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Graphics card for Ubuntu 12.04 (and Win7)


USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming least important, will rarely (but maybe sometime) use this for low-end stuff. I won't be particular about it. I will probably watch movies or videos occasionally. Again, not particular as long as it works and can see display well. "Bang for the Buck", mid to somewhat better than mid-level graphics is a good description.

This is an INITIAL INSTALL, not replacing another card. I prefer open source drivers for less hassle, but not an absolute requirement.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: New system, to be ordered next week. Power supply is planned to be 600 watts. GPU is currently called out as Radeon 6670. I don't know the exact one yet, but I'm hoping that this is enough info. I have a few days to change this to pretty much whatever I want.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: This system will run both Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit and Win 7 pro 64 bit, from different hard drives. The system will only see one OS drive at any one time. CPU will be i7 Ivy Bridge 3770. 8G DDR3 memory. Mobo is Intel DZ77BH-55K. 3 fans, plus CPU cooler, and power supply sucks from inside to outside. Case is HEC Blitz.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Doesn't matter, most will come from assembler shop, but I can chase down whatever I want from wherever is needed.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I don't care, as long as it meets my needs. It needs to be at least mid to a bit better than mid level graphics, and work with Win7 and Ubuntu 10.04, with NO PROBLEMS or magic incantations to get it going in Ubuntu.

OVERCLOCKING: Not likely, and will not use more than the one card.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Planned - Samsung LT24B350ND\ZA (24"), up to 1920 x 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Critical point is Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit compatibility. I just don't want ANY headaches, Ubuntu should just load and run, no hassles or questions...

I'm ordering a new desktop, and I need quick info on the best (read "NO PROBLEMS" in Ubuntu 10.04) video card that is decent.

Right now Radeon 6670 with 1GB is on the list. I'm not sure exactly which one. I have a few days to change that if I need to.

I want decent "Bang for the Buck" graphics, but it doesn't need to be gaming level. I may play some low level games, but nothing that requires high level stuff. And if I have to give up some graphics performance to be SURE it will work, that's fine. I won't care about zapaction games that look a bit fuzzy or whatever, as I likely will almost never do this.

So if this one isn't among the best to be SURE it will work with no tweaking, for mid-level to somewhat better than mid-level graphics, which one is?

I don't have a favorite manufacturer or brand, except what works with NO PROBLEMS.

11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about graphics card ubuntu win7
  1. If you want the graphics to be as reliable on ubuntu as on windows you'll want an nvidia brand graphics card.

    Nvidia's GPUs support hardware decoding of video under linux as well as they do under windows, and have much better driver support than amd. Only go with amd if you use linux as a FOSS system, as nvidia keeps their driver closed-source.

    For mid to slightly-above mid level graphics you should be looking at the gtx 550 ti. It is a card that can game if you end up wanting it to at mid-level settings and will do everything else as well as higher end GPUs. If price is the problem then a gt 640 or 620 will suffice.
  2. I prefer open source drivers, and am concerned about the new system that this will be in as a fresh 12.04 install.

    I just want it to go smoothly, no hassles or magic incantations in the terminal to get it to work. I simply am not fully competent in the Harry Potter stuff. If it would go smoothly, or tell me what to do if something needs to be done, that would work. If I get a black screen, or a message that says something like "I'm dead, doesn't work, **** off", I'm lost and have no idea what to do.

    If the drivers are closed source, how do I put those in during first install - new 12.04 64 bit install? Would I simply get no display if extra drivers are needed?

    Do they have a repository for auto updates?

  3. It looks like maybe the GT640 will be it. I wonder if you can advise me how this will work during initial installation of 12.04, and how to follow up with the drivers?

    What kind of display will I have in Ubuntu without the drivers (during Ubuntu install)?

    I would very much appreciate details on how to get the drivers, exact information of how the Ubuntu installation will happen, and exactly what to do to install the drivers and when to do it during or after the Ubuntu installation.

    On the other hand, if I use the Radeon HD 7750, am I correct in understanding that everything would be automatic during installation, since they have provided drivers to Ubuntu for their 7000 series cards? Or are these drivers not yet in Ubuntu?

    How would you compare the HD7750 and the GT640?

  4. I just put a 7770 in ubuntu and it worked fine the other day on 12.04. The gt640 will work fine for what you are considering. Nvidia gpus have an open-source project called nouveau which does things through the installation, and supports all the basics. It works fine if you keep using it, but I always switch over to the geforce driver for stability and performance. To switch drivers you use the "additional drivers" program in ubuntu.
  5. Did the Radeon 7770 simply work at full potential with all capabilities and features, with the drivers in Ubuntu without having to fool around with other drivers? You seem to imply that, but it's unclear.

    If I understand correctly about nVidia installations, it works as a basic card until you install additional drivers by use of magic Terminalcantations*, which then allows you to access all the cards capabilities and features?

    *similar to what Harry Potter mumbles to achieve his effects, only you have to type them into the Terminal

  6. If you are not overly concerned with gaming or high end performance, then I would look into cards that are supported by Xorg's native ATI driver, and pick something off of that list. That way you can just use the open source driver which is already a part of Xorg, which is already part of pretty much every Linux distribution. No having to futz around with the binary blob drivers. The tradeoff is that the feature support will not be as rich using the open source driver, but based on what you say in your post, it sounds like you just need something with functional 2D hardware acceleration, which the Xorg ATI drivers should be able to do just fine.

    This link may help in picking out one in particular. It's a little more developer oriented, but it will give you kind of an overview of what is and isn't currently supported on what family of ATI/AMD GPUs.
  7. actually there's an xorg ppa for binaries that is pretty straightforward. You just install synaptic, install the ppa in software sources, and go to a terminal and "sudo apt-get install nvidia-graphics-drivers"
    Yes, the 7770 simply worked. I was a little astonished myselft to see it.
  8. BTW, I erred in my earlier post. It's Ubuntu 12.04 I will be using. Also, I do want 3D to work just in case there is a good use for it or I decide to do some low-level gaming.

    I'm now considering the Radeon 7750, simply because at least the 7750 is supposed to have a full driver set that auto loads upon 12.04 install - at least as far as I can find out.

    The link in the above message has lots of information, but to be honest I can't be sure of what most of it means. I heard that the "Southern Islands" cards were supposed to have the open source drivers supplied straight from AMD, but it looks like much of this is not yet finished in the given link. That's confusing to me. See : and others found in Google which say it's a done deal.

    Anyway, the full truth is that when it comes to the magic mumbles stuff in Terminal, I really would rather avoid it during installation and during updates, especially on something so important to the system as being able to see the screen or not. Lines I can copy and feed into the Terminal would probably work, but if even the slightest thing appeared wrong, I'd be stuck. Graphical works, but I'd rather it be just automatic.

    It seems that Kevin had experience installing one of the Southern Islands cards (next step up from the 7750) that installed completely with all features operative.

    To sum it up:
    I want above impulse power (2D), maybe warp 6 or 7 (reasonable speed 3D), warp 9 not needed.
    I need autopilot, or good enough directions to be really, really sure I don't get lost.
    Also during any refits (updates) I need autopilot
    I'm told that Radion class starships will do what I need, but engineering seems to not fully agree.
    Transmit distress beacon, all channels...
  9. Best answer
    Sounds like you need a 7750 or 7770. take your pick, the 7770 is slightly faster but requires an auxiliary power supply, the 7750 runs completely off of the pci-e slot's power. That also makes the 7770 considerably more overclockable.
  10. Best answer selected by Roger Davis.
  11. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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