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Thread: linux graphics card: Dual Head (Twinview etc) a must

  1. #1
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    Default linux graphics card: Dual Head (Twinview etc) a must

    So I've been using linux for a few years and reading phoronix articles for a while as well.
    Today, my Nvidia 8500GT card randomly "died". By "died" i mean that now when I try to boot, instead of getting my boot post screen, I hear the usual beep, but the display is grey and green boxes (mostly grey). No text. Totally distorted.

    This brings me to two questions:

    1. How did my video card get F'd up? It literally worked on minute, the next, it wasnt. At first I just thought I couldnt wake my computer and was gonna restart-- then what I described above. Over and over.

    2. Assuming the card is gone, I need to reprioritize. I dont play games. I NEED to have dual monitors working, though. Need. WHat's the best route to go (ATI-NVIDIA-WHATEVER) to easily get to where I can get a xorg.conf that will give me dual monitors.

    Also, is it safe to just yank out the nvidia card and try the onboard card?

    The onboard, i believe is an ATI card. I should at least be able to see the boot post then, right?


    Thanks

    Miesnerd

  2. #2
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    Aug 2007
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    Any onboard VGA should show a picture. It is not that hard to try or? Just 2 monitors can be a bit problematic as sometimes as some connectors are shared to one output channel. So not all combinations work -> most easy way: test it! If you installed nvidia drivers using the Nvidia installer do:

    nvidia-installer --uninstall

    and reset the xorg.conf, if you use a Debian or Ubuntu distro you do that like:

    rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf*
    dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

    After that you should be able to see something - and then you can install ATI drivers too. Basically since Xserver 1.3 you can do this too - if you don't use Debian:

    rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf

    If you want to use the aticonfig tool after ati driver install you only need to:

    touch /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    aticonfig --initial

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Any onboard VGA should show a picture. It is not that hard to try or? Just 2 monitors can be a bit problematic as sometimes as some connectors are shared to one output channel. So not all combinations work -> most easy way: test it! If you installed nvidia drivers using the Nvidia installer do:

    nvidia-installer --uninstall

    and reset the xorg.conf, if you use a Debian or Ubuntu distro you do that like:

    rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf*
    dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

    After that you should be able to see something - and then you can install ATI drivers too. Basically since Xserver 1.3 you can do this too - if you don't use Debian:

    rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf

    If you want to use the aticonfig tool after ati driver install you only need to:

    touch /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    aticonfig --initial
    Kano, I see that you're a debian developer, so I know I must misundrstand what you're saying, instead of it being ludacrious. I cant get any monitor to work on the onboard (which I think I may have disabled when I installed the nvidia card?) or the nvidia card.
    No video. At all. How do I test to ensure that my card is fried like i think it is?

  4. #4
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    Do you happen to have the manual that came with your mobo ? If one of the BIOS options is to disable the onboard graphics, I have to think there is a way to re-enable them - whether it is a jumper to reset defaults or a boot-time key that kicks you back to the onboard graphics.

    You're posting here so I assume you have some kind of working PC; worst case I guess you can download the manual ?

  5. #5
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    Usually when you REMOVE the VGA card then the onboard connector will work, just do NOT use DVI->VGA connectors to test first. If it does not work do a cmos clear - in case you disabled it. I just told you how to change nvidia for an ati driver.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Usually when you REMOVE the VGA card then the onboard connector will work, just do NOT use DVI->VGA connectors to test first. If it does not work do a cmos clear - in case you disabled it. I just told you how to change nvidia for an ati driver.
    Right. I ended up having to clear the CMOS. No big deal. Computer works, and now I have both asertained it was indeed the graphics card that died, thankfully. So I got all necessary data off the computer and I guess the convo can shift.

    Now, as to what graphics card will most easily (as in setup, drivers, etc) work with Ubuntu and give me 3d graphics and a Twinview type display.
    I have a slight preference for Nvidia because in the past, I've had better results with Nvidia than ATI. I hear that now they're pretty much on the same level as far as linux goes. Any suggestions (and reasons for those suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Miesnerd

    PS- Thanks for the help up to this point.

  7. #7
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    as a quick update, I think i'd like to stick with nvidia. The reasoning for this is the use of ATI's catalyst control center is not nearly as good as nvidia-settings (or so it seems to me). This big desktop crap kinda sucks, to be honest.

    So, what really matters then is that I can have a good card. I'd like to do twinview as I know that's worked well in the past, and maybe 3d stuff?
    That's not nearly as important as getting the 1280x1040 and 1440 x 900 resolutions of my displays to work together nicely, though.

    Thanks again for any suggestions.

    Miesnerd

  8. #8
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    Maybe try the oss driver if you don't need fast 3d.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Maybe try the oss driver if you don't need fast 3d.
    you think it matters what card is in there?
    Since this one fried (and its actually ans ASUS brand using an nvidia chipset) ya think its worth my time to get a legit nvidia card?

    Im cool with using the OSS driver, except for the fact that nvidia-settings does a really good job of setting up the xorg.conf for me, which I appreciate greatly. Honestly, that's the main reason im leaning towards nvidia instead of ATI.

  10. #10
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    oh i forgot to mention, even though I can get an adapter, one of my monitors currently connects via vga, the other DVI.

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