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Thread: A big(ger) dilemma...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    22

    Question A big(ger) dilemma...

    Hello!

    As usual my question is AMD/ATi or nVidia?
    But, differently from many, I'm not interested in particular models, first let me introduce my case.

    I'm currently having issues with my notebook (it costed 2000 EUR in 2007 ) because when the CPU (2 cores) stays at max 2.4 GHz for more than 2 minutes (even 1 only core) Linux decides it's time to shutdown, so it gracefully performs a mandatory quick shutdown.
    The other day I was playing the beta of HoN and this happened during a game; I've used this PC to play WoW (with wine) for 1,5 years, and as it is now, I could definitely not play it.
    I don't use windows, if not in virtualized mode only when I'm working from home (my employer now supports RDC with Linux now as well...).
    Maybe I'll buy HoN, and probably (if I'll get a new pc) SC2.
    Clearly I will use wine to play these games, I'll refuse to boot in windows for whatever reason; at bad I'll play games on my PS3.
    Btw, now to play HoN I have to set processor speed to 1.6 or 2 GHz, otherwise OS will shut down.

    Usually I have a dual screen:
    1920x1200 + 1680x1050

    as now, my notebook is a nVidia 8600 GT Mobile with 512 VRam and I have to be honest with you: in 2+ years it always worked 100% and TwinView is a magic software: it works.

    Other uses I do of my videocard are to do experimental GPGPU: I've used old school OpenGL till now, but I'd like to actively switch to OpenCL asap.

    So my case is:
    Gamer+OpenCL dev+Dual screen, Linux (Ubuntu) x86-64 only (from a moral standpoint I do refuse to buy anything from MSFT).

    My target system will be or a i7 quad core, or a Phenom II 4 core with 8 of 16 GB ram, 2 disks (~0.5 TB and ~1.5 TB).
    I'm still undecided if pay a premium for i7 or save ~200 GBP and have a processor which will consume less power; anyway the target figure is around 1100~1300 GBP.
    I'd like to spend 250~325 for a videocard. What do you recommend?

    Please elaborate!

    Thanks again,
    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    122

    Default

    Same problem here. It is hard to recommend. I am still waiting ATI will kick nVidia ass in driver and software support, whether it will be from Opensource or fglrx side. But that day seem to be far away.

    Good thing is, Ubuntu has some premium support from ATI, which annoys users of all other distros. I don't understand this selective approach, but it is good for you. In a GPGPU world, there is nothing comparable to CUDA, so it is hard to guess if anytime and when OpenCL will arise to the same level of support, productivity and popularity. If you won't dualboot Windows, I would rather go nVidia way, because it works today (of course support OpenCL), and it is sure thing in workstation market.

    But this could change. Even today, you can see OSS drivers has better 2D performance than binary blobs (which share the codebase with windows drivers). As i said. It is hard to guess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    22

    Cool

    Any other suggestion(s)?

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default

    I would go for i7-860 + GTX 470.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    515

    Default

    I wouldn't be afraid of buying an AMD/ATI card. I have an ati 4650 myself and use it for parallel programming via opencl and ati's stream sdk.

    Really the only issue I have is slow 2d without a patched xorg server. But as far as I know they are working on a new 2d part of the fglrx driver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    22

    Smile

    I would go for i7-860 + GTX 470.
    I think I might go for that... only issue is that i7 should consume a bit more in idle and cost 200 GBP more...
    I wouldn't be afraid of buying an AMD/ATI card. I have an ati 4650 myself and use it for parallel programming via opencl and ati's stream sdk.

    Really the only issue I have is slow 2d without a patched xorg server. But as far as I know they are working on a new 2d part of the fglrx driver.
    I'd go for that, really, maybe 58xx, but what about dual screen and wine/OpenGL/OpenCL support?
    Apparently nVidia is great on this side (drivers always up to date etc etc... - but still I'd be glad to give my GBP to AMD/ATi that actively support open source)...

    Any more suggestions/replies more than welcome!

    Cheers,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Creve Coeur, Missouri
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    Default

    I would go for the Phenom II X4 and the Radeon HD 5850. Dual screen support?!? How about hexa-screen support?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Paris
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    Gamer+OpenCL dev+Dual screen, Linux (Ubuntu) x86-64 only (from a moral standpoint I do refuse to buy anything from MSFT).
    If you are Linux only, go with NVIDIA. There is strong support of the driver, you are assured to get the best experience with that HW there. As for the CPU, the current Nehalem architecture is good, but I would wait for Sandy Bridge just to play with AVX. ;-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sweden
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanem View Post
    I'm currently having issues with my notebook (it costed 2000 EUR in 2007 ) because when the CPU (2 cores) stays at max 2.4 GHz for more than 2 minutes (even 1 only core) Linux decides it's time to shutdown, so it gracefully performs a mandatory quick shutdown.
    Is this because of overheating? Maybe you should check your ventilation channels and clean them from the dust. To do it properly you might need to remove the cpu heat sink (remember to reapply the cooling compound). Most likely you need a clean up not an upgrade.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    I guess your only viable option is Nvidia ... I am an ATI faithfull, but it get's harder and harder :-) The main thing are drivers. ATI HW is great, but the drivers drag it down to 50% or less compared to equivalent Nvidia card.

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