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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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Old 04-15-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Best PCIe 2.0 graphics card for for PCIe 1.1, Pentium Dual Core system.


I recently bought an old HP DC7700 system from my work for a small charity donation and I am looking for a graphics card for its PCIe 1.1 slot. It currently has an nVidia NVS 280 64MB. I understand the motherboard firmware has not been updated for PCIe 2.1 devices so my choices are limited to PCIe 2.0 cards. Also, the card needs to draw all power from the PCIe slot, no separate power lead.

The goal would be image processing and lightweight open source gaming.

I have been looking at the Nvidia GT220 and the Radeon 5550 as main contenders. I am not sure about the Linux (Ubuntu) support for particularly the AMD card...
 
Old 04-15-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
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If your board doesnt work with PCIe 2.1 cards the AMD/ATI 5550 is out. GT220 should be OK, its only a PCIe 2.0 card.

Drivers should be OK with both cards...depending on what version of ubuntu you are using. If you got the GT220 and you have an older ubuntu version (eg 10.04) you wont be able to use 'jockey' to install the nVidia drivers, you will have to do a manual install.

Its possible you will have fitting and power supply issues if you have a Small Form Factor or Ultra-slim versions. (and power supply issues is possible with the deskto version as well)
 
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #3
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Thanks. I had thought the 5550 was PCIe 2.0, based on product listings and the AMD website.
 
Old 04-17-2012, 03:39 AM   #4
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Its marked as PCIe 2.1 in the product specifiation pages-

Quote:
PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface
http://www.amd.com/us/products/deskt...verview.aspx#2

I've got a board that wont run with PCIe 2.1 cards and a HD 5450, its a problem I run across myself.
 
Old 04-19-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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Now I have discovered that Nvidia cards are all PCIe 2.0, and they have better linux drivers, so it is a win-win situation. I will be getting a GT430 or GT440.
 
Old 04-20-2012, 04:14 AM   #6
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No, not all nVidia cards are PCIe 2.0.

Also, 'nVidia has better linux drivers' isnt really true anymore. It was a few years ago, but things change. Not that it matters in this case, even if you wanted to run a current ATI/AMD card you cant.

What distro are you using? The newer the card, the more likely you will have problems with linux distros. The GT4XX cards are enough newer than the GT2XX they could cause nasty problems when a GT2XX would have no issues at all.

Compared to a GT430, the GT220 is slower for gaming (but wouldnt matter for most of the open source games). The GT240 is a fair bit faster, and about the same speed as a GT440 in most cases...in some cases the GT240 would be faster. Both are about the same cost as a GT430.
 
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Thanks. I am using the latest (11.x) version of Ubuntu. So far I have been impressed by how smoothly it has accepted new hardware like my USB wifi card. It appears that the GT 440 is a PCIe 2.0 card:

http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/produ...40-oem-uk.html

Although that is the OEM version, which different to the retail version ( the OEM has more shaders etc), but the GT 430 is also stated as being a 2.0 card:

http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/produ...30-oem-uk.html

It probably makes sense not to spend too much on an old system, and to be honest even the 430 blows away my current card, the radeon 3450M. I understand you rpoint about the GT 240, but I can only source a 210 or 220 so far.

I've caught the box building bug, so I would like the card to be usable in my next box...

Thanks for all the info...

Agnes
 
Old 04-21-2012, 04:52 AM   #8
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Ubuntu 11.XX has 2 versions- 11.04 and 11.10. BTW, those numbers are release dates (11.04- released 2011, in april. 11.10- you guessed it- 2011, im october)

11.04 has nvidia driver 270.41.06
11.10 has nvidia driver 280.13

GT430 requires driver 260.19+
GT440 (non-OEM) requires driver 270.41.06.

Its farily common for drivers to have dodgy support for cards when its the initial supported release. So while a GT440 should run with the drivers in the ubuntu 11.04 repos, it could be buggy.

The GT440OEM is just a GTS450 GPU running downclocked on the core/shaders with slower, cheaper RAM. Yet another example of nVidias crazy 'lets make 2 cards with the same basic name, even though they are quite different' policy. Sometimes 'OEM' cards come up for sale, not always. I cant find any GT440OEM card on sale anywhere now. Even if you could find one, its probably not going to be that great a deal compared to the faster GTS450, and even the GTS450 isn't a good deal comapred to the GTX550.

I wouldnt buy cards 'so you can use them in your next box' unless that box purchase is very close. Todays $50 card is going to be outclassed by next years $40 card.
 
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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Thanks. I'll go for the 430.
 
Old 04-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #10
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I have 11.10. Where did you find out information about the driver versions and graphic card support?
 
Old 04-23-2012, 06:53 AM   #11
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I got the driver version in ubuntu versions from ubuntu package search-

http://packages.ubuntu.com/

I got the minimum driver version for nVidia cards from the nVidia site-

http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Find.aspx?lang=en-us

You have to use 'Download drivers-> all nVidia drivers-> beta and older drivers' to get the minimum driver version, and even then it can take some poking to figure out.

Last edited by cascade9; 04-25-2012 at 11:31 PM. Reason: typo
 
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help!
 
Old 04-27-2012, 03:54 AM   #13
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No problem.
 
  


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