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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?
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I'm planning on upgrading my video card soon (I'm currently working on with 2mb video ram). I was planning on getting the ATI Radeon 9600 SE. However, I know very little about video cards, so I was wondering if someone more knowledgeable than I could help me out with some questions I have. (1) Is the ATI Radeon 9600 SE supported by linux? (I assume it would be under the ati driver, but I would hate to buy it, get it installed, and have it not work.) (2) Is this card a good choice for generic gaming and whatnot? Its specs can be seen here: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....1&type=product
For about the last year I've been working with Linux on my main box running a Radeon 9600 Pro. Under Windows it is a great card for gaming, etc but it is unfortunately hard to get to work under Linux. The ATI drivers are provided ONLY in RPM and have EXPERIMENTAL kernel 2.6 support. I've gotten the card to work under Fedora Core,(you need to patch the driver if using Fedora Core 2) but have had no success on Debian. In other words, it really depends on the distro you plan on using. Any RPM based or Gentoo (I've heard it works perfectly on Gentoo, I've never actually tried it) should work fine, but Debian and (I'm assuming) Slackware would probably have some difficulty with it.
It also depends on your Mainboard, exactly said on your chipset. On Intel and VIA I had no probs, while you sit on a NForce sys for a loooong time try to figure out how this nasty stuff works... Here SuSE provided drivers work well, also on 2.6.x, but they run only on SuSE.
I have a laptop with a Mobility 9700 in here. Works with the XFree86 drivers, although no 3d accell, and the ATI drivers works with a patch just fine, although resuming from suspend does not work with the ATI. I use debian.
I have used nVidia on linux. It works as well and they seem to be a bit more friendly to the linux community. Also their drivers are eaiser to install. BTW, if any one needs a deb for installing the fglrx driver I have one that I made.
I am using a Radeon 9700 Pro and Mandrake 10, and have had no problems with it. The install went extremely smooth, using ATI's RPM pack. I have been playin Unreal Tournament 2004 with no problems at all, and it loads/plays faster than it did on my windows system!
It really depends (for now) on which version of XFree86 your favorite distro uses. ATI has not come out with drivers for version 4.4 as yet, but anything earlier is supported. I'm running an AIW Radeon 9600 Pro on Mandrake 10.0 Official using ATI's drivers. But if absolute performance in Linux (or Windows) is not your primary concern, I'd reluctantly recommend you go with nVidia for best overall Linux compatability.
I, also, have no particular loyalties, seeing as I have no experience with tinkering with video cards or the like, and I think I will use an nVidia card; however, this poses a new question altogether: which nVidia card should I use?
I have a desktop with NVidia on-board 64MB Shared and a Laptop with an ATI 9600 Pro 128MB both seem to work fine with the drivers obtained from nvidia and ATI sites, on Fedora Core 2. The configuration for ATI took some time but has not given me any problems since. Does give quite good FPS. Have'nt used any of the cards for Hardcore gaming so I would'nt be a good person to comment on which card to go for .
ATI was always the best Linux support, but now nVidia seems to be at least as good, overall, maybe a little better about multi-distro-made-easy. I went ATI because of the former, but it is certainly not something to get into a religious war over; they're both good & both reasonably friendly.
sausagejohnson: I have an ATI9600 AllInWonder, SuSE 9.0 pro, etc, and I wonder if you might be kind enough to forward, list or personal, as much details as you think reasonable about getting your ATI9600 working under RedHat9? (SuSE did something different & I'm having trouble making the ATI fglrx drivers work... Sigh. I love SuSE, but maybe it is time to go to Mandrake, if SuSE is going to get all MonoplySoft-like... they were NOT willing to help at all when I called.)
(and for slides-off-the-tongue syllable-count, that is : MonopSoft, accent on the first syllable.)