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Thread: Best bang for buck with open source drivers.

  1. #1
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    Default Best bang for buck with open source drivers.

    Hey guys, I currently have an x1950pro that has been locking up within 5 minutes of gameplay. It happens in both Windows and Linux, so I think it is a physical hardware problem.

    I need to know what the best "bang for buck" card is available right now that either 1: currently has open source drivers, or 2: will very freakin soon have open source drivers.

    I was looking at one of these cards here...

    ASUS Radeon HD 4770 EAH4770/HTDI/512MD5 Video Card - Retail (EDIT: This card just went out of stock while I was writing this post.)
    OR
    HIS Hightech Radeon HD 4850 H485FN512P Video Card - Retail
    OR
    SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4830 100265HDMI Video Card - Retail

    EDIT: OR

    SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 3870 100225L Video Card - Retail


    From benches that I've seen the 4850 should be just a little bit faster than the 4770. What do you guys think? Is there anything else I should be looking at instead? The idea is to stay as close to 100 bucks as possible. Is there anything out there at this price range that also includes some memory cooling? Also I've looked into what exactly the difference between 512MB, and 1GB does for these cards and the truth is not much. Within 3% on some benches while most are essentially tied. So no need to worry about memory amount, I'm sure the benches speak for themselves.

    Also what is the benefit of going with a 4000 series? Would a 3000 serires at a better price be a better idea?
    Last edited by duby229; 06-01-2009 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Maybe it's simply a cooling issue? Have you checked the fan on the card?
    The best bang for the buck card out now is the HD4850. The HD4770 is out of stock nearly everywhere and I even heard rumors of it being discontinued. The HD4830 is the best card you can get in the sub $100 range right now, but to be honest, I would stretch my dollar a bit more for the HD4850. There is no reason to go for the HD3870 since even the HD4830 is faster and both series of cards have similar driver support in Linux. Memory wise, 512MB is good for most things, but I would consider 1GB if running games at a res. bigger than 1680x1050.
    As for driver support, I honestly wouldn't expect anything from the open source front until at least year's end. The HD4K series has good 2D and video playback support with both open drivers, but 3D is still a ways off. If you want the most out of your new card you're going to have to stick with fglrx for the time being.
    Last edited by Melcar; 06-01-2009 at 09:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    Too bad you can't buy something with Intel graphics on it for desktops, because those have the best open source drivers.

    Right now I'd say forget open source and buy the cheapest NVidia card you can get. When AMD's open drivers get to something that's actually usable, you can buy an AMD then.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melcar View Post
    Maybe it's simply a cooling issue? Have you checked the fan on the card?
    The best bang for the buck card out now is the HD4850. The HD4770 is out of stock nearly everywhere and I even heard rumors of it being discontinued. The HD4830 is the best card you can get in the sub $100 range right now, but to be honest, I would stretch my dollar a bit more for the HD4850. There is no reason to go for the HD3870 since even the HD4830 is faster and both series of cards have similar driver support in Linux. Memory wise, 512MB is good for most things, but I would consider 1GB if running games at a res. bigger than 1680x1050.
    As for driver support, I honestly wouldn't expect anything from the open source front until at least year's end. The HD4K series has good 2D and video playback support with both open drivers, but 3D is still a ways off. If you want the most out of your new card you're going to have to stick with fglrx for the time being.
    Yep, I checked the fan. Reseated the heatsink with fresh arctic silver. Didnt seem to make a difference. I think I'll stick with the 4850 then. As far as driver support, I'd really like 3d support, but I can certainly wait for it until it is ready. I do most of my gaming in Windows anyways, but you now when your working and you need a breather, so you fire up an FPS and frag somebody a bunch of times. I'll definitely miss that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    Too bad you can't buy something with Intel graphics on it for desktops, because those have the best open source drivers.

    Right now I'd say forget open source and buy the cheapest NVidia card you can get. When AMD's open drivers get to something that's actually usable, you can buy an AMD then.
    I'll be completely sure to stay 100% away from any and every closed driver. That'll never happen ever. No offense it's just that since everything else in the linux world is open source, there shouldnt be any exceptions ever. Personally I think that there should be some kind of flag that identifies closed source code and then makes it impossible for it to execute. Something like the NX bit except for use in blocking closed source code. I think the same kind of technology that identifies viral code could be adapted to identify closed code as well...
    Last edited by duby229; 06-01-2009 at 10:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    lol.. .

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately the x1950 is the best card with open source 3D drivers at the moment. I'm not sure anyone can guarantee that newer ATI GPUs will have open source 3D drivers "very freakin soon".

    Adam

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    honestly why must they be open source? Would you rather buy a half finished blender (not blender.org you nerds ) with detailed information on the parts currently installed, Or do you want a blender that will actually work? Most people in the real world would vote for number 2. Don't get me wrong lots of open source stuff is good but when it comes to hardware drivers what your calling for is socialism.

    Its a wonder if Linux will ever be a gaming platform when half of its users are so stupid they use hardware drivers that dont actually work. Sounds harsh but its the honest truth. Unless I can see an open source driver compete with the nvidia binary... I'll see the day.

    not the near future at least.

  9. #9
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    Unless the 4850 severely drops in price, 4770 beats it in bang-for-buck (even more in bang-for-watt). The delays and out-of-stock you are seeing is because TMSC has difficulties with the 40nm lines, the yield is not great yet.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by L33F3R View Post
    Its a wonder if Linux will ever be a gaming platform when half of its users are so stupid they use hardware drivers that dont actually work. Sounds harsh but its the honest truth. Unless I can see an open source driver compete with the nvidia binary... I'll see the day.

    not the near future at least.
    Those "half of stupid users" probably don't play games :> I personally prefer open source graphic drivers, because when comes to 2D and stability they're usually far better then binary blobs.

    @duby229

    If I would have working Ati x1950pro card I wouldn't change it to anything else right now. It beats many of newer radeons.

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