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Old 01-25-2009, 04:53 AM
Kelly Clowers
Default Vidio card recommendation needed (was: Can't start X after upgrade to Lenny)

On Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 16:39, Micha Feigin <michf@post.tau.ac.il> wrote:
> On Sun, 25 Jan 2009 06:29:56 +1030
> Arthur Marsh <arthur.marsh@internode.on.net> wrote:
>> Marc Shapiro wrote, on 2009-01-25 04:50:
>> > I posted this under the original thread, but since there were no
>> > responses I figured that most readers had already determined that they
>> > could not help with that problem and so did not read the post. Since
>> > this is a totally different track to solving my problem I felt a new
>> > subject was in order.
>> >
>> > Florian Kulzer wrote:
>> > > I would probably be tempted to buy an nvidia or ati card and dump the
>> > > sis driver.
>> >
>> > I don't think that I have actually purchased a video card separate from
>> > the PC, or motherboard since my TRS-8- Model III died and I bought my
>> > first PC compatible. That would have been about 26 years ago. Getting
>> > a new board might not be that bad of an idea, but, as I have not
>> > recently had to make such a purchase I have not looked into what is good,
>> > bad, works with Linux, etc. I am not looking to spend a lot of money
>> > and I don't need a fancy gamers board. I just need something that does
>> > the job. I noticed that Fry's has several inexpensive EVGA boards,
>> > specifically a 7200GS w/128MB or 256MB PCI-Express and an 8400GS w/512MB
>> > for only $10.00 more. I don't mind the extra $10 for double to
>> > quadruple the memory and a faster core, but is this a good board with
>> > solid support? With rebates, these boards are going for $29.99 to
>> > $39.99. Are there better boards that can be had for similar prices? Is
>> > there a different line that I should look into? I don't want to start
>> > any religious wars over what is the best graphics card. I just need a
>> > solid card that works and doesn't have issues like the onboard Sis
>> > chips seem to have.
>> >
> My personal experience is that intel, ati and nvidia one or two generations
> back all work ok with the free drivers, none provide real 3d performance.
> As far as I know ati drivers are open but problematic. Nvidia's are closed but
> work pretty well.

I would say they are wonderful for the cards they fully support. It is true that
many newer cards have little support so far, but they are moving pretty fast.

> intel cards are pretty mediocre (especially the x3100 that comes on a lot of
> cheap laptops these days).

Maybe mediocre in power by modern ATI/Nvidia standards, but my brand-new
Intel board has a x3100, and it has been very well behaved, and it runs
ioquake3 (improved version of the Quake III engine) beautifully (the 3000,
no "x", is a very sad little chip, however). I haven't yet tested heavier games
on this system.

> It's worth buying a standalone card as it uses it's own memory and not shared
> memory. Personally I would go with nvidia and the proprietary drivers (if you
> don't mind non-free).
>> I know the feeling, since a family member has an HP machine with an
>> on-board SiS graphics chip-set.
>> As I had an AGP motherboard, I used a second hand ATI Radeon 9200 SE
>> which works well with the Free "radeon" driver in package
>> xserver-xorg-video-radeon.

I ran a passively cooled Radeon 9550 (OSS drivers) for a long time; it was
wonderful. I don't run it now, simply because I have decent onboard Video,
and Intel drivers are at the forefront of Xorg/Mesa innovation.

Kelly Clowers

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