Re: may move to NVidia GeForce - pre-buy information please
I only have positive things to say about NVidia on Linux:
Here is my experience with NVidia:
I did all of my PhD work on an SGI Indy/Indigo^2/Octane - they were awesome systems with the best OpenGL support at the time. Today I use a dual opteron with a GeForce 7800GTX - OpenGL on this system behaves much much better as the hardware is 10 years newer.
I (mistakenly) bought an ATI card because it had a TV out and was available at the local computer store for a low end PC to play movies on the TV. After spending 3 days trying, I could not get this card configured for either 3D display or TV out. The ATI card was replaced with an NVidia card; which just worked.
I had one annoying issue with a 6800Ultra when it first came out. The firmware on the card would cause linux to crash on shutdown - it took two months before the replacement firmware worked stably under linux. Since the upgrade, the card has been rock stable. I would therefore, recommend waiting for a couple of months before to buying the latest card. Track this message board first.
Since about 2000, I have bought the following NVidia cards because of their superior linux drivers: Geforce 2 Ultra, GeForce Ti4600, GeForce 6800Ultra, GeForce 7800GTX, GeForce MX440 (for tv out). I have no intention of changing to another card supplier as no other driver is as sophisticated on linux.
The installation of an NVidia board is pretty simple. I don't know what linspire's install thing will do. I would try it first, but here is the procedure I use under fedora: [NOTE: Read the README file supplied with the driver first - this isn't a definitive method, its just mine:]
1) Log in as normal. Download the latest drivers from NVidia's web pages. Save the drivers onto /tmp.
2) Log out. Switch to console mode (Ctrl-Alt-F1), log in as root.
3) /sbin/telinit 3 (stop X running in the background, and switch the system to run-level 3)
4) Run the NVidia installer:
# cd /tmp
# chmod +x NVidia-XXXX (where the XXXXs are the specific file name)
Read and follow the directions!
5) Use NVidia's configuration utility for X - its an option in the installer. IF you choose not to, edit /etc/x11/XF86Config or /etc/X11/xorg.conf and replace the "nv" driver with "nvidia"
6) Provided a successful install, restart X by doing the following
# /sbin/telinit 5 ; exit
At this stage, you should have a graphical log in running with NVidia's drivers.