No announcement yet.

Escapee from Nvidia: What AMD cards work best on Linux?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    I've been using amd cards for years, mostly because a lack of multi (read: many) monitor support. I had 2x2, but linux apps were always wonky when trying to run dual twin-view framebuffers. I went with amd with a 5970 6x head display driving 6x 24" dell 1920x1200's, and could only drive 2x3 framebuffers with it. Again, very wonky. It wasn't until much prodding of amd engineers did I find it was limited to a 8192x8192 framebuffer, but the 6xxx supported 16384x16384. Bought a 6970 with a 11520x1200 framebuffer with linux, it was a thing of beauty.

    What I always found was driver issues with amd pertaining to anything compositing against it would eventually drive it mad. Symptoms of a memory leak, eventual destabilization, and all sorts of nasty side effects. Eventually the system would freeze in a hard lock. I was using ubuntu, realized compiz was a very large part of the problem, and ubuntu worked great with compositing disabled and falling back to metacity windowing. I still run this way with upgrading eventually to a 7970 driving 6 displays.

    I went to mint (debian, lmde) with mate/marco compositing eventually as ubuntu came unglued in a few ugly ways, but found their driver had a nasty memory leak that would have x consume all of my 32gb of ram and whatever swap it could until dying ugly with oom. Upgrading the driver blob broke debian, so I reverted to ubuntu to find the memory leak with default driver, but upgrading from the blob to 14.9 has made it pretty darn rock solid. I'm using mate now on ubuntu 14.04 with compositing enabled, it works pretty solid so far, but compiz is still a basketcase at that huge resolution.

    I did read recently nvidia began supporting their "mosaic" mode, ala eyefinity, but only on their pro quadro (read: overpriced) cards. There seems to be some movement to enable bios hacks to "turn them into" quadro cards, but not sure if I could then run something like my 6x head monster under linux as I do with an amd card since circa 2010.

    Gaming? Sure, though I don't do anything too crazy. Steam games work mostly ok as long as I don't try to full-screen them, but windowed, I've run most of the valve games at 3-6 monitor resolutions windowed, usually with compositing disabled, but with mate/marco compositing, few gl things I do (minecraft, secondlife) work just fine even on all 6 at decent fps enough not to annoy me. Mostly a desktop workstation user, where 6 displays is awesome.


    • #32
      Wait for the new 300-series cards and see how the new drivers are IMO. I wouldn't buy a graphics card right now unless it was a maxwell, and you obviously don't want Nvidia.
      AMD mesa development has been moving at lightspeed for a while, features rapidly go from not done to perfected in a few weeks.


      • #33
        R9 270X for Now

        If you really want a new AMD card with good open source driver, look no where than R9 270X.
        It holds the top 1 for Best performance per Watt in the past AMD benchmark.

        I had one and it works like a charm with Kernel 3.17 + Mesa 10.3.2 in Fedora 21.
        HDMI Audio, Deep color, VDPAU all work as expected.

        For gaming with Steam or Humble titles, just grab the S3TC extension from repo.