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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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Distribution: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2; Slackware Linux 10.2
High-Quality ATI PCI Express Video Cards
I'm buying a new motherboard soon, and the only good ones I'm able to find include PCI Express ports. So I'd normally just buy a plain PCI video card from NVIDIA, but I've decided it's time to update to the newer standard. The NVIDIA PCI Express cards are too pricey, how bad would an ATI card be on Linux? Are their drivers really as bad as the myths say?
My AMD64 includes a built-in PCI Express200. It was kind of a pain in the neck to get set up and working right, but now it does, and I'm very happy with it. I've seen plenty of complaints here about Nvidia Cards as well.
One of the headaches inherent to Linux is getting your hardware working correctly. No real problem ... You just buckle down and do it. THere is plenty of help available here.
Really installing nVidia graphics drivers is the easiest than ATI. The problem that people are having is you need the kernel source code or headers, compiler, and edit a line in a file. Installing an ATI card is a little harder because you have to first backup the X11 config file although people have said that the latest ATI drivers have gotten easier. ATI gives you a utility that edits the X11 config file for you. This alright if you have not add anything special. I do not trust programs editing a config file because it tends to screw the setup. IMHO, nVidia way is much better because they do not have a utility to edit the X11 file. The X11 config file is /etc/X11/X86FConfig or /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
If you compare the prices on PCIe (PCI Express) to AGP cards, PCIe will be the cheapest. A GeForce6 6200 costs 60 US dollars for the PCIe version. The AGP versions costs about 20 US dollars more.
nVidia cards work better in Linux because they have the memory bandwidth to handle OpenGL.
I'll have to agree with Electro in recommending nVidia cards. In the past I've spent a great deal of time wrestling with ATI drivers, with decidedly mixed results. Maybe things have changed in the recent past, and I've seen some comments praising the improvements ATI has made in their Linux driver installation support not too long ago, but at least in my own experience nVidia drivers were far easier to install, plus the results were excellent. Of course, the issues I ran into might have been the result of my own incompetence but for me nVidia rocks. Good luck with things whatever your decision