of course. Only nvidia fucks up an entire series.
The Nvidia card will give you OpenGL 2.1.2, and probably 3 soon. You'll get all features of OpenGL, you'll be able to play all GL games. You'll get a working X-Video extension, so you can play movies. The Nvidia driver has a memory manager, which the ATI card currently doesn't.
If you buy the ATI card, you'll get OpenGL 1.3, with no memory manager and X-Video that works only in fullscreen. The Nvidia driver gives you a graphics control panel that provides for changing resolutions, adding anisotropic filtering and anitaliasing, adding other monitors, rotating the screen etc.
The two cards are roughly the same in terms of horsepower, but the ATI drivers aren't able to make use of it anyway.
All that having been said ... the ATI card is definitely the way to go.
I am not talking about POS drivers. I am talking about mass dying nvidia based laptops and condemned to death desktops.
Originally Posted by JeanPaul145
Ah I see. Well, I can't exactly disagree with that either.
Originally Posted by energyman
They messed up big time. What's worse though is that they keep insisting that it's only a small part of the cards that has those kinds of problems.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 3870
OpenGL version string: 2.1.7873 Release
that doesn't look like 'opengl 1.3'.
Just as the posters above commented, the closed-source ati driver supports OpenGL 2.1 (and will soon support 3.0) - just like nvidia.
That said, the rest of the complaints are true: until dri2 lands, only nvidia will provide tear-free opengl/xv under compiz.
To sum up:
1. If you want open source, go Intel or Ati.
2. If you want stability, go Intel.
3. If you want performance, go Ati.
4. If you want features and don't care about binary blobs, go Nvidia.
Keep in mind that drivers are in flux at this point, and there's a chance that you'll encounter some problems until they get stable again. Hopefully, by the end of 2009 the dust will have settled and we'll have stable and featureful drivers for all competitors.
I'm reading this thread because I might be buying a video card again.
I am trying to help another Linux user who has an ancient Nvidia-based card (GeForce 4). Neither of us play games but if anyone did, it might be me. However, I might be passing off my Nvidia 7950GT card and buying myself a new card. Or I would just buy a cheap 7900GT or 7900GS for him.
But, if I bought myself a card, I might as well upgrade but to what?
I think the AMD/ATI 4850 would be my choice for the price but not sure how much issues I'd have. So, I've read this thread closely.
My other choice would be the cheapest 8800GT I could find as I don't want to spend any more than $150 on it. I probably should have picked a card about a couple weeks back because there was some discounts and sales on most cards especially 8800GT cards.
I have also read about the Nvidia chip issue particulary applicable to laptops/notebooks. If it is a problem across the board spanning desktop video cards, then I would want to go with ATI.
Which card/co. should I go with?
After testing my HD 4870 card for some time I have had no problem with the Catalyst driver. The only thing you are forced to do at the moment is to flash the BIOS of the card to fix the fan settings. You have to do it in Windows. The card runs too hot and will heat up CPU and motherboard.
Originally Posted by Panix
In windows you can control the fan through the overdrive in Catalyst. In Linux I don't find it possible yet. It might come later though.
The price difference between HD4850 and 4870 is small so you could also consider 4870. But HD4850 will use less power than a 8800GT and be less noisy.
Note there is also the HD 46xx coming now, but that means you go further down in price and performance.
NOTE: You cannot use Compiz and watch a DVD/movie at the same time. This is because Opengl applications don't work with Compiz. It is not the card, but a shortcoming of DRI. However DRI2 is supposed to have fixed this. You can use XV for the video, but the quality is not good and there will be tearing. (Until it is fixed in the fglrx driver (if ever))
I would have chosen HD48xx