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Old 10-22-07, 06:16 AM   #1
matkoh
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Default What NVidia-Card for Linux

Hello,

I want to buy a new pc. I use it with opensuse 10.3 and want to use a 3D-Desktop (e.g. Compiz). I will not play with the pc and so I don't need a expensive graphics card. I prefer a silent solution (low noise fan or Heatpipe).

Can you suggest a NVidia-Graphics-Card, that meets my wishes?

Matthias
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Old 10-22-07, 07:19 AM   #2
Dhaval
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

Whats exact range you have in mind ? I have 7600GS which works just fine for me as long as 3D is concerned. i thinks it for about 100$

Through, There are some issue with nvidia driver if you want to use xen kernel
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Old 10-22-07, 07:58 AM   #3
matkoh
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

@Dhaval, no special range. I only want to use KDE with 3D-Desktop. I don't play 3D-Games (neither in Linux nor in Windows), so I think, a simple Graphics-Card is the correct choice for me.

I can get a "ASUS GF-7600GS Silent" in Germany for about 70 Euro. Is this a better choice than a 8400GS or a 8500GT?

And I don't use a XEN-Kernel. At the moment I only use a VM with vmware-server.

Matthias
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Old 10-22-07, 08:18 AM   #4
tier
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

I would recommend you to buy one 8500GT. The 8400GS is too slow for nice compiz effects..
You can get passiv cooled 8500GTs for about 70€ here in germany :-)
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Old 10-22-07, 11:50 AM   #5
energyman76b
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

everything that does not use DX10 should be a lot faster on the 7600 than 8500.

But you can get a (passiv) cooled 8600Gt for ~110€ in good old Germany
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Old 10-22-07, 09:00 PM   #6
bgamari
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

Personally, I can not recommend NVidia if you intend on running Linux on the machine. The closed-source drivers are a source of endless issues and even if they are ever stabilized, the development model simply is not sustainable. If you are looking for quiet and cool, I would go with an Intel integrated chipset (the X3100 has decent performance and open-source drivers). On the other hand, if you do wish to have something with better gaming performance, ATI's new cards should soon have full open-source drivers and specifications, and will more than meet your needs.

While I have been loyal to NVidia in the past, I can no longer recommend them with the continued difficulty I and numerous others have had with their lack of universally reliable Linux support. I hope this helps and good luck,

- Ben
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Old 10-22-07, 09:41 PM   #7
zbiggy
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

Quote:
Originally Posted by tier
I would recommend you to buy one 8500GT. The 8400GS is too slow for nice compiz effects..
You can get passiv cooled 8500GTs for about 70€ here in germany :-)
Keep in mind that by buying Geforce 8xxx you will loose hardware accelerated mpeg-2 decompressing as Geforce 8xxx family has no XvMC acceleration at all. That is why I recommend Geforce7. Nvidia said there is no support for XvMC on Geforce8 planned in near or further future (XvMC for Geforce8 has ultra low priority on Nvidia's todo list so it might be never supported). So be aware of this missing feature as I met some unhappy people when they realized what they bought and are angry that older Nvidia hardware has more features.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:31 PM   #8
energyman76b
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgamari
Personally, I can not recommend NVidia if you intend on running Linux on the machine. The closed-source drivers are a source of endless issues and even if they are ever stabilized, the development model simply is not sustainable. If you are looking for quiet and cool, I would go with an Intel integrated chipset (the X3100 has decent performance and open-source drivers). On the other hand, if you do wish to have something with better gaming performance, ATI's new cards should soon have full open-source drivers and specifications, and will more than meet your needs.

While I have been loyal to NVidia in the past, I can no longer recommend them with the continued difficulty I and numerous others have had with their lack of universally reliable Linux support. I hope this helps and good luck,

- Ben
a) if you hate nvidia so much, what are you doing here?

b) most people don't have any problems with the nvidia drivers.

c) this can't be said for ati users

d)intels 'graphic card' performance is so sub par, that it is ridiculous to compare it with anything made by nvidia.

e) see a).
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Old 10-22-07, 11:40 PM   #9
bgamari
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

@energyman76b:

There seems to be a misunderstanding here. I don't hate NVidia by any means. I believe that their hardware is technically far beyond anything offered by ATI or Intel both in technical design (based on reverse engineering information produced by the Nouveau project) and performance. I am sorry if my original post lead you to believe otherwise. This, however, is not to say that there are no issues.

If you read the forums, you will find many users whose cards work precisely as expected. Indeed, NVidia has been developing their binary driver for some time now; it would take immense skill (or lack thereof) to invest so much time and money into a codebase with no success. However, you will also find that there are numerous users (especially mobile users) who find that their hardware performs below expectations and even competition, not due to any flaw in the hardware itself, but because of the software that drives the card.

While features such as 3D and 2D acceleration work fine for a vast majority of users (myself included), this basic functionality no longer constitutes functional hardware. Graphics hardware is now expected to effectively manage power consumption, dynamically configure display devices (through Xrandr 1.2, which, props to NVidia, is apparently on the development agenda), and suspend with near perfect reliability. Additionally, users should be able to submit bug reports in a unified place and expect the issue to be responded to in a relatively timely manner (which a few dedicated NVidia employees do, but a forum such as this is hardly an appropriate place to track technical defects, this is why bug tracking systems exist). To me and numerous others, any device which does not satisfy these requirements is considered less than fully functional.

This is especially true when there is a field of equally capable cards with open-source Linux support either in development (in the case of AMD) or already available (in the case of Intel). While I will gladly agree that current Linux support provided by AMD's fglrx driver is miles behind NVidia's binary driver in both stability and performance (I once had the misfortune of owning a X300-based notebook), I believe the recent release of 2D specifications for the RV630 and M56 mark a turning point in the company's stance towards Linux users. While support may be lacking now, AMD has followed its talk with action and their partnership with Novell holds great promise. It won't be long before AMD hardware will have full open-source support on a variety of alternative operating systems.

On the matter of Intel, of course it is absurd to compare the performance of a discreet graphics processor to an integrated solution, if your benchmark is performance. This, however, was mentioned by the original poster to be not a particularly pressing issue. Especially with regards to his desire for a quiet solution, integrated graphics seems like a very good compromise. But maybe I misunderstood and in that case, it was just a suggestion. The fact remains that Intel's completely open driver support and major contributions to the open-source community as a whole deserve a great deal of recognition.

Personally, I am a strong supporter of the open-source development model. As a result, I want a graphics vendor who will support my configuration without reservation, with a responsive official support staff, and open-source drivers.

Indeed, this last point is crucial. While binary drivers might work, they are unsustainable in the long-term. What happens when NVidia decides that they no longer wish to continue updating support for their legacy devices that I use on my desktop machine? Either I will be forced to freeze my Xorg and the kernel versions or my computer will be left without any graphics capability (and indeed, the legacy drivers already leave much to be desired). This, when if given the source (not even necessarily the specifications), I could easily continue maintaining this support into the future. Furthermore, open source drivers allow one to declare independence from the priorities of the internal development team: When I find a bug, I can fix it; when I wish to see a feature implemented, I can implement it; when I find that a codepath is running a suboptimally, I can profile it and find the exact sticky spot. The speed with which SLI support, a rarely used feature (especially on Linux, an operating system with few heavy 3D applications), was added to the drivers compared to the numerous remaining outstanding issues simply amazes me.

While I understand that you may have different requirements than the poster, this does not mean that he should preclude options that you might not find acceptable. Comments such as your last contribute nothing to the discussion and do nothing but stir up flames where there needn't be any. Mine is but one opinion and if you wish to offer yours, you are welcome to do so, but there should be no reason why the sentiments of others are any less valid.

If, knowing the above points, the poster still feels an NVidia card is the best solution for him, then wonderful. It is merely my goal to see that he knows of all of the options on the market today.

Matkoh, good luck with your decision and if you have any questions of me, I'll be monitoring this thread.

Sincerely,

- Ben
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Old 10-23-07, 12:34 AM   #10
matkoh
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

@bgamari, it is correct that I don't need a powerfull gaming card. I only want to use the 3D-Desktop in opensuse. If the Intel integrated chipset has enough power for this, it is interesting for me.

I agree about the close-source-drivers, but see no alternative yet.

I need, besides the 3D-function, a VGA- (for a Belkin-Switch to my notebook, that has no DVI) and a DVI-Connector. If a HDMI-cable is attachable (if I buy a new lcd in future) it is perfect. Actually I have a NEC 1860NX with a solution 1280x1024.

Which mainboard would you recommend for my needs?

Matthias
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Old 10-23-07, 12:39 AM   #11
energyman76b
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

this is a (the) support forum for people who have problems with their nvidia cards and linux. So you'll find a lot of people having problems here. That is the nature of this board.

If you want to see the real picture there are two groups to consider:
other support forums
'offline', 'real life' encounters.

Other support forums: almost all people having problems are ATI users. Almost nobody using nvidia cards has problems. Nvidia users are the big happy crowd where stuff just works.

'Offline': The nvidia drivers for linux are even better than their windows relatives. Windows: change card (7600 --> 8600 --->6600 -->7600) requieres reinstallation of the driver every single time+ some clicking around until the dual monitor setup works again like it should (just seen on a friends machine). With linux, nothing has to be done. One card out, next one in, boot. Bingo, everything works perfectly fine. Nothing has to be done.

Apart from that, I have never met a linux+nvidia user outside of support forums who had problems. linux+ati? Yes. Linux+nvidia? No.

To say 'there are lots of people in this forums with problems, so there must be something wrong' is like saying 'all car drivers drive cars, so everybody in the world must drive a car'.

I had to decide roughly 10 days ago: 8600GT or a 2600XT.
There were some very strong arguments in favour of the ATI card: cheaper, free drivers coming soon.

I bought the nvidia card - because I don't want to wait for some free driver in a couple of month and have to deal with pure crap until then AND nvidia never disappointed me. Since my first nvidia card (a 2mx 400), nvidia was never problematic for me. Before the 2mx I owned a Xpert2000 - and it was hell. The daily crash was inevitable.


btw, a lot of problems have been solved with videocard bios updates in the past...
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Old 10-23-07, 01:02 AM   #12
bgamari
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Default Re: What NVidia-Card for Linux

@matkoh:

It sounds like the X3100 will be sufficient for your needs. A friend of mine has a GMA 900-powered laptop and even it runs that resolution with compiz incredibly smoothly. I can imagine that the X3100 would have no problems whatsoever. In this case, closed source drivers are not an issue and Intel has been proactively developing their drivers for a few years now. Historically, Intel has the first graphics vendor to implement features like texture_from_pixmap and xrandr 1.2 (indeed, Intel's own Keith Packard architected xrandr 1.2).

The X3100 has native support for HDMI although I'm not sure how many motherboard manufacturers are presently exposing this capability. Sorry I can't recommend a specific mainboard, it's been a while since I built my last desktop. I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

- Ben
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