Ok, just remember that the Linux gfx department has been in a lot of flux the last couple of months (on the sides of AMD, Intel alike and Nvidia to some extent as well), and will continue to be for a while.
Originally Posted by oblidor
Well, I can't comment on any nVidia card other than my old GeForce 7800 GS. But I can comment on the ATi Radeon HD4870, which I also own, and I really can't recommend it for a Linux user. In Windows this card is a blast! But in Linux its a real disappointment (or better yet, I didn't want to believe that really not much has changed since I've switched to nVidia two or three years ago).
Installing the driver can be a pain in the neck- especially on new Kernels. For whatever reason, the driver ignores the xorg.conf (or parts of it) which is really annoying. And last but not least: I found this card absolutely useless for watching DVDs. For that I switch computers, using my old box with the nVidia GeForce 7800 GS.
Again, the card itself is a blast. But the driver for Linux is not. And personally, I don't think that this will change in the near future.
which ATI driver are you talking about? The ati, the radeonhd, or the closed source blob? And which kernel version(s)? Those choices make _all_ the difference in the world, you know.
Originally Posted by Janusz11
I have a 4850...
...and it replaced a Geforce 6600 (arguably the best supported card ever under Linux).
- installing drivers: indeed, fglrx used to be a pain. With Catalyst 8.8, not any more: it is PAINLESS. Even better, it can now create packages for your distro.
- ignoring xorg.conf: I found Nvidia's driver more at fault here, inventing modes that didn't exist and overriding my screen's EDID.
- app support in fglrx is medium to good: most work, and many are bug-free. Expect some bad behaviour in Wine though (checkerboard of doom) and more rarely, strange shaders gone bye-bye (Celestia 1.5 in OpenGL2.0 may behave strangely after a while). On well-working apps, performance and quality ranks up there (Nexuiz, all maxed out, does beautifully)
- free drivers make use of AtomBIOS; as such, support improves along most card families at the same time.
- a missing Xorg feature is vertical refresh buffer synchronization (vsync). Can be solved by using OpenGL as a video output and enabling OpenGL vsync in the driver.
If your main 3D use is Wine, go Nvidia.
If you expect to keep the card for a while and are ready to tinker, go AMD.
If you expect to keepa Windows partition around, go AMD.
Catalyst is the only driver I could get to work with the HD4870.
Originally Posted by JeanPaul145
3D on R600 and R700 in the open-source driver seems to be just around the corner (probably around the Fedora 10 timeframe).
why by a card that is defective by design?
I would buy the 4850.