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I'm running Ubuntu 8.04LTS (Hardy Heron) on a home brew tower based on a K7S5A motherboard, with an AMD Athlon XP1600+ (1.8GHz) maxed out at 2GB DDR RAM. The video card currently is an AGP nVidia GeForce2 MX/MX400 (64Mb), but this is no longer supported in the new 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) release. The MoBo supports AGP up to 4x, and I have a spare PCI slot.
What I would really like is something a bit more modern, with more memory (>64MB) but with no cooling fan. I don't play games, but I do like to watch DVDs and TV from my Hauppauge pci card. Also I would like to have some features of compiz running.
So what video card could I find cheaply on eBay, that would suit my hardware and be supported? Not too new - I have no PCI express or DDR2/3. Most fast graphics cards seem to have huge noisy fans. I know nVidia are generally the better supported, but will consider anything that would be an improvement over my current card.
Any suggestions please?
p.s. Can anyone tell me if an AGP x8 card will work in a motherboard with an AGP x4 slot? Will this throttle the video card down to be unusable? It seems all the 128 MB cards i can find are x8 AGP.
Thanks for any help.
Last edited by momist; 12-21-2008 at 05:44 PM.
Reason: Additional question.
Thanks to Drakeo and MS3FGX. No one seems to recommend a new card for me. I'll find time in the holidays to upgrade again and try the legacy drivers. I would still like to try a more capable (old) card to improve performance, if possible.
You have to understand that making any kind of exact recommendation is not an easy thing. Most of us are not aware of all the options available, and nobody but you is really certain about what you want. The best anyone can do is give general advice.
I, for one, don't know all that much about video cards. But I know from experience that when buying hardware for Linux it's generally advisable to avoid both the very new and the very old. The best range for product support tends to be in the 1-3 year-old range.
In addition, I know there's been a lack of 3D-capable open source drivers for advanced video cards, but both nvidia and ati (amd) offer binary drivers for their cards, and these are the usually the best options available for running 3D graphics. Until recently, nvidia has usually been considered best, but since AMD bought ATI, they've also opened up their specs and thrown more support Linux-ways, so their drivers are becoming much better. Intel also has been very open about their video specs, and there's very good support for their chips.
If you'd be satisfied with sticking to 2D graphics, most of the open source drivers are quite satisfactory. Just about any of the major manufacturers' cards would do. But since you say you want to use compiz, then you'll have to go with 3D.
What you really need to do is go at this from the opposite direction. Make a list of cards you'd be interested in using, then do some research and see how well they are supported. After you know which cards are good you can make a final decision. Good luck!
Distribution: Debian Wheezy/Jessie/Sid, Linux Mint DE
Originally Posted by momist
Can anyone tell me if an AGP x8 card will work in a motherboard with an AGP x4 slot? Will this throttle the video card down to be unusable? It seems all the 128 MB cards i can find are x8 AGP.Ian
Some cards are downward compatible with AGPx4, others are not. Although more incompatibilities existed for x1, x2 and x4 cards. (Thoroughly) check the spec sheet, everything is currently available on-line before you buy. If it is compatible, using th ecard in x4 more will certainly not make it unusable, data transfer is slower, but you would not get anything more out of your x4 slot in the MB anyway.
NVIDIA is a good choice as there is ample and continuing support for legacy cards.
It is not true that very old HW should be avoided in Linux. Usually older hardware is still supported, and that never goes away. It is Ubuntu policy to "stop support" on older hardware, which is something else where Ubuntu wants to be as much alike as Windows as possible. There is a fair chance that you are able to install older drivers anyway, although you never know what to expect with Ubuntu.
I don't know, is it a good idea to upgrade only one step, from 4xxx to 5xxx? It seems quite likely that your "new" used card will become legacy itself in another six months to a year. Getting, say, a 7600GS should last you a bit longer.
Thanks for your thoughts jay73. My original post says:
"The video card currently is an AGP nVidia GeForce2 MX/MX400 (64Mb), but this is no longer supported in the new 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) release. The MoBo supports AGP up to 4x,"
That's quite an old board! So an "upgrade" to nVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 128MB AGP Video Card with VGA, DVI, and TV Out seems like a good idea, especially with 3D support, which I don't seem to currently have. Obviously, the motherboard needs an upgrade in the longer term, but I don't need extra speed from the PC just yet, only some better graphic support.
I'm currently considering a INNO3D NVIDIA GEFORCE 4000 8X AGP 128MB DDR which could suit the bill, and might come for less than a tenner