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Re: Video card



On Monday 06 October 2008 21:04, Dan wrote:
> Could you give me some names of Video cards that are most compatible
> with Fedora 9 and that have drivers for Fedora 9??

I've had experience with all three vendors, nVidia, ATI and Intel, with 
various versions of Fedora. But I have no other resource of information, so 
you should assume the "AFAIK" for every sentence below.

nVidia --- superb performance, both 2D and 3D. The glxgears tool typically 
reports thousands of fps, provided the 3D driver. For 2D there is the 
open-source nv driver (made by nVidia and provided by default in Fedora) 
which works ok for its intended usage. For 3D there are no open source 
drivers, only nVidia-supplied binary drivers (I use the Livna rpm packages, 
but they are all more or less the same).

ATI --- superb performance, both 2D and 3D. The glxgears tool typically 
reports thousands of fps, provided the 3D driver. For 2D there is the 
open-source radeon driver (provided by default in Fedora) which works less 
than ok for its intended usage. For 3D there are no open source drivers 
(yes , ATI DOES NOT SUPPORT 3D OPEN SOURCE DRIVERS, contrary to what people 
usually say), only ATI-supplied binary drivers which are usually completely 
broken and unusable.

Intel --- satisfactory 2D performance, visibly inferior 3D performance. The 
glxgears tool typically reports hunderds of fps (compared to thousands of 
nVidia and ATI), provided the 3D driver. For both 2D and 3D there is the open 
source driver which is provided by default in Fedora and works 
out-of-the-box.

Bottom-line:

If you go nVidia --- you get superb graphics quality, but be prepared to 
install a binary-only 3D driver. It will usually Just Work (there were some 
reports of random memory leakage and such, but I believe that is fixed by 
now). Be prepared to find the 3D failing for a couple of days whenever you 
install a new kernel --- it takes some time for nVidia guys to adjust the 
driver to the new kernel API (if it is changed) and some time for the Livna 
guys to recompile that and push to updates. This time usually totals to 2-3 
days after the kernel update (and during that time you might use the old 
kernel no problem).

If you go Intel --- you never ever worry about any drivers anything, it will 
Just Work, 100%. However, be prepared to have not so perfect graphics. This 
can be naked-eye-visible. For example, install compiz and activate several 
performance-consuming effects. Open 10-15 windows simultaneously on 8 
workspaces, and start rotating the cube (ok, it won't be a cube due to 8 
faces :-) ...). The nVidia card will work smoothly, Intel will start choking 
and jerking. Reduce to 4-5 windows, they both work smoothly. Being fond of 
eye-candy, and a lot of open windows, I witness this (and hate it) on a daily 
basis.

If you go ATI --- hmmm... well... just don't go ATI. I have an ATI Radeon 
X1550, have no 3D, while 2D sucks to the level that I cannot play a movie in 
fullscreen. There are no usable drivers, and this was typically the case 
since the Fedora Core 1 times. The "open source support from ATI" exists only 
for obsolete ATI cards, similar to the nv driver of nVidia. Binary only 
drivers exist, but they usually Just Don't Work, contrary to nVidia drivers 
that usually Just Work. I have never ever made compiz, googleearth or ppracer  
work with an ATI card.

Whatever you choose, you'll have to allow for some compromise.

HTH, :-)
Marko



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