Considering a new GPU soon. How's the 7700 series on Linux?
Due to the commitment to the open source driver development I want to stick with AMD graphics. However, I do need to use the proprietary driver for the time being. I do some gaming, and the open source driver isn't quite good enough for me there yet. My experience with Catalyst on my 6450 hasn't been as good as it is on Windows (graphical issues sometimes, tearing, crappier performance compared to Windows, etc), but I'm still willing to give AMD another chance.
I'm looking at the new 7750 because of its low power requirements + decent performance. I'm not a heavy gamer, but I'd like to be able to play some recent games (Rage if it comes to Linux, for example) without lag. Graphics quality isn't a huge issue since I usually turn down the eye-candy in games anyway. It seems like the 7750 might be a good option for this. As a reference, if it can smoothly play Quake 4 at Ultra (or high) on 1920x1080 I will be happy. I can run Quake 4 on my 6450, but there's a noticeable amount of jitter and lag. Unsure if this is related to Fglrx or the low-end 6450.
So in a nutshell:
- Under $120 (USD)
- Low power requirements (under 500w)
- Runs Quake 4 without any lag at 1920x1080
- Reliable fglrx driver until I can use the open source driver.
- Small in size (I'm thinking the 6770 or 7770 may be a bit large)
Any insight is appreciated. I'm a bit curious about the new architecture, hence why I'm considering a Southern Islands GPU.
Reliable Fglrx driver is an oxymoron
I ran the Fglrx driver once, and that was all it ran. I've never seen anything quite like it in Linux. When I ran it it wasn't any better than what my on board video could do so I didn't work too hard to fix it. It was a lot easier to simply pop the board out and use my on board. Then I took that same ATI board and popped it into another system I have in order to troubleshoot that system. It has a broken graphics connector off the motherboard. The system ran with that ATI board in it until I tried running a latency test, then it locked up. Funny thing there is when I swapped that ATI board out for a Nvidia board it ran the test just fine.
Originally Posted by Newfie
I don't have a whole lot of experience with ATI hardware, but one thing I can say is it has all been bad. So I'm not going to let a little thing like Nvidia honoring their NDAs they've had to make with others stop me from using what works the best. If I wanted to settle I'd go run Windows, something you apparently already do. So I don't see why you're so hung up on open source.
I mean yeah it's great and all but sometimes we all have to be reasonable. I'm not going to cut off my own nose in order to spite my own face. Or run AMD when Nvidia's solutions are better for that matter. If you really want to support Linux then support the graphics company that has supported Linux the most, Nvidia. Their closed source binary driver works so well it is virtually a non-issue today. You're the first person I've seen bring it up negatively in years in fact.
The 7750 is probably a good card for that if you must go with AMD cards again.
Originally Posted by Newfie
I was considering the 6570 and from Nvidia, either 520 GT and the GT 430. I want primarily a low power, low temps HTPC card and if it can do light gaming, that would be a bonus.
I think a 7000 or SI series card won't be mature right away as usual so the FOSS drivers won't be up to par at first. Although, perhaps, they are getting quicker at preparing support? It sounds like there's still issues as usual.
Isn't the 6450 basically a rebadge of the 5450? At any rate, it's a low-end HTPC type card. And the power consumption is a bit high for such a low-end card, imho. I think the Intel HD 3000 / SNB graphics is competitive with those cards but don't quote me on that.
Last edited by Panix; 04-14-2012 at 02:11 PM.
Well, it doesn't exactly take much to play Quake 4 at ultra settings in 1080p. I mean, I was able to do that easily with my Radeon HD 4650. I think the 7750 would be a pretty decent fit for you. As for some people calling FGLRX crap, they can go suck it, they are living in the past. I haven't had a single graphics crash on FGLRX even with an overclocked card. If tearing is a problem, enabling triple buffering is an easy fix and NEVER tears. Actually, hell you could do that now on your current card if you want. As for the worse performance compared to Windows, it really isn't any slower if you are comparing two OpenGL benchmarks/games. The problem is that many games/benchmarks are more optimized for Direct3D. All that being said, I wouldn't hold my breath for the open source driver, you might suffocate...
Originally Posted by Newfie
You don't need to wait for Rage coming to Linux, it runs very well already, even with Xbox pad. All you need to do:
winetricks xact_jun2010 directx9
and for pad support look there:
Rage is OpenGL, it would not get much faster if it would run native, the diff for the other ID games compared to Wine is very small as well. But do not consider using AMD cards when you want to use Wine, that won't work for this game (currently). If you want you can compile CUDA Wine dlls for Nvidia cards. Maybe there are some AMD cards that do not have got rendering problems using Wine but my HD 5670 was definitely no good choice (using 8.96 preview driver). I can not think about one good reason why somebody should buy AMD cards for Linux usage - Nvidia is superior in basically every aspect.
I hope to get a card next month in the range of $20 to $70 (lower the better, obviously). The reason for this range:
GT210 - $17
GT 430 - $40 - $70 (silent versions are most expensive)
GT 520 (silent) - $50
What's the best deal?
I want it for HTPC use and I'm more convinced that hardware acceleration is a feature I'd want whether I use 1080i/p media or not. It's VERY 'nice-to-have' and my cpu is powerful enough but I prefer to keep usage down since the card should theoretically 'do the work' since it's designed to do so (-in Windows! So, it should in Linux, at least with the binary driver!).
Btw, I think a low profile card is good but not essential. I discovered that silent GT 430 cards have a rather elaborate heat sink for the most part but I have a DIY built computer so it's not as crucial but would be nice to have. The 520 GT and 210 cards all come in low profile and often silent. The 430 can do satisfactory light gaming?
Sorry for going on a tangent on this thread but I assume the higher range Nvidia cards would work more or the less the same but will be more powerful?
If it was me and I was going for an AMD card, I wouldn't go any higher than 7750 as any newer card you get now will probably not be optimized until AMD/ATI finetune their Catalyst drivers... not sure why you'd buy such expensive cards either if you aim to use the FOSS radeon driver.
(See, I tried to keep part of the post on-topic. :-) ).
None of those cards is for gamers. For htpc the cheapest card is enough. It is very unlikely you ever get in contact with 1080p50/60 where you could see some improvements using fermi. The cheapest gaming cards are currently 550 ti or 560 se. I see no real point in using something slower for new games at full hd - old games would still run on slower cards depending on the resolution.
Obviously. So, the GT210 is a good choice? It would struggle at HD, though?
Originally Posted by Kano
I just want a good card for HTPC use, low temps, low power, low profile (preferred) until I can upgrade to a mid-level card that can occasionally game but maybe I'll build a 2nd computer by then that's geared towards that use and leave the HTPC computer to do media-oriented tasks.
Originally Posted by Kano
- Proper investment in FOSS drivers with both documentation AND developers
- Improvements on the proprietary ones for home desktop usage on the top of the FOSS effort
- FGLRX is far better than the usual suspects here make it out to be
Yeah, wouldn't it be just great to have to shell out twice as much for half as good hardware, competition is such an overrated concept for us consumers.
Originally Posted by Paul Frederick
HD7770 owner here, Gigabyte's model.
Fairly silent once the fan control kicks in, shorter than reference cards, performs great for the price.
Can't comment on XvBA since I stick to SMplayer with GL output.
ALSA is having problem with the HDMI output at the moment, if that's important to you.
By the way Newfie, what does the rest of your rig look like?
I usually only use FOSS drivers for intel onboard. I have got snb + ivb to test. And with fglrx i test
a) kernel support (currently 3.4-3.5 is missing)
b) xserver support (1.12 on debian wheezy 64 bit is broken)
c) xvba via xbmc fernet menta (h264 l5.1 is missing)
a while ago i tried playing rage with wine, that worked with my old nv 8800 gts 512 but i had very bad artefacts with my amd hd 5670. cf was not really useable as well...
I do not care about "ethics", btw. there exist nouveau as well. If you would test the same things that i do i would like to know what are your results...
Last edited by Kano; 06-28-2012 at 05:32 AM.