work. There is 'X works' but that doesn't explain or express how or to what extent. Interesting, though. I'd like to learn of more customer experiences with ATI cards with Linux before I'd take a chance on it.

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  • d2kx
    replied
    Originally posted by Kano View Post
    I don't think that cards which need fglrx for full performance (unlike the really extra cheap lowend cards) are a good buy. I think the drivers will be dropped too soon like you see for r500. X1950 cards are definitely not slow, but since fglrx 9-4 they are not supported but that driver is needed for Xserver 1.6+. And the oss driver is definitely no full replacement - too many features are missing and speed is really low. I don't know when r600/r700 will be dropped but DX11 cards should be out this year for Win7/Vista. And then DX10.x is legacy.
    R8xx is still R6xx architecture. There will be new R8xx based cards from the end of 2009 until mid-2010 or so. So if AMD is going to drop R6xx+ support, it won't happen until early 2011 at the very earliest.

    Also, fglrx in general is in a pretty good shape right know. Wine is working better with every release, crashes are getting rare and Composite is becoming usable.

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  • Melcar
    replied
    Just get the card that is more easily available/cheaper. Both have the potential to give you their fair share of headaches.
    As for fglrx, it works fine as long as you don't have any composition running. The driver currently has problems with Compiz/kwin, which is where most of the complaints come from these days. The problems are known and are being worked on, so it's not like ATI users are out of luck. I got a 4850 and for what I do (games, movies, Compiz) it works fine.
    The open source drivers are more of a "curiosity" right now for r600/r700 type hardware. They got working 2D accel. and functional Xv for proper movie playback, but no 3D yet.
    Last edited by Melcar; 06 July 2009, 11:58 AM.

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  • Kano
    replied
    Just like ATI, the nv oss driver is there:

    http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/driver/xf86-video-nv/

    Of course this or nouveau is preinstalled on a current distro. But compared to ATI they updated 3 legacy drivers already with 2.6.31 support, the latest stable 185.18.04 can be patched for 2.6.31 (patch can be found on nvnews.net). They DO provide updates for legacy chips, just no Xserver 1.5+ support for oldest legacy driver (mostly DX7 cards up to GeForce 2 GTS). And you can be sure that those drivers are full featured and do not miss lots of things which are only predicted for oss drivers, but not yet working.

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  • bridgman
    replied
    The open source driver work is managed as part of the xorg development effort so information is primarily maintained on the x.org site :

    http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/

    http://www.x.org/wiki/radeon

    http://www.x.org/wiki/radeonhd

    http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature

    We mirror the documents on amd.com but in general we work with the xorg community and maintain the information there.

    The drivers are already in most distributions out-of-the-box, and our goal is to have any distro that picks up relatively recent drivers from freedesktop.org "just work". Different distros have different priorities so the level of support you get varies between distros; for example Ubuntu 9.04 has solid support for all GPUs except the ones which shipped after Jaunty was released, including backported drm support for 6xx and 7xx EXA/XV acceleration, while Fedora 11 is the showcase for next generation drivers including Kernel Modesetting and GEM/TTM. Other distros, typically the "stable" releases, ship much older versions of the driver and require updates in order to support current hardware.

    Is there something specific you are looking for ? We can put more info on amd.com about the open source drivers but my preference is to work with the community and keep all the important information on www.x.org instead.

    In general we find that people looking for open source drivers go to the xorg pages not to the vendor pages. It probably wouldn't hurt to cross-link www.amd.com and www.x.org a bit more but I'm trying hard not to misrepresent what is essentially a community effort with significant AMD support.

    EDIT - just out of curiosity I took a quick look at the NVidia site; the only mention of open source drivers I could find there was for chipset drivers; ethernet, disk etc...
    Last edited by bridgman; 06 July 2009, 02:21 AM.

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