Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

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miteymitey
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Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by miteymitey »

I haven't used Linux Mint in a couple of years. but am looking forward to returning. I am retired now and have more time to try new things.
My old GPU that I previously used with Linux, a Geforce 9800GTX+, died last week, about a week after I installed it in my new rig. Right now I'm using a 9600GSO card I had purchased to use in my old desktop and while it might work with Linux, I really need to get a better card for the games I play on Windows 7. I was considering an nVidia GeForce 550 Ti until I read a review posted on Newegg that it wouldn't work in Linux Mint. Of course, I realize that such could be a problem with the operator, but I really need to make sure that whatever card I get will meet my needs in Linux as well as Windows. After all, I am retired and can't afford to use the trial and error method.
Currently, I'm looking at the following cards:
nVidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti
nVidia Geforce GT 440
nVidia GeForce GTX 460
Radeon HD 6670
Radeon HD 6770
Radeon HD 6850
Radeon HD 7750
Yes, I know there's a big performance gap between several of these cards, but my research has shown that any of them will meet or exceed my needs for my Windows applications. I have gone to both the nVidia and AMD/ATI websites and all these cards have drivers available for Linux, including the GTX 550 Ti. But my search for a definitive answer as to exactly which cards will function properly under Linux hasn't revealed any really useful information. Some Linux folks swear by nVidia while others say the newer drivers from AMD/ATI are better. It's very confusing.
So, my question is this. Is anyone currently using any of the cards I listed under Linux Mint? If so, were there any problems and which driver did you use? If not, can you recommend a decent mid-range GPU that does function well under Linux Mint? My maximum budget for this is ~$150. Also, I plan on using the 64 bit version of Linux Mint.
Anyway, thank you for your assistance.
Last edited by xenopeek on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Clarified subject

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xenopeek
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Re: Best GPU's for Linux Mint.

Post by xenopeek »

Moved here by moderator

Retirement does have its perks :wink: Check out the Community website, specifically the hardware database (Community > Hardware) where other Linux Mint users have shared their review on hardware compatibility.
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AlbertP
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Re: Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by AlbertP »

For all cards you can install a driver, but I'd use nvidia as ATI have always caused a lot of problems with Linux.

It happens that you get a black screen at first when the driver isn't yet installed. That's probably what the 550 Ti user on Newegg had.
But you can first install the NVidia driver from Additional Drivers using the 9600 GSO card and then put another nvidia card into the machine. Please use the same PCIe slot to avoid the driver becoming confused.

The 460 will require an updated driver (at least 295.20) in case you use the v2 version of the card. The first version of the 460 is fine however, as are 440 and 550 Ti when the recommended one from Additional Drivers (version 280.13) is installed.
Edit. The 460 consumes a bit more power than your 9800GTX+. The 440 is far less power hungry than the 9800GTX+, 460 and 550 Ti but also slower.
I think the GTX 550 Ti would be a good choice. It's probably a bit faster than the 9800GTX+, consumes less power and works fine if the driver is already installed.
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eiver
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Re: Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by eiver »

I would say nVidia because of their good Linux support (nVidia has a long history of Linux support, while ATI/AMD has only recently stopped ignoring Linux).
Try to avoid buying older series cards, as latest cards are better both performance-wise and price-wise.

The 500-series have much better thermal specs compared to the 400-series.
The 600-series... well just compare Kepler performance vs Fermi, the only drawback is its still missing cards from lower-price segment

hayden
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Re: Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by hayden »

I have the 550Ti and I cannot get it to work. I get a bunch of error messages or blank screens or both. I might be doing something wrong though. I'm not sure. for now I'm using the integrated graphics from the i7-2600 until I figure it out.

miteymitey
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Re: Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by miteymitey »

Well, I finally decided on an ASUS GTX 550 Ti. It should be here early next week. In the Newegg customer reviews, one of the reviewers stated his worked in Linux, so perhaps it'll work for me. I'll come back and post my results. In the Linux Mint Community Hdwe listings, it shows the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti works. I would really have rather had a Radeon HD card. Not so much because I'm all that fond of Radeon, but at the present time they seem to be offering a better selection of cards with fewer problems in my price range. Right now Nvidia seems to be missing a few rungs on the ladder. I was really impressed with the Radeon 6670. Benchmarks show the 6670 outperforms the 9800GTX and doesn't require the 6-pin PCI-E power cord, so it's more energy efficient, and that means a cooler card and a cooler case along with a lower electric bill. Nvidia really had nothing comparable to the 6670. I would have had to go either much lower in performance with the Nvidia GT 440 Fermi or go with the 550 Ti. At least benchmarks indicate the 550 Ti will outperform my old 9800GTX+. And while the 550 Ti requires the PCI-E power cord, it's not as much of a power hog as the 9800.
Anyway, like I said, I'll find out one way or the other. I sure hope it works.
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AlbertP
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Re: Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by AlbertP »

hayden wrote:I have the 550Ti and I cannot get it to work. I get a bunch of error messages or blank screens or both. I might be doing something wrong though. I'm not sure. for now I'm using the integrated graphics from the i7-2600 until I figure it out.
I think this happens because you don't yet have the driver installed - you should be able to work around it by booting with nomodeset (hold shift to see Grub bootloader, then press e to edit and add nomodeset at the end of the next-to-last line). But miteymitey presumably still has the driver of his previous nvidia installed on Linux so he won't have those error messages.
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Bariuz
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Re: Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by Bariuz »

Hi!

First post in here :-)

I´m curious to see how this card works for you, as I´m on the lookout for a new card myself. The Geforce 550 Ti seems like a perfect choice for me, performance and price wise. Please keep us posted.

hayden
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Re: Which GPU to pick for Linux Mint?

Post by hayden »

AlbertP wrote: I think this happens because you don't yet have the driver installed - you should be able to work around it by booting with nomodeset (hold shift to see Grub bootloader, then press e to edit and add nomodeset at the end of the next-to-last line). But miteymitey presumably still has the driver of his previous nvidia installed on Linux so he won't have those error messages.
Dude, Thank you so much! :D this worked great. I'm finally able to use my graphics card. It has been in its plastic wrapping on my desk for 2 weeks now! Man i love this forum!!

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