[Ubuntu PA] Cheap cards for 3D desktop

Kevin Valentine kevin.valentine at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 18:46:54 BST 2007

Elizabeth Bevilacqua wrote:
> On 8/5/07, Kevin Valentine <kevin.valentine at gmail.com> wrote:
>> From what I've read, Nvidia has very good support in the form of closed
>> source binaries.
> There have been complaints about the support, but primarily this comes
> from people who were loyal to ATI on the Windows side or hate closed
> source binaries in general :) I've always had good luck with NVidia
> though, I haven't bought anything else since I started using Linux. SO
> I think NVidia is the way we want to push people right now.
My situation has been different.  The only Nvidia GPUs I've run into are
the one in the Dell that I found on the curb and my brother's PC in
Alabama.  All that I owned used either old ATI Rage Pro xxx, some Intel
chipset (mostly laptops), or VIA Unichrome (gasp), all of which have
spotty or no 3d support.  Even if they did finally get 3d support it
didn't mean compiz/beryl would work.  I was pretty psyched when the
desktop with the integrated Unichrome gpu worked great the Nvidia card.

>>  I put that to the test with this cheap card I bought
>> at Micro Center:
>> Price: $17.99
>> Manufacturer: Mad Dog Multimedia
>> Part No: MD-NV400BM
>> Graphics Processor: nVidia GeForce2 MX400 graphics processor
>> Minimum RAM Required: 64MB
>> AGP Interface Type: AGP 2.0 Compliant (4x/2x) Interface
>> Link:
>> http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0218582
> This is similar to what I used to have, but my processor was GeForce3
> (and based on the specs, probably comparable).
> I recently bought this for $30 to replace my old card:
>  MSI FX5200-TD128LF GeForce FX 5200 128MB 64-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X Low
> Profile Video Card
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127181
Nice price!

>> That's not so bad for 18 clams!  It works great too.
> What did you test it on? Using Beryl in Gnome? What resolution? I even
> find that my card above sometimes has a little weirdness on the screen
> with beryl+xubuntu @ 1600x1200 when I launch new windows with effects
> turned on and do too much wobbly stuff. I would go with a more
> expensive card if I were to do it again, since quite honestly I abuse
> my graphics card with these crazy resolutions :)
Ha-ha.  The LCD I'm testing on can only go as high as 1024x768.  I used
compiz and then beryl on Ubuntu 7.04.  I've never gone higher than
1280x800.  All my monitors are crap :-(

>> Normally, I wouldn't be such a big
>> fan of 3d desktop but I'm finding it's very valuable for Ubuntu demos.
> Yep.
>> After the demo, people want to know if their video card will work beryl
>> or compiz.  If it doesn't, at least now I know where to send them and
>> what card they can get :-)
> We should probably prepare a list of good cards, with a disclaimer
> explaining how well they will work. I think you probably have to plop
> down at least $60 for something that'll work great at high
> resolutions. I'll run my card through some tests to see what
> resolution works the best.
Some of the listing has already been done.  It would be nice to include
a list of last know prices.  I found a link to the list on Ubuntu's
BinaryDriverHowto for Nvidia:

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