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As far as I know, AMD GPUs (ATI is dead!) arent that much less prone to tearing than nVidia. I'm no expert, I've only rarely got tearing issues with either manufacturers GPUs.
BTW, 150-200 euro on a video card? Are you a gamer? If you arent a gamer, dont buy expensive gamers video cards...they wont be any better for desktop use than the cheaper cards. The cheaper cards have he added advantages of using less power, running cooler and outputing less heat.
Last edited by cascade9; 08-04-2012 at 01:21 AM.
The only tearing I've ever seen in Linux was with an old integrated Trident card running at its maximum resolution/colour depth. The usual cause of tearing is either a poor driver issue, or overheating (often caused by pushing the gpu too hard).
What are you using now? And does it tear all the time or only in some circumstances. Most cards are a pretty good bet quality wise for everyday desktop use be they nVidia or AMD/ATI. For business apps, net browsing etc I'd agree a high end card isn't needed. If you go graphics heavy work, game or do design work and such then the higher end cards might be a benefit.
I'm not up on pricing in Euro's so take the following with that in mind:
For regular daily usage (office type apps, browsing etc) if you want AMD/ATI I'd look at the HD 7870. It still has enough power to do decent graphics and some light gaming. If you need a bit more power for gaming or graphics then the HD 7950 is a better choice while still watching the price point.
If your rig has decent cooling you might save some money by buying back a generation and get a 6950 or even a 5870.
Last edited by NyteOwl; 08-05-2012 at 01:19 PM.
Reason: fixed typo
AMD works well for video viewing for me with this setup
I started this off the top of my head 20120804 and completed it 20120805, this is document YetToBeNamed version 1.0 . It is somewhat detailed, technical and tedious. Whatever. There may be a little or partial or total tearing free video payoff in software here for someone, I list the hardware just in case something makes a difference, it was built to be a relatively low power energy efficient appliance computer and the household mainframe, because it does it all ;-D If you enjoy things you should try things. YMMV.
Please post possible errors in the content below, beyond that I can barely help myself :-)
Rock On - E.Buzz
Biostar TA890GXE Ver. 5.2 Micro ATX motherboard. Stock chipset voltages and timings. I no longer use the onboard Radeon video, but I would recommend it for most things other than gaming and Bitcoin mining. The system was totally silent until I added the Radeon card below, now it whispers when Bitcoin mining. I can't hear it when simply viewing videos.
PCI Audigy and Intel dual gigabit cards, PCI-e Atheros 802.11n wireless, all PCI slots full.
2 x 2 Gb Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 DDR3 1600 CAS 7, timings tweaked, stock voltages. Room for two more.
XFX Radeon HD 6670 900/1150 Mhz. Voltages on this card cannot be tweaked, it is cool and quiet. Not a Bitcoin miner's card, it only cost me $65 US a year ago, I just mine fractions of coins to play with. Sony HD TV 1080p.
Athlon II X2 265 CPU, all stock voltages, 222Mhz FSB for 3663 Mhz full out.
Five SATA internal drives, 6.75 Tb total.
I built this box May 2011 or so and added the video card August 2011 or so, I'm not pulling receipt dates for anybody. In fact, you never met me and I don't have a real name ;-D
A DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem is on one gigabit port. I only pay for 16 Mb down/2 Mb up, and need no more.
A second gigabit port has a Linksys 802.11g router I use for a guest network access point.
Internal linux clients access the box as an 802.11n wireless access point directly, so it hosts two wireless networks and three 192.168.* subnets locally.
I like to plug my laptop into one of the 3 gigabit ports most of the time. Alternately I have a 8 port gigabit switch I'm not using just in case I feel like drowning in CAT 6. You will notice that in the exhibits following, this port is down as I am currently Doing Things With It.
Linux kernel 3.4.7 64 bit, stock, but custom configured for the hardware and quicker builds. 1000 Hz timer frequency, fully preemptible, tickless.
AMD linux video driver 12.4. I'm still evaluating 12.6 after backing it out, it seemed to be a bit more tearing prone, but I just wanted to catch some TV at the time and haven't been back to it.
Gentoo distribution with some additional overlays for media and such.
I use powernowd for CPU power management. The system is never idle. I have done extensive work with priority management and scheduling classes via schedtool, cron and so on. The system runs:
iptables firewall/gateway with ~300K rules under IPV4, IPV6 on local networks only,TOS,named,squid,smtp,imap,hostapd wireless access point,xinetd,web server,ftp server,rsyncd server,backup server,snmpd server,distccd with a couple of wireless users accessing services and viewing videos on their devices at times. Wireless passthrough with TOS for cell phones, it drives our 5.1 audio system and some things I'm forgetting right now, thank goodness ;-)
Portage server for a couple of other Gentoo nodes, including distribution files but not all the platform stuff. I'm a Good Little Gentoo Citizen, But Wasn't Always That Way
LXDE Desktop. It was really easy to remove the taskbar and tweak it for my cheap infrared remote. So light, so quick, it's no KDE.
I configure AMD Tear Free, there's a couple settings in xorg.conf that help a lot, but the Catalyst Control Center is absolutely required.
Firefox 64 bit with Flash.
Hulu Desktop for linux 64 bit. It has the best interface for an infrared Windows Media Center type remote I've seen so far.
Virtualbox 4.1.18/Windows XP Pro 32 bit for Netflix only, so far. I find Windows 7 Home 64 bit is slightly more resource efficient but not worth it for the license to me. I strip Windows down to the bare minimum required to run IE with Silverlight and run a single virtual CPU to remove audio problems I've found with two.
VIDEO VIEWING RESULTS:
Total CPU utilization when viewing videos with all video clients below runs 40-60% with no core exceeding 80% at any time. When not viewing videos or other CPU intensive work, the CPU saves power by running at 888 Mhz nearly all the time.
The linux Firefox Flash plugin-container process is the most demanding to run tearing free. It likes increased thread priorities and no Bitcoin mining for totally tearing free, but turning off the mining alone results in only occasional tearing without the need of priority tweaking.
Hulu Desktop uses Flash much better than the Firefox plugin. It's the most efficient of the various viewing configurations. Tearing free with no Bitcoin mining, very rare tearing with it.
Netflix under Windows VM. Tearing free with no Bitcoin mining, very rare tearing with it.
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I've found that sometimes the tearing I see is upstream in the source video feed and not from the video card at all. Choose your test video carefully and compare more than a few, particularly with Firefox/Flash, a lot of it is glitchy from the source.
Your mileage may vary. I never was much of a gamer after I burned out playing on cheater-only Quake II servers long ago, so ATI/AMD has always Just Worked Better for me with linux, particularly with open source drivers.
I recently built a genaral-use desktop PC for a friend of mine (that includes gaming) and, to keep costs at a decent minimum, we purchased a Sapphire AMD Radeon 6870 (bought online at below the 140€ price tag). It's not the latest and greatest from AMD, but still able to play Diablo 3 at maximum detail (on Windows 7)
Having a Radeon HD 5770 myself on my laptop, I noticed tearing while playing videos and the like, but there's an option inside the Catalyst control center which mitigates it called "TearFree" IIRC.
Another video tearing thought for everyone AMD or not
I have an intel laptop, 2 cores, 64 bit, that runs about 60% of the cpu speed of the AMD setup.
The ulatencyd service was a great help with the open source intel video kernel driver and VirtualBox Netflix. At one time I used it on the AMD setup, but I was ultimately able to do better without it. It requires cgroups in the kernel.
Well for my laptop I seem to have Ok results with an Nvidia geforce go 7400 (really outdated but relevant). The 7400 produced some tearing but i corrected it with the proprietary drivers (Ubuntu).
I had a similar situation when i installed Ubuntu 12.04 on a pc i built with an HIS Radeon HD 6870 which i got for about $160 at the time. My guess is (at least in my situation) that the proprietary drivers improve the tearing issue.
I usually use proprietary drivers/firmware/kernel mods like fglrx though. I am currently running Mageia rolling-dev (Cauldron) on my personal LT w/a AMD HD Mobility card and TBH fglrx is pretty much required for any kind of performance. Once I got it set up though I liked it so much I try to use fglrx drivers with all of my linux builds w/radeons.
I haven't had allot of issues with nVidia per say, just less performance w/linux. One issue I did have was with an nVidia Optimus which required bumblebee in order to support multiple displays. Bumblebee felt like a work in progress and I was not real happy...although in all fairness this was quite a few months ago so maybe they have improved it.