From: Paul Kelly (longword at domain esatclear.ie)
Date: Fri 26 Apr 2002 - 08:59:22 IST
> Can anyone tell me what is the best graphics card to buy for linux
For 2D work, you've lots of choices and probably won't notice the
difference between any of the major brands (nVidia/ATI/Matrox). Pick the
board with the prettiest PCB colour.
For 3D the two best (fastest & most expensive) options are nVidia
GeForce4 and ATI Radeon 8500. The nVidia cards at any given price point
will be a lot faster in 3D under Linux than ATI and usually better
rendering quality too. But only if you use the closed-source driver from
nVidia which includes a hefty kernel module (nearly a megabyte!).
XFree86 comes with an open source 'nv' driver but it supports only the
2D features of the nVidia cards. Work is progressing on open source 3D
support. The ATI Radeon cards are supported by a completely open driver
in XFree86 that supports decent 3D acceleration through the standard
DRI/DRM mechanism with minimal requirements for kernel support from GPL
modules. All three drivers, nvidia/nv/radeon, have good support for
video acceleration (XVideo support) for MPEG/DVD/Divx playback.
If you intend to use the card occasionally under a games OS like
Windows, bear in mind that ATI Windows drivers since the dawn of time
have sucked. nVidia is a clear winner there IMHO.
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