i want to upgrage a video card Im using at a secondary workstation, but I dont have too many choices and the budget is very low. What I have is a GT9500 with 512Mb, the only offer I have within my budget is a GT210. I have been searching, but seems that the old 9500 is better, can somebody confirm this? I do some ocasional gaming and mostly game development, with low resolutions. My concern is that the GT9500 could be discontinued by Nvidia, making the driver installation a pain.
The GT210 is too weak for gaming but he GT430 can be found very cheap, and it's easy to mod the bios in Nibitor for some extra pixel pushing and flash the new one with nvflash on a bootable usb-stick. I use one myself in my Linux-box, bought new for 30$. I flashed it to 800MHz core and 1750MHz memory(performing like a GT440) in which case it can play Skyrim under Wine at 1280x800 on low with FXAA enabled. Older games fare better of course. This card(Asus) draws ~3W in desktop mode running 30C and ~50W full load never exceeding 60C, with the default fan which is silent. On top of that it has excellent VDPAU-support and handles HD-video with ease and producing a very crisp image. No tearing whatsoever.
I used to have my old GTX470 in the Linux-box, but I felt it was really dumb having a nuclear plant running 24/7 without actually using it for the most. In my Windows-gaming box I use a GTX680 so I can get performance if I need too, but for casual gaming under Linux, as you where asking, for the OC:ed GT430 is just perfect - so tiny, so cool running, almost no power draw