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  • Trying to choose between AMD or Nvidia

    Hello everyone.
    I am now faced with a situation when I have to make a decision between AMD/ATI and Nvidia.
    From this "Nvidia or Ati" thread I gathered that while AMD/ATI has great potential with their partly open specs and such, Nvidia drivers are better right here and now.
    At the moment I am more inclined to buy a Radeon and support AMD, but first I need to know several things:

    1) How genuine is AMD's desire to be closer to the open-source community? Sure, all the recent AMD news on Phoronix sound great, but is there really initiative, or is it just an attempt to get their reputation with the OSS community back to normal?
    I am also interested in how good are the released specs, are they really useful to the open driver developers and so on.

    Here it says
    Some users have been cautious based upon AMD's past shortcomings with concern over how watered-down the specifications may be or that this is just some publicity stunt, but the response as a whole has been very positive. However, their concerns are certainly justified based upon past events (ATI R200 Linux Redux) and we will find out in the coming days and months just how dedicated AMD is to working with the open-source community.
    Well, I'm cautious, I'd like to find out

    2) I would also like to know how do the AMD and Nvidia drivers compare to each other - I don't have any experience with Nvidia + Linux, so this interests me much. I know that Nvidia closed drivers are supposed to be superior - but in what way exactly? Have the AMD drivers gotten any close?

    Thanks in advance for any answers - it is quite hard to google this info, since most of the results are dated prior to the AMD/ATI "redemption".

  • #2
    I'll go dig the snow out of my driveway and stay out of this one
    Last edited by bridgman; 01 February 2008, 10:43 PM.
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    • #3
      I've been an nVidia support for a long time, but recently a friend convinced me to buy a Radeon HD 3850 - I haven't regretted it once.

      ATI cards may perform slightly lower in terms of benchmarks, but the features are amazing. HDMI out, with sound, is just one example.

      One thing remains true for now, nVidia's drivers do seem to work better however I think with the ATI/AMD's open source efforts, that is going to change very soon.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by username View Post
        I know that Nvidia closed drivers are supposed to be superior - but in what way exactly?
        Speed, reliability, compatibility, feature rich, working TV out, ease of installation, number of devices supported, SLI support, quicker to resolve bugs. Plus the way they handle bug reports seems more interactive with the end user as well. NVidia has their hounds on the nvnews.net forums and their devels are fairly community active. You submit a bug report there and you actually get the feeling that nvidia uses those bug reports.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
          I'll go dig the snow out of my driveway and stay out of this one
          Coward...

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          • #6
            It all depends on what's important to you. There are alot of battles to be fought in the Linux and FOSS multiverses. Getting my very expensive video card hardware working is not one I'm willing to fight. Therefore I choose NVidia for the best out of the box experience now. Of course that's just my opinion. However, If supporting the open source community is important to you and you are willing to wait for the open source efforts to mature then ATI might be the right choice. Then again, the progress the Nouveau guys are making should not be ignored. If you don't lean either way in open source vs proprietary, look at the benchmarks and features and make your choice based on price and performance. Again, my opinion is that NVidia exceeds ATI in price and performance at all price levels at least when considered only on Linux platforms. The story changes somewhat on windows, but that's irrelevant.

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            • #7
              Nothing wrong with current ATI hardware, or with the drivers. Provided you get an HD2900 or HD3xxx card, it should all go smoothly. The drivers are fairly simple to install for the most part. They perform decently too. HD3xxx cards are getting cheap now and they are adequately supported with the latest driver. Of course, now the new 9xxx cards from nvidia are showing up, and at a very good price too; I doubt they will be supported with the current binaries, but said support should be coming soon.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by immudium View Post
                Therefore I choose NVidia for the best out of the box experience now.
                So you use nv driver and call it a good exprience ? With just 2d ?

                Really the best out of the box experience right now have intel IGPs ...

                Nvidia blob drivers are not out of the box experience in the *nix world ...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by val-gaav View Post
                  So you use nv driver and call it a good exprience ? With just 2d ?

                  Really the best out of the box experience right now have intel IGPs ...

                  Nvidia blob drivers are not out of the box experience in the *nix world ...
                  Oh for frak sakes. Fine. Whatever. Excellent point. You are the god-king of semantics. Everything I said was crap. If you want the best bloody "out of box experience" go buy Intel graphics. There, you happy? You win and we didn't have to debate for hours on end about it. Now how about we get back to answering the dudes question about whether to choose ATI or NVidia? Whaddya say?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by immudium View Post
                    Oh for frak sakes. Fine. Whatever. Excellent point. You are the god-king of semantics. Everything I said was crap. If you want the best bloody "out of box experience" go buy Intel graphics. There, you happy? You win and we didn't have to debate for hours on end about it. Now how about we get back to answering the dudes question about whether to choose ATI or NVidia? Whaddya say?
                    Well, he is right. Should have made yourself clearer. Neither nvidia or ATI cards (the current generations at least) offer good "out of the box experience"; in both cases one would have to resort to binaries to get the most out of the card. AMD is closer to providing that "out f the box experience" than nvidia, but this is useless for a practical person that wants to be able to enjoy his new graphics card right now, and not in the near future.
                    It all comes down (right now) to the proprietary drivers. Which one is easier to handle, provides the best experience, etc. For me, both are simple to install, and both provide more than adequate performance/usability, so the final decision would come to the hardware itself: availability, price, performance against the competition.

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