Recommendations on Video Card for Beryl and Movies?
I need to replace my dying motherboard and also get a new processor, RAM and video card to go with it, since I'm still on socket A. Ideally I would buy the Core 2 Quad, 8GB RAM, Gigabyte ultra durable 2 motherboard (I want it to last a long time) sporting PCI-e Gen2, a Geforce 8800GT, and not spend more than $200, but I can't have everything I want (or even a definite budget at the moment due to current job stability). Realistically, I'm looking for advice on a video card priced somewhere around $50-$80.
I'm wondering what video card I would need to run Beryl/Compiz Fusion well at 2048x1536 or maybe 2560x1600 and play DVD's & eventually HD movies (h.264) with either a 2.4GHz Athlon X2 (which could fit in my $200 range) or 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad (which would really help all the compiling I do). Also, if the closest I ever get to gaming is spinning my Beryl cube (with 6 or 8 sides), zooming around in Google Earth and playing movies, would PCI-e v2 ever be of noticible benefit over v1, when stuck with running a CPU that's compatible with current sockets?
If you only want to spin the cube even onboard vga is enough. Going to Intel platform is usally a good idea, just ATI PCI-E cards seem to have some problems there - at least the older ones when switching from ati to fglrx or between fglrx drivers you can get hardlocks. I hope the 8800 GT will perform well with Linux, still waiting for tests with a new driver. I personally would not give much about 8 GB ram, that forces you to use a 64 bit os to get access to all of it and that will lead you into new troubles. With 4 GB you can at least use about 3 GB with 32 bit systems and don't "lose" that much. It seems only one game has advantages with 64 bit and that's Crysis (maybe because of huge memory consumption).
I'll be running 64-bit Linux for the 20% speed increase while compiling, which is why I'm looking at a quad core CPU. I have no intention of running Windows in anything other than VMware, and even then it's currently just Exact Audio Copy (off topic but anyone know a good Linux replacement, no matter how you dress it up, cdparanoia sucks by comparison), VPN and remote desktop. No need to worry about memory limits, only proprietary, closed-sourced, stuck in 32-bit apps (I'm talking you, flash player!). For now it'll only be 2GB or 4GB of RAM though, depending if I spring for a pair of 1GB or 2GB DIMM's.
Will any of the new Intel GMA chips be enough for Beryl at 2048x1536 and 75+ fps? I'd like to run it with transparent backgrounds while spinning, fire effects when closing windows, and with the frame rate synced to the refresh, and I'm holding off on Compiz Fusion until I can get a zoom plugin that's still fully functional (working like a virtual desktop) and bind both the raise window and move window to <alt>+button1. My only experience with Beryl on an Intel chips is with a 900 at work. Even with all the eye candy off, it's absolutely awefull at 1280x1024. I know this one is a lot newer, but I need to move 2.5x the pixels and go at least 4x as fast. I saw the tiny review of the GMA 3000, but that didn't impress me enough at 1280x1024 to expect it to do well at 2048x1536. I'd also like to run a refresh of at least 80Hz, which is my monitor supports, and the Intel DAC's are limited to 2048x1536@75Hz.
Simple enough then; OpenGL2 starts with GeForce 6400 and goes on up. See if people are impressed with their 8800s in the second and third weeks of December and are eBaying or CraigsListing (Phoronixing? no?) the appropriate interface 6500s...7400s. Since AMD X1050s seem to be behaving all right with the FOSS drivers, maybe one of those will be an adequate OpenGL2 (simply to handle textures/views the size of virtual desktops!) card.
Oya, and props to anyone who writes howtos on running the benchmarks at Ozone3D.net from a handy Linux with OpenGL going.