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Old 01-18-06, 09:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default may move to NVidia GeForce - pre-buy information please


I am using Linspire 5.0 since a month. I also presently own an ATI Radeon 9200 that I bought before moving from Windows to Linux. I've been trying to have OpenGL and 3D working for the ATI for almost a month now, unsuccessfully.

Since I am getting tired of this, I am now thinking of moving to NVidia... from what I could read on various Linux forums, there seems to be better Linux support with NVidia than ATI.

I'd like to know a few things before I buy a new card...

- Once I have it installed, will simply running "redetect" at Linspire bootscreen take care of everything regarding setup, including OpenGL and 3D (that would be the perfect world...)?

- If not, could you tell me a bit of your experience regarding setting-up OpenGL / 3D for this card? What steps will I have to follow, what obstacles I may be challenged with, etc...

I would highly appreciate getting your feedback before I spend money on a new video card. Of course, I would be buying one of the 3 NVidia cards listed on the Linspire hardware compatibility page - I don't want to run into any more troubles or complications...

Thanks a lot and have a great day!
OperaG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-06, 06:10 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 46
Default 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)
# ./NVidia-XXXX
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.

Good luck,
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