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Old 11-22-2005, 09:20 PM   #1
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What is the current situation regarding NVIDIA and RADEON support in linux now?

Am i right to say that NVIDIA cards are better supported atm or are they the same? I've always used NVIDIA cards with linux so far so i dont know about the other side of the story.

I am planning to get a new budget video card for use with cedega + morrowind in linux and i'm considering which brand to go for atm. Any advice greatly appreciated
Old 11-22-2005, 09:22 PM   #2
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I'd say nvidia cards are still better supported when compared to ati. I think the ati driver is still a pain to install for most people.
Old 11-23-2005, 12:45 AM   #3
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I agree that most people believe that NVIDIA still has better (if not perfect) Linux support, as it has in the past.
Old 11-23-2005, 05:44 AM   #4
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i tried both ati and nvidia , and nvidia wins hands down

its drivers are easier to install , newer , faster and its supported better with xorg than ati
Old 11-23-2005, 05:55 AM   #5
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I have had endless problems with ATI drivers, and it still doesn't work. Not tried Nvidia but from personal experience ATI has a long way to go.
Old 11-23-2005, 01:02 PM   #6
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Having had experience of both, I would vote for NVidia. Some people claim the ATI drivers don't work at all, which was not my experience: they do, but they are a little bit of work to install, whereas the NVidia drivers are much easier.

One thing in favour of the ATI drivers: I was able to install ATI drivers for multiple kernels on my machine at once. By comparison, with the NVidia drivers, if I reboot using a different kernel, I have to reinstall the drivers.

One more thing in favour of the NVidia drivers: the ATI drivers seem buggy. I got lots of artifacts on the screen when playing Return To Castle Wolfenstein using my old Radeon 9600 Pro, which annoyed me. Also, Mozilla and Firefox used to randomly crash on me quite frequently. Since I swapped my graphics card to a much more powerful 6800GT, I have been able to play Doom 3 without seeing any artifacts, and Mozilla no longer crashes on me.

To summarise, I am of the opinion that NVidia have done a better job of their Linux graphics drivers than ATI have.
Old 11-23-2005, 01:11 PM   #7
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if I reboot using a different kernel, I have to reinstall the drivers.
That's not needed anymore. Just use the "K" commandline option to install the module for a different kernel, too.

For example:
sh ~/ -K --kernel-name=
Old 11-23-2005, 01:28 PM   #8
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Nine times out of ten, nVidia will win the vote. That said, I've recently been playing Doom 3 + expansion pack on a Radeon 9600 Pro (gentoo system) without too many problems. Certainly this time last year, the game would die in about a minute flat with ATI's drivers but early this year, they did just enough to get things going properly. Performance is not nearly as good compared to Windows but that's partly down to ID/Zerowing's port of the game. The Doom 3 engine is a useful benchmark because not only does it use fairly modern shader techniques, it's also likely to crop up in numerous other games.

(One point about Doom 3: it seems to think my card is v. low spec and turns EVERYTHING right down, making it look pretty ugly. You need to ignore the recommended settings and crank stuff up or the game's just not worth playing.)

Unreal Tournament Demo (can't recall exactly which version but it's from last year) runs pretty well too, Tux Racer and my own forays into OpenGL seem fairly ok these days too.

That said, I don't think I've ever had more problems with nVidia's drivers and cards. They install easily and perform well.

So I'd say if you want to play safe, go with nVidia but if you spot a bargain ATI card (they've often been the better bang for buck in recent years and generally run a fair bit quieter) then don't be too afraid to take the plunge ... but keep the receipt!

Whatever you consider, search around for people's opinions on that specific card as you mileage may vary from model to model.
Old 11-23-2005, 01:30 PM   #9
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for linux and windows IMHO Nvidia all the way.

under linux Nvidia cards and drivers just work as they do in windows.

ATI cards have issues with drivers both in windows and linux, not to mention the 3d support for ATI cards is pathetic in linux. to top it all off ATI has flat out stated they refuse to put more effort into making good linux drivers.
Old 11-23-2005, 01:33 PM   #10
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I found my Radeon 9800 Pro performed considerably worse in linux than it did in winows.
Also I had to disable certain shaders sometimes just to get games to run .

However my brand new Nvidia 6800 runs Quake 4 in linux with almost all settings cranked to max .

So I'd say Nvidia all the way!
Old 11-23-2005, 03:26 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Thanks

Originally posted by mgmax
That's not needed anymore. Just use the "K" commandline option to install the module for a different kernel, too.

For example:
sh ~/ -K --kernel-name=
I must remember that.
Old 11-25-2005, 07:27 AM   #12
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Just to let people know - while I agree that NVidia is far better for Linux, the newest ATI drivers were a breeze to install for my Radeon 9550, run the drivers as root, run the X config program it tells you to, and restart the server. Thats all there was to it, so ATI may be a viable contender for graphics on Linux.


drivers, kernels, multiple, nvidia

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