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somewhat oftopic of linux, but still enough on topic, and hopefully and can be given some insight about these two awesome chips:
is it better to get a radeon 9800 with just 128 meg mem (mainly to be used in windows) or use a geforce fx 256 meg
i personally prefer ati and i hear that higher radeons far exceed the power of geforce (i do not want to start a debate about this) but am wondering if it would be wiser to go towards nvidia since the ram is twice (in other words, is the double mem on the card going to prove significant performance factors in the market's latest and most graphically advanced games?)
also, i know that nvidia releases some pretty good linux drivers, and this may end up being a major deciding factor, but the truth is that i only use a few high end programs under linux, including vmware a few other games. how are the ati drivers (firegl) for the radeon 9800? do they run fairly well?
any help in deciding would be appreciated, thx in advance
The final choice is yours but here are some things to consider.
ATI support for Linux is substandard. Nvidia does have really good drivers for Linux.
I'm going to assume you're refering to the GeForce FX 5900. This video card is a hair-dryer noise wise. It takes up a PCI slot in addition to your AGP slot due to the massive cooling apparatus on the card. This care is loud, and I stress loud, but if that doesn't matter to you then the extra RAM will help. The Radeon 9800 is a very powerful card however and quiet as well.
If you're going to use WineX to play games then you will definitely need a Nvidia card. Some people have reported getting games to work with ATI cards, but Transgaming says support for ATI cards is very limited and not entirely worked out yet. If you're playing UT2003 for Linux then again you will need a Nvidia card because the Linux version requires it.
To sum it up I'd go with the Nvidia card. It works with WineX, is required by UT2003, and the drivers are better. Hope this helps.
The NVidia cards all have much better Linux support/drivers compared to the ATI cards. The ATI cards are marginally faster, but a lot of people have had problems with them being buggy or unstable, I can't comment on this myself, but I've heard a lot of people having such issues. I'd recommend the NVidia card for the better driver support, and stability.
Distribution: Mac OS X Leopard 10.6.2, Windows 2003 Server/Vista/7/XP/2000/NT/98, Ubuntux64, CentOS4.8/5.4
I have a Radeon 9700 Pro and I love it.... in Windows XP. I would assume the 9800 would be even better! I don't regret paying $300 for my video card. All my games play in the max details and I get no slow downs whatsoever.... in Windows XP. My specs are as follows:
2.4 Ghz, 512 MB PC2100 DDR RAM, 80 GB w/ 8MB cache hard drive.
The only problem as people have mentioned is the ATI driver support for linux. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to install the drivers. I don't know how to install those drivers so I can't play any games on linux so I just use linux to browse the internet.
Good luck on making your decision!
as to the last post, that is what i really needed to know: 256 meg is a waste at the moment, and hopefully 128 will prove significant for quite a while in the future
as for linux drivers for ati: ya, they are quite pathetic compared to nvidia's, but since i don't intend to use winex, i may have to stick with ati and their drivers as long as they somewhat get some capability out of the card
right now i'll count on ati's kindness and hopefully in the future, some of their cards will have better support (they should be seeing it soon, their major competitior is already actively releasing very good linux drivers)
as for geforce card: the noise i hear is a pain and i really don't need the noise; so that may be my biggest turn-off factor besides the fact that i have no extra pci slots... (i could just take off the modem and move the cards down, but that would be a pain)
Actually, while the FX 5600-5800 were huge and noisy, the FX 5900 is smaller, quiter, and faster - it's what the FX series should have been from the first place. If I had $400 which I could blow on a video card (which I don't), I'd pick one up in a heartbeat. And the NVIDIA Linux drivers are fantastic. I'll stick with NVIDIA cards forever for that fact. (My Geforce2 FX and Geforce3 Ti haven't failed me yet.)