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mmcfly8888 08-12-2008 09:12 PM

Video Cards
 
Hi all,

I am using an old pc as a jukebox hooked up to my stereo and I would like to add video capability to it as well. I already have it playing all the videos perfectly with VLC, but I would like to watch them on my tv, then I will have a true media center pc :)

I'm running slackware 12.1 on a dell dimension from about 2001 that has a pentium iii 700 or 800 mhz and 128 MB RAM, using onboard video. the expansion slot is regular PCI. like i said, everything is configured exactly how i want it to and its running great on the computer as it is, there are no speed, power or memory issues, i just need a video card so i can connect it to the tv because i have no tv outputs currently.

I would consider myself to be great with computers in general, a fast learner with them, and an intermediate linux user. However, I am not a gamer- i have never purchased a video card, or owned a computer with anything other than the integrated intel video or whatever it is.

I am just looking for suggestions on what to buy. I want something that is easy to set up (i'm not good with xorg.conf) and won't change my current configuration too much... after all, its all running perfectly. I guess its the consensus that GeForce is the way to go over ATI, or is it? also, is tv out in general easy to set up in linux once you have the card working??

I was looking on ebay and saw some older GeForce cards from around 2003 going for around $20 bucks (example http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Geforce-FX-5...QQcmdZViewItem) and i was thinking of just getting one of them... i dont want to spend a lot of cash upgrading a 7 year old PC, especially because i dont know if it will work, so i think ebay is a good idea. Thoughts anyone?

(also, my tv only has composite (rca) inputs and i have read that s-video can be converted to composite using only an adapter, nothing fancy. has anyone ever done this? just want to make sure this is true.)

thanks,
mmcfly8888

Quakeboy02 08-12-2008 09:30 PM

IMO, yes, Nvidia is still the way to go. I don't know much about that card you link to. I have a 7300 in this machine, and I ordered one on ebay today for my other machine. Just make sure the card has the same video bus as your motherboard (AGP 4X ?) and then order the highest number you want to pay for that will run in the video slot. :)

BTW, the reason I'm upgrading my old Ti-500 is that a few kernel versions down the road won't support the older Nvidia cards. If that's not an issue for you, then anything back at least as far as the Ti-500 would be OK.

mmcfly8888 08-12-2008 10:42 PM

just to clarify, do you mean that the current kernel doesn't support older Nvidia cards, or future kernel's won't? I'm using kernel 2.6.24.5 and i will probably never change it if i get everything working.

here's a list of all the nvidia models from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...ocessing_units

did you mean that basically anything after that Ti 500 should work on current kernels?

johnson_steve 08-12-2008 11:52 PM

I have a pci nvidia mx440 in my media pc it works great you can convert s-video to composite with just an adapter and in my case came with the card. nVidia has very good Linux drivers for their cards the older cards are not suported by the most up to date drivers but they maintain 'legacy' drivers for their older cards. I have no problem using my card (which is even older then the one your looking at.) with a 2.6.26 kernel.

Quakeboy02 08-13-2008 05:56 PM

I believe that somewhere around kernel 2.6.26 or 2.6.27 I had a problem with an older Nvidia driver not being able to compile and the newer driver not supporting my older video card. The two drivers I have still listed in my build script are:
sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-100.14.09-pkg1.run
sh NVIDIA-Linux-x86-1.0-9755-pkg1.run

So I believe it was when I had to go from the 9755 to the 14.09 driver in order to install 2.6.27. I can't be more specific than that without having to go through the whole exercise again. Sorry.

Added:
Come to think of it, I will actually be going through this again on my test mule in a couple of weeks when my new 7300 comes in. I can post the results, then, if you want.

Quakeboy02 08-13-2008 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnson_steve (Post 3245509)
I have a pci nvidia mx440 in my media pc it works great you can convert s-video to composite with just an adapter and in my case came with the card. nVidia has very good Linux drivers for their cards the older cards are not suported by the most up to date drivers but they maintain 'legacy' drivers for their older cards. I have no problem using my card (which is even older then the one your looking at.) with a 2.6.26 kernel.

Steve, can you tell me exactly which Nvidia driver you are successfully compiling with the 2.6.26 kernel? I cannot get anything from 8755 (the oldest I have) through 9639 (which I use with 2.6.21.3 and the ti-500) to compile with either 2.6.25 or 2.6.26.1.

johnson_steve 08-13-2008 07:18 PM

I'm on gentoo.
kernel: gentoo-sources-2.6.26
driver: nvidia-drivers-96.43.07
card: Geforce4 mx440 PCI

all is well so far.

Quakeboy02 08-13-2008 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnson_steve (Post 3246738)
I'm on gentoo.
kernel: gentoo-sources-2.6.26
driver: nvidia-drivers-96.43.07
card: Geforce4 mx440 PCI

all is well so far.

Then I'm at a total loss as to what's going on other than maybe some kernel config issue. I tried the following and got compile errors. Works ok with 2.6.21.3.

kernel: debian with 2.6.25 from kernel.org
driver: NVIDIA-Linux-x86-96.43.05-pkg1.run from the Nvidia website
card: ti-500

Granted this is 96.43.05 and not .07 and 2.6.25 and not .26, but still...

Are you using nvidia drivers from gentoo or from nvidia.com?

johnson_steve 08-13-2008 07:50 PM

this was the first time I got the drivers through gentoo's portage. all I had to do was 'emerge nvidia-drivers' and set up my xorg.conf. It looks awesome on a 32" widescreen tv with my iTouch as the remote for mplayer.

Edit:
gentoo-sources is a patched kernel.

Quakeboy02 08-13-2008 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnson_steve (Post 3246770)
this was the first time I got the drivers through gentoo's portage. all I had to do was 'emerge nvidia-drivers' and set up my xorg.conf. It looks awesome on a 32" widescreen tv with my iTouch as the remote for mplayer.

Edit:
gentoo-sources is a patched kernel.

Yeah, that explains it if you're not compiling the drivers from nvidia. And that's probably helpful to the OP. Thanks!


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