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Thread: best 50-100 card with FOSS-Drivers

  1. #1
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    Default best 50-100 card with FOSS-Drivers

    Hi folks,

    I currently have ATI X850XT, which works decently (7000fps glxgears, low-end doom3, buggy SC2), but its really annoyingly loud, so I want an inexpensive replacement! Last time I checked average r600g wasn't any faster than high-end r300g , but since there has been a lot on the move lately with r600g and evergreen and what not, I kinda lost the overview.

    Free Software is important to me, so I'd rather support AMD over NV, but if (contrary to my expectations) nvidia with nouveau is way better than 300g/r600g/foo then I might go for that...

    Actually I'd love to see a benchmark shoutout between different gallium drivers. Most phoronix benchmarks seem to focus on a single driver, and it is cumbersome to gather all the stats...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by h**2 View Post
    Hi folks,

    I currently have ATI X850XT, which works decently (7000fps glxgears, low-end doom3, buggy SC2), but its really annoyingly loud, so I want an inexpensive replacement! Last time I checked average r600g wasn't any faster than high-end r300g , but since there has been a lot on the move lately with r600g and evergreen and what not, I kinda lost the overview.

    Free Software is important to me, so I'd rather support AMD over NV, but if (contrary to my expectations) nvidia with nouveau is way better than 300g/r600g/foo then I might go for that...

    Actually I'd love to see a benchmark shoutout between different gallium drivers. Most phoronix benchmarks seem to focus on a single driver, and it is cumbersome to gather all the stats...

    Thanks!
    You know that glxgears is ***not a benchmark***? It doesn't matter if it says 60, 150, or 10 million fps. It is NOT A BENCHMARK.

    If your main complaint about your R300 is the noise, I suggest you aim for something FANLESS. There are some nice R700 fanless cards available cheap. There are also evergreen/northern_islands fanless cards available that should work fine, but the downside is that HDMI audio hasn't been implemented on them yet (if this is a consideration for you...).

    Example;
    SAPPHIRE Ultimate HD 6670 (Northern Islands)
    SAPPHIRE Ultimate HD 5670 (Evergreen)
    SAPPHIRE Ultimate HD 4670 (R700 -- HDMI audio)

  3. #3
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    Actually the AMD drivers are not fully open, they require proprietary firmware.

    If that is ok for you, then the 5670 GDDR5 gives you most bang for the buck right now. Using passively cooled cards might not be a good idea until the power management in the radeon driver reaches parity with fglrx.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chithanh View Post
    Actually the AMD drivers are not fully open, they require proprietary firmware.

    If that is ok for you, then the 5670 GDDR5 gives you most bang for the buck right now. Using passively cooled cards might not be a good idea until the power management in the radeon driver reaches parity with fglrx.
    Power management works fine on the open source driver, but even if it didn't, the cooling solutions are intended to be able to keep up with the card running full out.
    NOTHING in this world doesn't have something proprietary in it, so proprietary firmware is NOT anything to worry about. They are certainly the most open of any video device available.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chithanh View Post
    Using passively cooled cards might not be a good idea until the power management in the radeon driver reaches parity with fglrx.
    I don't think that it's a problem. My passively cooled HD4550 is pushing on 3 years, the HD4350 close to a year now, both in the same case running a multiseat configuration, no problems at all.

    They are designed to go full blast all the time without breaking, so the FLOSS powersaving is more than enough.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2011
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    Thanks for the replies. So evergreen is really as well supported as r600 and r700? Passively cooled cards look good aswell.

    But I was just wondering, do cards in this price segment actually provide a significant benefit over onboard? I am just buying a new mainboard aswell, which could come with 890GX/HD4290...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by h**2 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. So evergreen is really as well supported as r600 and r700?
    Should be at the same level, except HDMI audio. I haven't tested, though, as I don't own an HD 5xxx.

    But I was just wondering, do cards in this price segment actually provide a significant benefit over onboard? I am just buying a new mainboard aswell, which could come with 890GX/HD4290...
    They should be considerably faster than onboard graphics, for roughly the same price. They use more electricity and take up a PCI-x slot, though. That was my conclusion a few years ago.

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