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Thread: Which gfx card: Nividia 8800 GT(X) or ATI HD4850?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianveidt View Post
    If you buy the ATI card, you'll get OpenGL 1.3, with no memory manager and X-Video that works only in fullscreen.
    My HD 4870 reports:

    $ fglrxinfo
    display: :0.0 screen: 0
    OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
    OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
    OpenGL version string: 2.1.7979 Release

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    That said, the rest of the complaints are true: until dri2 lands, only nvidia will provide tear-free opengl/xv under compiz.
    Well, I see many complain about tearing with nvidia drivers and poor 2D performance. But does really opengl apps work with compiz if you have a nvidia card?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by oblidor View Post
    Well, I see many complain about tearing with nvidia drivers and poor 2D performance. But does really opengl apps work with compiz if you have a nvidia card?

    I still have an old 7900GS on one of my backups and yes, it can playback opengl/Xv streams under Compiz with no flickering (windowed or fullscreen mode). However, things tend to crash a lot (particularly opengl games). Don't know why it happens, but using an old x800gto on that same machine is less of a hassle (even with the blinking, but you can alliviate that by running things in fullscreen mode).

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melcar View Post
    I still have an old 7900GS on one of my backups and yes, it can playback opengl/Xv streams under Compiz with no flickering (windowed or fullscreen mode). However, things tend to crash a lot (particularly opengl games). Don't know why it happens, but using an old x800gto on that same machine is less of a hassle (even with the blinking, but you can alliviate that by running things in fullscreen mode).
    To me it sounds like you have the same problems as others and that it is DRI which is the problem. xv works fine with compiz. opengl doesn't

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by oblidor View Post
    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.

    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
    Thanks for the info. It is very appreciated! I don't need to run Compiz and DVDs at the same time. That's not important but having a Compiz-capable card is nice. I rarely run Compiz and on most of my distro partitions, it's not even installed. However watching DVD and AVI movies is important and crucial, at least for me. I prefer to avoid issues such as tearing. The ATI 4850 cards in my area (well, Canada) is about $200 give or take and 8800 GT cards can be had under that. Therefore, I would want a card that is $200 or under but doesn't have any kind of issues when playing video. Or at least, offers options to avoid/prevent them.

    I thought that soon, the ATI cards would eventually improve and be in a better 'state' or situation than Nvidia in Linux because of the open source status. Also, the Nvidia report that there are flaws in the chips (again, not sure how applicable or far it reaches the desktop cards). But, it must be frustrating that the Nvidia cards still seem to work best in Linux and I am not sure I'd have the patience to wait through 'growing pains' of the ATI drivers. I'm not much of a gamer and my main graphics use is watching videos but the odd time, I might want some graphics abilities in the card. I don't have time to deal with major issues though or experiment with 'beta' drivers or unstable graphics programs even if I'd want to try.

    I'm not partial to any brand so I hope to still receive more feedback. :-)

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panix View Post
    Thanks for the info. It is very appreciated! I don't need to run Compiz and DVDs at the same time. That's not important but having a Compiz-capable card is nice. I rarely run Compiz and on most of my distro partitions, it's not even installed. However watching DVD and AVI movies is important and crucial, at least for me. I prefer to avoid issues such as tearing. The ATI 4850 cards in my area (well, Canada) is about $200 give or take and 8800 GT cards can be had under that. Therefore, I would want a card that is $200 or under but doesn't have any kind of issues when playing video. Or at least, offers options to avoid/prevent them.
    I have also had a lot of bad experiences with ATI (have not had a NVIDIA card myself, but have setup computer with NVIDIA cards). However, when it comes to the 48xx series, the fglrx driver actually works for me. I also have an old computer with a x1650pro card and there the fglrx driver didn't work. However the latest open source ati driver did and gave me nice X-Video so one could see DVDs with compiz. However if I used any opengl program like google-earth etc... then I ran into trouble until I turned off compiz. So I really wait for DRI2 to come!

    I cannot of course promise you no problems with the HD 4850, but I have had none so far. It is important to follow the instructions when installing the fglrx driver. I have experience no unstability or slowness in 2D or 3D with my HD4870. There is also absolutely no tearing when watching DVDs on my system when I use OpenGL. I have a Q9550 CPU (sometimes tearing it caused by old CPUs I have read, but then it doesn't matter what card you have). NVIDIA has also problems with slow 2D and tearing I see from the forums, but I guess it has to do with the computer? I setup a cheap computer with an E7200 CPU and 8500 GT card and I had no slowness.

    If you don't need the extra power for games etc... Have a look at the new card that comes from ATI. They are cheaper (and less powerfull).


    But I would have gotten a HD 4850 card if I was you.

  7. #37
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    If you don't want your graphics card to impose idiosyncratic restrictions like "you must have either windows or linux to make use of all features, you can't use other os'es", etc., then you should go for a card with open programming specifications. In this respect, the ATI cards are far ahead of nVidia ones. IMO, a card that says "only for windows and linux" is just as bad as a card that says "only for windows".
    Last edited by BhaKi; 10-05-2008 at 05:46 AM.

  8. #38
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    I've seen a laptop with an Ati 3650 with 512mb VRAM.
    Reading the discussion, I've understood that the main problems with ati propietary driver are:
    1) tearing when compiz is active
    2) wine doesn't work
    Is it all right?
    For the first point, how ati driver works if I don't install Compiz (I like a minimal desktop and such visual effects don't seem to me to increase the system usability IMHO. On my system I use kde3 (kubuntu) and on the next one I will have kde4 with no compiz or similar things)?
    For the second point, I've read that the 8.9 realese fix the problem. Can you play 3d wine games with it or other issues are still present? In other words, taking a platinum rated wine game, can you play it without problems, artifacts, instabilities and son on?
    Thank you,
    Xwang

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xwang View Post
    I've seen a laptop with an Ati 3650 with 512mb VRAM.
    Reading the discussion, I've understood that the main problems with ati propietary driver are:
    1) tearing when compiz is active
    2) wine doesn't work
    Is it all right?
    For the first point, how ati driver works if I don't install Compiz (I like a minimal desktop and such visual effects don't seem to me to increase the system usability IMHO. On my system I use kde3 (kubuntu) and on the next one I will have kde4 with no compiz or similar things)?
    For the second point, I've read that the 8.9 realese fix the problem. Can you play 3d wine games with it or other issues are still present? In other words, taking a platinum rated wine game, can you play it without problems, artifacts, instabilities and son on?
    Thank you,
    Xwang
    Wine *works* with the latest fglrx revision. I mean, I still can't manage to get games like Oblivion running and most of my older games that supposedly are able to run in Wine (according to the database) do not work, but some do work fine like Fallout and Baldur's Gate (and I don't need any other Windows game other than Fallout ).
    The driver will "tear" video playback regardless of what you do (even opengl tears on my card), so watching videos can be a bit of a pain. Using Compiz causes accelerated video streams to flicker, but you can *fix* that by running them fullscreen (applies to games as well). There also seems to be problems with TexturedVideo and Xine (a lot of people report crashes). Oh, and Flash seems to be more unstable with fglrx than with the nvidia blob (I dread going to Youtube now since the videos have a slight chance of killing my whole display), but for that I blame Flash more than anything.
    Last edited by Melcar; 10-05-2008 at 03:05 PM.

  10. #40
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    Hi,

    I have have 3870 and 8800gt, The ati driver is still buggy. If you use compiz nvidia is much better
    there is no flickering during videos or open gl like binary ati driver.

    The latest nvidia driver works well with kde4 as well. I bought the 8800gt after 6 months of updates by ATI. To my knowledge people are still complaining about the same bugs.

    If your gamer more games seem to be supported by cedega with nvidia driver, also there were problems with wine under ati. I find more games work under wine and cedega and hardly ever boot to windows now.

    There just seem to many problems with the ati drver to fix. eg. wine, tearing, poor performance,
    flickering compiz.

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