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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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Old 03-26-2003, 04:16 PM   #1
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Arrow Buying Videocard/Audiocard Help...

HEllo guys,
I am a newbie to linux and have totally no idea about any of the distros. All i have is mandrake 9.0 version and Redhat 7.2 version. I installed both of them and both work in text mode but wont work in the GUI mode. ( I think this is bcos of the onboard video card, which uses an intel 845GL audio and video chip)

I was trying to figure a way out of this problem. Some friends in this forum had told me to increase the video memory in bios from 1MB to 8 MB. but my bios doesnt show anything about videomemory at all and there is also no upgrade for the BIOS.

So after a long time of breaking my head, i have decided to buy a Video card and Audio card which would be supported by most of the distros. Even though these details might be in the websites, i thouhgt a word from u guys would be more reassuring.

So please let me know of any good video card and audiocard, which is widely accepted by the various distros, esp, mandrake 9 and REdhat 7.2.

Thanks a lot,

Old 03-26-2003, 04:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Perry, Iowa
Distribution: Mepis , Debian
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one thing to keep in mind above all other things, don't buy the latest version of anything, hardware manufactures don't supply drivers for linux,(with a few execeptions) and that means a third party developer has to write it, which takes time. this site is littered with posts from people with the latest/greatest super whiz bang gear,which are all but useless, your intel 845g for example. pick components that have been on the market for a while. forget redhat 7.2, use the discs as coasters(the worst version of a bad distro) check mandrakes hardware compatablity list for supported hardware.
here's a better one at suse

Last edited by rshaw; 03-26-2003 at 04:47 PM.
Old 03-26-2003, 04:50 PM   #3
Dave Skywatcher
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Debian
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For audio compatibility, you can't beat SB Live. Most distros will set it up without a hitch during install, and for those that don't you can easily download and install quality drivers. I think Audigy is fairly well supported too, but I've never used one.

For video, GeForce seems to be a popular option, with Radeon as second choice. ATI and Nvidia own the display card scene these days, so either one should be an acceptable choice (though, as rshaw said, not the newest version of either).
Old 03-26-2003, 06:13 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2002
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Distribution: Debian Sid
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If you want something to display a desktop, you can pretty much take your pick of cards, and just double check that they're supported at

If you want solid 3d performance, I recommend nvidia hardware. I use a geforce ti4200 quite happily. Although some balk at the closed nature of the drivers, nvidia have provided excellent support, and have good reasons for having their drivers that way. I personally do not believe that it is nearly as important in a philosophical sense to have drivers free as it is to have essential infrastructure like the kernel free.
Old 03-26-2003, 09:37 PM   #5
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There is now support for the GL845 in XFree86, if you fear a binary install, it may be worth it to wait the next few months/weeks for a distro to release with XFree 4.3.0 which supports the chip properly... Offhand I think Mandrake 9.1 came out today, it has 4.3.0...

Also, all of the above suggestions for a video card are great, except for the fact that you don't have an AGP slot, right? Some of Nvidia's offerings are available in PCI, a few of ATIs... but you'll almost definately have to buy them online, its not something your local CompUSA tends to stock. Or, if you can get your hands on an old PCI voodoo5 or voodoo3, those were brilliantly ahead of their time cards that still perform well.

Also, your onboard sound is probably covered now, as RH 7.2 used 2.4.9... a now year and a half old kernel, and Mandy 9.0 was shipping an archaic version of the alsa modules... it depends on what you have onboard, knowing Intel its probably just a newer rev of i810_audio than alsa could take advantage of... who knows, I would have to see the line from /sbin/lspci


Old 03-27-2003, 02:27 PM   #6
Dave Skywatcher
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Debian
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Funny you should mention it... I was in CompUSA last week, and they had quite a few Radeon 7000 cards in both PCI and AGP. Not the newest thing, but it works well for Linux -- and at a good price ($50 before a $10 rebate).


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