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Re: Video Question

On Mon, Oct 14, 2002 at 09:59:21AM -0500, Tim McDonough wrote:
> Recently there were a fair amount of postings about what's wrong with
> nVidia based graphics cards. My question is what is a good graphics
> card to buy that's well supported with open source drivers for Linux?

[ Steve puts on his Hardware HOWTO maintainer hat. ]

Your best bet right now is definitely one of the ATI cards.  Anything
up to the 8500 should work just fine with any current Linux
distribution.  The 8500 will work, although I'm not sure if any of the
distributions support 3D on it out of the box.  (There is a free 3D
driver, as well as a non-free driver.  The free driver is just fairly

I'd stay away from the 9000 and the 9700 for right now.  The 9000 is
just an odd sort-of-crippled-sort-of-enhanced 8500, although overall
it tends to perform worse.  The 8500 drivers might drive the 9000, if
not now then sometime soon, but it doesn't look like you really gain
anything with them.

The 9700 looks like a nice card, but it might be a year before there
are free drivers for it.  If you have money to blow, and you don't
mind not having 3D support for a while, it should be a perfectly safe
choice though.

[ Steve switches to his "I sell hardware" hat. ]

For reference, it looks like a 8500LE with 64MB RAM is going to cost a
bit less than $100.  One with 128MB is probably going to run another
$20 higher.  They go up from there.  (The All-in-Wonder versions are
particularly nice.)

BTW, my thinking is that if you might normally blow the money on a
9700, just get the 8500 now.  By the time it has working 3D and a game
exists that actually needs that power, you should easily be able to
get the card $100 cheaper (at least).

steve@silug.org           | Southern Illinois Linux Users Group
(618)398-7360             | See web site for meeting details.
Steven Pritchard          | http://www.silug.org/

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