Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

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doomster
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Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by doomster » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:59 pm

Hi,

I'm trying to get an old machine (Celeron E1200 @1.9Ghz, 2GB RAM) running again for office use, internet, email, youtube etc. It had a Windows installation which was sluuuuugish on this old machine so I though what better time to try out Linux for a change even though I've never used this OS before, haha. :) So far so good! Everything's installed and works great and fast. Never thought it would be that easy to install and use Linux. It even feels very familiar coming from Windows. Great.

Only thing is the integrated GPU (Intel GMA 950) is a stuttering mess in Youtube and more complex websites so I think it might need replacing with a dedicated graphics card for smoother operation. I can get an ATI HD 4850 for pretty cheap so my question is would it work with Mint 19 xfce? Are there drivers for it? Or maybe you have better suggestions, for example another model which will work better?

Thanks in advance! :)

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richyrich
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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by richyrich » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:24 pm

First thing you can try before installing that ATI card is to turn off display compositing in the Window Manager Tweaks program > Compositor tab. Check to see if things run better that way. :)

doomster
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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by doomster » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:48 am

This helped quite a lot with scrolling in web pages, thanks! Feels much smoother. However, Youtube videos still lag and stutter at anything over 480p quality settings. Would the graphics card I mention help with this and are there drivers for it on Mint 19 xfce?

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richyrich
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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by richyrich » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:09 am

AMD have dropped linux support for that card, so that means that the open source drivers that come with Mint are the only available drivers.

I cannot guarantee that it will improve, but it may also make a big difference for the better. If that card won't break your bank account, I surely suggest that you do try it.

After you install the new graphics card, on bootup, Mint will automatically detect it and install the correct dirvers for it.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out, and who knows, you may even be able to turn compositing back on again . . :)

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by Hoser Rob » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:26 am

I'd try the AMD card too ... it's an older one and there are no closed binary drivers for it anymore in any Linux distro. The open source one (radeon) is the only available Linux driver. But I also suspect it'd be better than an Intel 950.

I'd also turn off all the eye candy/desktop compositing and use light app software. Eg smplayer or gnome-mplayer for videos, chrome or vivaldi (chromium based, my personal fave).

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by doomster » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am

Am I right to assume that the GPUs listed here are the only ones that have closed binary drivers for current Linux distros like Ming 19 xfce?

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by richyrich » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:11 pm

You are correct.

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by Hoser Rob » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:55 am

doomster wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am
Am I right to assume that the GPUs listed here are the only ones that have closed binary drivers for current Linux distros like Ming 19 xfce?
Actually there are no closed binary drivers listed there ... they are unavailable for any newer Linux distro. Any AMD card older than the 6xxx series has no closed drivers in any currently supported distro, period. However the open source driver (radeon) should work OK.

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by doomster » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:38 am

Got it! Thanks so much the help. :)

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by roblm » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:02 am

The amdgpu-pro driver is mostly open source but has a small amount of proprietary code added, so it is referred to as a hybrid driver. These lines will be seen in the Xorg.0.log file after installing that driver:

Code: Select all

[     6.275] (II) AMDGPU(0): AMDGPU DDX hybrid version: 18.30.2.15
[     6.275] (II) AMDGPU(0): AMDGPU kernel module hybrid version: 18.30.2.15

The editors of Linux Format magazine say this about the amdgpu-pro driver, and I quote:
The proprietary stack includes a technically superior OpenCL stack, which, amongst other things, makes for faster GPU mining of cryptocurrencies.

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by Hoser Rob » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:22 am

roblm wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:02 am
The amdgpu-pro driver is mostly open source but has a small amount of proprietary code added, so it is referred to as a hybrid driver. These lines will be seen in the Xorg.0.log file after installing that driver:

Code: Select all

[     6.275] (II) AMDGPU(0): AMDGPU DDX hybrid version: 18.30.2.15
[     6.275] (II) AMDGPU(0): AMDGPU kernel module hybrid version: 18.30.2.15

The editors of Linux Format magazine say this about the amdgpu-pro driver, and I quote:
The proprietary stack includes a technically superior OpenCL stack, which, amongst other things, makes for faster GPU mining of cryptocurrencies.
You're quite right but that has no practical relevance of AMD 4xxx series cards because they're not supported by either and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for either to support them.

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Re: Radeon HD 4850 - Will it work with Mint 19 xfce?

Post by roblm » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:33 pm

Hoser Rob wrote:You're quite right but that has no practical relevance of AMD 4xxx series cards because they're not supported by either and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for either to support them.

I probably should have been more specific as to the intent of my last post, but it was not a suggestion to install any specific driver, just commenting on your reply to doomster and richyrich:
Actually there are no closed binary drivers listed there ... they are unavailable for any newer Linux distro.

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