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Thread: Recommendations on Radeon card for Debian desktop.

  1. #1

    Default Recommendations on Radeon card for Debian desktop.

    I do realize that this type of question does get asked often, but the state of Linux graphics is always in flux and many of the Google searches I have done are very outdated. So, here goes...

    I am looking for a new Radeon video card --using open drivers-- for my Debian desktop. I tend to keep cards for a at least a couple of years --my last card, a Sapphire Radeon x1300 PCI-E, died after 2.5 years or trouble free service using the radeon driver.

    I use the latest Debian unstable on my desktop.
    Details:

    Kernel is currently 2.6.30 stock Debian.
    Xorg is 7.4
    xserver-xorg-video-radeon version is 6.12.3
    xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd version 2.5-1

    I just replaced the old x1300 with a newer Dell OEM passivley cooled X1300, and using the radeonhd 2D seems incredibly fast. Video is smooth and tear free as well. The desktop is minimalist with Openbox and xterms; no 3d compositing.


    My primary concern is stable accelerated 2D and tear free video. My x1300 had that in spades. I am comfortable in Debian and the command line, but at this point in my life I don't want to mess with git, cvs, etc., as I need a stable desktop for daily work.

    So, a few questions:

    Seeing as we now have radeon and radeonhd do I stick with an older x1000 series card, or do I upgrade to Radeon HD hardware? That is, are there long term reasons to go with the HD hardware in relation to the open radeonhd driver?

    Can I have stable accelerated 2D now with HD hardware on my current Debian box without having to install extraneous software via git/cvs? If yes...

    Can I look forward to other features that would make buying HD hardware more worthwhile? Power savings on the *desktop*? I yes, can someone reccomend an HD card that is quiet, power efficient, and capable of driving a 1920x1200 DVI display?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Get NV G210, from MSI you even git it with passive cooling. Not for gaming but for videos best choice.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyc_paramedic View Post
    I do realize that this type of question does get asked often, but the state of Linux graphics is always in flux and many of the Google searches I have done are very outdated. So, here goes...

    I am looking for a new Radeon video card --using open drivers-- for my Debian desktop. I tend to keep cards for a at least a couple of years --my last card, a Sapphire Radeon x1300 PCI-E, died after 2.5 years or trouble free service using the radeon driver.

    I use the latest Debian unstable on my desktop.
    Details:

    Kernel is currently 2.6.30 stock Debian.
    Xorg is 7.4
    xserver-xorg-video-radeon version is 6.12.3
    xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd version 2.5-1

    I just replaced the old x1300 with a newer Dell OEM passivley cooled X1300, and using the radeonhd 2D seems incredibly fast. Video is smooth and tear free as well. The desktop is minimalist with Openbox and xterms; no 3d compositing.


    My primary concern is stable accelerated 2D and tear free video. My x1300 had that in spades. I am comfortable in Debian and the command line, but at this point in my life I don't want to mess with git, cvs, etc., as I need a stable desktop for daily work.

    So, a few questions:

    Seeing as we now have radeon and radeonhd do I stick with an older x1000 series card, or do I upgrade to Radeon HD hardware? That is, are there long term reasons to go with the HD hardware in relation to the open radeonhd driver?

    Can I have stable accelerated 2D now with HD hardware on my current Debian box without having to install extraneous software via git/cvs? If yes...

    Can I look forward to other features that would make buying HD hardware more worthwhile? Power savings on the *desktop*? I yes, can someone reccomend an HD card that is quiet, power efficient, and capable of driving a 1920x1200 DVI display?

    Thanks in advance.
    well for 2d only and video dont get anything from the radeon hd 3xxx or 4xxx series, cuz well it works pretty good in those aspects now but you need git code or a more updated distro like fedora 12 cuz im not sure if debian lenny support this series out of the box rigtht now. so maybe ebay for a 1950xt radeon or a hd 2900 top

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Get NV G210, from MSI you even git it with passive cooling. Not for gaming but for videos best choice.
    He is looking for a new radeon card. Stop proselytizing

  5. #5
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    @nyc_paramedic

    Maybe you can get tearfree video with R500 hardware and radeonhd (can not verify), but with R600+ you need to use radeon oss. With R600+ fglrx and radeonhd have got tearing with xv.

  6. #6
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    No tear free Xv with radeonhd; on my HD4850 at least. Radeon does have it though. As for the question, the best choices would be an nvidia card or a r5xx class ATI card.
    As far as drivers/cards for ATI go, you're going to have to make some sacrifices on certain features. Radeon is shaping up rather well, fast and stable 2D, has tear free Xv, power saving features, and working 3D acceleration on chips pre-r6xx. Unfortunately, accelerated HD content is anyone's guess when it will be a reality with these drivers. Fglrx will allow you to make use of the latest generation of cards, has good stable and fast 2D, fast (but not so stable depending on what you run) 3D, power management, and very soon an option to accelerate HD content; notice that I did not include tear free Xv, because there is none for this driver.
    So if you just want a card to use, nvidia is my first recommendation and ATI second . If you want a card that will use open source drivers, an old ATI.
    Last edited by Melcar; 11-24-2009 at 02:02 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Get NV G210, from MSI you even git it with passive cooling. Not for gaming but for videos best choice.
    No thanks. I've used nvidia cards in the past and although the performance was great I don't want to use closed drivers any longer. With AMD's recent "openness" I'm sticking with radeon and *open* drivers.

  8. #8
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    Then a r5xx class chip is your best bet (if you can find one). It will have nearly everything you want. And since you will be using open drivers, you can be sure the card will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melcar View Post
    Then a r5xx class chip is your best bet (if you can find one). It will have nearly everything you want. And since you will be using open drivers, you can be sure the card will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future.
    I think you might be right. I see a few x1600 radeon on eBay for about $30 USD.

    As far as the drivers, which (radeon vs. radeonhd) is more preferable on r5xxx class hardware?

  10. #10
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    Radeon right now is the best of the two in my opinion. They both support those cards, but radeon right now has the best features available; tear free Xv, and power management (and experimental TV out). The only thing radeonhd has over radeon at the moment is HDMI audio, which those class of cards don't have if I'm not mistaken.

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